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TECH...That lousy Econoline Pickup Tailgate

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Chaz, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. I acquired a Ford Econoline Pickup the other day and its a cool little truck. ...Until you get to the rear tailgate. I'm amazed that the back gate looks like they slapped a leftover tailgate from 1953 on the goddam thing.
    The truck has such nice smooth lines till you walk around the rear. I didnt know there was a crack epidemic in 1963. Those foot tall FORD letters are an especially nice touch. This is gonna be a shop truck, so I'm not trying to do anything blingy. Just what I thought Ford should have done in the first place.
    I took the old gate and cut the ends off of it to give me the correct body curve, and found a length of 1/8 wall tubing that matched the curve of the toprail


    Then I cut a fourth out of the length of the tube with a cutting wheel and four discs. Here are the saved ends and the 3/4 tube


    Then I put a lenghth of !" tube between the body hinge mounts. This was the weakest point of the old gate, so the full length tube is a good idea.


    Then I began to weld up the new framework. A length of 1/8 by 2 1/2 flat goes from the tube to the bed. The top rail is also welded in place between the two salvaged uprights.


    I was about ready to quit here. The whole thing looked like crap and kept twising as I'd weld. Then i remembered Ed Roth saying "dont give up on it. It just takes patience, It'll come around" Then I welded another 1/8 by 2 1/2
    flat behind the toprail


    I used 18 ga. steel for the face.and bent a 1/4 inch lip on either side and tacked it in place.


    Here's the skin all tacked in place.


    Then I welded the chain clips back on. It would be easy to do an internal latching system like new trucks have, but I really want to keep this looking early 60"s


    In this pic you can see how nicely the curve of the gate matches the original body curve.

    Here's the finished product in primer

    Heres a pic of it completed.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  2. damnfingers
    Joined: Sep 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,287


    Nice work...looks good.
  3. guiseart
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 3,872


    yup... nice peice.
  4. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,729


    You could really instruct others on this on the Econosrus Yahoo group.

    Excellent work.
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  5. joebuick
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 584


    very impressive
  6. haring
    Joined: Aug 20, 2001
    Posts: 2,335


    I find it funny that you cut apart an Econoline tailgate ... since those tailgates are generally worth more than the rest of the truck. ;)

  7. eric
    Joined: Jun 4, 2001
    Posts: 1,643


    awesome!!! yeah ford tailgates from the 60's SUCK!! my poor ranchero's tailgate is cracked on the inside (Inside the bed) and the swinging points suck also, not to mention the latch mechanism :( cool, mayeb i can do something similar to mine!
  8. Yeah, I thought about that . I didnt want to go through the hassle of listing and packaging that up. I just wanted to be done with this project and this seemed like the easiest way.
  9. rev106
    Joined: Dec 13, 2006
    Posts: 542


    Here's some pics of my tailgate, withthe certer filled in with a piece of sheet metal.

  10. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,188

    from OKC, OK

  11. Toymont
    Joined: Jan 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,367

    from Montana

    Looks good, Did the center take the curve or did you have to add a curved brace like we were talking about?
  12. I've been told they fit Unibody Ford pickups(?)
  13. erock805
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,246


    Nope...only econo tailgates go fit econolines...

    I love the tech article...thanks. Somehow it lookd much easier than I imagine it will be...however, since I need a good one, and cant find one, I'm gunna give her hell.

    Thanks for the insperation..!
  14. unclescooby
    Joined: Jul 5, 2004
    Posts: 4,925

    from indy

    Nice post! My old drag truck has a lot of crust on the tailgate and I can't figure out what to do. Maybe this is it. Probably easier than finding a good one.
  15. wisconsinjimmy
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 44


    Damn you did one fantastic job on the gate and it really looks just spiffy. I am going to print this out with your permission so I can get my gate back to normal. My gate is gone on the side and bottom and the PO used oak lumber to make a frame on the sides and bottom and used barn door hinges to tie it to the truck.[​IMG]

    Cushing, WI
  16. ChefMike
    Joined: Dec 16, 2011
    Posts: 647


    that looks great !
  17. banzaitoyota
    Joined: May 2, 2004
    Posts: 547


  18. AndrewnTX
    Joined: Sep 13, 2009
    Posts: 182

    from Plano, TX

    Nice work for sure!
  19. Nice job rebuilding the tailgate and improving the looks!.
  20. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 268

    from Maryland

    Anyone else do anything similar?
  21. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 268

    from Maryland

    I guess not . . .well I happen to like the look of the stock Ford letters on a gate, but hey do what you want. I do appreciate well done work and your gate looks great.
  22. I took the easy way out, just painted over the dents. ImageUploadedByTJJ1428963895.919923.jpg

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