How to: Simple gas struts replaced on a lifting rear door

Posted By on June 9, 2015


After my son returned from living in “dusty” Williston, North Dakota for a couple of years, the Chevy Trailblazer he was using came back a bit dusty. We noticed after visiting him last year that one of the big differences from Ohio were the lack of paved roads. Thankfully, we did give some thought to the harsh winters and he didn’t take his VW GTI (it wouldn’t have made it).

Besides the dirt and dust, the 4×4 Trailblazer isn’t all that bad. I expected a few more stone chips (gravel roads) or a bit more noticeable wear and tear. Nothing out of the ordinary, although he did most of his back roads driving with the county vehicles. Since Taylor is now back driving his GTI, I’ve been cleaning up the Trailblazer for the relatively “lightweight” Ohio driving.

In order to replace the rear hatch strut mounts I needed to tighten the ball fittings which meant removing some of the plastic parts; wow … the dust made it behind them too (photo above). Once tightened snapping the small spring clip loose with a screwdriver is relatively easy. When putting the new ones back on, I added a dab of grease to the ball to reduce wear and assure smooth pivots. Another important tip is to be sure to prop up the hatch securely – below – or have someone hold it.

While fixing things, I ordered a new taillight assembly to replace a cracked one (piece of cake) and put in new headlight bulbs (replace as a pair as it is shockingly not as simple.) Also while I was under the hood with the grill off, I took care of the filthy air filter and did a “de-bug” soakthey were plastered on. Having driven mostly German and Japanese engineered cars since my 1999 Chrysler Town and Country minivan, I was surprised at how difficult Chevy made replacing headlight bulbs and air filters – poorly engineered? It reminded me why I dislike American automobiles.


BTW, after my derailing Chevrolet’s engineering, the 2008 Chevy Trailblazer 4×4 LT (63,000 miles, white, sunroof, leather, V-6, Tow package) will soon be for sale if you are interested. Send me an email.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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