Hatch Lift Experience
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May, 2016 - All of my H-Bodies needed something better than a broom handle to prop them open. My first thought, for some reason, was ebay. I found a set of set listed as new and bought them. They arrived as promised, were shrunk wrapped on cardboard stock in a packaging style that screamed 1980, as if they were just found at a parts store. But when I installed them, they were as shot as the pair I had just taken off.
Bummed out, I contacted the seller who promptly gave me a refund and told me that back in the day, he was a sales rep for the now defunct Motormite Mfg. who made these "Mighty Lift™ Gas Filled Lift Supports." He said that they were long out of business so finding replacements might be a challenge.
Undaunted, I switched gears and started searching on Amazon. I found a couple of options there. One set had the electrical tabs I needed for the Mirage's rear window defroster, and the other set did not which was perfect for the 2+2. Both sets arrived within a couple of days.
The "Strong Arm" set for the Mirage installed fine, but the hatch would not close! I tried with more force than I was comfortable, could see the stress being created on the hatch hinges, with and then removed them. Visually inspecting them, they looked defect free. I then tried to push them closed against some carpeting on the concrete garage floor, and the first one broke free and worked. The other was like it was welded fully extended!
I installed the one (and it was strong enough to hold the hatch up), contacted Amazon, the sent out a replacement and picked up the bad one. Two days later, the replacement arrived. I opened the plastic bag it was sealed in and could see surface rust on the chrome rod. Closer inspection around the seal, I could see what looked like old, dry, black grease. I tried to push the piston and it was frozen open too! Initiated another return and replace process with Amazon. Third time was the charm!
The table below are all of the hatch lift supports that I know work on the H-Bodies (Disclaimer: I have no experience with Vega hatches so no clue if these are interchangeable.)
Regardless of the brand, these are the measurements you are looking for.
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