Sticky #2: Rear Deck Lid (Bonnet) Struts

FWIW, most Pantera vendors will not sell decklid shocks that compress with over 110 psi pressure, and even those are only for the heaviest wings. If your car needs more than a 110 lb shock (x 2), use the old reliable broomstick 'cause you really don't want to know what a bent roofline will cost to fix! The relatively cheap decklid is not what bends.... And the lower attach brackets are very difficult to repair with the engine and ZF installed.
quote:
Originally posted by Bosswrench:
FWIW, most Pantera vendors will not sell decklid shocks that compress with over 110 psi pressure, and even those are only for the heaviest wings. If your car needs more than a 110 lb shock (x 2), use the old reliable broomstick 'cause you really don't want to know what a bent roofline will cost to fix! The relatively cheap decklid is not what bends.... And the lower attach brackets are very difficult to repair with the engine and ZF installed.

Ha ha, that's a good one, when the vendors don't even know the pressures when you ask. I only find out when measuring them myself. I like the autozone Mighty-Lift D95004 pressure being under 110, but they don't seem to last too long maybe they are not meant for engine heat.
So what's wrong with just cutting a piece of PVC pipe to fit and using it as a stop on each side with the original shocks? I guess I've read the whole thread and have no idea which shocks to get now. I'm just as confused as when I started to read it. The opinions and experiences are all over the place.
For those with an Advance Auto in their neghborhood, the correct Decklid Struts for a non-winged car are StrongArm #4490

I originally purchased a strut from Strongarm that was cross referenced from another brand recommended on the Forum. It was way to strong for a non winged car. I simply called the company (Strong Arm)and spoke with their tech rep. He had a listing of all their strut's pressure, extended lengths and mounting methods. We walked through the alternatives and found the correct application.
quote:
Originally posted by Corey Price:
So what's wrong with just cutting a piece of PVC pipe to fit and using it as a stop on each side with the original shocks? I guess I've read the whole thread and have no idea which shocks to get now. I'm just as confused as when I started to read it. The opinions and experiences are all over the place.

Ha ha Corey, this is what it is about when non-stock items are no longer avaliable, hunt and pick, trial and error. PCV vs Wood Stick, hum...I prefer wood. I wouldn't mind getting the autozone mighty-lift again, but since they don't seem to last, I found it somewhat risky changing these all the time as the brackets tend to bend somewhat on the car when taking out the bolts even if I support the hood real well...ouch!

To me, it seems like the Mighty-Lift and Strong Arm are probably the same manufacturer, but different label. See links below, exactly same specs. At least I see autozone now lists the pressure (80lb), damn first time anyone has listed the pressure rating. Although when I measured mine in a press I got:
Mighty-Lift D95004:
1" compressed = 96 lb
4" compressed = 105 lb
6" combressed = 108 lb

Mighty Lift D95004:
http://www.autozone.com/autozo...?itemIdentifier=1029

StrongArm #4490:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.c...ncode=22-109751138-2

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Yes, when i installed my IPSCO setup ... I did not follow the 25" per instructions... I held the lid up to where i wanted it (and with IPSCO shock fully extended) then installed mount. It was not the 25 / 26" per instructions.. If needed i can measure my opening and my mounting points... Kit is really easy to work with. Depending on mounting points you can have any lid opening you want.....Maybe just can not be mounted less than 25" which most likely is the short mounting limit (shock would bottom out when closing). Mine is lower than when I had stock setup

Before drilling holes in your Pantera,THINK WITH YOUR HEAD, measure 10 times - drill once - COMMON SENCE SHOULD PREVAIL!

Dam thats a bad ass blue pantera - who's is that?

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Yes, It appears that you are correct about the struts being the same as their specs are identical. Although, the Strong Arm does seem to have the advantage of being .007lbs lighter. :^)

I'll let everyone know should the Strong Arm struts fail over time. So far, so good.
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So what's wrong with just cutting a piece of PVC pipe to fit and using it as a stop on each side with the original shocks?


That is basically what I did... I installed the Autozone shocks on my car and noticed the Carbon fiber was warping under the constant closed pressure.

So, I drilled small little holes at the bottom of each shock to let all the pressure out.

I have tiny little clips that I snap into place when I open the hood. I drilled a small hole through the shaft that I put a pin through to hold the hood open. Zero pressure and doesn't look so low tech as a broom handle...
quote:
Originally posted by Z06 Pantera:
quote:
So what's wrong with just cutting a piece of PVC pipe to fit and using it as a stop on each side with the original shocks?


That is basically what I did... I installed the Autozone shocks on my car and noticed the Carbon fiber was warping under the constant closed pressure.

So, I drilled small little holes at the bottom of each shock to let all the pressure out.

I have tiny little clips that I snap into place when I open the hood. I drilled a small hole through the shaft that I put a pin through to hold the hood open. Zero pressure and doesn't look so low tech as a broom handle...

Not a bad idea drilling the shaft and using a pin to insert and hold up the hood. I bet it was hard gettig through that shaft and getting it just right. O shock pressure on a carbon fiber hood would be easy to raise the hood, but the metal hoods are kind of hefty unless you are Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maybe on the metal hoods don't drill out the bottom to still have a little pressure to help, and keep that shaft hole small as metal hoods are pretty heavy.
I got a new set of the Mighty-Lift D95004 on the car. Damn, those are just the right pressure from any I have tried. However they just don't seem to retain the full pressure as time goes on. Last set lasted about 9 months. I wonder if the heat of the engine is somehow weakening them over time, maybe acting on the seals some how. I saw this label which made me think of that.

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I have been working with Autozone on the issue with their D95004 struts tending to fail over time. They contacted their vendor and I got some more specs on some of their other struts as noted below. I am thinking the D95060 may even be better since they are very similar, but have a little more pressure, and a little shorter but not by very much. See below (Sorry it is a little difficult to read as the web doesn't seem to post tables well, but read accross and you can follow it). That 106 pressure on the D95060 doesn't seem bad, considering the Detomaso shocks from vendors I measured 120 to begin the compression up to 160 fully compressed.

Part# Ext Comp Stroke Shaft Body Force
D95004 17.18 10.96 6.22 8 18 88
D95957 17.26 11.04 6.22 8 18 125
D95148 16.77 10.34 6.43 8 18 149
D95060 16.77 10.34 6.43 8 18 106
Been trying to work with Autozone, but apparently they do not follow through on their warranty for their parts, so I would be cautious about getting parts from them. They indicated the struts were not intended for use on the Pantera (as it is not listed), although I indicated whats the diff, all the strut does is go up and down no matter what it is hooked to...go figure.
Mr. 200, try mounting your deck shocks upside down. This puts the seal at the bottom and although your experience indicates the seals are below par, this might help extend their life a little. We used to do this with stock deck shocks for a different reason: the big stockers had a loose fitting boot on top along with a lip that tended to collect rainwater under the boot, which then rusted the shock top. If the big stockers can be mounted upside down, surely the small aftermarket shocks will fit.
quote:
Originally posted by Bosswrench:
Mr. 200, try mounting your deck shocks upside down. This puts the seal at the bottom and although your experience indicates the seals are below par, this might help extend their life a little. We used to do this with stock deck shocks for a different reason: the big stockers had a loose fitting boot on top along with a lip that tended to collect rainwater under the boot, which then rusted the shock top. If the big stockers can be mounted upside down, surely the small aftermarket shocks will fit.

My car doesn't see rain so I am not sure if that would change things fitting them the other way. But I was wondering if heat was ruining them, as on the package it says avoid heat. So when just tooling around town I put on a heat wrap tube and so I will see how this works over time. I recall these used to get real hot without the wrap, so I will see what happens.
Just bought a pair of Autozone Mighty Lift struts - p/n D95060. Lasted exactly one week. They held just fine at install. closed the decklid. Came back yesterday, they can't hold crap. So much for that idea - they are going back on Monday. Autozone is crap.

Ordered a set of Sachs from PepBoys - will try those.
quote:
Originally posted by Panterapatt:
Just bought a pair of Autozone Mighty Lift struts - p/n D95060. Lasted exactly one week. They held just fine at install. closed the decklid. Came back yesterday, they can't hold crap. So much for that idea - they are going back on Monday. Autozone is crap.

Ordered a set of Sachs from PepBoys - will try those.

That sucks, especially since their chart shows the D95060 to be stronger than the D95004 which I have. Mine are still holding up fine. If you get a chance, maybe test the pressure if you have a jack or car lift (something with force to compress them on a scale...I used a bathroom scale under my car lift).
Took the "mighty-lifts" back to autozone and got a refund. bought a set of Sachs 003's. Holding so far, but not as strong as I would like. When Kragen was still in business, their Dorman brand made a good lift strut with life time warranty. Too bad. Jury is out on the Sachs. Will keep all updated.
I've had mine for at least 15 years. They lift up the rear deck (with delta wing) with no effort from me at all. And it stays up. I can leave it open all day in the sun. They haven't lost anything in all these years. There's no brand name on them but I snapped this. I highly recommend them if you can figure out who's they are. I can't find any reference for that PN.

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quote:
Originally posted by Panterapatt:
Took the "mighty-lifts" back to autozone and got a refund. bought a set of Sachs 003's. Holding so far, but not as strong as I would like. When Kragen was still in business, their Dorman brand made a good lift strut with life time warranty. Too bad. Jury is out on the Sachs. Will keep all updated.

Dude, before you put them on the car did you measure the pressure on the Sachs? I found 106 on the Autozone Mighty-Lift D95004 when I put them on my car, and that was for sure the sweet spot. Much more than that I understand isn't good, I even saw one car where the struts bent the roof in some strange manner.
Most of the verified Pantera parts vendors WILL NOT sell struts that measure over 100 lbs due to the likelihood of warping the roof where the hinges bolt on. If your decklid needs more than 100 lbs from each strut, use a strut-lock on one rod rather than a lift that can wreck the body. FWIW, the roof area is probably the least easy area to fix of the whole car- by anyone.
Pantera-Pat, the stock struts had a boot and a raised portion of the strut. The boot was loose-fitting and water ran down the rod under the boot & collected at the raised part. Then it rusted. So, many old-timers started installing stock struts upside-down to preserve the strut seals. With the Chinese gas struts used nowadays and their more rounded seal ends, there's no particular advantage to mounting upside-down but the early mount is widely copied anyway. FWIW, the rod end unscrews on most, if you have blade-type (Hall) ends and need heim-joint ends.
I don't get it.

We all like to save money but the possible consequences do not seem to be worth the risk; warped decks and damaged roofs, as Jack stated, among others. I was also one of you guys experimenting UNTIL I found out about the damage the NAPA, Belkamp, Autozone, etc, shocks could cause. I'm sure I spent way more than the $90 cost from one of our suppliers. Buy the $90 shocks from one of our suppliers and have some piece of mind and save the possible repair dollars. Go price a deck lid before you experiment!

Just my opinion.
Do the vendor struts come with certifications, load reports and ISO certifications that they are guaranteed to be precisely at some calculated load rating based on solid modeling and 3-d analysis that won't deflect the myriad of pantera decks out there. come on now guys. the vendors did the same thing - they experimented until they found something that worked and sell it for $90.

No reputable vendor will never sell a strut that exceeds 100 lbs.? yea, am sure they are load testing each unit.
IndyDave, I agree totally that cost should not be an issue; however the only reason I switched to find non-detomoso labeled struts is because the pressure on them just seemed too much to me. So when I took my new Detomaso 18126A brand off of my car and measured them, these are the pressures I discovered as noted below. Anyone else can try it too, for verification, but that is what I found, and then my Autozone Mighty-Lift D95004 were much less at 106 lbs (just right in my opinion). I am not saying the Detomaso 18126A will bend your hood or anything, but for me that pressure just seemed too strong.

Detomaso 18126A pressure: 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.
quote:
Originally posted by IndyDave:
Jan,
I will dig around & see what I can turn up from several of the suppliers, regarding compression. Let me know if you already have the information.
Dave

Good luck, usually they don't know the pressures, and a few vendors I asked wouldn't even tell what their pressures were, like a big secret. That is why I measured my Detomaso 18126A and others myself.
...Why hasn't one of US developed a Air Cylinder with a 'Schrader' Valve (Like on Your wheels) that would allow the User to Adjust (Raise or Lower) the Pressure (using a Compressor or just a Hand Pump)!? The 'Balance' could be set Perfectly to Ones Liking. With Wing...Without Wing. Steel Bonnet, Carbon Fiber! With the Accuracy of a Digital pressure Gauge the Pair could be Balanced Perfectly Left to Right! OR just Connect them together with a Thin line.
Does One believe that Two aftemarket Cylinders 'Off the Shelf', would come Perfectly Matched?
Also, Instead of Air, Use Nitrogen! The design would never 'Die'!! When they get weak...pump them up! Hot Climate/Cold Climate; REadjust!! A Small 'Mini' Gauge could be mounted on Each Strut(or just One) to help Moniter the 'Health' of Each Cylinder!
Or do 'I' have to do IT? They would NOT come Cheap!...
quote:
Originally posted by MARLIN JACK:
....
Or do 'I' have to do IT? They would NOT come Cheap!...

That would be one way .. but complicated. Not to sound like a pimp for the IPSCO setup, but the engineering elegantly solves the inherent geometry problem with the original design. Love the Italians, but A^2+B^2=C^2 was not in their vocabulary.
...I thought We decided on the Correct Orientation of the Strut a Long Time Ago!!
The Rod Goes DOWN, so the Piston and Seals Stay Covered with the Lubricating Oil!! And YES! It IS The Heat that Makes Them Fail; as well as the 'Reservoir' being on the Bottom. With NO Lubrication the Piston Seals Dry out, can't Slide smoothly, they tear...NO more Pressure! There's No Mystery Here! And there's always the Heat! Even the Most Expensive Cylinders can Only Handle 140 Dgrees F! How hot do these Struts get? What is the temp Radiating off the Heads and Headers in the Vecinity of these Struts? 250F, 300F Higher?

I just finished Researching what I would need to produce a Custom, Fully Adjustable 'Air Strut', Specifically for the Pantera, and Only the Pantera! They are Perfectly 'Doable', But I would have to get $200. Each for them. And then they could only handle 140F Max.
I could Machine and build them from scratch, but the Piston 'Seal' would be 'Iffy'! and the cost would be Astronomical! Over the Cheaper Struts, there would never be a Market for Them!

My Advice is, if You mount them with the Rod Up, Expect them to Fail a Lot Sooner!! And even With the Rod Down, Sooner or Later, the Heat WILL Kill them! I suppose one could wrap a 'Ice-Pack' around them; or Install AC Onto them!LOL

Well, just use a Broomstick for a Hood-Prop and stop throwing Money away on Taiwanese Junk!LOL...
quote:
Originally posted by MARLIN JACK:
...I thought We decided on the Correct Orientation of the Strut a Long Time Ago!!
The Rod Goes DOWN, so the Piston and Seals Stay Covered with the Lubricating Oil!! And YES! It IS The Heat that Makes Them Fail; as well as the 'Reservoir' being on the Bottom. With NO Lubrication the Piston Seals Dry out, can't Slide smoothly, they tear...NO more Pressure! There's No Mystery Here! And there's always the Heat! Even the Most Expensive Cylinders can Only Handle 140 Dgrees F! How hot do these Struts get? What is the temp Radiating off the Heads and Headers in the Vecinity of these Struts? 250F, 300F Higher?

I just finished Researching what I would need to produce a Custom, Fully Adjustable 'Air Strut', Specifically for the Pantera, and Only the Pantera! They are Perfectly 'Doable', But I would have to get $200. Each for them. And then they could only handle 140F Max.
I could Machine and build them from scratch, but the Piston 'Seal' would be 'Iffy'! and the cost would be Astronomical! Over the Cheaper Struts, there would never be a Market for Them!

My Advice is, if You mount them with the Rod Up, Expect them to Fail a Lot Sooner!! And even With the Rod Down, Sooner or Later, the Heat WILL Kill them! I suppose one could wrap a 'Ice-Pack' around them; or Install AC Onto them!LOL

Well, just use a Broomstick for a Hood-Prop and stop throwing Money away on Taiwanese Junk!LOL...

I figured maybe the heat is what was doing in my Autozone struts early. I did get some heat tubing wrap from Racing Sumit, which looks ok but I usually just slip them off at shows. Next time they fail I will put in the struts rod down, but so far with that heat wrap things seem to be ok.
quote:
Originally posted by Dave2811:
quote:
Originally posted by MARLIN JACK:
....
Or do 'I' have to do IT? They would NOT come Cheap!...

That would be one way .. but complicated. Not to sound like a pimp for the IPSCO setup, but the engineering elegantly solves the inherent geometry problem with the original design. Love the Italians, but A^2+B^2=C^2 was not in their vocabulary.

The IPSCO system completely eliminates the problem with too much shock pressure and possible damage bending the decklid or hinges. There is no up ward force on the decklid or hinges at all when its closed. It all pushes straight back. I have a wing on my car and it raises nicely. Plus when its Going up at the end it slows down so it won't jar the decklid. I'm sold on the system.

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Well, my Autozone Mighty-Lift D95004 finally got weaker just over a year after install. Plus as I mentioned above, I heat wrapped them to protect them from engine heat. It still let a little heat onto them, but sure cut it down quite a bit. They have been a little weak in the CA winter (with CA temps around 50-60 during the day), but now that we are experiencing warmer weather, it seems they are still weak. So, I thought I would just report back that my heat wrap experiment didn't quite work in keeping them strong. So now I just use the clamp-on devise onto one of the struts to keep it up. I may actually go back to the Detomaso 18126A that the vendors are selling, eventhough the pressure I tested seemed high as noted below. But if no one has issues with them being too strong, then what the hey, strap em on.

Detomaso 18126A pressure: 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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