If you can't rely on your truck's tailgate to bear the weight of a heavy load, then you can't really use your vehicle as a truck. Some truck owners think that landing ramps on the tailgate and loading up heavy equipment will break it.That's not necessarily so, especially if you've got a heavy-duty tailgate cable. Its job is to support the tailgate, no matter how heavy the equipment or cargo you're pushing up the ramps.Otherwise, you'd have to think twice before transporting heavy stuff. There have been cases where tailgates were unable to support the weight being loaded. The tailgate reportedly collapsed, bringing the load or cargo along with it. That would really hurt, especially if it's an expensive piece of equipment you're hauling.A tailgate cable should make sure things don't come crashing down on you. Carparts can help you find the perfect cable for your vehicle.
• Our premium tailgate cables keep the tailgate up even under heavy loads.
• Tailgate cables prevent tailgate sagging.
• Our tailgate cables are easy to install.
Tailgate Cable Buyer's Guide
- Tailgate cables, sometimes called tailgate straps, keep your tailgate at the right level when opening your rear compartment.
- It is usually bolted to the body of the vehicle and connected to your tailgate using eyelets.
- When shopping for tailgate cables, make sure that you are purchasing cables that are made of high-quality materials. Your tailgate cables are usually exposed to friction and stress. Buying substandard ones may do more harm than good.
- A typical tailgate cable replacement will cost you around $50 to $250.
Your tailgate provides access to the rear of your truck, van, or SUV. If you own a vehicle with a tailgate, then you probably would agree that your tailgate is one of those car components prone to wear and tear because of frequent use. Since your tailgate plays an important role when loading your cargo or payload, it is important to make sure that your tailgate components, like your tailgate cables, are in good condition at all times.
In this article, we will talk about tailgate cables, what they do, and when you should have them replaced.
What is a tailgate cable?
Also called tailgate straps, these cables’ main function is to keep your tailgate at the right level when opening your rear compartment. A typical tailgate cable is bolted to the body of your vehicle and is connected to your tailgate with the help of eyelets.
Aside from providing access to your vehicle’s rear compartment, your tailgate also ends up as a loading platform when loading large cargo into the back of your truck. Without a good functioning cable, your tailgate may just slam open until it reaches the bumper.
A typical tailgate cable is usually made of multiple thin steel cables that are wrapped with either a protective rubber, nylon cover, or other similar protective material. Since these cables are essential components of your vehicle’s tailgate, it is important to ensure that you have strong and durable ones installed. You don’t have to worry about that because there are many high-quality and durable tailgate cables available at an equally affordable price.
What are the symptoms of a faulty tailgate cable?
Your tailgate cables are pretty straightforward car parts, so it is quite easy to notice if one of them is going bad. When loading cargo at the back of your truck and you notice that your tailgate is uneven or not at the right level, this may be a clear indication that your tailgate cable is faulty. Aside from that, you should also watch for telltale signs such as visible wear and tear. You may opt to visually inspect your tailgate cables after loading or carrying heavy loads of cargo just to make sure that it is working properly. Aside from checking the cable itself, it is also recommended to check for a possible loose tailgate cable bolt.
A malfunctioning tailgate cable is considered a safety hazard. Once your tailgate accidentally swings open, it may reach your bumper and damage your vehicle’s aesthetics. Aside from that, cargo may also fall off while you’re driving, posing a safety risk for you and other drivers on the road.
What to look for in a tailgate cable
Shopping for tailgate cables may be overwhelming. There may be a lot of OEM and OE replacement cables available and going through all of them may be time-consuming. To help you filter your options, here are things you should consider when shopping for tailgate cables:
When shopping for tailgate cable replacements, make sure to buy ones that are made of high-grade materials. Your tailgate cables are regularly exposed to stressful conditions such as lots of friction due to heavy cargo load. Buying substandard cables may only do more harm than good. Aside from that, your tailgate cables are also exposed to the elements and different weather conditions, making them vulnerable to wear and tear.
Aside from buying high-quality tailgate cables, it is also important to ensure that they are compatible with your vehicle. Before buying one, make sure that it fits your vehicle’s specifications. These cables are usually vehicle specific, so you have to make sure that the cable you are buying fits your vehicle. For example, a tailgate cable for dodge ram may differ in length and specifications compared to a tailgate cable for an F150.
High-quality tailgate cables do not always have to be priced high. There are many high-quality cables that are sold at an equally affordable price, just like the ones found at CarParts.com.
OEM and OE Tailgate Cables
When looking for tailgate cable replacements, you may also encounter the term OEM and OE. What is the difference between the two?
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Car parts that are under this category are manufactured by your vehicle’s authorized manufacturer. OE tailgate cables, on the other hand, are made by third-party manufacturers. They work just like OEM car parts and are generally more affordable.
OEM and OE tailgate cables are both good choices. What is important is ensuring that the materials used for your cables are high-quality. Make sure to order your tailgate cables from legitimate sources like CarParts.com.
How much is a tailgate cable replacement?
A tailgate cable replacement usually costs around $50 to $250, depending on the brand you choose. They can be sold individually, in sets, or as part of a whole kit.
Can I replace tailgate cables by myself?
Generally speaking, replacing tailgate cables or straps is easy. The process will just require you to disconnect the cables from your tailgate and remove the bolts. To attach new ones, you just need to raise the tailgate back up and attach the eyelets to your tailgate. However, keep in mind that your tailgate is heavy and if you’re not sure how to properly do it, you may just injure yourself.
There are many self-help videos online on how to replace tailgate cables, but if you’re not the type who loves to DIY, you can always opt to have your tailgate cables replaced by a trusted professional.
Finding the right fit
To ensure that you are getting the right fit, check the product specifications, the location, as well as the length of the cable before purchasing it. You may enter your specific vehicle details into our search engine to filter your choices. To add to that, you may also filter your search according to your preferred brand and price range. Browse our wide selection of tailgate cables and choose the ones that are compatible with your vehicle’s tailgate.
Choosing Tough Tailgate Cables for Your Trucks
Everyday your truck is subjected to heavy loads. But don't you ever wonder how it manages to stay put no matter what? This is because of your tailgate cable. As the backbone of your truck, this cable helps level your tailgate every time it takes on extra load. So don't let a faulty tailgate cable ruin your truck's strength. When you start to notice signs of wear on your tailgate cable, replace it with a few dos and don'ts in mind.
- Purchase a tailgate cable that is made of high-grade material. It should be flexible enough to let your tailgate open and close with ease. Also test if the cable is sturdy and rigid. It must be able to support additional loads when your truck is full. To know if a certain tailgate cable has these qualities, ask your dealer what it is made of. If you hear the words "rubber, nylon, or PVC protective covering" and "steel chain linkages," then you know it's made to last.
- Make sure you get a latch with your tailgate cable as well. A latch connects the ends of the cable to the upper and lower parts of your tailgate. It keeps both ends in place so you don't have to worry about the cable slipping. By purchasing a new latch together with your tailgate cable, you know that it will be able to last as long as the cable itself.
- Always inspect the tailgate cable before purchasing. This is especially true when buying aftermarket products. It isn't recommended to get an old or remanufactured cable installed on your tailgate. But if you're strapped on cash and can't afford to buy a new one, make sure you've thoroughly checked it. Beware of worn or frayed cables. These can result in personal injury or damage to your truck if they are of substandard quality.
- Know the location of the tailgate cables you want to replace. This will ultimately determine the length of the one you need. If you need a cable for your passenger's side tailgate, then you'd need a shorter cable. On the other hand, if you're looking for one for your driver's side tailgate, get one that is slightly longer.
- Don't purchase or avoid purchasing tailgate cables made of galvanized steel or other similar metals. These kinds of materials are more likely to corrode and rust. This results in a weaker tailgate cable that may eventually break as it ages.
- Don't settle for tailgate cables that are not backed by warranty. Just like with any other part, always get one that has a suitable coverage to help you get more value out of your purchase. The standard warranty coverage for this kind of replacement part is 1-year with an unlimited-mileage term. So before purchasing your cables, be sure you don't get a warranty contract less than this.
- If at all possible, go for OE instead of aftermarket products. As previously mentioned in the "Dos" portion, purchasing aftermarket products can be a bit tricky, especially when it comes to their durability and quality. So as a rule of thumb, always try to find OE replacement tailgate cables. They might cost more than aftermarket ones, but rest assure that they are tougher and will last longer.
Tailgate Cable Replacement: How to Do it in a Breeze
The tailgate cable ensures that the tailgate is level with the truck bed when it is opened. Without it, the tailgate will slap with the bumper, causing it to have dents, paint chips, and other forms of damage. Since it is the one that holds an open tailgate, it must be durable enough to support the tailgate's weight even when a heavy load is placed on it before it is eventually pushed into the truck bed. When the tailgate cable starts to show signs of wear and corrosion, your best resort would be to replace it. Good thing, replacing this cable will not eat up much of your time as it is secured in place by a single bolt. Even one without a DIY experience can have this cable replaced in a cinch.
Difficulty level: Easy
Things you'll need:
- Replacement tailgate cable
- Socket wrench
Step 1: Safely park your truck in a place where you can have enough space to freely move and work on the back end. Set it into "park" and engage the parking brake. Take the key off the ignition.
Step 2: Pull the latch up to open the tailgate. Allow it to drop until it is at a 45-degree angle or three-quarters of the way. Prop it up with a free hand or your knee.
Step 3: Unscrew the bolt that secures one end of the cable to the back of the tailgate. You can use either a socket wrench, aTorx bit, or a 3/8 ratchet depending on the type of the bolt used.
Step 4: Unlatch the other end of the cable by pulling out the small retainer with your hands. In some cases, this part of the cable is also bolted to the inside of the tailgate, so you need to unbolt it using a socket wrench.
Step 5: Get your replacement tailgate cable and bolt it in place using the stock bolt. Repeat these steps to replace the other cable.
Step 6: Shut the tailgate and after a few seconds, try to open it up. If you can open and close it up smoothly, that means the new cable has been properly installed.
It's as easy as that! So why risk damaging your tailgate if you can have your damaged cables replaced in just a few minutes?