Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

F150 tailgate

I am purchasing an after market tailgate for my 04 f150 pickup. Will have to remove all hardware and decals(ford) from old and put on new tailgate. Any help would be appreciated to make the job easier. New tailgate is primed but not painted. also have a tailgate plastic cap that will have to be removed also. Any tricks to the trade would be helpful, Thanks

Forget the decals. You’ll be unlikely to be able to reinstall them on th enew gate once you get them off the old gate. The adhesive they use is tenatious, not intended to be removed and reused.

Paint or have painted the entire tailgate before doing any installation of hardware. I’d spray a rust inhibitive coating into the cavities before doing any assembly also.

I’ve not worked on F150 tailgates, but my trucks’ tailgates had panels inside with a string of screws around the panel periphery. A cordless drill with a phillips bit will really reduce the effort and speed up the job. Once the panel is removed, the process becomes obvious. It’s a pretty straightforward process.

If you’re doing the painting yourself you may want to invest in a small compressor, a paint gun, and a book from the bookstore on automotive painting.

I repainted the front end of my truck after an accident. lots of repair was involved. You can get a decent paint gun at harbor freight. I got one of these and it worked superbly (I can’t remeber which, but it cost $15-25, I cant remember.)

The key is prep prep prep… I can’t emphasize that enough. I found a file that was written by a paint rep and it helped me a lot I will try and find it and post it for you, but here are the pic’s from my paint job & repair job.

BTW the paint code should be on the door placard or on a sticker in the glove box.

Carveaholic said

"BTW the paint code should be on the door placard or on a sticker in the glove box."
The sticker he’s talking about will be on the door post, not on the door itself. It also has the VIN and other info about your truck. The paint code will be at the bottom (as it’s printed, not necessarily installed), and will probably be a letter and a number, F1, E9 etc.

You can buy new decals from Ford.

Another thing to consider is buying a used tailgate from a salvage yard. With a little luck you might find one already painted the right color as cheap as you can buy one from Sortafit and paint it. Look at for one near you.

1 paint the gate before any hardware transfer.
2 purchase new decals and badges. it is impossible to reuse a decal and not worth the effort to remove the sticky and reapply it to a badge.
3 if the gate cap is attached with adhesive tape then buy a new cap
4 remind yourself to never buy an aftermarket gate again. they do not fit like an oe.