You removed your Chevy truck’s tailgate, but now you’re having trouble reattaching it. How do you put a tailgate back on a Chevy properly? We researched the procedure for your convenience, and here’s what we found.
First, make sure to prepare for the upcoming Chevy tailgate reinstallation procedure by ensuring your safety. Second, gather all the materials and tools needed for the job. Once you’re ready, continue with the job by following these steps:
- Install the latch
- Slide the tailgate into place
- Attach the harnesses
- Reinstall the rearview camera
- Test the tailgate’s functions
It might seem like a reasonably straightforward task, but pay close attention so you don't miss important details and potentially put your tailgate or yourself at risk. So continue reading as we talk about this process in greater detail.
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Ensure proper safety before, during, and after the tailgate reinstallation process. Following appropriate preventive guidelines can help reduce the risks of accidents and injuries while handling the Chevy’s tailgate.
Some safety acts to follow are:
Remove Items From The Truck Bed
All items in the truck bed other than the vehicle’s built-in components should be out of the truck’s rear surface. Failure to remove all but the necessary items may compromise the truck’s stability. It can then lead to serious injuries and/or irreparable harm to the vehicle.
Ask For Help
In particular, request assistance from another person to help in lifting and carrying the tailgate to its proper location and orientation. Take note that a pickup truck’s tailgate often weighs about 50 to 80 pounds. That weight range might be too heavy for some people to lift and carry by themselves.
Avoid wearing accessories like rings and bracelets while reinstalling the tailgate to your Chevy truck. These items can snag or latch onto hooks and other surfaces, which may bring about harm to your well-being.
Stabilize The Vehicle
Ensure that the Chevy truck’s parking spot is on flat and level ground. Then, engage the vehicle's hand or parking brake. Also, chock the wheels so it doesn't move or roll away while you're working on the truck.
Request Professional Help
If, at any time, you feel that reinstalling a Chevy’s tailgate is too much for you to handle, consider requesting the services of expert automotive repair technicians. Continuing the procedure while the risks are high may put you at risk of bringing further harm to the tailgate, the vehicle, or yourself.
The Things You’ll Need
- Ratchet and socket set
- Panel remover tool
DIY Instructions To Reinstall A Tailgate On A Chevy
Take note that the following steps assume that you already removed the tailgate from your Chevy truck. Also, some steps may differ depending on your specific Chevy truck model. Consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual or contact the truck manufacturer’s customer service hotline if you’re having trouble with particular areas of this procedure.
Step #1: Install The Latch
Perhaps one of the steps for the removal of the truck's tailgate is if you disassembled its handle and latch. If so, install the handle and latch by sliding it through the appropriately sized hole at the tailgate's side. Then, tighten the screws to the latch assembly to secure it.
Note: Don’t overtighten the bolts. You’ll know if the bolts are too tight if the attached cable can’t move. Ensure that the cable can still freely move without it detaching from the rest of the assembly.
Step #2: Slide The Tailgate Into Place
Lift and carry the tailgate to the truck bed's opening. Next, slide the rod on the truck bed for the tailgate to the appropriate port on the tailgate's driver's side. Then, slide the other rod on the truck bed to the passenger side.
Step #3: Attach The Harnesses
Connect the tailgate’s harness to the hook on the truck bed. You can find the harness on both sides of the tailgate. Also, dedicated hooks should be available on either side of the truck bed. At this point, you can test if the tailgate’s opening and closing mechanism is working by moving it up and down.
Step #4: Reinstall The Rearview Camera
If you took out a rearview camera as part of the tailgate’s removal process, reinstall it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Take note that you may need to remove some rubber grommets on the tailgate to allow the wiring for the camera to pass through. Then, connect the camera’s wiring to the appropriate terminal in the vehicle.
Step #5: Test The Tailgate’s Functions
Test the tailgate’s features if they’re working properly. Aside from lifting and raising it, try to lock the tailgate if it’s secure. Next, open it to check if the lock works as intended. Don’t forget to test if the other accessories, such as the rearview camera, are also working correctly.
You can also watch the video below for a visual representation of the steps mentioned above. This clip also shows you how to remove a Chevy Silverado tailgate if you need help with that procedure:
At this point, you might also be wondering if you can replace your Chevy 3500’s tailgate with a unit from a Chevy 1500. Read our post on the topic, “Will a Chevy 1500 tailgate fit a 3500,” to know the answer to that concern.
How Do You Install A Chevy C10 Tailgate?
As mentioned previously the installation (or reinstallation) of a tailgate may require different steps depending on the Chevy truck model. In this section, you’ll see the steps to install a tailgate on a Chevy C10 pickup truck. That way, you’ll know the differences between this procedure and the process mentioned in the previous section.
What You’ll Need
- Vacuum cleaner
- Rust remover
- Automotive soapy solution
- Socket and ratchet set
- Cloth or towel
- Remove any signs of corrosion, dirt, and rust on the Chevy C10 tailgate.
- Lift and align the tailgate to the opening in the C10’s truck bed.
- Wedge a small screwdriver at the bottom of the tailgate to lift it slightly.
- Secure the tailgate to the truck bed by screwing its bolts on both sides of the component’s bottom.
- Attach the C10’s tailgate’s chains to their appropriate hooks.
- Test the tailgate if it opens and closes as intended.
You can also watch this video to see a visual guide for the removal and reinstallation process of a Chevy C10 tailgate:
How Do You Align A Tailgate?
Take note that a tailgate will be at risk of failing and/or falling if it's not in proper alignment with the truck. Like with the removal and installation of a tailgate, the steps to complete a tailgate realignment task may differ depending on the truck’s model.
For instance, here are the steps to realign a 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 tailgate:
- Park the Chevy truck in a safe spot with flat and level ground.
- Engage the hand or parking brake and chock the wheels.
- Loosen the hinge bolts on the truck bed’s sides.
- Install shims to strategic locations in the tailgate to level it.
- Test the flushness of the tailgate by opening and closing it.
- Once satisfied, open the tailgate and tighten its bolts.
- Loosen the strikers slightly and ensure that the attached nut doesn’t fall off.
- Close the tailgate and push it with your hand to adjust the strikers.
- Open the tailgate again and tighten the strikers to their new positions.
Bear in mind that realigning the tailgate doesn’t mean it loses its mechanism. So ensure that you’re not overtightening the bolts and strikers to ensure the tailgate still works correctly.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Chevy Tailgate?
Buying a new tailgate roughly costs $100 to $300. But professional services may charge about $40 to $70 to install the new tailgate on your Chevy pickup truck. But take note that the overall costs may differ depending on certain factors, such as the location and expertise of the automotive service shop.
Putting a tailgate back on a Chevy pickup truck can be a DIY-friendly job, but don’t forget to ensure your safety and the well-being of the vehicle to reduce hazards. You can also count on the services of automotive professionals if you think the tailgate reinstallation job is too much for you to handle.
If you’re looking for answers to other tailgate concerns, check out these other great posts: