I replaced my rear lift gate struts last weekend for a second time since I bought my Pilot in 2010. They were allowing the gate to slowly close in the cold. It only took me slamming my noggin in to the gate one time for me to order a replacement set. I went with a set of Sachs from Rock Auto for this job. They had the best price and saved me from running around. No pictures because I did not have a cell phone last week. A few pointers for those who will be doing this:
Step ladder - to hold lift gate
medium sized flat blade screw driver - to pry open spring clamp on struts
light sharpie or paint pen - mark date on strut
Cotton swab (q-tip)
work or disposable gloves
- have a step ladder that is tall enough to rest the lift gate on when open. If your struts are failing, when you remove one, the gate will come down hard and really fast. Let it rest on the ladder.
- prep your job. Pop open the spring clips on bot replacement struts by prying them outward about 1/16".
- add a small amount of Teflon grease using the cotton swab to each cup of the new struts (may already be greased)
- pop spring clips on strut you are removing. Do one side at a time. You don't want something to slip and have the second strut pop off.
- use one hand to push the door up when removing old strut. You may have to pop the strut with your hand to get it to come off. If you are not comfortable with the weight of the door and working with one hand, ask a friend or neighbor to give you a hand holding it open
- wipe off old grease and dirt from pins on gate and body with shop towel
- put top of new strut on first and press in clip. Worked easier for me.
-lift up slightly on gate to fully open to get bottom attached. press clip in
- repeat for other side
- take a silver sharpie or white paint marker and write the replacement date on the strut. A quick look will tell you when the last change happened.
Total time to replace both struts was around 30 minutes including prep and cleanup. Total cost $45.00