Gas charged Hood & Hatch strut retrofit

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There are lots of threads that mention hatch struts. Thanks to what others have posted I've came up with the following.

Parts needed:
IMG_6936.JPG
IMG_6937.JPG

Rivnut tool:
IMG_6938.JPG


50lb gas strut x2:
IMG_6939.JPG


The Result:
IMG_6934.JPG
 
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The brackets come in pairs so you'll only need one of each. Two 50 lb struts open the hatch without needing to lift it at all.

The two silver bolts are in the stock locations. The blue bolt is in a new hole where a Riv-Nut was added for improved mount positioning.
IMG_6930.JPG

IMG_6931.JPG

If the mount is lower, this end interferes with the hatch.

Alignment:

IMG_6929.JPG


IMG_6932.JPG


IMG_6933.JPG
 
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The strut is aligned parallel with the hatch and sides.

I've seen custom made lower mounts use stock mounting holes.

If you have done it a different way feel free to add to this post.

Cost

5300-50 gas struts 2x$20
Brackets $10
Riv-Nut gun and nuts $30

All in all about $80. There are beefier brackets and struts, but these work perfectly. The strut is about 1/2" from full compression... and opens the hatch higher than stock. :D
 
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Now after opening the hatch a few inches you can stand back and watch it open.
 
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A different or modified lower mount could be used to avoid using a Rivnut in the side.

Looking at it, the lower mount puts the pivot very close to the position of the original strut's lower pivot... which is why the strut tucks in there so nice.

After watching it open by it self... I'm thinking my car's hatch needs stronger struts so I don't have to lift it at all. I think I need struts on the hood and I'm even considering putting a strut on the swing out (tailgate / tire rack) so all I need to do is lift the lever and watch it swing (and stay) open.
 
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David70FJ40

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Did the same except bought two gas struts and exact fit brackets from @Racer65. I believe it took about 10 minutes to complete the job. Yes, more expensive but it was an exact fit and I supported a member here on MUD.
 
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I wasn't aware racer had a kit. Good to know. They work so well... wish I'd done it 20 years ago.

Another thread: Rear hatch stupid slap
 
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Bracket 1.jpg
Bracket 2.jpg


On to the hood. I mounted the above brackets and a pair of 19.7" long 50 lb struts on the Hood. I'll post some pics of the install, but so far I'm very happy. The hood will stay at the height it's lifted to and closes easily (it is essentially weightless). The flat plate brackets are mounted to the cowl by the firewall. The hood stays open at a somewhat higher angle than stock for better access without any post to interfere.
 

mrboatman

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Some pictures and measurements for mounting brackets and part numbers would be very appreciated and helpful. The rear hatch gas strut mod is got to be one of the best and easiest mods.
JP
 
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I used bolts with nylock nuts because there was some trial and error involved. However, poprivits could be used instead.

To do it over, I'd likely use 60 lb struts... 50 lb holds it well and allows the hood to be part open, but it doesn't automatically open when released.

I'd also consider moving the horizontal body just below the corner which should allow the hood to open a tad further.

I do prefer the struts tucked in tight so that they're more hidden when the hood is open... I prefer to have the upgrade be suttle. At first glance it looks like the hood just floats 'magically' :D
 
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Some pictures and measurements for mounting brackets and part numbers would be very appreciated and helpful. The rear hatch gas strut mod is got to be one of the best and easiest mods.
JP

This mod is slightly more complicated than the rear hatch since there aren't holes to begin with.

I bent the flat brackets to match the body contour at the firewall. The Center pin is at about 2" up. I had to drill a new hole in the bracket because I'd drilled a holes in the body at 1.5" spacing for different brackets. Rather than having an extra hole in the body I drilled a new hole in the bracket.

The holes in the hood could be another half inch or so closer to the firewall. I'm happy with how high the hood opens, but if you want it to open a bit further you can. If it opens to far, the strut body will contact the underside of the hood when all the way open.
 
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Overall it's an easy mod with lots of margin for error, and many variations that can be done.

It's kinda nice that the hood will sit at any height between 1/2 and full open.
 

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