The tailgate straps will come set up how they should look once reassembled in place on the tailgate. In order to pass it though the gap at the bottom of the tailgate you may need to remove the hardware with the standard 1” buckle. You will need to remove one of the metal spring buckles and hardware for the strap that passes over the top of the tailgate.
Step 1. Break down the straps to the state shown in figure 1 below. The strap should now just have a single metal spring buckle and HD 3-bar slide on it. When laid flat, the strap on the bottom should extend approximately 59-60”, while the strap laying on top of that, should extend approximately 27”. This may require minor adjustment based on tailgate height and depth.
Step 2. Getting the strap into position on the tailgate. The loose ends will both be passed in a downward direction, through the space at the bottom of the tailgate and the bumper. Be careful to have a reliable hold on the tailgate if propped up to not jam your fingers. The longest end will be against the tailgate surface, with the shorter end on the outside of the longer strap. Pass the long end up around and over the top of the tailgate, and feed it through the metal spring buckle on the inside of the tailgate. (These straps were tested on a Ram 1500 tailgate, so if you do not have approx. 6” of strap once passed through the metal buckle, you may need to adjust to take some length from the shorter end). Depiction of layout if it was wrapped around the tailgate is displayed in figure 2. (Right end of picture to bottom of tailgate for orientation).
Step 3. Snug the strap and install top hardware. Pulling the long strap that is passed through the metal spring buckle will tighten the strap to the tailgate. On the end of the strap remaining, that is facing towards the top of the tailgate, install a HD 3-bar slide, then the metal spring buckle. This is the mounting point for the upper straps on your tailgate bag. The metal spring buckle should be positioned below the top of the tailgate, on the inside of the tailgate. Top metal spring buckle installed, displayed in figure 3.
Step 4. Install Bottom hardware on strap and bag. Install a 3 bar slide and the (female) end of the plastic buckle to the short, bottom, strap exposed at the bottom of the tailgate, on the outside. Install the (male) end of the buckle to the lower strap on the back of your bag, sliding it close to the bag to minimize movement of the bag. It is important to attach the (female) buckle end to the mounting strap as it lays flat most easily and reduces the chance of it somehow getting propped up in a position to get pinched between the tailgate and the bumper. Displayed in figure 4.
Step 5. Mount the bag. Pass the top straps of the bag over the tailgate and through the metal buckles on the stop of each strap. Clip the bottom buckle together. To adjust the bag position up/down, loosen the straps mounting straps slightly to rotate around the tailgate; retighten.
Step 6. Use the bag. The bottom buckles allow you to quickly and easily detach the bottom part of the bag to allow it to swing out when opening the tailgate, instead of pinching between the bumper and the tailgate. This system also reduces hard item contact with the vehicle's paint.