Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

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Fordoholic Nick
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Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Fordoholic Nick » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:50 pm

Hi Chaps,

Nothing too thrilling but one of those jobs I aint done before so thought I would pop up a very simple run through for anyone like me who aint done this. The struts I had fitted were on their last legs and had lost their "power". Very hit and miss whether they would hold up the tailgate...not very good, and not very safe :shock: Time to replace with ones that actually open and hold it there ! I got some aftermarket brand new struts from Martin at Capri Gear. He said these will fit fine but you just have to swap the end fixings.

new ones on bottom, old ones on top
Image20170106_153648 by nicholas bowler, on Flickr

to remove the old ones you have to prise out a locking tab then a gentle tap to release the strut from the tailgate "ball joint" fixing. Make sure the heated rear window connections are all removed first !
Image20170106_153730 by nicholas bowler, on Flickr

the struts I got from Martin had these end fittings held in place with a metal circlip...
Image20170106_154000 by nicholas bowler, on Flickr

circlip removed so can now unscrew the fitting
Image20170106_154024 by nicholas bowler, on Flickr

Image20170106_154045 by nicholas bowler, on Flickr

could now fit the old fitting onto the new strut. the threads were a bit fiddly and very tight, but with a bit of "fiddling" got them on nice and secure!
Image20170106_154419 by nicholas bowler, on Flickr

other end now
Image20170106_161130 by nicholas bowler, on Flickr

then fitted them back onto the tailgate. gentle tap to get them on the ball joint then tap the fixing tab back in, then reconnect the wiring connectors for the heated window
Image20170106_165407 by nicholas bowler, on Flickr

They work an absolute treat ! The ones I had before were terrible compared to these. With these new ones fitted I now only have to open the tailgate about a third/halfway for the struts to take over and lift it "automatically" ! Very happy how its turned out.

I shot a short video link to show how well they work, but it was getting late and don't think I fitted the parcel shelf support pole properly as its "creaking loudly" when it opens :lol: but you can see how the struts work well. I will pop down tomorrow to sort out the "sound effects" but most important is its so much better now and I can walk away from the Capri with the knowledge that a gust of wind wont blow it closed as happened previously ! Might need to grease the pole where it slots into the parcel shelf mounts. Apologies for the "off putting" sound...maybe turn to mute to play it please but now I mentioned the creaking I am sure you will all want to hear it now :lol: :lol:

Click on the picture to bring up the video link...

Image20170106_165529 by nicholas bowler, on Flickr

Anyhow chaps, as said not a major project but one of those jobs if you aint done before might be quite useful to know how to do it.

All the best

Nick

PS With the struts removed I did not realise how heavy the tailgate actually is !! :shock: These struts really do a great job of lifting and holding the tailgate when you realise the weight of it !
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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by andyd » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:08 pm

Nice fix Nick, simple but satisfying :D

Those tailgates are really heavy, mine tried to kill me once :roll: So I had the originals regassed and they were great afterwards.

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Fordoholic Nick » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:37 pm

andyd wrote:Nice fix Nick, simple but satisfying :D
Thanks Andy. I knew the old ones were on their way out but after seeing how good these new ones are I should have done it ages ago. Another job ticked off :)
andyd wrote:Those tailgates are really heavy, mine tried to kill me once :roll: So I had the originals regassed and they were great afterwards.
Andy its scary to think of that tailgate slamming down with no support from the struts ! Its bleedin some weight !! You must have had a close shave by the sound of it :shock: I had a bit of 2x1 cut to size in my boot so whenever I was doubtful I supported it with my "leg" especially if it was windy !! Now I have peace if mind :)

All the best

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by andyd » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:58 pm

Fordoholic Nick wrote:
Andy its scary to think of that tailgate slamming down with no support from the struts ! Its bleedin some weight !! You must have had a close shave by the sound of it :shock: I had a bit of 2x1 cut to size in my boot so whenever I was doubtful I supported it with my "leg" especially if it was windy !! Now I have peace if mind :)

All the best

Nick
When you think the tailgate is up and you lean over and it comes down and the latch catches you in the back :swear: :deadhorse: :swear: :kungfu: :swear: :twak: It went back up quicker than ever before after that :lol:

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Fordoholic Nick » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:58 pm

andyd wrote:When you think the tailgate is up and you lean over and it comes down and the latch catches you in the back
Jeepers Andy, that must have hurt fella...or is this an understatement old chap :lol: I am glad I replaced my struts now I heard this story !

Now I come to think of it you were a bit "nervous" to look into my boot at Beaulieu last year :lol:
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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Taff50ish » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:29 pm

Hi Nick,

Does this mean your putting away your 2" X 4" Tailgate Stop??? I always thought that was great watching you swing that around!!! :xd: :xd: :xd: Any how, great little tutorial you've put together there, I got some seconds from Martin, many Years ago now and they are still working a treat, but it is Great to know we can get NEW ones and fit them still, cheers for the Video too, looked quite close to the ceiling!!! :xd: :xd: :xd: All the best Nick, cheers,

John...

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Andrew 2.8i » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:36 pm

Hi Nick,
Great job! It's definitely worth doing, as you don't really notice how ineffective the old struts have got until you get them regassed or fit new ones.
I imagine you definitely don't want the tailgate to fall on you. Even the Capri bonnet is heavy enough to hurt, just ask my friend..... :whistle:

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Fordoholic Nick » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:40 pm

Taff50ish wrote:Does this mean your putting away your 2" X 4" Tailgate Stop??? I always thought that was great watching you swing that around!!! :xd: :xd: :xd:
:lol: Goodness Gracious John, of course not ! I will still have it a back up mate. I have got quite attached to my "2x1 support leg". I am thinking to paint it in Lacquer Red fella :lol:
Taff50ish wrote:great little tutorial you've put together there, I got some seconds from Martin, many Years ago now and they are still working a treat, but it is Great to know we can get NEW ones and fit them still, cheers for the Video too, looked quite close to the ceiling!!! :xd: :xd: :xd: All the best Nick, cheers,
Thanks very much John. I know its a pretty simple job to do but really worthwhile, and hopefully of some use to someone who is thinking to do it for the first time like me :wave: and just as you said mate its great to know Martin can supply these brand new aftermarket ones and they only need changing the end fittings to make them fit. I did have plenty of headroom in the garage John...honest ! I can see in the video it looks very close from that angle indeed :shock: :lol:

Thanks again John. I can open my tailgate at shows now without the 2x1 leg !

See you soon mate,

Nick
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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Fordoholic Nick » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:54 pm

Andrew 2.8i wrote:Great job! It's definitely worth doing, as you don't really notice how ineffective the old struts have got until you get them regassed or fit new ones
Cheers Andrew.

Mate its unbelievable the difference now ! I don't know what I been missing ! I got so used to "helping" the tailgate up then holding it till I was happy it was safe...ish having my 2x1 leg close to hand :lol: Now as shown in the video the gas struts do all the work for me and its 100% secure now. They are brilliant !
Andrew 2.8i wrote:I imagine you definitely don't want the tailgate to fall on you. Even the Capri bonnet is heavy enough to hurt, just ask my friend..... :whistle:
Jeepers Andrew, I hope your "friend" was not hurt too much ;) :whistle: The bonnet weighs a bleeding ton ! Very lucky escape for you....ermm sorry "him" !

Thanks again Andrew,

All the best

Nick
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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Andrew 2.8i » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:33 pm

Fordoholic Nick wrote:Jeepers Andrew, I hope your "friend" was not hurt too much ;) :whistle: The bonnet weighs a bleeding ton ! Very lucky escape for you....ermm sorry "him" !
Busted! :D
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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Stish704 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:17 pm

Mine have just started to give way so this is one project I'm going to have to do at some point!

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by andyd » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:52 pm

Stish704 wrote:Mine have just started to give way so this is one project I'm going to have to do at some point!
If you need them regassed, these guys are excellent http://www.sgs-engineering.com/gas-stru ... ng-service

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by pbar » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:43 pm

andyd wrote: If you need them regassed, these guys are excellent http://www.sgs-engineering.com/gas-stru ... ng-service
They also sell them from new -

http://www.sgs-engineering.com/car-boot ... ford/capri

Nick, your car always amazes me with how immaculate it looks in the pics, you must work very hard, looks great! And nice to see the jack photobombing also!

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Andrew 2.8i » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:07 pm

Hi,
Bear in mind that any non-original replacement struts need to be conductive, as they are part of the electrical circuit for the heated rear window.

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Caprifan Rob » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:31 am

Excellent tutorial Nick. Things like this are great, it's a lot easier to understand when you can visualise it than just an explanation. I'm amazed though you didn't manage to fit in any Halfords vinyl paint somewhere, your 'how to's' are not the same without it. ;)

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Fordoholic Nick » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:46 pm

pbar wrote:Nick, your car always amazes me with how immaculate it looks in the pics, you must work very hard, looks great! And nice to see the jack photobombing also!
Paul, thanks very much mate. Very kind of you :)

TBH Paul I am starting to notice the odd stone chip/mark here and there but nothing too serious in "the bigger picture", but as I am enjoying driving it through the winter so much this year I aint getting so stressed as I used to. I think B112 AAT is much happier being brought out for "walkies" a lot more this year, and I am loving it !!!

Funny thing Paul when I played back the video I noticed the Clarke Trolley Jack "in the shot" and wondered if you off all people would mention it...great spot :applaud:
Freelanderfan wrote:Excellent tutorial Nick. Things like this are great, it's a lot easier to understand when you can visualise it than just an explanation. I'm amazed though you didn't manage to fit in any Halfords vinyl paint somewhere, your 'how to's' are not the same without it. ;)
Thanks very much Rob, as said its a very worthwhile job to do if any of you guys think your gas struts are on the way out. Mine were way past "on the way out" so I was really chuffed how well they work...as they are supposed to :lol: I thought about re-gassing mine but as I believe them not to be original and they looked a bit tatty I thought might as well replace them with new ones form a very respected source "Capri Gear" !

All the best

Nick
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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Fordoholic Nick » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:01 pm

Andrew 2.8i wrote:Bear in mind that any non-original replacement struts need to be conductive, as they are part of the electrical circuit for the heated rear window.
Hi Andrew,

The aftermarket struts I got from Martin work a treat fella. Rear heated screen works fine, albeit a couple of dodgy strips but as I never use it I wont get too stressed...

Image2017-01-08_03-53-38 by nicholas bowler, on Flickr


The main thing is these struts are definitely conductive but hey getting these from Martin you always know you get the best available :D

Having seen a couple of faulty strips its another job to add to my "To Do" list, but that conductive paint stuff sounds just the job for this. Suppose I am lucky the rear heated window works at all as I only pushed the switch about 3 times since I owned the Laser :lol:

All the best

Nick
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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Andrew 2.8i » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:23 pm

Fordoholic Nick wrote: I only pushed the switch about 3 times since I owned the Laser :lol:
Hi Nick,
Looks like you've used the HRW more often than you've used the wipers! :D

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by pbar » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:13 am

Fordoholic Nick wrote:
TBH Paul I am starting to notice the odd stone chip/mark here and there but nothing too serious in "the bigger picture", but as I am enjoying driving it through the winter so much this year I aint getting so stressed as I used to. I think B112 AAT is much happier being brought out for "walkies" a lot more this year, and I am loving it !!!
Glad you are having fun and enjoyment driving your car all year round Nick :)

The new struts sold by SGS are listed as direct OEM replacement parts, so I assume they are like for like (and so conductive).

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Re: Tailgate Damper Struts Replacement

Post by Fordoholic Nick » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:07 am

pbar wrote:The new struts sold by SGS are listed as direct OEM replacement parts, so I assume they are like for like (and so conductive).
This is very good to know for anyone wanting to get some Paul. Nice one. You have "conducted" yourself well with this excellent heads up :)
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