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Discussion Starter #1
so i got a 1980 elCo and it was missing a tail gate. so i bought 1 for 60 dollars but it dont loCk? seems like the tail gate is to short is there 2 diffrent tail gates?
 

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87 the same?:dontknow:


 

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what year is the tail?? it should be universal from 78-87 but im not sure man.:dontknow:
 

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I replaced the one on my 86 with one from a 78, no problems. Just a guess but have have you checked the width of the tailgate opening with one on another El Camino? I measured mine and it is 55 3/8" between the latch plate faces. If yours had been overloaded (or wrecked at some point) and spread apart, that could be your problem. Use a come-along or similar device to pull the sides back together.
 

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Also consider the condition of the tailgate. It could of have something have had something heavy on it that could of caused it to bend outwards, resulting in it being shorter.
 

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When you say its too short? are you saying its too short to hit the latch? Or it looks too short mounted on the car? Take a photo.
 

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Could the bed be warped to where the sides are farther apart and make it too wide? Just a thought
 

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Discussion Starter #10
the tailgate is to short it dont even touCh the elCo:let_it_all_out::let_it_all_out::dontknow:
 

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BTW, don't forget that the inner skin of the tailgate, the bedfloor, and the inner bed walls are the same thickness and pattern. if you replace a tailgate that was damaged/rusted, keep the inner skin for patches !!

:nanawrench:
 

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all the tail gates are the same on the gen 5 elco. maybe the car is bent or the gate may be bent or both bent enough to not close.measure your opening diagonally both ways to tell if your body is off square.
 

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Haha you would be surprised how much surface area a dent can't effect that the eye doesn't notice, maybe there is a reason the tail gate wasn't on...
 
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