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Guide : how to change tailgate gas struts

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Old Jan 13th, 2013, 18:02   #1
baldmosher
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Post Guide : how to change tailgate gas struts

I'm guessing this will be the same for any car but I didn't find anything approaching simple instructions or with photos, and it took me a fair bit of head scratching before it all made sense.

you will need:
new gas struts
flat blade screwdriver- small
a prop

at each end of the strut is a plastic nut, around which you'll find a metal clip that acts as a locking mechanism.

Prise off the metal clip with a flat blade screwdriver.

Use a broom handle or similar to prop the hatch open. If you don't, when you remove the struts it'll drop on your head. I used a mop handle and jammed it between a heavy box in the boot and the interior grab handle so it wouldn't slip, and pulled the hatch down a bit so it was jammed pretty tight before I started.

Pull the strut nut away from the metal bolt, you might need to wobble it a bit but it'll come off easily.

Push the new strut back on, bottom end first. You might need to twist it around to fit both ends. Repeat for the other side

photos attached
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Old Jan 13th, 2013, 18:50   #2
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Useful guide and good photos, thank you.
I'd just add:

1. There's no need actually to remove the metal circlip; just pulling it back a little with that flat screwdriver should be enough to enable you to pull the strut off the ball.

2. The bit that says "If you don't, when you remove the struts it'll drop on your head" needs to be in bold capitals for people like me who are inclined to forget the prop when they go out to the car and are too lazy to go back inside to get it, and say to themselves "Oh, surely it'll be all right - can't be as heavy as that..." Oh yes it is. It WILL fall on your head - even with one strut still in place.
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 14:34   #3
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Did this again last week (different car!), I tried to loosen the clips as suggested, but it was far easier just pulling them off completely. I also recommend doing them strut at a time for safety reasons.

This time I was more careful with my screwdriver and didn't scratch the paintwork Hands were COLD afterwards though.

This time I bought TUV approved aftermarket struts:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190781818412

They do seem more suitable for the car than the Magnetti Marelli ones that I bought last time (only £2 difference, both 50% cheaper than the gen Volvo price)

It lifts up easily to halfway and then a helpful flick sends it to the top. They are loosening slightly with use, I had to really slam the boot a couple of times at first, so I wonder if they'll soon start going all the way up in one fell swoop. 2 year guarantee on them.

Aesthetically, I prefer the aftermarket all-black ones that came off my car, but that's a matter of taste, and I don't exactly open the boot and think "oh no, not more chrome", but I did used to think "ooh, those black struts are nice", and as they're aftermarket, clearly they apparently didn't last very long!

p/n for comparison is 30803472
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Last edited by baldmosher; Feb 27th, 2015 at 14:38.
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 17:04   #4
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I've got a set of genuine Volvo struts on mine and they have black piston rods. They came off a Phase 1, not sure if that has anything to do with it, part number is the same. Perhaps a case of changing the original supplier?
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Old Mar 9th, 2015, 14:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v40alex View Post
I've got a set of genuine Volvo struts on mine and they have black piston rods. They came off a Phase 1, not sure if that has anything to do with it, part number is the same. Perhaps a case of changing the original supplier?
The all-black ones that came off the current car were definitely aftermarket, and I don't remember what came off the previous car but they were half-metal too. I don't know if I've ever seen a genuine pair of struts!

The TUV ones on there now are still a bit iffy. Sometimes the movement is smooth and precise, other times it pushes up too hard and bounces at the top of the hinge. I'm assuming it'll loosen up after a while....?
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Old Mar 9th, 2015, 20:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v40alex View Post
I've got a set of genuine Volvo struts on mine and they have black piston rods. They came off a Phase 1, not sure if that has anything to do with it, part number is the same. Perhaps a case of changing the original supplier?
Genuine struts on Phase1 & 2 are all black.

I've just ordered a pair of Meyle struts off ebay as my originals are getting weak to the point a strong wind will close the tailgate. Once fitted I will report back on the quality. Certainly their drop links are much, much better than Volvo.

Last edited by ITSv40; Mar 9th, 2015 at 20:57.
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Old Mar 9th, 2015, 20:53   #7
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The genuine ones that came off my Phase 2 have 'chrome' rods
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Old Mar 9th, 2015, 21:52   #8
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Quote:
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The genuine ones that came off my Phase 2 have 'chrome' rods
ITSv40 you're right, I take that back - just stumbled across the 'old' ones (yes, still kicking about in the parts pile) and they are black at the bottom of the rod, but it's worn off where they slide.
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Old Mar 9th, 2015, 22:26   #9
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A word of caution with old tailgate struts.

Tailgate struts are gas filled and the gas experiences changes with outside temp. When they are old they might work fine in Summertime but in very cold weather as the gas contracts the struts may not hold that heavy tailgate open which can fall down unexpectedly.

This happened to me in my 1993 E Class Merc (aka Hildegard) as I was working on the rear of the car one very cold winter evening barely seconds after I took my arm off the tailgate opening.
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Old Mar 9th, 2015, 23:17   #10
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Bought these or whatever they were selling then
oh I don't know less than a year ago

http://www.partsmonster.co.uk/volvo-...-x2-9780-p.asp

Brilliant took a few times of upping and downing to get used to them
They even hold the tailgate half way
Brilliant
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