Installing Tailgate Struts in 4 Easy Steps
Weak and tired tailgate struts will definitely make it harder to open or close a truck's tailgate properly, so it's best to have this component replaced as soon as possible. It's a good thing that taking out your truck's tailgate strut and replacing it with a brand new part is one of the simplest DIY jobs that you could do at home. It's a quick and simple job that you absolutely do not need to hire a mechanic and pay sky-high service fees. All you'll need would be a couple of basic tools and about an hour of your time to get the job done.
For the purposes of this guide, we'll be using a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. There may be specific differences in the installation procedure between different truck makes and models, but the basic idea should be the same.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
- Set of sockets
- Tailgate strut
- Small hammer
Preparing the tailgate
Begin by lifting the tailgate and placing a 5 to 6-foot length of board or any other similar material that'll be strong and rigid enough to support the tailgate. You'll need this since once you remove the support shocks, there'll be nothing to hold the tailgate up. Alternatively, you could ask someone to hold it up for you, although it'll be uncomfortable for the person after awhile if you aren't able to work fast enough.
Removing the support shocks
You'll notice that the caps lock the shocks in place onto a ball joint at the top and bottom of the shock. With the help of a flat head screwdriver, carefully remove the small cap from the bottom of both support shocks. Repeat the same procedure with the caps at the top. You'll then be able to remove the shocks or tailgate struts completely.
Fitting in new tailgate struts
Using a small hammer, gently tap the top end of the new tailgate strut into place. You should do this for both tailgate struts before you move to the bottom ends. The same procedure is done when fitting in the bottom portion of the struts. Remember to replace both the top and bottom caps before moving to the next step.
You can now remove the board that was holding up the tailgate. Test the tailgate struts a few times to make sure that they are working properly. Once you're satisfied, simply wrap up and you're done.