Sticky #2: Rear Deck Lid (Bonnet) Struts

My ($175-total invested) rebuilt original struts failed completely Sunday. I went to a car show, raised the decklid, left it raised for the duration of the show, lowered it and drove home sixty miles in 95 degree heat. They acted just fine.

Next morning, both struts are totally dead. No push at all. Maybe the engine bay heat toasted them? Before all I had to do was push the button and the lid would gently rise all by itself. Now they resist my efforts to raise.

I'm not throwing any more $ at the originals. I did some searching around the forum for aftermarket recommendations and can't really find anything conclusive.

Is there anyone who's happy with whatever substitute they've found recently that they would pass along a recommendation on?

I've got a wingless lid.

Thanks in advance.
Original Post
From prior posts both here and on the DeTomaso Mail List...

NAPA part # BK(Belkamp) 819-5207 (replacement lift struts for a Dodge Omni)
Compressed length of 10.34", extended length of 16.77"
They work great according to a post on the mail list.
Larry Finch reports that he has them on his car and "the function is fine. Holds up my no-wing lid just fine, closes easily, doesn't seem to be too firm. Probably not strong enough for a winged lid. No information on strength (pounds) of force." Larry's on this board, so you can contact him directly for any additional questions.

Note: The NAPA catalog image shows this to have different fittings at each end, but this is incorrect. Both ends have the correct flat plate with a hole needed for our application. Total cost for two - $40.36


Autozone #95004
Source: http://pantera.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/6450045562...850090805#2850090805


SACHS North America SG314005
Coz reported that these shocks will hold with or without a wing. "I took 4 pairs for some of the guys to Vegas this year and use them myself. And I was just corrected, they are $20.90 each."


I have not tried any of the above referenced parts myself as my car still wears its original decklid struts (which work only on warm days).
# 3463 has the Autozone # 95004. Application is for the 1987 - 1994 Dodge Shadow w/o spoiler. We made our own spacers for the top attachment out of aluminum which were required for this application. They are the best struts I have ever seen, worked with or have.
quote:
Originally posted by BOXXBOYS:
# 3463 has the Autozone # 95004. Application is for the 1987 - 1994 Dodge Shadow w/o spoiler. We made our own spacers for the top attachment out of aluminum which were required for this application. They are the best struts I have ever seen, worked with or have.

Okay,
I got the D95004s..BUT they seem to be about 3/4" too long and I (with all my might)can NOT compress them? Any ideas.
quote:
Originally posted by TomCat:
quote:
Originally posted by BOXXBOYS:
# 3463 has the Autozone # 95004. Application is for the 1987 - 1994 Dodge Shadow w/o spoiler. We made our own spacers for the top attachment out of aluminum which were required for this application. They are the best struts I have ever seen, worked with or have.

Okay,
I got the D95004s..BUT they seem to be about 3/4" too long and I (with all my might)can NOT compress them? Any ideas.


Okay...I'm done! If you un-attach BOTH (original) struts you can "hyper extend" the back hatch to allow for easy installation of the new struts.

As for the elongated holes (in the Auto Zone brand), I cut about 3/4" long piece of 1/4" fuel line and stuffed/centered it through the elongated holes...as a kind of spacer/gasket.
This seemed to take up all the slack and allowed for some (silent) flexibility in the mounting.
All these being mentioned, are any of them gloss or simigloss? I am looking for gloss, to keep everything shiny in the engine bay Smiler

I still have the Detomoso brand as shown below, however they are pretty stiff. It has not caused a problem yet, and I suppose if they are built for a wing and non wing car, then the actual pressure on the decklid and engine bay hinge is the same, wing or not.

About hyperextending your deck lid, watch out! you could drive the top of your deck lid into the body of the car, so just watch that area if you are doing that.

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quote:
Originally posted by DOES 200:
All these being mentioned, are any of them gloss or simigloss? I am looking for gloss, to keep everything shiny in the engine bay Smiler

I still have the Detomoso brand as shown below, however they are pretty stiff. It has not caused a problem yet, and I suppose if they are built for a wing and non wing car, then the actual pressure on the decklid and engine bay hinge is the same, wing or not.

About hyperextending your deck lid, watch out! you could drive the top of your deck lid into the body of the car, so just watch that area if you are doing that.


Auto Zone Option
1) Gloss-Shaft is "polished", housing is glossy black...and there is a little blue warning sticker that actually nearly "matches" the FORD Blue on my motor.
2) Hyper-extending...excellent point. I had a helper (my Wife) hold the hatch and move it quite slowly while I watched the interference and only opened it until it lined up with the holes in the gas strut.

BE CAREFUL!
Tom
Autozone # 95004
Shock is Gloss Black, holds the decklid in any posistion, sturdy, etc. See the next 2 posts for the close-ups of the aluminum bushings Steve turned for the exact fit. Some type of standard spacer could probably be found(?).

Dave # 3463

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quote:
Originally posted by larryw:
That's the consensus. Piston down will keep dust from landing on the seal area and getting dragged into the strut when you close the lid (compress the piston).

Agreed...water/rain, dust, etc...
I just like the "reciever" being fixed in place.
And Many of these cars do not see that much inclement conditions!
Thanks Tom for the gloss autozone 95004, they look nice. I will need to check those puppies out. The Detomoso ones that Wilkinson and most sell are pretty stiff, although they say no one ever had problems with them. If I go with the autozone and get those detomoso off, I will get da wifes bathroom scale out and measure the pressure of deto and autozone by using the scale on my 4 post lift to compress them.
quote:
Originally posted by DOES 200:
Thanks Tom for the gloss autozone 95004, they look nice. If I go with the autozone and get those detomoso off, I will get da wifes bathroom scale out and measure the pressure of deto and autozone by using the scale on my 4 post lift to compress them.


I could NOT compress the Auto Zone by hand (weight) but the rear deck SEEMS nicely balanced (1973 with the small "Ferrari 308 spoiler"). When I removed my worn original styruts, I could compress them using my weight...~183 pounds
quote:
Originally posted by DOES 200:
quote:
Originally posted by TomCat:
Mighty-Lift D95004

Thanks TomCat, you are great. I will try and get me some.

I'm just trying to pay back ALL the help I get from you guys!
Let me know WHEN you get them ($14.95) and put them on.
Here we go again!

I have the NAPA deck shocks, installed this spring because of a failure of the OEM shocks.

I have been concerned with the pressure required to close the deck. The pistons are pointing down. The shock pressure increases as the closing of the deck gets closer to the latch. I also have an issue with the deck lid not fully opening, by about an inch. I believe it is due to the "slop" created by the oblong mounting holes, both ends. I even fabricated spacers to try to solve the issue. Though I am concerned mostly about the pressure.

I contacted Wilkinson. Bill was very nice and explained the NAPA shocks create the most pressure in the closed position. He said they have seen numerous deck lids damaged (bent) and deck lid hinges and pins warped with these shocks due the pressure exerted by the NAPA (Belcamp & Omni shocks). The shock (NAPA style)pressure is maxed in the closed position, exerting a constant amount of pressure on the deck lid.

Bill advised their replacemnt shock has the correct pressure and it is maxed in the open position. He also said he it will not make any difference on the NAPA shocks to have the piston up or down, same pressure.

Bill said a new deck lid is $5,400.00 !

I do not see any reason to screw around trying to save $45-50 and risk damage. I don't believe he would set any sales records for a pair of shocks costing about $90.00. I felt his advice was sincere. His also comes with the hardware.

We all like to save money but the possible consequences do not seem to be worth the risk. I will let you know how they work after installation.

IndyDave
quote:
Bill advised their replacemnt shock has the correct pressure and it is maxed in the open position. He also said he it will not make any difference on the NAPA shocks to have the piston up or down, same pressure.



While I would not disagree that the vendors have likely done their homework/trials to come up with the correct pressure shock, I fail to see how a gas shock that is designed to hold the decklid open can be at max pressure in it's extended form. As the piston is forced back in the shock the gas will be under higher pressure i.e. in the closed position. Using the same deckild/body mounting points (bending moments) then nothing much has changed other than you have a gas strut that a vendor is standing behind to be of corrrect pressure for your application.

Did they ask you if you had a wing or fiberglass/CF decklid? All of these factors would affect the recommended pressure shock to use.
Bill advised their replacemnt shock has the correct pressure and it is maxed in the open position. He also said he it will not make any difference on the NAPA shocks to have the piston up or down, same pressure.

The aim of mounting the shock with the piston down is to maintain the shock's seal in good condition. He correctly stated that it will have no effect on the pressure.
Interesting perspectives. The other week I ended up purchasing the Mighty-Lift D95004 that I show in my posts above (maybe same as NAPA?). I purchased these because I felt the Wilkenson style (Detomoso) struts felt pretty stiff. However, I admit the Detomaso ones are more stiff with the hood open and real soft in the spot to latch the hood when shut (I thought maybe that was just due to hood leverage, but maybe not). I asked Wilkenson about those Detomaso struts about a year ago, and he said he has never had any problem with those Detomaso struts damaging any hood. So, I may end up leaving the Detomaso on the car in the end, now that I see these posts. Looking at both struts however, the Detomaso are larger diameter though, so I was assuming stronger.

In regards to car with wing or not, I don't think it should make any difference, since the same strut pressure is on the hood when you are closing the hood with our without wing (without wing you just need more hand pressure on the hood). Wilkinson only sells the one same set strength Detomaso for wing or no wing.

Maybe someday someone will measure some of these strut options on a scale and report back the extended and contracted pressures. If I had mine out of the car I could measure them with my 4 post lift to contract them and a bathroom scale.
For what its worth, you can actually check what you've got in terms of upward pressure. Take a deck-shock off, set it up in a press with a bathroom scales under the shock. If when you press the extended shaft down an inch and the pressure is over 110lbs, your decklid and hinges are at risk of bending. Most of the vendors will not sell a shock with over 110 lbs of pressure- and remember you got two of those suckers! My vendor-shocks for non-winged cars are 70 lbs each. For those with big heavy wings on their decklids, no deck-shocks will reliably hold it open. I like one vendor's slotted tube that is as long as the extended shock shaft, fits around the shaft, touches the deck on one end & the shock body on the other, so acts like a prop, without having to carry a mop handle around. Only one is needed. And it fits in the glove box when you're moving.
quote:
I like one vendor's slotted tube that is as long as the extended shock shaft, fits around the shaft, touches the deck on one end & the shock body on the other, so acts like a prop, without having to carry a mop handle around. Only one is needed. And it fits in the glove box when you're moving.

I made mine out of PVC tubing. I just ground a slot in it to fit snugly over the shock shaft.
Jeff
This post made me do some research. I have kept track of every single part I have replaced - and I have replaced most of this car over the past 20 years.

I could not find a single notation of decklid struts. I looked at old pics of the car from when I first got it all the way up to the latest pics from last week. And yup, they are same old original struts in every pic.

In 20 years they have never failed. Not once. Even with a big delta wing, it opens with simple push of the button and effortlessly pops open almost by itself. And it stay like that as long as I leave it, sometimes for days.

Closing it is also a snap. It glides closed with a very light pressure and clicks shut.

I don't even know what kind of struts they are. Are these magical Detomaso struts? Am I just lucky? Or what?
Well, here is the first measurement on a brand, if anyone wants to add more brands. I measured one strut using my 4 post lift as a press with a scale under it.

Mighty-Lift D95004:
1" compressed = 96 lb
4" compressed = 105 lb
6" combressed = 108 lb

I did not put the Mighty-Lift on my car yet. I still have the Detomaso sold by many on my car, below is a link to the one from Wilkenson. I would be real interested in the pressure of these Detomaso struts.
http://www.panterapartsusa.com...l.cgi?prod_id=18126A


To continue with this post by adding more pressure measurements of other struts, I just measured the Detomaso 18126A brand from Wilkinson and here are the pressure specs:

1/2 to 1" compressed = 120 lb (this is what it took to make it start to compress).
2" to full compression gradually increased from the 120 to 160 near full compression.

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