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Hood shock conversion writeup (with pics)

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by Spook50, May 29, 2006.

  1. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

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    Okay first of all, a parts list:

    2 gas shock struts, either 90 lb (P/N GAS-124) or 120 lb (P/N GAS-125) from www.reidsupply.com (no affiliation)

    4 female shock strut fittings (P/N GAS-202) from www.reidsupply.com

    4 male shock strut mounts (P/N GAS-301) from www.reidsupply.com

    4 5/16 ID / 5/8 OD steel washers

    4 5/16 ID / 1.75" OD steel washers

    4 5/16-8 UNC nylock nuts (I used nylock because it'll keep the nut in place while the threadlocker cures)

    2 5/16 ID / 1/2 OD washers, just under 1/8" thick

    Blue thread locker

    You'll also need a bench grinder, drill and a 5/16" carbide bit

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You can use either the 90 lb or 120 lb shock struts for this. I used 120 lb shocks since the hood ain't exactly light. It doesn't exactly weight a ton, but there is a lot of leverage tipping forward on the hinges. I know one guy here used the factory 90 lb lift gate shocks and doesn't have a problem, so odds are those will work too, hence why I provided both part numbers. I think the 120s are a good way to go, as once you pop the hood and lift it slightly, they take over and carry the weight of the hood all the way up by themselves. Pretty cool :D

    First thing I did was unbolt the large coil spring brackets from the hood and fender. There are stops on the brackets to keep the assembly from flying apart when they're unbolted, but it's a good idea to keep a hand on it anyway, since it will move a bit when it's unbolted. The springs are pretty weak though. I was able to compress both assemblies by hand. Don't throw them away. You'll want to save the 2-bolt L bracket that bolts to the hood. Use the bench grinder to grind off the rivet heads and remove the bracket from the spring loaded arm. Now you want to drill out the rivet hole to 5/16" so that you can bolt the male shock mount to it. Make sure the ball portion is on the inside of the L that the bracket makes. The shock mounting points take quite a bit of stress and can bend fairly easily, so I placed washers on each side of the metal (see first pic). Apply thread locker to the threads and install the nut and torque it down good n' tight. Go ahead and mount the brackets back onto the hood the same way they originally were bolted on.

    [​IMG]
    Notice washers on each side of the bracket, the ball on the inside of the angle, and no thread protrusion either. The end of the fitting is flush with the end of the nylon portion of the nut.

    Next up, I had to find a location on the fender to bolt the other shock mounts. My original intention was to find a spot on the fender 16" from where the hood-mounted shock mount would sit with the hood raised. Due to raised portions and factory-drilled holes in the sheet metal, this didn't work. Luckily there was a 1/2" hole in the same location on both fenders that was just a hair less than 16" from the upper shock mounts. Since this didn't appear structural and looked like it could warp easily under the stress of the shock, I used the 1.75" steel washers on both sides of the sheet metal. Also betwen the washers, since the hole in the fender is 1/2" and the shank of the mount is 5/16", is the 5/16x1/2" washer. This acts as a spacer to keep the mount from sliding around on the sheet metal.
    NOTE: I'm not sure if FJ60 fenders have these same holes, or even if all years of FJ62s have them. Mine is an '88. I would be surprised, though, if they don't all have the same holes.

    [​IMG]
    No drilling necessary, and a very clean installation. Don't forget thread locker on these either.

    Now you can put the female fittings on the shocks. Be sure to use thread locker on these as well. Go ahead and connect the inner strut's end to the hood's shock mount and secure it with the little metal pin (do this for both sides). Here's where you're going to need a somewhat tall helper. Have your helper remove the prop and push the hood up as far as it will go on the side you're working on while you muscle the outer strut's fitting into place on the fender's mount. This is a bear of a task with the 120lb shock struts, but once it's clicked on, it'll be secure enough to let go so you can grab the little metal pin and install it. Again, do the same on the other side. Once both shock struts are installed, clear out your tools, remove the prop completely, and close the hood. Notice how the struts will over-center (for lack of a better word) and help force the hood down when you're within about 6" of the lock. That was an unexpected, though convenient, feature. This is a great conversion to do, as it's cheap, fairly easy (I did it in about an hour), and gives you much more room to move around underneath the hood. I'm not sure if the 90 lb shock struts will yield the same height, but with the 120 lb shock struts, the front of my hood is about 9" higher than it would be with the prop holding it in place.

    A couple more pics so you can see the rest of the installation. Pay no mind to the ugly foam job I did on the stiffeners, which I still have to do more cleanup on :D

    Single strut somewhat close up:
    [​IMG]

    The whole shebang-a-bang:
    [​IMG]
    A note on the hoodliner. It's made by Dynamat and works great. Shields sound, and keeps the hood from heating up with the engine running. Comes in a 36"x54" sheet though, so unfortunately I can't get complete coverage with it. It's ugly, but it does the job :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
    InfiniteBPS and ThatNickGuy like this.
  2. PAFJ

    PAFJ

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    That's sweet!!:cheers: I need to add this project to my list of things to do now. :D Thanks for the write up, and for the good idea!!



    :cheers:
     
  3. PAFJ

    PAFJ

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    I looked at mine, '85 Sixty, it has the same holes.:cheers:
     
  4. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

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    Sweetness.
     
  5. Weaver

    Weaver

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    your paint sure looks awful shiney [​IMG]

    good mod for this weekend for sure.
     
  6. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

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    The hood and fenders were repainted about a week ago :D
     
  7. NocalFJ60

    NocalFJ60

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    Cool writeup.. Thanks..
     
  8. thetaxmonkey

    thetaxmonkey

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    currently to hold my hood up, I reach behind the garage door and grab a broom handle. enormous PITA. This mod you have posted is great, thanks for the write-up, pics, and parts list. I'll definitely be taking care of this soon. The bling under the hood looks nice too! :D
     
  9. VETTE60

    VETTE60

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    thanks for the post!
     
  10. NorCal60

    NorCal60

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    Sweet....another possible mod to add to my list!

    You deserve at least :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: 's.

    Nice job!
     
  11. Dynosoar

    Dynosoar Slightly Disturbed SILVER Star

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    Parts have been orderd! That looks like an easy and clean mod for less than 40 bucks.

    Dynosoar
     
  12. euclid

    euclid

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    Nice writeup. Added to FAQ.
     
  13. Tapage

    Tapage Club 4X4 Panamá SILVER Star

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    O men .. you are my hero ! thanks for posting !
     
  14. lunyou

    lunyou

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    Spook

    how much stress is there on the struts when closing it and when it is holding it in the up position? There is alot of torque on those bolts and just wondering how stressed they are.

    lunyou
     
  15. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

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    It's holding it pretty firm, but there doesn't seem to be enough stress to cause any damage or warping. If you're referring to the bolts holding the factory springs to the hood, there shouldn't be much torque on them, unless they've rusted in place. Mine came off very easily.

    You've gotta pull down on it pretty good to close it, since I've got two 120 lb struts on there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2006
  16. Waggoner5

    Waggoner5 SILVER Star

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    Don't worry about the stress, the DOT guys pulling you over, or liability of killing someone over this mod. I have this done on all my wagons dating back to 87. There are no negative effects, only a nice easy opening hood that stays up. Great write up.
    Gary
     
  17. meluhha

    meluhha

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    So is 120lbs the magic number here or should someone go with a little less...say 110 or 100lbs?

    Good write-up and good job!

    Matt
     
  18. Waggoner5

    Waggoner5 SILVER Star

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    I used a set of rear hatch springs on all of mine.
     
  19. PAFJ

    PAFJ

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    Spook...stupid question but where did you get your hardware? The local hardware store didn't have any of the correct size.:confused: I find it odd that they had nothing in 5/16 with the correct outside diameter.

    TIA-

    :cheers:
     
  20. Toadhopper

    Toadhopper

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    Nice write up!!! One more for the Mod List.
    Bryan