Rear hatch strut replacement - 1985
I purchased new rear hatch struts to replace the old, leaky ones on my 1985. I'm not sure how the old ones come off. Some folks say that there is a tab that has to be slid, but there seems to be nothing like it on mine; perhaps they changed design in later years. I don't want to just try prying them off with brute force for fear of breaking the glass. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
If your 1985 is like my 1988 or 1989, then on each end of the strut is a socket that fits over the ball joint which is mounted. If you look at the new struts, you will see the empty socket and a wide metal clip. The clip slides out away from the open end to either remove or install. No need to remove clip, just slide out. Push clip in to lock mounting ball joint in socket. I remembered needing a regular screwdriver, a needle nose pliers, and a 2x4 to hold up the hatch.
I'll have to have a look when I get home from work. I tried poking into the open end of the strut with a screwdriver while trying to pull it off without success when I tried it the other day. If I understand you correctly, I need to find a tool to push the bracket to the back of the inside of the strut which will release the strut from the ball. Am I on the right track?
The strut design may have changed between 1985 and 1988. I don't think that there is a clip in the back, but I'll have to look when I get home from work.
Rear hatch strut replacement - 1985
For anyone else who's interested, here's how I did it:
I ordered the Strongarm 4903 from Amazon. They fit perfectly. Here's how I replaced them - First, I opened the hatch and used an adjustable strap that I use to transport my kayak to hold it open. I wound the strap around a rafter in the garage, looped it through the Corvette rear hatch closure latch, and adjusted it so that the hatch was open to its maximum height. You DON'T want the hatch to fall as you're doing the strut replacement. It is heavy, could break the glass and/or your head! Next, if you have rear window defroster wires, use a needle nose plier to carefully remove the wire plugs from the old strut. Then I used a needle nose plier with a 45 degree curved end (cheap from Sears) to remove the strut from the hatch itself. I put the plier into the small space inside the top of the strut, compressed the little bushing inside, and the strut came off pretty easily. I was then able to easily twist the strut off the bottom mount in the car after the top of the strut was off. The new strut just popped into place.
I guess the procedure is easier on the newer Corvettes because they have a clip that you loosen to remove the old strut, but the 1985 (at least mine) did not have that.
The new struts pop the hatch right up like a new car. It's a 20 minute job and well worth the effort!
Thanks to you folks who responded and helped me out!
I took a picture of the inside of the strut so that you can see the bushing that holds it onto the post, as well as the curved needlenose plier that made it easy to remove. Hope this information helps somebody down the road!
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