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Hood Shock Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Hood Shock Replacement

Time:

30 minutes30 mins

Tab:

$30

Talent:

*

Tools:

Needle-nose pliers, small screwdriver

Applicable Models:

R50 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2002-06)
R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2005-08)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08)
R53 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2002-06)
R55 MINI Cooper Clubman Wagon (2008-14)
R55 MINI Cooper JCW Clubman Wagon (2009-14)
R55 MINI Cooper S Clubman Wagon (2008-14)
R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-13)
R56 MINI Cooper JCW Hatchback (2009-13)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-13)
R57 MINI Cooper Convertible (2009-15)
R57 MINI Cooper JCW Convertible (2009-15)
R57 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2009-15)

Parts Required:

Hood shocks, two for each lid

Hot Tip:

clean and lubricate the pivot points for the shocks

Performance Gain:

No more bumping your head on the hood

Complementary Modification:

Rebuild your engine!
How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Pelican Parts' new book, How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 500+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any MINI owner's collection. The book is due to be released in late 2015. See The Official Book Website for more details.

Are you getting tired of having your front or rear trunk lids fall on your head? It's probably time to replace your hood shocks. These are among the most disposable of parts on the MINI. They will fail - it's just a matter of when. Replacing them is an easy task, however one that is made easier with small hands that manipulate tiny pieces. With a little bit of patience, you can replace your hood and trunk lid shocks in about 30 minutes.

The front hood uses gas-pressurized shocks that hold up its weight (See Figure 1). Start by lifting up the front hood, and securing it using a long stick or a baseball bat (See Figure 2). Make sure that this support is securely affixed, as the hood will hurt if it falls upon your head. The hood shock fits over two ball pivots on the chassis and also on the hood (See Figure 3 and Figure 4).

Starting with the right side, place a rag or shop towel over the sheet metal to protect the paintwork. Then use a large flat blade screwdriver to pry the lower connection point for the hood shock off the ball pivot (See Figure 5). Next, pry the shock off the upper ball pivot (See Figure 6). Once the hood shock is removed, clean the ball pivots and put a dab of white moly grease on each of them (See Figure 7 and Figure 8).

Replace the old shock in the same place and orientation that the old was in. For reference, the smaller diameter rod of the hood shock points downward. The thicker diameter rod faces upward. Line up the lower connection point with the ball pivot and give it a good push with the palm of your hand. It should just pop into place (See Figure 9). Rotate the hood shock up into position with the upper ball pivot and pop it on like the bottom one (See Figure 10).

The rear hatch shocks are very similar in their replacement process. The only difference is that the orientation is reversed. The smaller diameter rod faces the top while the thicker faces the bottom.

Hood shocks are a common wear item that are easily replaced in a matter of minutes.
Figure 1

Hood shocks are a common wear item that are easily replaced in a matter of minutes. Installation is literally a snap.

The green arrows show the two hood shocks.
Figure 2

The green arrows show the two hood shocks. It's recommended that you change them one at a time and be sure that you support the hood open with a broomstick or other means.

Shown here is the lower attachment point for the hood shock.
Figure 3

Shown here is the lower attachment point for the hood shock.

Shown here is the upper attachment point for the hood shock.
Figure 4

Shown here is the upper attachment point for the hood shock.

Place a towel or shop rag over the sheet metal to protect the paint and use a large flat blade screwdriver to pry the lower hood shock off the ball pivot.
Figure 5

Place a towel or shop rag over the sheet metal to protect the paint and use a large flat blade screwdriver to pry the lower hood shock off the ball pivot. Make sure that the hood is secured well before continuing.

Next, with the hood secured, pry off the upper connection point for the hood shock.
Figure 6

Next, with the hood secured, pry off the upper connection point for the hood shock.

Place a dab of white moly grease on the lower ball pivot prior to installing the new hood shock.
Figure 7

Place a dab of white moly grease on the lower ball pivot prior to installing the new hood shock. This helps keep the point lubricated.

As like the lower point, put a dab of white moly grease on the upper ball pivot.
Figure 8

As like the lower point, put a dab of white moly grease on the upper ball pivot.

Now position the lower hood shock over the lower ball pivot and pop it into place.
Figure 9

Now position the lower hood shock over the lower ball pivot and pop it into place. Just use the palm of your hand. Keep in mind the orientation of the hood shock. The smaller diameter rod should face the bottom.

Maneuver the shock into place over the upper ball pivot and pop it into place with the palm of your hand.
Figure 10

Maneuver the shock into place over the upper ball pivot and pop it into place with the palm of your hand.

Shown here are the attachment points for the hood shock on the R55/R56/R57 models (green arrows).
Figure 11

Shown here are the attachment points for the hood shock on the R55/R56/R57 models (green arrows). Support each side of the hood before popping the old shock off and carefully pop the new shock on.

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Comments and Suggestions:
MiniPilot Comments: Great write up as always!

One thing I did notice that would make the strut removal a bit easier and bodywork safer.

If you look at Figure #6 you can see a small slot under the band of metal on the strut. This slot is common to both ends of the strut and serves the same duty.

Take a flat blade screwdriver with a blade width the same as the notch and slide it into the slot under the band. The band is the spring for holding onto the ball joint.

Slightly moving that band will release the spring and you can remove the strut and you don't even have to worry about the paint or metal work. DO NOT pry the band completely off because it will lunch across the room and it is a bear to put back on! I know this for a FACT! Usually the thickness of the screwdriver shaft is plenty to release the spring tension.

Hope this helps someone in their project. Let's Motor!
February 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Good point. The and only has to be moved to the unlocked position to detach the strut from the ball joint. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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