When building a clean truck with all of the distracting features shaved off, you might look into changing some of the smallest of details. One thing that often gets overlooked is the tailgate handle, which is normally flipped to the inner bedside of the tailgate when the outer sheetmetal is shaved. Most commonly used is a handle-relocating piece that flips the big bulky factory handle to the opposite side of the gate. A flip kit may work well on most trucks, but what do you do for project trucks that require something cleaner? An answer to this dilemma is to create a discrete and clever button that unlocks both of the passenger- and driver-side latches on the tailgate.

While going above and beyond on customer's rides, the folks at Chaotic Rods & Customs discovered a simple way to make a button-style tailgate release. It can be done with a few tools, with air grinders and a welding machine at the top of the list. If you are able to do it all yourself, it might cost you as little as $50 in materials. If you do not have the skills to execute the mod, Chaotic can take care of it all and get the tailgate in paint-ready shape for $400.

Read on to see how the shop shaved the tailgate on this month's Busted Knuckles '08 Toyota Tundra.

The Final Word
Though this article describes how to do this on a new Tundra, the general procedure can be used to shave the handle and make a button-release on any tailgate. Bear in mind that with different applications the placement of the nut-and-bolt assembly may be different, so it is suggested to mock everything up before finishing it off. If you have the tools and skills for the modifications, you can get away fairly cheap. However, if you can't do it on your own, Chaotic Rods & Customs is able to do it and get your truck in good shape for paint.

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