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The Handy Hood Lift Strut/Support Replacement

 
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  • 5 Post By Handy_Cruiser
  • 2 Post By Carnut
  • 3 Post By Moparman440

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Old 17 Dec 2016, 04:37 pm
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Wink The Handy Hood Lift Strut/Support Replacement

A while back at bought a used Clark & Clark hood lift strut kit for my little toy PT Convertible Super Bee. I got this kit from forum member, Moparman440. And he told me before I bought it that the original lift struts with the kit were weak. So I knew I'd need to replace them. A new set from Clark & Clark was going to be $46.00 USD including shipping. I decided to see if I could find a cheaper option. Specs on the lift struts are as follows:

* Extended Length: 15.25" (center to center of ball socket ends)
* Compressed Length: 9.5"
* Force: 40-60 pounds of pressure per strut (according to measurements by NitroPT)
* End Fittings: 10mm metal ball socket

Based on these specs, I purchased a pair of new 60 lb. lift struts on Amazon from seller, "BDS Wholesale". The part number is GS-000324. Cost for the pair was $22.99 plus $4.99 shipping. I ordered them on December 10th and received them on December 16th.




Based on the photos and description, I knew these new struts would have nylon ball sockets rather than steel. When I received them I also found they had larger cylinders and rams. Except for the nylon sockets, they appeared beefier than the originals.




The original strut cylinders were 15.15 mm and the new ones were 18.12 mm.






And right off the bat, I knew I had a problem. The nylon socket heads were substantially larger than the original steel socket heads.





On the lower mounting brackets, this was going to be a clearance problem. The nylon socket head was going to hit the base side of the mounting bracket and would bind when the strut moved perpendicular as it extended.






I considered several options to solve this problem. First I thought I might just installed the steel socket heads on the new lift struts. But I found that the threads were larger on the new lift strut rams.




I also considered drilling and threading the steel socket heads with bigger threads. And I considered using a tap to re-thread the rams with smaller threads. Both of these options would have involved lots of work and I risked damaging either socket head and/or the lift strut in the process. I could have also purchased new steel socket heads with bigger threads for about $4 each plus shipping. But that would have taken time and addition money.




I found that the easiest, quickest and most cost effective answer was to simply reshape the nylon socket heads so they would clear to the base side of the lower mounting brackets. This only took a few minutes on a bench grinder and cleanup with emery cloth. It even looks pretty good as well.




After reshaping the two nylon socket heads on the bottom of each lift strut, clearance was just fine.




With this socket head clearance issue solved, I then cleaned up the brackets and used a little synthetic grease on the socket balls for lubrication.





And then they were ready to go on my PT. It should be noted that since the lift strut cylinders were bigger around, I could not reuse the stainless steel sleeves that were on the original lift struts.




As with a new set, this lift strut kit was easy to install. It's not completely intuitive which way the upper brackets mount. So I referenced some installation instructions available on the Clark & Clark website.




These look pretty good on my PT and work perfectly. And 60 lbs. per strut seems to be just right. But overall, I'm not sure that saving $20 on these was worth it since some modification was required. And since my set has the stainless strut covers, it would have been nice to have been able to use them. However, it may be good to know there is an alternative should Clark & Clark eventually quit offering replacement struts. So in the end, it was a worthwhile experiment. And best of all, I now have some nice hood lift struts on my PT.

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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 18 Dec 2016 at 10:53 am.
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Old 17 Dec 2016, 05:00 pm
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Default Re: The Handy Hood Lift Strut/Support Replacement

just curious as i'll likely never own these... could you have just bolted the pivot ball right to the pinchweld and eliminated the lower bracket? just seems weird to me that it's straight on curved and the nyloc just kinda sits behind it.

politely..

"snobbie robbie"


^sometimes i know it sounds "like that" and it's either don't ask, or ask and add proper signature
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Old 17 Dec 2016, 07:59 pm
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Default Re: The Handy Hood Lift Strut/Support Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob302 View Post
just curious as i'll likely never own these... could you have just bolted the pivot ball right to the pinchweld and eliminated the lower bracket? just seems weird to me that it's straight on curved and the nyloc just kinda sits behind it.

politely..

"snobbie robbie"


^sometimes i know it sounds "like that" and it's either don't ask, or ask and add proper signature
That's actually a great question. As I've said before Rob, I think you are one smart cooky and you often think of stuff the rest of us with less brain power don't even consider.

Before I paid $100 for the new hood strut kit I installed on my GT, I searched the web for other options. I believe it was on the SRT4 or Sebring forum that I found a How-To to make your own. And if I remember right, it did involved just mounting the ball studs directly to the chassis. But it still involved fabricating a bracket for the top. For a PT, adapting that idea wasn't going to save enough money to justify the time to do the fabrication. Plus, I didn't have any original lift struts at the time, so I didn't know the specs. That's one of the reasons for this thread. Folks can now have those specs for replacement struts or to make their own kit.

As far as the lower bracket on the store-bought kit, I figure Clark & Clark designed their kit so it was just "plug and play". To me, its the top bracket that looks kind of odd. But hey, installation only involves removal of two 10 mm bolts and two 13 mm nuts. Installation of the Clark & Clark kit is really just a ten minute job.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 17 Dec 2016 at 08:03 pm.
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Old 18 Dec 2016, 04:46 am
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Default Re: The Handy Hood Lift Strut/Support Replacement

Heh, heh, would have been nice to have a link to the struts on amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Spring-extend...ords=GS-000324
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Old 19 Dec 2016, 09:21 pm
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Default Re: The Handy Hood Lift Strut/Support Replacement

Glad you are enjoying the hood lift kit, Handy! I enjoyed the spoiler and chrome shift bezel that I bought from you.

But it seems like you could have saved a bunch of trouble by just sharing some of your Viagra with those old, worn-out struts!
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