Last post on Jan 15, 1999 at 1:24 AM
You are in the Pickups - Archived Discussions
Dec 30, 1998 (5:22 pm)
I have read a response to this question from the president of Ford Motor Company. Fords position on this is that the structural integrity of the truck is compromised with the tail gate down or removed. What little, if any, fuel savings that can be attributed to lowering of the rear gate becomes insignificant in the case of an accident.
Dec 30, 1998 (9:12 pm)
When my '96 Sonoma got hit in the side, the tailgate fell off. Go figure.
Jan 01, 1999 (2:13 am)
Isn't driving with the tailgate down illegal?
#15 of 21 ragu
Jan 02, 1999 (3:35 am)
My observation on tailgate up/down is as follows.
Driving in Florida on flat land in a 220 mile drive I got 17.8 miles to the gallon with the tailgate down. On my return trip same miles with the tailgate up I got 15.6 miles to the gallon. I have a 5.4 liter w/3.55 limited slip rear and overdrive transmission. I drive a F150 Lariat extended cab. The AC was always on and the windows were closed. My trip speed was between 80-90 mph. I do prefer driving with the tailgate up tho due to the structual integrity. Got lots of looks as I passed others in smaller trucks by. Also I used my cruise control as much as possible. My escort radar detector was also on Can't wait to go back to Daytona Beach again.
#16 of 21 ragu
Jan 02, 1999 (3:48 am)
Sorry I failed to mention my truck is a 99.
#17 of 21 Rich
Jan 02, 1999 (9:20 pm)
Some years ago, I had to move a mattress and box sprint set. Both brand new and in their plastic bag covering and laying flat in the bed of the truck. The truck was an '86 F-250 regular cab. When going up the freeway at 65-70, towards the cab of the truck the plastic bag was inflated and expanded as much as 12 inches. At about the center line of the rear wheels and rearward, the plastic bag was compressed flat onto the mattress.
Based upon these observations there is a significant air pressure differential between the front and rear of the truck bed.
On the '92 F250, I was never been able to notice a difference in the mileage between tail gate up or down. The diesel have so much torque that the tail gate resistance is not noticeable to MY right foot. On other trucks that are lighter and with an engine with less torque there may be a benefit to the tail gate in the down position.
I do remember in either the '86 or '92 owner's manual, Ford stating that the tail gate is a structural member of the truck. (Or some such words.)
Finally, yes it is legal to run a truck with the tail gate down. The states where I've lived and can remember the specifics of the law, it is a requirement that anything that extends 36" beyond the rear of the vehicle must have a red flag attached. The tail gate on most trucks is not 36" high. Therefore the tail gate can not extend into the area where a red flag is required.
Jan 02, 1999 (11:51 pm)
My '85 F150 4x4 gets ALWAYS runs out of gas at 209 miles (give or take 0.6 miles). I've been testing my fuel mileage by alternating a few tanks with and a few tanks without the tailgate for about 6 months now. Without the tailgate, I've been consistently getting an additional 19 miles out of a tank. That's been a 1mpg gain for me.
Of course, that's my testing, your mileage may vary
Jan 06, 1999 (4:10 pm)
One thing to watch for -- I've heard of people given tickets for driving with their tailgate down not for length reasons (although making your vehicle longer than it seems might be annoying if someone pulls up close to you at a red light) but because it can obscure the license plate, which most certainly is illegal.
Jan 06, 1999 (7:17 pm)
Actually, I should clarify that when I talk about the difference with/without a tailgate, I don't leave mine 'down', but rather take it off completely.
#21 of 21 JTO
Jan 15, 1999 (1:24 am)
I wouldn't drive with it down! Not because of covering the plate.... because I watched one unhook after some poor sap went over a bump!! It only has to swing up about 45 degrees for most tailgates to come off!