How Do I Remove the Tailgate on a Ford F150?

by Marion Cobretti

Damage to the tailgate on your F150 occurs most often from jackknifing. This can happen from improper backing of a tow load or from having an over-sized item on a small trailer. You can take the tailgate off your F150 to prevent possible damage, or to replace it, right in the driveway at home. The tailgate is very heavy but with the help of a friend, removing it should take 10 minutes or less.


Pull the tailgate’s latch and completely lower the tailgate. Before you begin the removal process, observe the small hinge cup on the lower-right corner of the tailgate. With the tailgate completely lowered, you should see a small cutout on the bottom of the hinge cup. In order for you to remove the tailgate, the cutout must line up horizontally with the rectangle on the roller assembly. The process can be thought of as removing the square peg through the square hole.


Lift the tailgate up halfway to relieve the tension on its support cables. Have a friend hold the tailgate in this position. Remove the driver’s-side support cable first. Lift the safety tab on the head of the cable with your thumb. Push the head of the cable up and off the mounting bolt on the truck’s bed. Remove the passenger’s-side support cable using the same method.


Line up the hinge cup’s cutout with the rectangular notch on the roller assembly. Grasp the bottom of the tailgate near the hinge cup. Lift the tailgate up 2 inches to disengage it from the roller assembly.


Pull the tailgate to the right, with the help of a friend, 1 inch to disengage the driver’s-side hinge cup from its roller assembly. Lift the entire tailgate up vertically and carefully pull it outward away from your F150. Lay the tailgate down flat on its inner--bed liner--side.

Items you will need

About the Author

Marion Cobretti began working as a freelance writer in 2006. His work appears on Newsvine and other websites. Cobretti completed a three-year course in automotive technology and is currently seeking an Associate of Applied Science at Macomb Community College.

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  • photo_camera pickup truck image by Tonda from