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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been around Jeeps for years but never the trucks. My wife just surprised me with a '73 J4000 and it is missing the tailgate and rear bumper. I thought no problem... I'll just hop on the recycler and used parts sites and pick them up... Nope! Can you J truck guys give me some insight?


Thanks!
 

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There weren't that many Jeep J series trucks built to start with, compared to Fords and Chevys. Then a good portion of them rotted away, many were damaged beyond repair, a lot were just removed and scrapped for various reasons.
You'll see that the tailgate isn't going to be the only difficult part to find, as you come up with other stuff you want to fix. They only made 30 or 40 thousand of those that year, while Ford pumped out over 940,000 F100s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply! It just struck me as odd. You rarely see other brands of older trucks with missing tailgates, but now that I'm seeing Jeep trucks on the road (doesn't it always work like that? you don't see a vehicle, then when you are interested in one or just got one, you see a lot more!), most are missing tailgates. I was wondering if they were of poor quality or used for some other function. The amount manufactured does make sense though.
 

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Not only that, but most people who bought a jeep pickup, ESPECIALLY a 3/4 ton, bought it to use. Tailgates that get used get beat up. It they get too beat up, they stop working (opening and closing) and the owners pull them off so they can still have access.

Most major truck makers have companies that make re-pop tailgates, I don't know that I've ever seen a jeep re-pop tailgate

Hoss
 

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If you can't find one, an alternative may be to score a mesh/5th wheel tailgate and modify it to fit. Since they are steel framed with expanded steel, cutting and rewelding them is simple and once painted, will look like they were made for the rig. Not a stock tailgate, but when you can't find the right part, modify the wrong one to fit....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input. I was kicking around working over one of those mesh tailgates like you said.

Lucky me! I had another Jeep loving soul reply to my ad stating that I was looking for a tailgate and rear bumper. He didn't have a bumper but he did sell me two tailgates! One is very decent and the other a little rougher. He is about 5 hours away but hey... who doesn't like a road trip to get jeep parts and meet a fellow Jeeper. I still say it that Jeep folks are some of the best vehicle loving people out there.
 

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They go beat up and the standard latch mechanism is not the most robust. The rear bumpers are also a bit dubious, they also get beat up, nothing special.

I had to fly a tailgate 6000 miles in the end, and fabricate a rear bumper that looked like a Type 2, it was not easy or cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, just got back with the tailgates. Had a very nice individual respond to my "parts wanted" request on the local Craigslist. Made for a long drive... leave at 6 AM and return at 6 PM, but that's ok, the wife and I love a good adventure and eastern Oregon is absolutely beautiful. Sold me both of these tailgates for $400.00! One I'll keep on the truck to look all purty and the other I'll use when I need to haul and or load stuff. I can see why these are rare. The whole center section is single wall! I could see one full barrel of liquid rolled on it, a few chunks of firewood tossed haphazard, or the odd rock or two and this thing would be dented up beyond repair. The primered unit already has a sheet of aluminum riveted to the inside for protection... that will be the duty tailgate.

Also scored a rear bumper, factory spare tire and wheel, and a spare tire holder for $80.00 in the same fashion (a Craiglist response to my request). Will try to get it picked up tomorrow.

There are some very friendly and helpful folks out there!
 

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You did good. I have 2 tailgates. The one that came on my truck and the one I got from the junk yard. Always grab the tailgate and rear bumper if they are half way decent. You can sell them quickly.
 

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The white tailgate I sent up to Oregon from Socal. I still have the bed to match as a trailer. Iirc, the buyer had 1 tailgate that the body shop was having trouble making straight, and so asked for my best tailgate. Then was unhappy when it got there And put it up for sale.
 

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Tailgates are tricky. here is mine which I flew in from Oregon and then beat straight. Always remember to get the hinges and stays, if need be grind out the bolts.
Wheel Tire Car Truck Vehicle

Came out nice.


Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Plant


And the type 2 bumper made from square section and plate.



Car Wheel Vehicle Automotive tail & brake light Tire
 
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