If your truck is mostly used for hauling heavy equipment, then you might want to protect its tailgate from scratches and dents. The easiest modification you can do is installing a tailgate cap. Tailgate caps are usually designed to fit along the top edges of your vehicle's truck bed.Some caps manufactured these days, though, completely cover the inner panel of the tailgate. Whatever type you choose, you're sure to enjoy maximum tailgate protection. Long and heavy cargo hanging over your truck's tailgate can't damage it.Boots and muddy shoes climbing and stepping all over the tailgate's inner panel won't be a problem either. If your truck doesn't have a tailgate cap, it won't be long before its tailgate becomes completely defaced.If you have the slightest bit of concern for your truck, you're not going to let its tailgate be ruined. Find a durable cap right here at Carparts.
• Protects tailgate from scratches and dents
• Gives your truck bed's edges a more rugged appearance
• Chrome-plated for extreme durability
What You Should Know When Buying a Tailgate Cap
Dents, bumps, bruises, and dings are more than just an inconvenient eye-sore on your pickup's rear end-they also contribute to the all-around weakening of the tailgate itself. A tailgate cap is the cheapest way to go about giving this area a decent amount of protection. Armed with this handy little guide, it becomes far easier to make the right, and informed, choice.
One cap to rule them all
The great thing about tailgates is that, in general, they are of the same specifications and measurements across a wide range of makes and models. Fit is not too much a problem for this accessory as it is with other accessories. To be safe, however, it always pays to be aware of the specifics of your ride based off the owner's manual that came with your truck-it will save you a lot of unneeded frustration.
So what is the question?
All in all, the only thing that you truly have to wrack your brains about is what kind of material that you want your cap to be hewn from. There are some practical benefits associated with the two that are going to be discussed below. Honestly, however, it all boils down to preference and the kind of look that you want your pickup to take on.
- Polymers: These are what are informally known as "soft" tailgate caps. Not quite rubber, these have the same consistency and feel to them. One advantage caps made from polymers have over others is that they provide a great degree of grip. That means that stepping onto them, you aren't likely to slip off. Even wet, these types of caps provide enough traction to be safe. The only real downside is that they are almost exclusively in black.
- Aluminum: These are the opposing "hard" tailgate caps. They add a metallic border to your truck and are, undoubtedly, far higher-scoring in the looks department. A disadvantage is that they don't provide as much traction and are also likely to eventually get dented and dinged themselves. Certain brands alleviate the former by adding thatched elevated grooves across the length of these caps. That gives a little extra traction-but not much.
The final word
Tailgate caps that are polymer based are slightly cheaper, but not by much. They only differ in price from aluminum caps by $5-7. Ultimately, it boils down to which one fits the look that you want to achieve for your pickup truck.
Tailgate Cap: How to Put It In Right
Nobody likes dinks, dents, bumps, and scratches-but they happen all the time. This is especially true when your pickup truck sees a lot of heavy use. A tailgate cap tends to get beaten up a lot, especially since a lot of you use it as leverage during loading and unloading. This guide demystifies the whole installation process so you can save a little extra installing a new one yourself. The task isn't difficult--you can actually finish the installation in 30 to 45 minutes.
Difficulty level: Easy
Stuff you'll need:
- Brand new tailgate cap
- Power drill
- Philips-head screwdriver
- 9/64-inch drill bit
- 9/64-inch screws
- Clean cloth or rag
- Cleaning solution-alcohol does the job nicely
Step 1: Gently and thoroughly clean the top edge of your tailgate.
*NOTE* Improper cleaning can make it hard for the mounting adhesive on the tailgate cap to stick and hold in place.
Step 2: "Fit" the tailgate cap on the tailgate to get a rough estimate of how it is supposed to fit-this will ensure that you don't make any installation errors you regret.
Step 3: Remove the backing paper that protects the adhesive tape.
Step 4: Carefully lower the tailgate cap, adhesive-down, onto the tailgate at firmly press down to guarantee the tightness of the bond.
Step 5: Cut out four roughly two-inch squares from the adhesive provided with the tailgate cap, remove the backing paper, and place it on the back of the tailgate cap-space them evenly near the top-back area.
Step 6: Drill through these four with the 9/64 drill bit.
Step 7: Insert screws into the four holes and tighten for a more secure fit.
- Be especially careful when operating a drill-make sure no wires are tangled and clear the area around your legs to prevent accidental tripping.
- The standard safety gear-goggles, insulated gloves, and closed-toed shoes-are more important now than ever!