How To Install Hidden Tailgate Latches – Classic Chevy Truck

Few things are less rudimentary on stepside trucks than a chain-link latch pin (hook) setup. Obtrusive, clunky, and the “best” way to scratch up a nice paintjob—yet they were the norm for GM stepsides clear up to 1987. Other than swapping the chains for smaller-diameter, vinyl-coated braided cable, for those who want a cleaner look that still affords a manner in which to keep the gate from dropping on the ground when released, there is an answer.

Brothers Trucks has a combination of components comprising a pretty neat “kit” to solve that rudimentary aspect in a less obtrusive yet more functional manner. To eliminate the chains, their fleetside-style stainless links integrate into the tailgate with minor modification; the spring-loaded latches hide within the top roll of the gate, with access from the inner side; urethane hinge bushings provide a smoother operation—all together making a clean chainless setup that works as well as, if not better, than a modern tailgate latching mechanism.

While installation is not quite as straightforward as bolting components in place, the cutting and drilling (and subsequent welding/grinding for those who wish to finish off the bed side rails) is rather simple, even for the novice builder. Brothers even supplies laser-cut sheetmetal templates for integrating the links, allowing you to precisely plot and make cuts and drill holes in the gate and bedrails as well.

Products Used in This Installation

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