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Old 04-16-2009, 10:40 AM   #1
Tom92SCm
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Tailgate lift struts

I just replaced mine. I grew tired of hitting my head on the tailgate after it didn't go up all the way and otherwise sluggish raising- especially when cold.

I ordered 2 AC-Delco lift struts (part #510959) from rockauto.com for $19.98 each. Even with the shipping costs, I still came in less than what the local Saturn dealer wanted for one. And the local autopart stores were a couple bucks more than the shipped total- but the stores I called did not have any in stock and would have to order them anyway.

Installation was easy. All you need is a flat blade screw driver to pry up the spring clip that holds the ends over the ball stud. Once that is out of the way, lift up on the tailgate a little and the lift strut pulls right out. Installation was the opposite of removal.

Now the tailgate raises completely on its own and goes up all the way.

The old lift struts had a dirty grime on the tailgate side (the side that is down when the tailgate is closed) which could have been the leaking fluid from the strut combined with dirt. I didn't see any other traces of the grime though.

...
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:54 PM   #2
Bismarck318
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

I noted mine had been replaced somewhere along the way as they look like they are from different vendors, I also notice a bit of grime, though I notice this on most of these struts on other vehicles I've owned, & they still worked.

So there is no hardware to actually remove from the body (on the vehicle side) ?? I noted my hardware is starting to corrode... I wondering as this vehicle is slightly older than 3 years old how its going to hold up.

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Old 04-16-2009, 05:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

No hardware to remove. The struts fit over ball studs (one each attached to the body and to the tail gate) and held in place by a "spring clip" on the lift strut.

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Old 04-16-2009, 05:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

I'm hoping they didn't change this in '06, it looked as if one of the ends were on with a nut... I've replaced these before though & usually the hardest thing was getting the gate to stay up while working on it.

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Old 04-16-2009, 05:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

Prop it up with a 2x4... Or tie it up if it's in a garage.

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2006 Black VUE Red Line - Now running iOS 7 Beta 7

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Old 04-16-2009, 07:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

I rested the tailgate on my head.

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Old 04-17-2009, 12:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

I just purchased (4) hood struts for my dads Expo and the mounty he was selling. Monroe brand even, the 4 came up cheaper the 2 of them at the auto parts store. They ended up sending me 6 so my brothers expo will get a set as well......

...
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

Yea these things seem to fail after a while no matter the car. My dodge intrepid needed new ones for the hood 2 times <.<

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Old 04-17-2009, 10:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

I believe they fail do to dust and grime getting on the chrome shaft and therefore breaking the seal which holds the fluid in.

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Old 04-17-2009, 01:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

I have had these go out after a year or two, yet the ones on my '94 Camaro (both the rear hatch & hood are still functioning, & the ones on my '92 Pontiac hood are still good (& I assume original).

Think it all depends on the application, the ones I replaced on my old Cavalier hatchback which died within 2 years, replacements were much heavier than original.

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Old 01-08-2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

I just did this job and after getting the parts, it took about 3 minutes.

I ordered 'StrongArm 4363 Saturn Vue Base Liftgate Lift Support 2002-05' from Amazon for $16.50 each with free shipping. They arrived in 3 or 4 business days.

As already stated many times, this is super simple with some help to hold the liftgate up.

Thanks for all the advice!

...
Novice weekend mechanic trying to keep a 2003 Saturn Vue 3.0L on the road. I hire my kids to help with each repair so they don't grow up as clueless as I am.

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Old 01-08-2013, 04:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bismarck318 View Post
I'm hoping they didn't change this in '06, it looked as if one of the ends were on with a nut... I've replaced these before though & usually the hardest thing was getting the gate to stay up while working on it.
06 can also be done with no tools (although a pair of pliers is nice). I also used the 'hold it up with my head method'. Just do one side at a time though as the door is much heavier than you'd expect.

-Robert

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Old 02-05-2013, 11:28 AM   #13
jfisher99
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Default Re: Tailgate lift struts

Mine are toast too. Appreciate the part numbers!

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