Hey, so I looked and looked but didn’t see anyone else post about this (in my mind) major design flaw for 2nd Gen Tacomas. I have a “13” access cab 6’ bed Tacoma and finally just picked up my unit #1038 V1 last week. I live in New Brunswick, Canada so Covid delayed things quite a bit.
Anyway, locking panels are great, but with a full 1" gap between the back panel and the top of the tailgate, It doesn’t matter if you lock it. The rubber gasket thing they give you that is wider for Tacomas covers the gap but, you can still pull the tailgate open (with some force), but you can just slip off the gasket and git in there. I know Toyoya has an OEM tailgate lock, but…$ and time.
Here is what I did and I am curious what other folks did as well. I can’t be the only one right? Right people? Lol.
So here’s my gap.
I had a 59-1/4" x3"x1/8" piece of Al bent lengthwise at 5 degrees, painted it black to match and pop riveted it to the bottom of the GFC panel. I had to use a piece of canvas with a hole punched in it to prevent the pop gun from banging and scratching the panel or the extender from the kickback.
What you did looks great but this is surprising to see as I don’t think that gap is normal. I have a 2nd Gen with a v2 and didn’t have this issue. I have also seen several gen 2/v1 builds that didn’t have this gap. May be worth reaching out to gfc, though being in Canada, may be more of a pain then it’s worth to try to get corrected.
Edit: I’m seeing now the gap is after the original rubber was removed. Given that, no idea if I have a similar issue gap. It did seem like I could have forced open the tailgate when closed due to lack of lock. I ended up spending the $80 on an aftermarket tailgate lock to solve the problem