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Refresh Your Truck With a New Tailgate Bushing

Think your tailgate isn’t dropping like it used to? Hear that clunk and grinding noise when you open or close it? Chances are your tailgate bushing needs replacing. Don’t worry, it’s an easy repair you can tackle yourself in an afternoon. This guide will walk you through step-by-step how to remove your old, worn out tailgate bushing and install a new one. With just a few tools and a little mechanical know-how, you’ll have your truck bed opening and closing smooth as new again. Replacing your tailgate bushing will make your truck feel young again and impress your friends at the job site. So grab a cold drink and let’s dive into this simple repair. In no time, you’ll be hauling lumber and camping gear like your truck just rolled off the lot.

What Is a Tailgate Bushing and Why Do You Need One?

A tailgate bushing is a simple but important part that connects your truck’s tailgate to the bed. Over time, the constant dropping and lifting of the tailgate can cause the mounting points to wear out, leading to a tailgate that won’t close properly or sags. Installing new tailgate bushings is an easy fix to get your tailgate functioning like new again.

Provides Support

The bushings support the weight of the tailgate and prevent metal-on-metal contact between the tailgate and truck bed. As the bushings deteriorate, the tailgate loses support and stability. New bushings will securely support your tailgate in the proper position.

Prevents Noise

Worn or damaged bushings can lead to squeaking, grinding, and rattling noises when operating the tailgate. Replacing the bushings eliminates this annoyance and restores quiet operation.

Improves Appearance

Over time, a sagging or crooked tailgate just looks bad. Fresh bushings will make your tailgate sit evenly and align properly with the contours of your truck bed for a neat, finished look.

Long-Lasting Solution

High-quality tailgate bushings are made of durable materials like nylon or polyurethane to handle temperature extremes and heavy use. They typically last for many years before needing replacement again. For a few dollars, new bushings can restore your tailgate and eliminate future headaches.

If your tailgate is showing signs of wear like difficult operation, excessive noise, or a drooping appearance, new tailgate bushings could be the perfect solution to get your truck bed back in working order. They’re an affordable fix that provides a long-lasting solution. Check with your vehicle’s recommended parts or an auto parts store for the proper bushings to match your specific truck make and model.

Symptoms of a Worn Out Tailgate Bushing

If your truck tailgate isn’t opening and closing like it used to, the culprit is likely a worn out tailgate bushing. These bushings support the tailgate and allow it to pivot properly, and over time they can degrade and cause issues. Here are some signs it’s time to replace your tailgate bushings.

Squeaking or grinding sounds

As the bushings wear down, you may notice squealing, squeaking or grinding noises when operating the tailgate. The bushings act as a lubricant, and when they start to fail the metal-on-metal contact produces these unpleasant sounds.

Difficulty opening or closing

If your tailgate suddenly becomes stubborn or hard to open and close, the bushings have likely worn to the point they’re no longer doing their job. You may have to jerk the tailgate to get it unstuck or slam it to get it to close.

Tailgate sits unevenly

When the bushings wear out unevenly, it can cause the tailgate to sit crooked or at an angle. If your tailgate looks tilted or is no longer flush with the bed sides, the bushings need replacement.

Rust or corrosion around the pivot points

As the bushings break down, water and moisture can enter the pivot points of the tailgate, causing rust and corrosion. Check the areas where the tailgate attaches to the bed for signs of rust damage. This is a sign the bushings have failed and replacement is needed.

If your truck exhibits these symptoms, it’s best to replace the tailgate bushings sooner rather than later. Worn out bushings won’t get better over time and the damage to your tailgate can worsen. Replacing the bushings will have your tailgate opening and closing like new again.

How to Replace Your Tailgate Bushing

Replacing the tailgate bushing on your truck is actually pretty straightforward, though it can seem intimidating. This bushing connects your tailgate to the bed of your truck, allowing it to open and close properly. Over time, it can wear out, causing the tailgate to rattle, sag, or not close fully. Fortunately, you can replace this part yourself in about an hour with some basic tools and a trip to your local auto parts store.

Gather Your Supplies

You’ll need a new tailgate bushing kit, a socket wrench set, a flathead screwdriver, and a mallet or hammer. The bushing kit will come with detailed instructions for your specific vehicle make and model.

Loosen the Tailgate

Open your tailgate and locate the mounting bolts on the inside of the tailgate and truck bed. Loosen these bolts with your socket wrench but do not remove them yet. This will make it easier to remove the old bushing. You may need to apply some pressure to break it loose.

Remove the Old Bushing

Use the screwdriver and mallet to pry out the old bushing. Tap around the edge to loosen it, then pry it out with the screwdriver. Be careful not to damage the paint. Clean out any dirt or debris from the bushing hole.

Install the New Bushing

Slide the new bushing into place, making sure it’s straight. The open end should face towards the tailgate. Tap it firmly into place with the mallet.

Tighten Everything Up

Tighten the mounting bolts on the tailgate and truck bed to secure the new bushing in place. Close the tailgate and test that it’s closing properly and feels solid. You may need to make minor adjustments to the bushing position.

With the new bushing installed, your tailgate should function like new again. Be sure to check it periodically to ensure it remains securely fastened. Performing regular maintenance like this can help keep your truck in good working order for years to come.


So there you have it! Getting new tailgate bushings might seem like a small repair, but it can make a big difference in how well your tailgate operates. A little preventative maintenance now will save you headaches down the road. Next time your tailgate is feeling loose or rattling around, don’t ignore it – get it checked out. Replacing worn bushings is an easy and relatively inexpensive fix that will get your tailgate back to working smoothly. Keep your truck bed functioning like new with fresh tailgate bushings and you’ll be glad you took the time to do this simple upgrade. Your truck will feel tighter and more solid, and you’ll get many more years of reliable use from your tailgate.

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