Being able to open your tailgate is a must for truck owners. Whether it’s to load a dirt bike or a stroller, if you can’t get into the back of the bed, it’s going to be a bad day.
But what do you do if you prefer a smooth-looking rear on your truck and hate the way a plain, square-looking tailgate handle looks? You order yourself a tailgate handle relocation kit, like the one from Jegs that was used in this install (Part #555-78835). With this kit, or one like it made for your specific year, make, and model truck, you can move the stock handle from the outside of the tailgate to the inside of the tailgate and still utilize all the factory internal parts to open it.
It also comes with the sheetmetal filler piece to weld on the outside of the tailgate to make the original cutout disappear from the body panel. Even though the bracket to flip the handle to the inside of the tailgate is straightforward, the art of welding the filler panel on the exterior does take quite a bit of skill. For some of our readers, this is a task well beyond their ability, but for others, it’s a simple welding job.
Of course, once the filler panel is welded in and ground smooth, there is still quite a bit of work by a body specialist to completely make it disappear once its painted. This article isn’t meant to be a “how-to” article on this modification; instead, it’s more showing our readers what goes into the process of relocating the handle the correct way.
We at Street Trucks love seeing simple body mods like this starting to come back like we saw back in the day when we were first getting into the whole custom vehicle world. As far as show vehicles go, clean, simple mods like this are what set your truck apart from the one sitting beside you at a show.
To show you guys this process, we teamed up with our friends over at Phat Phabz who are known for doing not only crazy full-frame setups on trucks, but also plenty of this type of shaving work on customers’ vehicles as well. Follow along and see what goes into relocating a tailgate handle.
Phat Phabz LLC
16092 NE 23rd
Choctaw, OK 73020