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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
EDIT DECEMBER 07 -- NOTE IF YOU READ THIS ORIGINAL THREAD, the design and fabrication processes changed. There's a lot of information here that's no longer relevant. Please refer to current threads for updated information.


I am working with my laser cutter today to find out what it will cost to laser cut the panel for the back of the tailgate and create a new steel cap for the edge. The current plan is to make the panel out of 3/16" 6061 T6 aluminum and the cap from 1/8" steel.

I'm not 100% sure of the finish yet, but the cap will require drilling a couple of holes for a strong mouting.

I expect to have prototypes in the next week or so. I haven't a clue what it will cost to produce, but will come up with some numbers after the programing is done.

Seth
(background: I am a manufacturing contractor for a company that makes off road components for Land Rovers (www.rovertym.com). I do this for a living. I also have competed professionally in rock crawling and have built a number of silly off road trucks for my own personal entertainment).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
fpugs65 said:
How much more to anodize the aluminum? Or powder coat it? I think a flat non-metallic black would look good.
First meeting went well. I should have a price today on the assembly. The finish will definitely be powdercoat. Probably a satin black. More info to come.

Seth
 

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I might be interested too. Depending on price and wife approval of course. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Will do. The cap will add a silly amount of strength to the gate. We did some test pieces today and the current plan is to make the cap J shaped. By adding a bend around the gate by about 3/4" the strength of the piece is increased significantly.

I'm looking into updating the mounting hardware for the panel as well. The factory sheet screws into plastic just aren't acceptable.

My target is to have the tailgate stronger than the cables.
 

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i mainly use mine for transporting my motorcycle so loading and unloading +400lbs over the tailgate can give you an idea of my reason for tailgate strength.
 

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I might be in....depending on price and whatnot. I'm in the DC area, so a pick-up wouldn't be too hard. Looking forward to pics.
 

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Sethmark said:
I'm looking into updating the mounting hardware for the panel as well. The factory sheet screws into plastic just aren't acceptable.
:clap: Finally!! I'm glad someone else is finally noticing that too!! :lol: Everytime someone mentions slapping some diamond plate on the gate I keep picturing the plastic screw mounts poping out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
More details:
The cost for the complete gate is going to be $225 plus shipping. The cap by itself will cost $75, the panel is $165.

The cap is going to be laser cut steel with 3 holes in the top for mounting hardware. 2 new holes will need to be drilled into the top of the tailgate to secure it. 2 sided tape is not gonna cut it for this application. The goal is strength. The cap is definitely going to add some serious structural rigidity to the lip of the gate. It will incorporate 2 bends, a hard 90* bend on the inside and a rolled corner for the exposed side. Finish will be powdercoat satin black.

The gate panel will be 3/16" aluminum, laser cut to fit. No drilling will be required for the panel, I think.. but that depends on the hardware I can find. Plastic inserts from the factory also won't cut it. The aluminum will be also powdercoated.

In both cases, raw material is available if you want to have it bedlined. I don't have a cost yet for what no powder will save, but its fairly insignificant.

I appreciate the interest in the idea and am going to make the prototypes on Friday. The prototype pieces will be made solely for fit (the panel will probably be steel b/c its cheaper).... but then I'll be able to show everyone what it looks like.

I am keenly interested in your feedback... especially about the design once its finished and of course the price.

Seth (bio: http://www.fxrockracing.com/team.htm)
 

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hmm this looks interesting
 
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