The Story:

The majority of modern cars come with gas actuated hood props or struts. It’s a great feature that makes working on a car much simpler. The downside of course is that if the prop begins to fail, you’ll have to replace it to avoid the hood dropping on top of you. While most cars will bring two smaller props, one for each side, the Crossfire comes with one giant strut (StrongArm 6189 Chrysler Crossfire, Hatch Lift Support, Pack of 1). It is truly immense. My nephew’s Crossfire, which he only somewhat cares for, had a failing hood strut for a number of months. So before it came down and cracked us on the head, we ordered up a new unit and changed it.

The Fix:

If you have any mechanical competence at all you should be able to replace a hood strut. The main thing to remember with a Crossfire is to either have two people, or rig a solid prop so the hood can remain open. The strut on the Crossfire is held on with two clips. Unlike most gas struts which have two built-in clips that must be pried open, the Crossfire has one built-in clip and another that is completely removable.

Starting with the hood mount, the clip with have a small latching portion that jambs against the mounting point. The mount has a small flange where the clip slides through, almost like a c-clip. Using a small flathead screwdriver you can pry the retaining latch portion up, allowing you to slide the clip completely off. Once the clip is removed the strut can be removed freely.

The engine side mount clip on the strut is of a more traditional design. You’ll have to use a small flathead screwdriver or pry tool and pop the pressure clip up. Once the clip is popped up, it’s just a matter of pulling the strut off the mounting ball. If you encounter too much resistance in releasing the strut, I like to rotate the entire strut using the edge of the mounting cup to force it off the mounting ball.

With the old strut completely removed, installation of the new one is even simpler. The lower portion of the strut will already have the pressure clip built-in. While you might have to release the clip a little to release some tension, the design allows you to just press the new strut in. As an fyi, I like to add a dab of grease to the mounting cup before installation. This not only helps it go in easier, it also allows it to swivel more freely. The top portion goes in exactly as it was removed. Just slot the strut over the mounting point and insert the clip by prying up the retaining latch.

The Result:

That’s it. Now you’ll have a sturdy strut that will confidently hold your hood open for years to come.

Rating this little endeavor:

  • Anyone can do it!
  • You’re in too deep! Seek help!

Clearly a: “Anyone can do it!”. It truly doesn’t get any easier than this. Just remember to have two people on hand, or something sturdy to prop up the hood while the strut is removed.

Useful Parts & Tools to Help you with this DIY Project:

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