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    Default It's gas strut time!

    After 18 years my 2000 C5 needs new struts to hold the waterfall cover open when putting the top up and down. They don't look like much fun to change out. The trunk lid struts are out in the open but the top cover needs work from underneath. Step one is to remove the black plastic covers over the struts. I am afraid I will break them if I pull to hard. Is there a trick to get them off without damaging them?
    Thanks in advance, Dangerous Dan
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    Member LLC5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerous Dan View Post
    After 18 years my 2000 C5 needs new struts to hold the waterfall cover open when putting the top up and down. They don't look like much fun to change out. The trunk lid struts are out in the open but the top cover needs work from underneath. Step one is to remove the black plastic covers over the struts. I am afraid I will break them if I pull to hard. Is there a trick to get them off without damaging them?
    Thanks in advance, Dangerous Dan


    It's easy if you climb into the cargo area, they just clip off and on. I used a small screw driver and angled pick to pull off the metal spring clips to remove them. Just push them on to reinstall. Only use OEM struts or you will find that when the waterfall is all the way open the top will touch/brush the cover going up and down which will eventually wear the fabric. I went through 3 different a-mkt struts that all did the same thing. I finally measured my old OEM's and they were 1/8-1/4" longer in the body of the strut than the a-mkt. Installed new OEM's (measured them before installing), and all is good now.
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    Default A little late for your tips !!!

    I already bought the struts from Rock Auto. They are Strongarm part number 4065. The Rock catalog says they can be used on either the trunk lid or the waterfall cover. Strongarm tech says the 4065's are only for the waterfall application and the trunk needs their part number 4066. I noticed the difference in length and called. There is about 1 inch difference in the two applications. The trunk lid needs the longer ones.
    Thanks for the help, I will post my results.
    Dangerous Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerous Dan View Post
    I already bought the struts from Rock Auto. They are Strongarm part number 4065. The Rock catalog says they can be used on either the trunk lid or the waterfall cover. Strongarm tech says the 4065's are only for the waterfall application and the trunk needs their part number 4066. I noticed the difference in length and called. There is about 1 inch difference in the two applications. The trunk lid needs the longer ones.
    Thanks for the help, I will post my results.
    Dangerous Dan

    When you get the correct aftermarket part, take off just 1 OEM strut and measure it against the aftermarket to the closest 1/16". Check the length of the strut body. If you install the aftermarket struts, open the folded top slowly and see if it hits the tonneau cover while going up and down.
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    As soon as we have a day that isn't 90 plus, I will do the job. Thanks again for the help.
    Dangerous Dan

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    When you get to the task of swapping out the struts, you might want to consult this thread for a how-to procedure:

    C5 Vert Tonneau Cover Gas Strut replacement - CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion

    I recently had to do the same replacement and ended up using the Stabilus struts recommended in the thread (also purchased through RockAuto); top clearance seems to be fine.

    If your struts are as weak as mine were, it helps if you have an extra hand to hold the tonneau cover up while you're swapping out the struts, one at a time. Changing the tonneau cover struts is definitely not as straight-forward as doing the trunk struts, but not too hard; getting the the old ones off is harder than putting the new ones on, since they just snap onto the post... As "LLC5" suggests, getting inside the trunk will make it a bit easier. Take care not to put a lot of weight on the bin covers, in particular, the large center one. The bin cover is reinforced with an aluminum frame, but may not take your full weight if you just stand on it. I just laid down across the cargo floor to do one strut, then laid across it the other direction to do the other.

    1998 Aztec Gold #15||| 2004 Millennium Yellow

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    Default Easy job, not as bad as I thought !

    I got the Tonneau cover struts swapped out in about 1/2 an hour. I didn't get in the trunk at all. I found it a lot easier to move the seats all the way forward, put the seat back down and crawl in head first from the front. I put a bungee cord around the top in it's vertical folded position and put a bungee on the Tonneau cover to apply tension to keep it open while changing struts. The thought of getting my 73 year old body curled up in the trunk with the lid closed didn't sound like a fun thing to do.
    The Strongarm 4065 part number is correct for the Tonneau application. the trunk struts are exactly 1 inch longer, Strongarm part 4066. I will do them soon as well.
    Thanks to everyone for the help!!!
    Dangerous Dan

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    Member LLC5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerous Dan View Post
    I got the Tonneau cover struts swapped out in about 1/2 an hour. I didn't get in the trunk at all. I found it a lot easier to move the seats all the way forward, put the seat back down and crawl in head first from the front. I put a bungee cord around the top in it's vertical folded position and put a bungee on the Tonneau cover to apply tension to keep it open while changing struts. The thought of getting my 73 year old body curled up in the trunk with the lid closed didn't sound like a fun thing to do.
    The Strongarm 4065 part number is correct for the Tonneau application. the trunk struts are exactly 1 inch longer, Strongarm part 4066. I will do them soon as well.
    Thanks to everyone for the help!!!
    Dangerous Dan

    No it's not fun, your way sounds good though.

    With the tonneau all the way up and left by it's own to stay up, does your top "tap" the tonneau when raising or lowering it? In other words do you have to manually pull up on the cover when raising/lowering the top to keep it from brushing it?
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    Default Is it open enough???

    Yes it is! It seems to be in exactly the same position as the original Stabilus brand OEM"S were. The drape that covers the Tonneau deck touches somewhat but it just passes by with no issues.
    Dangerous Dan

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    Default Time for the trunk now!

    I just ordered up the trunk struts. They are Strongarm part#4066. 7 dollars each on Rock Auto plus 5 bucks for post office shipping. Advance auto wanted 17$ each.

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    Default Time for the trunk now!

    Changing the trunk struts is a 10 minute job, very easy. With the new struts I don't have to struggle to get my fingers under the lid to open it. There is a 1 inch gap now.
    Dangerous Dan

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    hi,
    do you know the strength/force of each one? On my tired ones, I measure 10kg for the trunk and 5kg for the tonneau cover. I'd like to change them, but finding them in Europe (not imported from US) is a little tricky....unfortunately not as standard as it is for you....at least not referenced for Corvette.
    thank you in advance.
    TFCS

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    Quote Originally Posted by TCFS View Post
    hi,
    do you know the strength/force of each one? On my tired ones, I measure 10kg for the trunk and 5kg for the tonneau cover. I'd like to change them, but finding them in Europe (not imported from US) is a little tricky....unfortunately not as standard as it is for you....at least not referenced for Corvette.
    thank you in advance.
    TFCS
    If you can compress them by hand (even a little bit) they are done! My 2000 C5 had Stabilus lift struts, yours probably does too. I believe that is a German company. Any auto parts store should be able to either cross reference the part number on your struts, PS: they are not the same, don't mix them up. I used the Strongarm 4065 for the Tonneau cover and the 4066 for the trunk. The Sachs numbers are SG430019 and SG330114 respectively. (Also a German company)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerous Dan View Post
    If you can compress them by hand (even a little bit) they are done! My 2000 C5 had Stabilus lift struts, yours probably does too. I believe that is a German company. Any auto parts store should be able to either cross reference the part number on your struts, PS: they are not the same, don't mix them up. I used the Strongarm 4065 for the Tonneau cover and the 4066 for the trunk. The Sachs numbers are SG430019 and SG330114 respectively. (Also a German company)
    Thank you Dan. I wished it would be this simple . Matter of fact is that wherever I look, I still can't find the same model and/or dimensions...Even using the references you gave in this thread. I will continue to look for them. On-measure struts in 6mm shaft have a max effort of 40daN (~40kg).

    TCFS

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