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911 Hood Strut Replacement

Pelican Technical Article:

911 Hood Strut Replacement

Bob Tindel


1 hour1 hr






Hemostat, long flathead screwdriver, prop bar to hold the decklid open, dental floss,

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1965-89)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)

Parts Required:

Decklid shocks

Performance Gain:

You're deckled won't be as heavy when you open it, or close on your head when you're looking or working on your engine

Complementary Modification:

Replace your windshield wiper blades
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
     Okay, this is one a lot of owner's have been putting off, some to the point of being bonked on the head every time they try to get something out of the boot, or being embarrassed because the lid on their beautiful Porsche won't stay up. On some Porsches, like my 911SC, this job is a pain in the neck (a "character builder"). Here are some tips to make it a little easier.

     First, get new heavy-duty struts-there is a big difference in quality between these and the cheaper ones. I just installed the struts shown at the top of the pictures (Figure 1 and Figure 2) about three years ago, and they are worn out already. The struts shown in the bottom of the pictures are the heavy-duty ones from Pelican Parts, all everything about them is bigger, better, and stronger.

     The next thing to do is get some special tools together (Figure 3). I got the huge hemostat at Harbor Freight. It and the small one are very handy for working in tight places. Another item in the picture is dental floss, which is used to tie onto small parts, so that if you drop them into a crack, they can be retrieved. There are a lot of places in the boot for dropped parts to disappear. In the picture, there is also a "pin holder" that can be made from an electrical female spade connector soldered to a piece of heavy wire.

     Start with the passenger side. It is easy to do, and will get you in the mood to do the driver's side. Prop up the hood so it won't fall on you, pull back the carpet to access the strut, and remove the retainers and pins from the strut. A small hemostat is good to clamp onto the pin retainer before you remove it, so it doesn't fly off and get lost. It may be necessary to lift the hood a bit, or compress the strut, to get it out of the brackets.     Put the new strut in place, and install the pins and retainers. I like to tie a piece of floss onto the retainer while I install it, so it can't get lost if dropped (Figure 4).

     Now you are ready for the driver's side. This is a bit of a pain, because there just isn't any room to put your hand to reach the bottom pin (Figure 5). Also, there are some sharp edges in this area to nick your hands if you aren't careful. This is where the special tools come into play. Remove the upper retainer and pin first, to give the strut a bit more flexibility when you remove the lower pin. You can probably remove the lower pin retainer with your fingers (Figure 6). Then carefully remove the lower pin and the strut.

     Place the new strut into the bracket, and replace the lower pin using the hemostat (Figure 7) or the "pin holder" (Figure 8). This is tedious at best-it usually takes me about a half an hour of fiddling to get this pin in place. Install the retainer, and then the upper pin and retainer, and you are done!

Comments and Suggestions:
Gustav Comments: Instructions are great and extremely accurate. Yes, passenger's is a breeze; the driver's is a real pain. All I could think of trying to get that pin in place was the scene in U-571 when the crew member drowned trying to fix the driveshaft.
August 6, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Timmy23 Comments: Hi guys, just replaced my gas struts on my 81 SC, but now the bonnet doesn't sit right. It has taken some paint off the bonnet and also just infront of the window washers. Any suggestions?

Thanks a lot.
February 13, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I know that on the engine lid there are different points that you might be able to place the pins for the struts, as well as there being different lengths for targa and cab, and coupe. Make sure that you did not install the incorrect ones! - Casey at Pelican Parts  
scotty Comments: This was a very helpful article. The passenger side is easy. In the past, I've struggled with the driver's side. The long hemostat and a shorter one from Harbor Freight were key. Thread or dental floss tied to the clips is genius. Put lots of light on the area. Driver side replacement took 10 minutes instead of an hour. No cut up hands from reaching into tight places and trying to retrieve dropped clips. Thank you!!!
March 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Mark Jacobs Comments: Which way for orientation up or down
May 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle are you working on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Les Comments: Would this process be any easier with the hood removed? If the engine is out are the rears more accessible?
August 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Slightly, but not worth it in my opinion. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sc Comments: I just screwed the old ones out and screwed the new ones in. Leave the end fittings attached to the car. Much easier!
July 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
82SuperC Comments: 20 minutes not 320 minutes as stated for the driver side, sorry!
July 8, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We're on it - Nick at Pelican Parts  
82SuperC Comments: Replaced mine with HD version from Pelican, passenger side took all of 5 to 10 minutes....driver side took about 320 minutes after figuring out that the only way to install the bottom pin was using a hemostat. Be careful not to loose the rubber spacer in the top portion of the strut. I spent a lot of time trying to find it when it fell into the trunk area. Other than that only tools needed were a hemostat and a long flat screw driver. 30 minutes maximum. Thanks Pelican for the guidance.
July 8, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Glad we could help - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Salty Comments: I have a 1999 911 and the clips are not obvious, but much more accessible. Do you know how to remove these struts?
May 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: To remove the clips on 996 models, use a flathead screwdriver and slide the black metal clip toward the end of the ball socket. You do not have to remove them, just slide them far enough toward engine so strut will pull off. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
TeamAguilar Comments: Great info, how about a link to where you can purchase these on the website?
April 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can find the hood shocks here:

- Scott at Pelican Parts
Oink Comments: Very helpful. For those short on tools, you can get hemostats on Ebay with free shipping. Best deal is the 12 inch ones. The price is about $7. I also used needle nose vice grips that I had purchased years ago @ radio shack.
Using dental floss to keep from losing the clips was spot on especially on the base shock on the driver’s side. The updated clips are much easier. For me to do both shocks was about an hour. After reading this article, it was fun doing this project and I did take my time. Finally, purchase the best shocks you can get; mine have a lifetime warranty.
April 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Muda Comments: Got a pry bar in there and popped of the bottoms. The one with a wire took a little more pressure. The ones from Pelican had the clips. They pop right on, no need to prep them. You have to push the hood up to the max to get the tops in position. Clips just pop on. Easier than it looks. Rears tomorrow. :
September 13, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Thanks for the Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts
SurfinBear Comments: Just put the heavy duty shocks in today. Thanks for the hemostat tip, worked like a charm! After fiddling for an eternity. As for the clip, I lost one as well. Switched to a 1/4" C-clip from the hardware store. Working fine so far.
February 11, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Bonesaw Comments: Good process, worked like a charm Bob
September 10, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
sdb Comments: My new HD struts are too long for the space available after removal of the old ones. They need to be compressed to get them into alignment with the holes. Very tuff to compress and align in place. This appears to take Hercules with 3 hands. Any tips on this task?
May 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Here is a tech article on just this topic: - Nick at Pelican Parts  
66DC Comments: Much easier to replace these pins and speednuts with clevis pins and hitch pin clips from the local hardware store.

May 6, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
jdbunda Comments: So I managed to lose one of the clips - dropped into the smugglers box grr, can't find in the catalog - please please fix your search function!
April 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. We'll check out the search function issue.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
whiz05403 Comments: I can not find the new parts here at Pelican to replace both my fron and rear deck lids. Help please.
March 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
rb Comments: Any tips on the Cayenne. There is only one and seems easily accessed. The only question is how they attach and if any special tools are required. Just ordered replacement and would you make sure I chose the correct heavy duty one.
January 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Cayenne will have a metal spring clip that has to be levered off. You will not have to completely remove it, just until it is away from the socket. Then pull the strut straight off. Don't forget to support the lid. As far as access, it can be tight, you may have to work with a long screwdriver to release the clip.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
alex931272 Comments: very helpful i work on a lot of porsches includin a lot of 356 those a truly a pain to align the hood hinges but since I am recently been working a slighty younger porsches I just needed a reference
November 1, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/13/2017 02:15:52 AM