Gas Struts

After getting over the initial shock of the cost of the AK Gas Strut kit, I looked into ways of doing it for less $$. Having researched options, I quickly concluded that the AK kit was actually pretty good value and placed an order!

The kit arrived and consists of:

  1. Four gas struts, 2 for the bonnet, 2 for the boot (they have different end fixings)
  2. 4 brackets to sit on the bonnet/boot ribs. Be careful, two are slightly wider for the bonnet!
  3. 2 brackets for the engine bay
  4. 2 brackets for within the boot
  5. No instructions… grrr..

Having read Tommy’s blog I thought I’d better orientate myself to the struts and attempted to find the gas relief valve. It turns out AK now use a different gas strut and the valve is no longer concealed at the end of the piston, but is actually the small black grub screw on the side. Unfortunately for me I wasn’t expected the purge of high pressure gas as I undid this grub screw and consequently lost most of the gas (seems to be a running theme…). I’m hoping there’s still enough for the boot, but I’m sceptical at the moment.

Bonnet Struts

  1. Locate a clear fixing point on the inner wing, near the front chassis horizontal. Make sure the threaded section sticks out enough for the gas strut to connect without fouling the body. I located my idle by-pass valve next to the alternator so had to pick a point a little closer to the nose than others have done.
  2. Check that the gas strut can be accommodated within the engine bay when in the closed position.
  3. Prop the bonnet open. Put the engine bay mounting bracket up against the underside of the body and square to the s/s cladding in the engine bay.
  4. Mark the bottom hole position. Then centre punch.
  5. Drill out this hole to take an M6 bolt.
  6. Remove the front wheel
  7. From within the wheel arch, line the engine bay bracket up with the bottom hole and mark the position of the top hole.
  8. Centre punch and drill the top hole for an M6 bolt.
  9. Bolt the bracket onto the s/s cladding in the engine bay.
  10. Connect the gas strut with the thinner end connected to the engine bay bracket and the thicker end will be connected to the boot lid.
  11. Connect the other end of the gas strut to one of the wider rib brackets.
  12. Open the bonnet to the position you want it at when fully open.
  13. Locate the rib bracket onto the bonnet rib and mark the fixing holes or top/bottom if you cant get to both holes.
  14. I decided to follow Tommy’s lead and use Rivnuts to all me to remove the brackets prior to paint. Drill out the fixing holes to take an M5 rivnut.
  15. Fix rivnut into hole.
  16. Bolt bracket to bonnet.
  17. Now, very carefully(!!) support the weight of the bonnet with your shoulder (so the gas strut isn’t in compression), slowly under the grub screw into a very small amount of gas is released. Leave it open for a couple of seconds before closing and releasing the bonnet. Keep doing this until the gas strut only just supports the weight of the bonnet.
  18. Repeat the bracket installation on the other side but don’t let any gas out of the strut.
  19. Once all brackets are installed, remove both struts. Find a handy set of bathroom scales and gently push the gas strut (the one that you have let some gas out of) into the scales. As it compresses, make a note of the reading. Mine took around 23KG.
  20. Take the second gas strut and let a bit of gas out (I couldn’t compress mine at all when fresh out of the box).
  21. Keep letting a small amount of gas out and testing on the scales until you get the same reading when compressing.
  22. Fit both struts back onto the car.
  23. Test the bonnet opening and closing. You may find that you need to bleed a little more gas so that closing the bonnet doesn’t put too much pressure on the brackets and S/S engine bay cladding.

Boot Struts

Work in progress…

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