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Hood & Tailgate Strut Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Hood & Tailgate Strut Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

**

Tools:

Small flathead screwdriver, rags, vise grips or spring puller

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Support struts, grease

Hot Tip:

Have a friend nearby to help hold hood or trunk lid

Performance Gain:

Hood or trunk will stay open again

Complementary Modification:

Replace in pairs

The hoods on MINI models have lacked a hood prop rod from the introduction to the US market. With the omission of the hood prop rod a gas charged hydraulic strut was installed. This adds some convenience to opening your hood. Pop the latch and pull it open. There's no need to search for the prop rod, and the hood stays fully open. The hood struts attach to ball pivots at each end, on the hood / tailgate and the body, secured with retaining clips.

The hood struts and trunk lift springs hold the weight of the hood / tailgate lid when you open it. When they fail, the hood will no longer stay open without additional support. The struts are gas filled, but when they fail oil will sometimes leak out. You may notice oil stains on the strut cylinder. If this is the case, replace them before they totally fail. There is nothing worse than having the engine hood come down on top of you while you are working on your R56 MINI.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The engine hood and tailgate are heavy. Be sure to have an assistant available or a support system in place when replacing the hood support struts.

Hood Support Struts: When replacing the hood support struts (yellow arrows), start by supporting the hood.
Figure 1

Hood Support Struts: When replacing the hood support struts (yellow arrows), start by supporting the hood. I use a support rod (green arrow).

Hood Support Struts: The hood struts attach to ball pivots at each end, on the hood (yellow arrow) and the body (green arrow), secured with retaining clips.
Figure 2

Hood Support Struts: The hood struts attach to ball pivots at each end, on the hood (yellow arrow) and the body (green arrow), secured with retaining clips.

Hood Support Struts: When replacing the hood support struts, I find it easiest to start by disconnecting the lower spring clip, then the upper.
Figure 3

Hood Support Struts: When replacing the hood support struts, I find it easiest to start by disconnecting the lower spring clip, then the upper. I leave the bottom connected until the upper is removed. Support the hood with a support. Working at the bottom of the strut, inside the fender opening, use a flathead screwdriver (green arrow) and move the retaining spring (blue arrow) down to the bottom of the socket. You do not have to remove it, just move it up far enough so the strut will come off the ball. It is a tight fit working with the lower socket, as it is hidden inside the fender. Light the inside of the fender. Then use a long flathead screwdriver to lever the clip down. If you lose the clip, don't worry, the new struts will come with one.

Hood Support Struts: Working at the top of the support strut, use a flathead screwdriver and move the retaining spring (blue arrow) up to the top of the socket.
Figure 4

Hood Support Struts: Working at the top of the support strut, use a flathead screwdriver and move the retaining spring (blue arrow) up to the top of the socket. You do not have to remove it, just move it up far enough so the strut will come off the ball.

Hood Support Struts: Pull the support strut off the studs.
Figure 5

Hood Support Struts: Pull the support strut off the studs. Then pull it off the lower ball end and remove it from the vehicle. Clean the support strut mounting points (blue arrow) and apply a small amount of white lithium grease. Then install the new support struts. Be sure that the retaining clips lock when installing. Try to pull the strut off to confirm it is properly engaged.

Tail Gate Support Struts: When replacing the tailgate support struts (green arrows), start by supporting the hood.
Figure 6

Tail Gate Support Struts: When replacing the tailgate support struts (green arrows), start by supporting the hood. I use a support rod (blue arrow).

Tailgate Support Struts: Working at the top of the support strut, use a flathead screwdriver and move the retaining spring (green arrow) up to the top of the socket.
Figure 7

Tailgate Support Struts: Working at the top of the support strut, use a flathead screwdriver and move the retaining spring (green arrow) up to the top of the socket. You do not have to remove it, just move it up far enough so the strut will come off the ball.

Tailgate Support Struts: Working at the bottom of the support strut, use a flathead screwdriver and move the retaining spring (green arrow) down to the bottom of the socket.
Figure 8

Tailgate Support Struts: Working at the bottom of the support strut, use a flathead screwdriver and move the retaining spring (green arrow) down to the bottom of the socket. You do not have to remove it, just move it up far enough so the strut will come off the ball.

Tailgate Support Struts: Pull the support strut off the studs.
Figure 9

Tailgate Support Struts: Pull the support strut off the studs. Then pull it off the lower ball end and remove it from the vehicle. Clean the support strut mounting points (green arrow) and apply a small amount of white lithium grease. Then install the new support struts.

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