Have you ever had your hands full while trying to open your tailgate? If so, you’ll already realize that if you don’t hold it on the way down, you’ll be greeted with a big slam as your tailgate freefalls – until the cables catch it and jerk it to a hard stop.
This not nice and easy on the cables or the mounting hardware of the gate. Fortunately, there is a way to fix this issue and have a nice and smooth opening tailgate, without you having to hold onto it all the way down.
The answer to the dropping tailgate is a simple little hydraulic damper, or assist. These little shock absorbers (or struts) attach directly to the tailgate and bed, slowing the tailgate down for a nice and easy descent.
There are a few manufacturers that make these tailgate dampers, and below I’ll go over the best options and deals for each of the different model trucks listed. If you are installing one of these assists yourself, you’ll find that it’s pretty straightforward for the most part, installation difficulty for most of these kits is about a 3-4 out of 10.
Tailgate assist for the 2015-2017 Ford F-150
- Ford OEM Tailgate Assist Kit FL3Z-99406A10-A
Without a doubt the best tailgate damper kit that you can get for the 2105, 2016 and 2017 Ford F-150 would be the one made by Ford. It’s designed to fit directly into factory mounting points, so no messing with aftermarket accessory fitment, which can be tricky in some cases.
Genuine Ford FL3Z-99406A10-A Tailgate Shock Assembly
- Product Type:Auto Part
- Item Package Weight:0.771 Kilograms
- Item Package Dimension:10.668 cm L X15.24 cm W X19.304 cm H
- Country Of Origin: United States
Tailgate assist for the 2005-2014 Ford F-150
- DeeZee F-150 Tailgate Assist DZ43200
If you own a 2005-2014 F-150 then the best option for a tailgate damper is this retrofit model by DeeZee. The kit comes with everything you need to add it to your truck, including the strut and all required hardware. Only one damper is needed, there’s no need for a second kit.
Dee Zee DZ43200 Tailgate Assist
- This tailgate assist fits 2004-2014 Ford F150 and 2004-2014 Lincoln Mark LT. Does not fit Flareside Models.
- NEW and IMPROVED – We have improved the nutsert. You no longer have the little bottle of blue thread lock to mess with. The nutsert comes with thread lock on it and ready to be installed. You do not have to worry about applying the thread lock and getting it on your fingers, clothes, or your vehicle.
- Easy to use. The Dee Zee tailgate assist makes the use of your tailgate an ease. By simply installing this on your truck will give you the ability to release the tailgate with one hand and not have to worry about that loud bang when it comes down. The smooth controlled drop allows your children to safely lower the tailgate.
- By adding the heavy-duty tailgate assist to your truck will ease the strain on the cables and hinge point by not free falling. You also will no longer draw attention to yourself when everyone hears the bang as your tailgate slams down.
- Installation is a breeze NO DRILLING required and the parts are all specific to the year, make, and model truck.
Tailgate assist for the Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty
- DeeZee Tailgate Assist kit DZ43203
This kit is the one designed for the 1999-2106 Ford Super Duty trucks. Just like the other kits from Dee Zee, this one includes all required hardware and installation instructions in the box.
Dee Zee DZ43203 Tailgate Assist Shock
- this tailgate assist fits 1997-2003 ford f150 and 1999-2016 ford super duty f250/f350. it will not fit the f150 supercrew or flareside models.
- new and improved – we have improved the nutsert. you no longer have the little bottle of blue thread lock to mess with. the nutsert comes with thread lock on it and ready to be installed. you do not have to worry about applying the thread lock and getting it on your fingers, clothes, or your vehicle.
- easy to use. the dee zee tailgate assist makes the use of your tailgate an ease. by simply installing this on your truck will give you the ability to release the tailgate with one hand and not have to worry about that loud bang when it comes down. the smooth controlled drop allows your children to safely lower the tailgate.
- by adding the heavy-duty tailgate assist to your truck will ease the strain on the cables and hinge point by not free falling. you also will no longer draw attention to yourself when everyone hears the bang as your tailgate slams down.
- installation is a breeze no drilling required and the parts are all specific to the year, make, and model truck.
Tailgate assist for the Dodge Ram 1500-3500
- DeeZee Tailgate Assist kit DZ43301
If you own a Ram 1500 from 2009-2017 or a Ram 2500 and 3500 from 2010-2017, then this is the tailgate assist made specifically for your truck. As always, DeeZee has provided a Dodge Ram specific all-in-one kit that includes everything you will need for am easy, complete install.
Dee Zee DZ43301 Tailgate Assist Shock
- Dee Zee DZ43301 RAM Tailgate Assist / ‘09-‘18 RAM 1500 / ‘19-‘22 RAM 1500 Classic / ’10-‘22 RAM HD
- NEW and IMPROVED – We have improved the nutsert and it’s ready to go out of the box! The nutsert comes with thread lock on it and ready to be installed. Avoid the mess and install in less steps.
- The Dee Zee Tailgate Assist makes the use of your tailgate an ease. The simple device allows you release the tailgate with one hand for a controlled drop rate and not have to worry about that loud bang.
- By adding the heavy-duty Tailgate Assist to your truck will ease the strain on the cables and hinge point by not free falling.
- Installation is a breeze NO DRILLING required and the parts are all specific to the year, make, and model truck. Utilize the vehicle application checker.
Tailgate assist for the Chevy/GMC 1500, 2500 and 3500HD
- DeeZee Tailgate Assist kit DZ43102
In the more recent model years, the Chevy trucks have finally started to include a tailgate dampening system in the higher trim trucks like the SLE/SLT and LT/LTZ packages. However if you have an older truck or a base model, you were out of luck as far as having this installed from the factory.
Thankfully, once again DeeZee steps up to the plate to offer their all-in-one kit for GM trucks. This is certified to fit the 2009-2017 1500/2500/3500 and is more of a universal kit that can be adapted to a lot of the Chevy/GMC platform tailgates.
Dee Zee DZ43102 Black Tailgate Assist
- Safely Controls The Drop Rate Of Truck Tailgates
- Custom Designed For Each Make and Model
- High Quality and Extensively Tested For Heavy Use
- Works In Conjunction With Factory Cables
- Only One Tailgate Assist Required Per Vehicle
What do the truck owners have to say?
DeeZee has made quite the good name for themselves in the truck accessories market, and you can see that in their reviews, which reflect a lot of praise for their products.
Like anything aftermarket, there will always be a couple of hiccups in how the product fits initially or wears over time. This is standard for all aftermarket accessory manufacturers and doesn’t necessarily mean that the products are junk if they have a couple of issues across a wide range of models.
What really matters is how the company handles feedback from their customers about issues that need resolving in the next iteration of the product, and also how they handle the current customers that have the issues in the first place.
Below, you’ll see how they’ve dealt with the only real problem with the DeeZee assist kits and how they have resolved the issue going forward.
Tailgate assist common problems
The early versions of the Dee-Zee assist in particular did have a frustrating issue that has since been fixed. The issue is with the nutsert that they provided to install the strut with. The nutsert allows you to add threads to a bare hole in your tailgate that wasn’t originally designed to have threads in it.
The problem is that the early version nutsert had a tendency to loosen up in the hole with the repeated rotation that the end of the strut subjects it to. Either the nutsert was just a little off in size, or didn’t have enough friction to hold itself in the tailgate.
Good news is that Dee-Zee has realized the issue, and eliminated the nutsert problem for all the new versions of their kits, and has even been assisting previous customers in fixing the original version.
Hopefully this overview and guide for the options available to add a tailgate assist have helped you in the search for the right kit for your truck. As always, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below if you have any questions or something to add to the conversation. Thanks for reading!