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Old 09-21-2020, 11:04 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Posts: 48
Engine Compartment Door Strut

I know this was covered a little over a year ago and maybe again since then but this perhaps maybe of use to someone. I could not reply to the other thread because it was over 500+ days old the system said.

Anyway, my engine compartment door was dropping down and the struts had PN SPD-GS-5150-80 on the original ones.

I decide to change the struts because after lubing the hinges recently the door kept dropping down. My first mistake was fixing something that wasn't broken, I know! But I decided the 20 yr old struts were ready for replacement. I ordered off Ebay here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/392285441933 $36.89 delivered

Once here to install I had to compress the little rascals, which I could barely do outside the rig on the floor and no way could do inside the compartment. To overcome that problem I threaded a strong but small string thru the eyelets and compressed the units in a pole clamp to about 11.5" (ball socket to ball socket) and tied the string as tight as I could. Once the pole clamp's pressure was removed the unit expanded to around 13.75". Not far off so I could wrestle it into place. As a side note, I moved the spring steel clamps slightly, that hold the ball joint in, out of their slots to allow room for the string and ease of getting the ball joint on the ball in the confined area. After getting the units in place, I cut the string and remove it and then pushed the spring steel retainers back into place.

Now the door stays up with a bit more authority or spring pressure but not so much as to be excessive.
Jay and Janet Bennett
2000 Alpine 36FDS
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:11 AM   #2
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….Hey Jay--had the same issue with trying to compress the rams....I took a little different approach....I used a hammer and small anvil weight to actually crush the hinges a bit ….made them stiffer to open and close so old rams continued to work fine...different strokes....
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2003 Alpine 40' MDTS
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:58 AM   #3
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Location: Hoodsport Wa
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I fabricated a prop rod, so yeah, different strokes for sure.
FWIW, those strut rod attaching brackets are molded into the fiberglass so proper strut cylinder lift rating is critical. Too much pressure is not a good thing. I learned the hard way that those cheap gas struts online are in no way close to the advertised lift rating. Suspa brand, made in the USA, is a good choice for replacements. A little more costly but you definately get what you pay for.
2000 Alpine 36 FDS #74058
04 Jeep Wrangler TJ
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:32 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Posts: 48
Follow Up

Just want to follow up on what has been offered for feedback and thanks for those ideas.

I changed the struts because the old ones where shot (or sacked out) figuring if they are the problem then replace them. Also as our Technical Leader at the DRR Tech Sessions said I hadn't hit my quota for monthly part expenses.

I replaced all the compartment door struts similarly last year for the same reason. In both cases I used the same seller and brand from eBay listed in my first message. The first and second set seem to be of a good quality, a reasonable match to lift strength needed and a good value.

Anyway I'm satisfied with the fix and if helps someone else great, if not no big deal.
Jay and Janet Bennett
2000 Alpine 36FDS
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door, engine

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