Trunk lid won't stay up

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Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby theholycow » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:00 am

I bought new gas springs/lift supports/pressurized struts/whatever you want to call them but my trunk lid still doesn't stay up. It's stock, nothing added to make it heavy (except an OEM electric unlocker), and nothing is binding. I can't find any adjustment (no second holes to attach the struts to). It moves throughout its range smoothly but doesn't even try to stay up, if you let go it slams with only slight slowing from the struts.

Is there something I'm missing?

Maybe my struts are just defective?

Do I need to research and figure out some struts that are much stronger?
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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Postby rabidmadman » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:16 pm

Want me to take a picture of my trunk haha? Perhaps you're simply missing something...
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1989 9c1 Chevrolet Caprice || L05 || 159,200 mi

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1988 Chevy Caprice Classic || LG4 || Sold 9/25/2010 with 135, 558 mi

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Postby theholycow » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:46 pm

Turns out the new parts were bad. Rockauto sent two more...I installed one and it stays up. It's a little weak and occasionally doesn't stay up, but usually it does. Close enough.
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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Re: Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby hotwheelsboy28 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:37 pm

My trunk has been that way since i've owned it finally last year. I bought front and rear strong arm struts off ebay and no longer have to carry a prop stick in my car.
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Re: Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby theholycow » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:49 am

I need to mess with this again, or just buy new struts again from some other supplier. It just doesn't stay up half the time, seems most common on my steep driveway, and seems to stay up better on flat land.

I realized I could add a couple rubber bungee straps to pull on the arm near where the struts connect but, of course, they have no effect...there's a lot of leverage at work there. I really wish I could just find some appropriate coil springs to place over the struts like a miniature version of a suspension coilover/shock absorber configuration.
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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Re: Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby hotwheelsboy28 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:18 pm

theholycow wrote:I need to mess with this again, or just buy new struts again from some other supplier. It just doesn't stay up half the time, seems most common on my steep driveway, and seems to stay up better on flat land.

I realized I could add a couple rubber bungee straps to pull on the arm near where the struts connect but, of course, they have no effect...there's a lot of leverage at work there. I really wish I could just find some appropriate coil springs to place over the struts like a miniature version of a suspension coilover/shock absorber configuration.

May wanna look at atv shock/strut assembly but new probably more expensive than direct replacement struts.
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Re: Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby theholycow » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:40 pm

Update: I finally bit the bullet and spent the money on new struts from the store. I bought two Strong Arm F4002 at Advance Auto Parts. What a difference!

These may even be too strong, I'm afraid I'll eventually bend some part of the trunk hinge assembly. When I pop the trunk it opens right up, all the way, and if I want to close it I have to put some oomph into it. Now I can even strap things to the trunk lid, like my snow brush, that I don't want to get buried when I load stuff in the trunk. Heck, I could even store tools in the hollow portions if I wanted, I could put in a whole ratchet set and channel locks and a hammer and it'd still open on its own!
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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Re: Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby hotwheelsboy28 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:38 pm

Cool beans! I got my strong arms off ebay last year, love them. I can hit the power trunk button and it opens completely by it's self nice! Even had to put those little screws in the hood hinges (rear sides) made a huge difference actually have to push the hood to make it shut. A bit of advise never spray WD-40 on the struts, guess it eats up the o rings!I was so mad when i done it.
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Re: Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby theholycow » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:32 am

What are the little screws?

I would generalize that advice to: Never spray WD-40 on anything (except plain metal that you're trying to clean, maybe). WD-40 is a great lubricant...for a day until it evaporates (but leaves behind that icky smell). If you want a bicycle chain to rust, there's nothing that will make it happen faster than WD-40. I know it promises that it "Lubricates, Protects, Penetrates & Displaces Moisture", but it really doesn't do any of those things well and a few inexpensive other products used wisely will do each job much, much better.

AFAIK it's not necessary to treat these lift supports with anything at all, ever. If the silver parts get dirty or anything gets on them you should definitely wipe them thoroughly, I guess.
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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Re: Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby rabidmadman » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:09 am

I've never had this problem with either of my Caprices. Perhaps they used stronger struts in the latter part of the decade? I imagine it's safe to assume that there are virtually no differences between the trunk mechanism between the Buick and Chevy. I prefer that the trunk does not pop open all the way upon using the electric trunk release, so I hope nothing fails there. I've accidentally engaged the trunk release while driving, and it would be pretty bad for the trunk to pop open at 65 mph :p
Active:
1989 9c1 Chevrolet Caprice || L05 || 159,200 mi

Pseudo Retired:
1990 9c1 Chevrolet Caprice || L05 || 292,585 mi

Sold:
1988 Chevy Caprice Classic || LG4 || Sold 9/25/2010 with 135, 558 mi

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Re: Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby theholycow » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:43 pm

I think the problem was just a whole bunch of bad struts.

The new ones must be breaking in, it's not quite as self-lifting as before but still stays up strongly and requires a good amount of force to close.

I worry about accidental trunk release activation. I originally planned to put a safety cover over the switch like this:
Image

...but then I put in a compass/temp/Onstar mirror with a bunch of buttons that I'll never use for their original purpose. Some day I'll wire it up so two non-adjacent buttons on it must be pressed to pop the trunk.
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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Re: Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby hotwheelsboy28 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:25 pm

Well, as colder weather has set in my trunk lid doesn't open all the way right now, guess it has to be warmer for the fluid inside to expand enough for that to happen.
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Re: Trunk lid won't stay up

Postby theholycow » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:09 am

Yeah, I think break-in and cold weather have reduced the enthusiasm with which my new struts lift my trunk lid. It doesn't pop open hard and take real arm strength to close, but the most important thing is that it's definitely not anywhere near closing on my head, even with extra weight of a snow brush strapped to the lid and extra straps stored on it too.
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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