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Pelican Technical Article:

Hatch Shock Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$25 to $100

Talent:

**

Tools:

Philips, flathead screwdriver, 8mm 12 point, friend/helper

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 300TD (1979-85)

Parts Required:

Hatch shock(s)

Hot Tip:

Do not let the hatch fall on your head

Performance Gain:

Hatch that stays open

Complementary Modification:

Lubricate the hatch lock

Is your hatch is getting slow to open, or you do have a hard time holding the hatch up when it is cold? If so, those are signs that the shocks are starting to go bad. Chances are it will be in need of replacement soon. There are two shocks that hold the rear hatch open as well as assist in the lifting of the hatch. The shocks are not expensive and easy to replace, so do not let them go to the point that the hatch is falling on your head or you are holding it up with a broom handle.

When you change out the shocks it is a very good idea to have a friend around to help. While you are loosening and seating the components it is helpful to have someone slightly raise and lower the hatch to assist in lining everything up. The hatch is shockingly heavy so if both your shocks are gone it is difficult to hold the hatch and replace the shocks at the same time.

Over the years your car may have been serviced by multiple people including previous owners and this can lead to parts replaced with different size fasteners and hardware. 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. If something is different on your vehicle please let us know and share your info to help other users. If you have any questions or comments or even a different procedure you would like to share please leave it below and please leave your vehicle information.

There are two shocks (red arrows) that hold up the hatch.
Figure 1

There are two shocks (red arrows) that hold up the hatch. The shocks are located up in the roof section but can easily be replaced without removing the headliner.

Begin by opening the hatch and if the shocks are already not working brace the hatch or have someone hold it in the open position.
Figure 2

Begin by opening the hatch and if the shocks are already not working brace the hatch or have someone hold it in the open position. Use a trim removal tool and gently release the rear light from its mount.

While you can pass the light through the rear trim piece I find it easier to just disconnect it and put it safely out of the way.
Figure 3

While you can pass the light through the rear trim piece I find it easier to just disconnect it and put it safely out of the way.

Using a Philips head screwdriver remove the four screws on the rear of the upper trim piece (red arrows) and one on each side where the trim piece meets the headliner (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

Using a Philips head screwdriver remove the four screws on the rear of the upper trim piece (red arrows) and one on each side where the trim piece meets the headliner (yellow arrow).

Release the trim piece from around the rear window weather stripping and slide it back and down and remove it from the vehicle.
Figure 5

Release the trim piece from around the rear window weather stripping and slide it back and down and remove it from the vehicle.

Use a flathead screwdriver to release the clip and then push the pin back out from the hinge on the hatch (red arrow).
Figure 6

Use a flathead screwdriver to release the clip and then push the pin back out from the hinge on the hatch (red arrow). This is a good time to have a friend gently rock the hatch up and down to release the pressure on the pin

Locate the rear mounting bolt (red arrow) and double check the fitting.
Figure 7

Locate the rear mounting bolt (red arrow) and double check the fitting. There have been all kinds of fittings used and bolts stripped out over the years so make sure you have the right tool.

The bolt on our vehicle used a M8 12 point.
Figure 8

The bolt on our vehicle used a M8 12 point.

Make sure to properly seat the correct tool into the bolt and remove the bolt.
Figure 9

Make sure to properly seat the correct tool into the bolt and remove the bolt.

If your bolt has damage to it or has been partially stripped now is a really good time to replace it.
Figure 10

If your bolt has damage to it or has been partially stripped now is a really good time to replace it.

With the hatch safely supported you can remove the shock out from the opening by the hinge and insert the new one.
Figure 11

With the hatch safely supported you can remove the shock out from the opening by the hinge and insert the new one. Installation is the reverse of removal and don't forget to give the hinge pin a little lubrication.

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