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Old 08-06-2003, 04:17 PM
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Removing Tailgate on my 54 Pickup

I need to remove the tailgate on my 54 ... I was checking it out today and the two bolts, left and right sides at the bottom of the gate, turn rather freely. It looks like I need some kind of secondary wrench, eh?

Can someone explain to me how to remove my tailgate?

Thanks.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup

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Old 08-06-2003, 04:32 PM
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I just disassembled mine too last Sunday! GM saved $0.0000269785 per truck by installing captive nuts on the top bolt but had free nuts and bolts on the bottom bolt of the hinge. Just back up the bottom nut with a (7/16") wrench. I am brazing in a nut in the hole on mine when I put it back together.
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Old 08-06-2003, 05:24 PM
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I'm not sure on your year the ones I've seen,check around the bottom of your tailgate with the tailgate up one of the bottom corners should be a half moon cutout,unhook your chains or supports arms,lift that corner up and diagonally outward carefully and pull outward,if I explained that the best I could

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Old 08-06-2003, 06:48 PM
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yea, i agree with willys, i just done mine 2 or 3 weeks ago, you need a wrench inside the bed stake pockets so the nuts will not turn on you.
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Old 08-06-2003, 07:40 PM
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Willys36 & Ole Bull : I'm confused. There's a trunion on the edge of the tailgate and a nut on the other side of the hinge ... when I turn the nut, the trunion turns -- there's a slot in the trunion; do I need a special wrench for that? Or am I suffering from tunnel vision by staring at the trunion? Is your's set up that way? I haven't looked up inside the bed stake pockets ... I think mine are about 3" in front of the tailgate hinge.

Zonk : There is a hole at the bottom corner ... mine's a 54 ... I haven't tried lifting up on any corner -- I'll try that tomorrow.

This is so simple, I feel like an idiot! I mean there are only 2 freaking bolts to deal with here! Jeeze!


Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:36 PM
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Can't envision what your problem is. Guess '54s are different than '53s.
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:38 PM
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I'll post a picture tomorrow ... thanks, bro'.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 08-07-2003, 10:03 AM
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Okay ... here are pics :







Alan
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Old 08-07-2003, 10:54 AM
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Yep, that is totally different form my '53.
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:23 AM
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I've encountered similar stuff on my 57, where cage nuts had broken their welds loose, and I had to somehow remove the nut from an area that was pretty inaccessible (that's why there was cage nuts on to begin with).

Here's what I recommend, it's kind of crude, and may not be applicable to your particular application.

Perhaps you can run a small flat object (sturdy screwdriver?) into that hole to prevent the trunion from moving, then wrench off the bolt on the other side.

just a suggestion.
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:51 AM
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Thanks, unstable one.

Those were the lines I've been thinking along, too.

Alan
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Old 08-07-2003, 07:29 PM
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I GOT IT!!!

Eeee-haaaa!!!

Man, it's simple as pie!

I went out there today and started messing around :

Pic #1 : Forget it! There's NO way to grab that sucker, and it's not intended for grabbing, but it DOES reveal what happens when you do it right (see below)

Pic #2 : I couldn't get "under" that hole enough to see what's up there, and of course it "disappears" when you open the tailgate ... I'll be able to learn more about that hole when I remove the tailgate -- it must have SOME purpose!

Pic # 3!!! : See those two holes? One is for tightening the bolt and the other is for loosening the bolt. I stuck an allen wrench in there (only because it has a sturdier end than a screwdriver) and it held the trunion, easy as pie! I had sprayed some WD-40 on both sides before I started, so it had time to penetrate ... and with the allen wrench stuck in one hole, I loosened the bolt and started laughing. Then, when I went to tighten it, the allen wrench just slipped it's grip, so I thought, "Ah-ha! The reason for TWO holes!" ... I put the allen wrench in the other hole and was able to tighten the bolt, no problem.

It was so darned HUMID out, I was starting to sweat buckets, so I packed it in -- at least I know I can remove the tailgate now, and it'll probably take all of 10 minutes or so!

Too cool, huh?

BTW -- The reason this all came up was I bought a pair of '53 park lamps to use as backup lights on my '54 and I need to cut holes where the (cheapo) amber lights are (seen in pics) ... the PO had them wired as turn signals and they were whimpy, so when I rewired my truck I wired the brakes and turns together and wired those ambers for backups with a toggle switch (knowing I'd replace them with something later on).

I wanted to get in there with my dremel, but with the tailgate there it would be a real pain in the neck, so I needed to remove it ... and now I can.


Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 08-08-2003, 11:48 AM
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glad to hear it worked out for you boss. Keep us updated.
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