Stronger Tailgate Support Cables / Braces
I've asked this on another forum, but I figured I'd post it over here too, and we'll see what kind of answers I get (if any).
Question: Does anyone know of any company that makes stronger tailgate cables or braces?
Here's the issue:
Since I'm pretty good with a wrench and have a decently outfitted garage... my friends want me to tinker around with their motorcycles occasionally. (repairing, restoring, adding accessories, etc.) Most of these bikes can be ridden to my place, but occasionally I need to go pick one up. Some of these bikes are large Gold Wings & Harley dressers weighing over 900 pounds.
Now, of course I have a ramp that I use to load them in the bed... but, I have to admit that I'm pretty damned scared rolling some of these larger bikes up there. Why?
Well, it's my understanding that... although the tailgate can withstand the weight (especially the ones with the built-in step & handle), the weakest points are the tailgate cables themselves.
While no one will actually give a rating on the cables (either OEM or replacement)... the generally accepted number seems to be about 500 pounds.
Well, ok, you figure two 500 pound cables on each side ought to give you at least 750 pounds... and you figure since they always rate these things low to cover themselves legally, there's always some tolerance in there. But here's where the numbers get scary:
You take a 900 pound bike... then you add 2 (sometimes 3) people helping you load the thing, all standing on that ramp, with a good majority of the weight on the outer edge of that tailgate. If the average weight of the guys helping you load is 200 pounds... that's up to another 600 pounds added to the 900.
And the last thing I need is for one of those cables to SNAP while I'm at the apex of loading the thing. Because if one snaps, I can damn well be sure that the lone remaining cable isn't going to hold 1500 pounds by itself... and down with come baby, cradle & all.
I've looked around the internet, and can't find any replacement cables that have a high-weight rating. All I can find are plain ole OEM replacements. I'm not sure if it's because I'm not looking in the right place... or, if because of the way the braided cables are made, there's no way to make them in higher strength ratings.
What I think I need are a pair of proper-length, high tensile flat-steel braces that I can conveniently use to replace the OEM cables when loading/unloading. If they were drilled & slotted on the ends like the OEM cable mounts, it'd take all of 5 minutes to swap them in & out.
Has anyone ever heard of such a thing... or know where I could get something like that?
I guess I could take my idea to a machine shop & have some made up... but it would seem that I can't be the only person that's ever had this issue.