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By Popular Demand, the $10 Electric Tailgate Lock

127738 Views 171 Replies 73 Participants Last post by  zannej
To those of you who asked for a write up on this long ago, I aplogize. I finally got around to taking pics of my creation tonight. You will not have to do any drilling into your RL. You use the stock holes that are already there. Here is how you make it.

First you will need an electric actuator. This is the one I used.

The price is $4.25.

Now, you will have to go down to Lowes or Home Depot or maybe in your garage and get a set of 3" T brackets.

The price $2.97

You will need to then take one of the T brackets and take off the top leg. I used a pair of pliers and just bent the leg back and forth until it came off. If you want to get fancy, you can use a hacksaw. I didn't.

You then bolt the end that had the predrilled hole to the center hole of the other intact T bracket left in the package. I put 1 little nut in between the 2 bracket parts to make a swivel with enough room to clear the locking mechanism. I then used 2 additional nuts on the end of the bolt that are forced together so that they don't move on the bolt shaft. Here is a pic of the assembled locking mechanism. If you bolt this together correctly, it is EXTREMELY strong.

See the little oddball hole I drilled in the intact bracket on the bottom right side to the upside down T? You will have to drill this as well to line up with the stock hole in the tailgate. You then bolt it down and check for fitment. I didn't line up the holes in the picture very well but you will get the idea when you see it in person. The leg of the intact T bracket has to go under the tailgate locking mechanism as shown in the picture below. Disregard the metal rod in the picture. We havent gotten that far yet.

OK, now you will need brackets to install the lock actuator. I used the metal strip that came with the lock actuator. I used the bend back and forth method to bust it into 2 parts. I then mounted each end to the actuator first and then bent them under as shown in the picture. The screws were included with the actuator.

The trickiest part of the entire install was bending the actuator rod so that it would operate the locking mechanism. This also comes with the actuator. If you look at the last picture, the rod runs under the actuator. I can't really explain it as well as you can see in the picture.

(Continued in next post)
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After almost a year of waiting for somebody to come up with the tailgate lock with disconnect, I finally realized it, most likely won't happen. I guess the mechanism of the lock is too complicated for that. Anyway, I still wanted to have a tailgate lock, preferably electric. As far as I know, after death of Basic Koncepts there are only 2 choices left: Dynolock and ChrisM's DIY lock described in this thread. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to gather enough information about Dynolock to be totally confident in its construction, while Chris provided detailed explanations with pictures, containing enough information to feel confident. Plus, you can't argue with the price advantage. So, I decided to go ahead with Chris's lock. I am very pleased with the results and don't understand why more people don't go the same route. In order to make it a bit more understandable, I took some more pictures to supplement the ones above. I tried to emulate Chris's device as close as I could, but, possibly, due to some misunderstanding of his description and/or pictures, there may be some differences. The first 3 pictures show just the lock mechanism without the actuator installed. First picture shows it in unlock position; Second in locked. Third is in locked position while I am pulling on the tailgate handle to demonstrate how it works. The last two are the final assembly in locked and than unlocked positions.


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I am very happy with it, so far. I wanted to apply some lithium grease, just in case, but of course only remembered about it when I closed the tailgate completely. Don't think it is really necessary though. Chris, I saw you mentioned in one of the posts, you know how to open the tailgate in case of emergency. Is this something you able/allowed to share?
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