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Control Jeep Wrangler Tailgate Swing with a Dirt-Cheap DIY Limit Strap

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on September 6, 2016
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The original factory passenger-side taillight had already been cracked from the tailgate swinging open and the 33-inch spare tire smacking it. This was happening because the tailgate no longer had any limit to its travel. The factory hinges on a Jeep TJ Wrangler are decent metal hinges with built-in limit stops but eventually the stops snap off, and they do so even faster if you've added a heavier tire to the tailgate.

After not finding much on the market to cure the problem other than buying expensive replacement hinges (which might eventually break again), we opted to produce our own dirt-cheap fix. The solution was to use a suspension limit strap we had lying around and some scrap steel and hardware. We chose how wide we would allow the tailgate to open, and now have it under control again. This tailgate limit strap will also keep the tailgate from swinging too wide when the Wrangler is parked on a passenger-side off-camber hill.

The factory Wrangler hinges use a built-in travel-limit tab (arrow). However, the metal tabs eventually break off like the one shown in the lower image and then your tailgate swings too wide and slams into whatever happens to be in the way.
We welded a 1/2-inch nut to a piece of sheet steel and riveted it to our tailgate with an added a squirt of silicone sealer behind the plate. We then bolted a limit strap to the plate. You could also do the same without welding by drilling the tailgate to accommodate a bolt or nut behind the plate.
We placed a similar plate mount inside the passenger side tub and ran the bolt for the limit strap through a hole in the carpet. The folding limit strap does consume some space when the tailgate is closed, so be mindful of your mounting locations and strap length if that concerns you.

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