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Barn doors or Tailgate??

27693 Views 48 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  JMoney02
I'm just wondering what kind of rear access you have on your 'burban and what's your preference?
I personally prefer the barn doors. I think it looks better. But there's times I'd like to have a rear wiper, which is not offered on the barn doors.

Cast your vote above!
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Did they have the barn door as an option in 1978? :)
BARN DOORS........ :wink: my 97 has them....and i just feel like you cant think suburban unless you think barn doors. thats my opinion. the barn doors are what let the suburban stand alone from the rest.
That's a good question! I haven't found an answer to that yet. Steve I did find something you might find interesting.

Ok, actually it looks like they did make barn doors on the '78
Don't forget to vote.
yeah, looks like it was an option. How about that. Well, I've always had a tailgate on my trucks and SUVs, until we got the Trailblazer. That's got a full lift-hatch in the back.
I have the barn doors and generally that would be my preference, there are some times that I think it might be handy to have the gate but not that often. And I agree I think the barn doors are more visually appealing.
My vote is for the tailgate, mainly because that is what my Suburban has.
The barn doors are standard equipment on all Suburbans up to at least 1991( I'm not 100% about the newer ones). The tailgate was an option on all trim package levels except the Silverado trim, which it is standard and the barn doors were an option(saved you roughly $300). With the tailgate on my Suburban it has the rear window defroster and power glass controlled by either dash switch or keys. The power glass is kind of nice on days when I want good air flow through the interior. While driving I can lower the glass and with the rear A/C fan switch on it draws in outside air and blows it across the interior roof(helps for air circulation).
The barn doors have their advantges, such as easier loading and unloading. You also do not have to worry about broken tailgate hinges and rusted rear tail pan support( a fun repair).The tailgate is also pretty hefty with the glass inside it.
I also think the lines of the tailgate flow with the truck a little nicer. Just my 2bits.
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The power back window would definately be nice.
1978 Silverado with power back window. :)
Well, this rig is a hand-me-down. I just have always had a tailgate. I remember sitting on the end of the tailgate for everything. Waiting in a parking lot for someone? throw the tailgate down! Going fishing and need something to sort your takle on? There's the tailgate. You have to have the window down before you can drop the tailgate, so that's one thing, but with the power window it's not that big of an issue.
There are definately advantages to both. I'd also like to say that with the barn doors, you can enxperience the same hinge pin bushing failure as with the doors. My passenger side barn door currently sits just a hair lower, due to one of the pin bushings that has started to deteriorate, and tends to close a little funny. Another project, but I could hardly complain about that.
The other thing I have seen with the barn doors is that occasionally the electrical contacts have to be cleaned. They are the "wireless" door joint style, set of pins on the door that hits a plate and when that gets coroded or dirty the power locks don't work.

Side question, does anybody else with the barn doors have a problem with the window trim panel screws coming out?
OK my 2 cents. my 86 has the tailgate, 94 barn doors. i love both for there utility. but got to admit when hitching horse trailer barn doors are the best, open them up and back up to the trailer and its a one shot deal because you can almost see the trailer ball, and thats a plus, also loading and unlaoding feed is better with barn doors, the old tailgate has had way to many bails of hay and bags of feed droped on it and had to replace tail pan hinge support, but the 94 aslo needed a hinge pin set on passenger side, that aint no better to replace. its a pain in the ass, and makes replaceing a regular hinge pin on a car feel like a walk in the park. but the tailgate is good when i need to pick up 10' or longer lumber at my local sawmill. but seeing this is my wifes vehicle i have to go with what she likes and thats the barn doors, for ease the tailgate is real heavy for her to close.
when you put the door trim pannel screws back it put a dab of locktite on them first and that should solve the problem MN_burban.

p.s. :twisted:
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Turn tailgate to barn door?

Just out of curiosity. How hard would it be to turn a tailgate suburban to a barn door suburban?
Hmmm....Never considered converting barn doors to tailgate or visa-versa. I would think it shouldn't be too hard. I bet getting the barn doors wouldn't be very cheap though.

Hey 84Fiero123, got any advice on changing the pin/bushings out on the barn door. I think I may tackle that task this weekend.
Maybe I'll just drive around with the barn doors off for a couple days. Could be fun :lol:
Watch out, if you have your doors off Aeropagus might come up and snag them so he doesn't have to go out and find his own.
I think if he trucked his way up here from New Mexico just for my barn doors, I'd guess he'd deserve them. :lol:

Don't get any funny ideas Aeropagus!
not sure but even i wouldn't try it without the help of a good body man. hinges on the newer burbs for the barn doors are welded in place to the body and the door so adjustments are no easy. not to mention the fit of the boors could be a pain in the ass.
I never really looked at them before this. I had presumed that they were bolted on. But now I see that they are welded. So, yeah that would be quite the job. Good luck if you decide to do that.
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