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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I screwed up…bad. I bought a new tailgate from LMC and didn’t realize there was two different tailgates, an 80-82 then an 83-96. I have an 86 and my dumb self bought the 80-82…have painted the jambs on it and was starting to re assemble it and realized my latches didn’t fit!

So, what needs to change to make this work? Other than finding latches that I can’t seem to find anywhere and strikers? Or is it more than that…I may can cut the holes out in the side of the tailgate and use my old gate as a template for the latches since the hole currently is so much smaller…

Edit: upon further investigation, if I can find the latches and striker it should work…I can find the strikers but the latches are nowhere to be found.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The evil Steve83 has some diagrams on the two tailgates and their latches that my help, start here and look at the next few pictures:

Tailgate interchange
The link brings you back to my thread…but this is good stuff. I just need to find the latches. Upon further looking tho I feel pretty confident I can cut out the hole and make my others fit…


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The link brings you back to my thread…but this is good stuff. I just need to find the latches. Upon further looking tho I feel pretty confident I can cut out the hole and make my others fit…


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Sorry, I fixed it!
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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Here's a thread from long ago where Steve83 explains the difficulties in crossing over the 82/83 line. It sounds like it's easier to make a newer gate work on an older truck, rather than the other way around. Post 9 talks about adapting an older gate to fit a newer truck, but the quote/link to the pics appears to be dead.

 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I know the Internals are the same, glass, glass channel, etc. Also that the striker is in the same location plus it has quite a bit of adjustment. I took these pictures this morning:




I really think I can cut the hole out to fit my correct latches and that will be that. It’s going to be tedious and time consuming but I really don’t see why I can’t do it. The only thing I’m wrapping my mind around is how to pucker them mounting holes for the flush mount screws but I’ve got a couple of ideas that will probably do the job.
I just need to get me some poster board and build a template using the other holes as reference points and get to work.
If I screw that up I could always cut the mount out of my old gate and scab in in over this one, wouldn’t be as pretty but nobody would know if they didn’t know…ya know


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So I screwed up…bad. I bought a new tailgate from LMC and didn’t realize there was two different tailgates, an 80-82 then an 83-96. I have an 86 and my dumb self bought the 80-82…have painted the jambs on it and was starting to re assemble it and realized my latches didn’t fit!

So, what needs to change to make this work? Other than finding latches that I can’t seem to find anywhere and strikers? Or is it more than that…I may can cut the holes out in the side of the tailgate and use my old gate as a template for the latches since the hole currently is so much smaller…

Edit: upon further investigation, if I can find the latches and striker it should work…I can find the strikers but the latches are nowhere to be found.


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I need a new tailgate as mine has the lovely rust near the center bottom. Internals are fine, all else looks good. I contemplated doing the patch panel, but I was curious as to the quality of the LMC sheet metal? What are your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I need a new tailgate as mine has the lovely rust near the center bottom. Internals are fine, all else looks good. I contemplated doing the patch panel, but I was curious as to the quality of the LMC sheet metal? What are your thoughts?
It looks good to me...but i havent tried to bolt it on yet, and not sure how reliable my response will be since im going to be modifying mine extensively to make my latches fit. It is EDP coated which is great, and its the good kind of EDP not the crappy sprayed on EDP so that will defintiely help with rust prevention in the future.
 

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It looks good to me...but i havent tried to bolt it on yet, and not sure how reliable my response will be since im going to be modifying mine extensively to make my latches fit. It is EDP coated which is great, and its the good kind of EDP not the crappy sprayed on EDP so that will defintiely help with rust prevention in the future.
Thanks. I will follow your other threads to see how it bolts up, etc. I have looked at the junkyards for one, but to no avail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
This has been in my mind all day, went to the store and got some arts and crafts supplies and built myself a template



I have to admit, I was saying out loud “Wile-e-coyote super genius”



The brown tailgate is the original, used my old shop light to shine through.

Looks do-able, that bit at the top that you can see will be outside of the new hole shouldn’t be a problem, there’s a lot of meat on the back of the latch that will probably fill all that extra hole up…and if it isn’t I can always add a little metal to the latch to accomplish that task.

Thoughts?

Edit: the biggest “pisser” about this is going to be removing that backing plate off the new tailgate, it’s held in place by about 10 spot welds I’ll have to drill out.


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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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Yeah…but we all know how things turned out for him



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Yeah, but that's before he started running Fords.


@robbz28 Nice work with the template. 👍 Makes my usual cereal box templates look cheesy. But, then again, I do get to do in some Cap'n Crunch when I need a template. 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Got home and started drilling spot welds and removed the backing plate



Next I put my template back on and marked the new holes with a center punch



Then I marked the hole to be cut, lucky me most of the hole is already gone so i was able to cut most of it with my Milwaukee hackzall, if you don’t have one of these you’re working too hard!



Then after a little love from the file I put the latch in. My drill made easy work of sucking the screws down flush with the tailgate



Now I need to deal with these extra holes from the backing plate. I think I’m going to just plug the bottom 3 with plastic plugs and then I may add a little metal to the mounting tab on the latch to cover the others better from the back and paint that part of the latch so it’s just not so apparent there’s extra holes there…plus it’s going to be closed 99.8% of the time anyway. I had thought about covering them from the back with some metal then filler and paint but I really don’t want to do that right now, save that for another day.

Now I need to do the other side.


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Ta-da!!!


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So…can you put a 78-82 tailgate on an 83 up…yes you can. However, I strongly recommend ordering the correct tailgate to begin with, so much easier.

Honestly it really wasn’t that difficult once I thought it out. Took me about 30 minutes per side to make my template and cut my holes and get the latches installed.


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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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Well done. 👍 Added to
 

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Looks great. Good job on the fab work to make it work. So, overall, what are your thoughts on the fit and finish? I am still having zero luck in finding a used one that. For $400, I may as well buy the new shell and transfer everything over. One concern I have is, with the thinner metal, will the spare tire carrier mount up ok?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Looks great. Good job on the fab work to make it work. So, overall, what are your thoughts on the fit and finish? I am still having zero luck in finding a used one that. For $400, I may as well buy the new shell and transfer everything over. One concern I have is, with the thinner metal, will the spare tire carrier mount up ok?
Thanks, that’s a valid question about the spare tire carrier, perhaps one could reinforce the inside to help? I’m doing away with my swing out carrier, found me an inside carrier. I didn’t want the clankety clank or that thing swinging wild on me and denting the side again…it’s currently puckered where the P.O. let that happen at some point in the last 30 years. And finally that thing won’t be in my way if I want to use my tailgate. I think the tire carriers look good but more minuses than pluses for me personally.



I’ll let you know more about the fit and finish when I get the guts back in it, but so far it looks like it’s going to be great.

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