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ARB tailgate assist install

HOW TO

WORDS AND IMAGES BY EVAN SPENCE

GUIDE

WHAT IS A TAILGATE ASSIST?
A tailgate assist, such as the kit we’ve used from ARB, consists of some clever bracketry, two gas struts and two limiting straps (in the case of this D-Max). Basically, one gas strut takes the pressure off lowering the tailgate, the other takes pressure off lifting it. Just like the gas struts you’d find attached to the bonnet of your 4X4. If it has them. And it should… if it doesn’t there are kits out there for that too. So instead of gravity taking control and requiring a fair amount of effort to raise your tailgate, and a sudden release of energy when you try to lower it, the gas struts take the load and result in graceful operation of your tailgate. In summary, they are good.

Tailgates on utes are way too heavy. So, why every new dual-cab pickup doesn’t have a tailgate assist from the factory is a mystery. We show you how to fit one.

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HOW HARD ARE THEY TO INSTALL?
A piece of cake, if you can change a tyre you can install this at home yourself. Here are a few notes to show you what goes into it, but naturally the supplied instructions are your friend, and this will vary from vehicle-to-vehicle.

  1. Remove the tailgate limiting strap with a 17mm socket and put it in the bin.
  2. Remove the 12mm bolt on the lower striker bracket, and do not put it in the bin. Using the provided instructions (yes, read them) assemble the upper ball stud using the supplied spacers and washers. Pay attention here, as if you get the spacing wrong the strut will hit the taillight. 
  3. Fit the new limiting strap, this is important as the tailgate will look like a bent chassis if you forget this. Sad. 
  4. Remove the bolts from the strap mount on the tailgate, install the new brackets and put back together with the supplied button head bolts … easy.
  5. Remove the T40 Torx head bolts, use fire, swearing, thoughts and prayers… whatever it takes to get these suckers out. They are the worst, and very tight. Fit the lower ball stud bracket, and fit with much less evil button head bolts, again supplied in the kit.
  6. The exciting part, clip on the top of the gas strut, lift the tailgate, and clip on the bottom of the strut. It’s rather satisfying. Make sure you have spaced everything out right, and the strut won’t hit the taillight. Ask us how we know… 
  7. Make sure everything it tightened to spec using a torque wrench (22Nm is the sweet spot) repeat on the other side, then go brag to all your mates about how damn clever you are.

ABOVE Torx head bolts are the devil, but with a quality socket and a few love taps, they eventually came out

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU NEED?
Honestly, not many at all. The only part we needed to borrow was a T40 Torx socket as we snapped ours … the bolts are in nice and tight and the seal needs to be broken; like when you’ve got to unscrew a hinge that’s been painted over – you get the screw driver and tap it with a hammer.

• Torque Wrench;
• Socket Driver;
• T40 Torx socket;
• 12mm Socket (or spanner);
• 13mm Socket (or spanner); and
• 17mm Socket (or… you guessed it).

HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
The kit we used for this particular vehicle, cost $199 because of the year model it required additional parts, mainly the supplied limiting straps. If your vehicle doesn’t need them, the kit will set you back $179. Considering the tailgate assist kit from ARB uses quality German gas struts, and comes with everything included, I reckon that’s an absolute bargain considering how useful it is for every-day life.

SUPERIOR 79 SERIES LANDCRUISER OUTBACK TOURER KIT

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200 SERIES KITS
AVAILABLE HERE

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RATE IT OR HATE IT?
If I could give the kit six stars out of five I would. Everything bolted up easily, the instructions were detailed and clear and the only tricky part was getting four pesky Torx head bolts out of the tailgate (I hate those things). It makes lifting the tailgate far easier, it’s a genuine one-finger exercise now. The real benefit though, is lowering the tailgate. You actually have to push it down slightly, where without the kit fitted, the tailgate would drop so violently the entire vehicle would shake. That’s how much of a difference it makes. But don’t take my word for it, check out the video showing you what’s inside the kit, some tips on how to install it, as well as showing the tailgate assist in action and how much of a difference it makes.

GUIDE

WHAT IS A TAILGATE ASSIST?
A tailgate assist, such as the kit we’ve used from ARB, consists of some clever bracketry, two gas struts and two limiting straps (in the case of this D-Max). Basically, one gas strut takes the pressure off lowering the tailgate, the other takes pressure off lifting it. Just like the gas struts you’d find attached to the bonnet of your 4X4. If it has them. And it should… if it doesn’t there are kits out there for that too. So instead of gravity taking control and requiring a fair amount of effort to raise your tailgate, and a sudden release of energy when you try to lower it, the gas struts take the load and result in graceful operation of your tailgate. In summary, they are good.

ARB tailgate assist install

HOW TO

Tailgates on utes are way too heavy. So, why every new dual-cab pickup doesn’t have a tailgate assist from the factory is a mystery. We show you how to fit one.

WORDS AND IMAGES BY EVAN SPENCE

SCROLL TO CONTINUE
ADVERTISEMENT

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU NEED?
Honestly, not many at all. The only part we needed to borrow was a T40 Torx socket as we snapped ours … the bolts are in nice and tight and the seal needs to be broken; like when you’ve got to unscrew a hinge that’s been painted over – you get the screw driver and tap it with a hammer.

• Torque Wrench;
• Socket Driver;
• T40 Torx socket;
• 12mm Socket (or spanner);
• 13mm Socket (or spanner); and
• 17mm Socket (or… you guessed it).

HOW HARD ARE THEY TO INSTALL?
A piece of cake, if you can change a tyre you can install this at home yourself. Here are a few notes to show you what goes into it, but naturally the supplied instructions are your friend, and this will vary from vehicle-to-vehicle.

  1. Remove the tailgate limiting strap with a 17mm socket and put it in the bin.
  2. Remove the 12mm bolt on the lower striker bracket, and do not put it in the bin. Using the provided instructions (yes, read them) assemble the upper ball stud using the supplied spacers and washers. Pay attention here, as if you get the spacing wrong the strut will hit the taillight. 
  3. Fit the new limiting strap, this is important as the tailgate will look like a bent chassis if you forget this. Sad. 
  4. Remove the bolts from the strap mount on the tailgate, install the new brackets and put back together with the supplied button head bolts … easy.
  5. Remove the T40 Torx head bolts, use fire, swearing, thoughts and prayers… whatever it takes to get these suckers out. They are the worst, and very tight. Fit the lower ball stud bracket, and fit with much less evil button head bolts, again supplied in the kit.
  6. The exciting part, clip on the top of the gas strut, lift the tailgate, and clip on the bottom of the strut. It’s rather satisfying. Make sure you have spaced everything out right, and the strut won’t hit the taillight. Ask us how we know… 
  7. Make sure everything it tightened to spec using a torque wrench (22Nm is the sweet spot) repeat on the other side, then go brag to all your mates about how damn clever you are.

ABOVE Torx head bolts are the devil, but with a quality socket and a few love taps, they eventually came out

HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
The kit we used for this particular vehicle, cost $199 because of the year model it required additional parts, mainly the supplied limiting straps. If your vehicle doesn’t need them, the kit will set you back $179. Considering the tailgate assist kit from ARB uses quality German gas struts, and comes with everything included, I reckon that’s an absolute bargain considering how useful it is for every-day life.

SUPERIOR 79 SERIES LANDCRUISER OUTBACK TOURER KIT

FIND OUT MORE

200 SERIES KITS

NEW

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

RATE IT OR HATE IT?
If I could give the kit six stars out of five I would. Everything bolted up easily, the instructions were detailed and clear and the only tricky part was getting four pesky Torx head bolts out of the tailgate (I hate those things). It makes lifting the tailgate far easier, it’s a genuine one-finger exercise now. The real benefit though, is lowering the tailgate. You actually have to push it down slightly, where without the kit fitted, the tailgate would drop so violently the entire vehicle would shake. That’s how much of a difference it makes. But don’t take my word for it, check out the video showing you what’s inside the kit, some tips on how to install it, as well as showing the tailgate assist in action and how much of a difference it makes.