1G Rear Hatch Strut Replacement
Has the rear hatch hit you in the head too many times? FIX IT!
A common problem with the 1G DSM cars is the rear hatch strut. Over
time, it starts to wear out. The hatch becomes harder to lift, and won't
stay up. This situation becomes worse when it gets cold outside.
This is easily fixed by replacing the 2 struts that hold the hatch up.
This is an easy fix, and can be done with one person in about an hour.
- 10 mm open end wrench
- Phillips screwdriver
- Another screwdriver (optional)
- T-40 Torx Bit ($4-$5 from Sears or local auto supply house)
- A board, or something to hold the hatch up while working (it's heavy!)
- 2 Replacement struts
- Kragen sells SteadyLift for $25 each with a lifetime warrenty.
This is a direct bolt-on replacement. Part #C 072-603 (or ask for it
by car year/model).
- Open the hatch and support it open using the board.
- Using the Torx bit, remove the top end of the strut (connected to the hatch).
- Make sure the board holding the hatch up is secure!
- Unscrew the stop for the carpet hatch cover located just under where the
lower end of the strut attaches to the car.
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The plastic around where the strut connects to the body of the car is
slightly flexible. Pull the plastic in this area back and wedge the 2
screwdrivers in on either side of the strut.
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When removing the strut from the body after unbolting it, you might have to bend the
circled tab a little in order to slip the strut out of the plastic trim.
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I'm lazy - I bend the tab out of the way, then push the plastic way out of the way for
plenty of access to the 2 mounting bolts.
- Carefully unscrew these 2 bolts (10mm). Try not to drop them - they will fall behind the trim.
- If they do fall, unscrew the bottom of the trim from the car, and hope you can find the screw!
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- Remove the old strut.
- Put the new strut in.
- Put the 2 bolts back in.
- Put the Torx screw back in (you might have to lift the hatch with one hand
and put the screw back in with the other.)
- Put the cover support back on.
- Repeat the process for the other side.
This replacement was done on a 1991 Eagle Talon AWD. When I asked about what had
to be done, I had a bunch of replies. Below are some things that I was told might
be necessary that I did NOT have to do.
- You do NOT have to remove all the plastic panels from the hatch area.
Simply bend back the plastic around the lower strut area.
- Some replacement struts do not include the mounting bracket, requiring you
to drill out a rivet on the old strut. An example of this is the
"Mighty Lift" struts. These will require removing the bracket from the
old strut and attaching it to the new one.
This document can be reprinted for personal use or reference for your mechanic(s) with no prior permission needed. It can be linked to directly, as long as you have a link to the main VFAQ page of http://www.vfaq.com, though linking to the main page instead is preferred. This document can NOT be reprinted for profit/resale/redistribution of ANY type without expressed WRITTEN permission from me in advance. Bulk copying of this document onto your web site without prior permission will not be tolerated, link to it instead.
Last modified: Apr 15, 2000
Originally submitted by Stephen Ungar
Copyright 1997-2000, Tom Stangl