How to Replace Tailgate Struts (4-Step Guide)

How to Replace Tailgate Struts (4-Step Guide)

Nov 9, 2018

several people sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck

If you want a gentler tailgate on your truck, you need to learn how to fit tailgate struts. Learning how to install and replace your own  gas struts can save you big money on an easy job because there’s no need to pay an expensive mechanic, or their markup.

Just order your new struts from Lift Supports Depot, follow our 4-step guide, and with a few simple tools and a little effort, you can have a tailgate that is easy to let down and raise back up.

1. Remove old struts

2. Remove bolts

3. Remove the upper mounting bolt

4. Replace the two bolts with the new ones provided with your gas strut

1. Remove Old Struts

a black tailgate strut with close-up views of each end

To replace tailgate struts, the first step is to remove them. Your gas strut should be secured to the gate by two bolts: one through the tailgate hinge bracket, and one that serves as an anchor for both the strut and your safety cable. Lower your tailgate and remove your oversized tailgate strut eyelet from the anchor bolt, followed by the safety cable. Gently lower your tailgate to a resting position. Then remove the nut attaching the strut to the tailgate hinge bracket and slide the strut off the mounting bolt.

2. Remove Bolts

many silver bolts jumbled up together

To install new gas struts, such as the EZ Down tailgate strut, you’ll remove a few bolts first. Gently lower your tailgate and detach your tailgate’s safety cable from the body of the vehicle. Remove the anchor bolt for the safety cable.

3. Remove the Upper Mounting Bolt

a close-up view of a lift support mounting bracket

Now that your tailgate has the old struts and bolts removed, you now need to remove the tailgate hinge bracket mounting bolt from the tailgate. This is essential before you replace your tailgate struts.

4. Replace the Two Bolts with the New Ones Provided with Your Gas Strut

a stainless steel eyelet

Slide the smaller piston-eyelet onto the new hinge bracket mounting bolt and secure it with a locking nut. Resecure your tailgate’s safety cable, then secure the larger eyelet of your strut to the same bolt. Your cable will fold up to the inside of the tailgate strut, and a foam cushion may be provided to help guide it into place and keep it from damaging or being damaged by the new gas strut.

Once you do this a few times and get familiar with how to replace tailgate struts, the process takes a matter of minutes.

**This is a general overview of how to install tailgate gas struts. Different applications may require different steps.

a close-up view of the tailgate of a silver pickup truck

Reasons Your Tailgate Needs Gas Struts

Truck owners generally need to know how to replace tailgate gas struts for a couple of reasons:

  • Safety: A free-falling tailgate can easily cause injury to the body of an adult or the head of a child.
  • Protect Your Truck: Your tailgate is only secured by its mounting brackets and a thin cable. A falling tailgate can damage these components, your truck’s bed or body, and even itself.
  • Easier To Use Tailgate Gas Struts: Struts make raising and lowering the gate safely easier for those with strength, bone, or joint issues.
  • Replace Worn Out Struts: Worn struts can be undependable, and require replacement for all of the above reasons.

Getting The Right Tailgate Struts

Ordering struts made specifically for your year, make, and model is the simplest way to get gas tailgate struts that fit. Shop by size and take measurements to ensure a fit if you can’t find premade struts. You’ll need the length (in millimeters) from the middle of one mounting bracket, ball, or eyelet to the other, both compressed and uncompressed. You’ll also need the length of the piston from the middle of its mounting hardware to the cylinder. You may also have to measure your mounting hardware for size. If you aren’t sure, check out our handy guide.

We’re proud to carry the widest selection of premade and custom gas tailgate struts on the market. If you need help finding the right gas-charged strut for your project, contact us at 866-969-5438. Order now and get your tailgate gas struts and lift supports from Lift Supports Depot today!