As is our family tradition, we get our Christmas tree from a local tree farm (cut your own, of course) the day after Thanksgiving. This year was no different. Since we put the tree in our rather small living room, it is normally small and can fit in the back of the van with the seats down. After what felt like two hours walking around to find the "right" tree, we got it bailed and ready to go into the back. I lifted the hatch, bent down to lift the tree and came up to meet the descending tailgate with my head.
Like I said in my last post on my other car, things that are wearing out are starting to become rather annoying. The failure of the tailgate struts to hold the tailgate up are just another one of those things. Fortunately, I easily sourced replacements.
As with the door slide assemblies, Amazon was my source. I bought an OE quality aftermarket pair that had good reviews made by Maxpow. There were a few other choices on Amazon, but these were only $28 for the pair and the reviews were good enough for me. I got them today (ordered them Friday) and replaced them in about 5 minutes.
|The two struts.|
First, I had to support the tailgate while I removed the old struts. This was done with one of the kid's hockey sticks.
|Not the safest method, but it worked.|
Then I had to remove the old struts. I did one side at a time to provide some weight support for the tailgate just in case the hockey stick plan wasn't as sound as I thought. I simply inserted a small flathead screwdriver (about 1/4" blade width) into the spring retaining clips to open it up and allow it to be pulled off the retaining "nub".
|Flathead pulling the spring retainer back. There is a convenient slot to place the screwdriver blade in.|
There was a spring retaining clip at either end of the strut the captured a small ball, very similar to a the ball on a trailer hitch. Once the spring retainer was pulled away, a sharp tug on the respective end of the strut released it from the ball.
|The capture end of a new strut. You can see how the spring clip would capture the ball (I hope you can, anyway).|
For re-installation, I pulled the spring retainer back again with the flathead and pressed the ends of the new struts onto the balls and pulled the screwdriver blade out. I gave a tug on the struts to make sure they were secure and tested the door. It operates a bit harder now with new struts, as expected, but it won't chop anyone's head off, that's for sure!