The materials that comprise a hatchback or hood can add up to wicked heavy in a hurry. Heavy is the absolute last thing you need to knock you on the noggin while attempting to retrieve an errant can of pork n' beans or your favorite beverage out of the trunk or hatchback floor. Lift supports work in much the same way as shock absorbers. They also wear out just the same. If your hatchback has gone droopy or trunk stopped staying open, then a replacement lift support can limit future head knocking. Using broomstick, baseball bat, emergency roadside kit, or similar makeshift hood or hatchback support in place of factory-engineered equipment is a head injury waiting to happen.
Lift support replacement is a relatively simple task but can also be potentially dangerous. The utmost caution should be taken anytime a gaping maw of steel and glass lay in wait to take a bite out of you like an automotive Venus Flytrap. This is one case where two heads really are better than one, and four hands will prevent any unwelcome concussions. Do not use any makeshift device to hold up hood or hatchback while replacing lift supports. It will inevitably fail and result in pinched fingers or head clobbering.
No Expenses Paid
Getting down to the two 10mm bolts that hold the lift support to the vehicle body may require special tools and considerable swearing. If luck is on your side there will be one bolt on the bottom of the lift support, and one on the top. Those less lucky will get a no expenses paid world fastener tour, which may include such highlights as Canadian square head screws and plastic compression plugs from Luxembourg. Lift supports can be found under trunk, hatchback, and hood, so there are more than a few possible configurations out there. As in any two-sided replacement procedure always work with one side at a time. Leaving one side assembled as a reference point can save headache.
Stuff You'll Need
· A willing and attentive helper
· Basic hand tools
· Possible oddball interior panel removal tools
· Replacement lift support or supports
Peer carefully at each end of the lift support before ordering up replacements. All ball-ends, fasteners, and swaged in swivels should be the same on the set of replacement support. Also make note of any electrical connections for rear-mounted wipers or other gizmos. Take care in removing plastic covers. Careful means if it feels like it's going to break, it will. Search for hidden fasteners before cracking panels.
Note position of all fasteners and lift support hardware before beginning. With attentive helper holding up the hatchback, hood, or truck first remove one end of the lift support. Retain any clips, ball ends, fasteners, or other gizmos.
Remind allegedly attentive helper to continue holding things up. Remove fasteners on other end of the lift support, and remove the old lift support from the body. Never attempt to cut apart gas-charged lift supports. Another gas-charged tip is to leave the plastic retaining strap on the new lift support until ready to install.
Mount in any new supplied ball ends or swivels before cutting the strap on the new lift support.
In this case the replacement lift supports came with a spring steel c-clip cup end in place of the original swaged in unit. Use a screwdriver to open up c-clip mount.
Push the cup end of the lift support onto the ball end mount. Push on steel c-clip to secure cup on ball end. Droopy lids and trunks will soon be thing of the past.
Repeat removal and replacement procedure on the other side. Tell helper to take a break. Clean any greasy fingerprints and residue off lift support rod before closing hatchback or hood, as debris can cause damage to the seals inside the lift support.
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Parts [Internal]