How Not to Install Hood Damper Struts! - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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#1 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 06:06 PM
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How Not to Install Hood Damper Struts!

First I get the notification from USPS that the hood damper struts I ordered from EBay were delivered to the house. I get home and see the box leaning up against the front door. I quickly walk the dog, trying to talk myself into installing the struts over the weekend, that way I can take my time, you know, do it right. However, during dinner, I keep sneaking glances at the box. Its as if the struts were calling out, "Come on, just open my box, take a quick look, you know, to make sure we're what you need to fix the car." I open the box and think "That doesn't look hard, should just pop in."

I sneak out into the garage and prop the hood up with a pole. I examine the current struts and try to figure out how they come off. I try using a butter knife and gently pry on the post where they connect. Nothing budges.After 10 minutes of gentle wiggling and pulling and prying I try a different technique. A closer examination reveals a small slot on the strut clip. I select a long flat tip screwdriver with a 3/16 tip and poke it in the slot. A little pressure and the clip pops off! Yahoo!! I remove the bottom and top clip and the strut comes right off. I compress the strut with both hands and it moves in very easy, I'm certain the strut is worn out. I move on to the passenger side, and a minute later it's off. This one is worn even more. Its completely shot.

I remove the new struts from the plastic wrapper and try to compress it. Wow, it is really hard! Barely budges. Yeah, that's what I need to hold the hood up. Good 'ole German Overkill! I place the bottom end over the mounting post and give it a good push and it clicks on. The other end is facing the wrong way, hmmm. I give it a twist and it turns 180 degrees. Alrightythen! Now the hard part. Its way to long. I push down on it, really lean into, and it starts to compress. I try to line it up with the upper post and lose leverage and now its too long. I repeat and really bear down on it, move a little faster and still I can't get there fast enough. My arms are getting tired. Now I'm getting a bit of grease on my hands and I can't get a decent grip. I try using a shop towel and a jar lid gripper, no good. This just ain't happening. I use the shop towel to wipe the sweat off my face, this is turning into a $hit$andwich fast. The hell with Farfurgnugen!

The wife comes out after a half hour to see what all the ruckus is about. I try to explain that I got it under control, I'm just having a few setbacks. My right hand is bleeding, I'm sweating buckets, my hands are covered with grease, and the hood is propped open with a pole and looks like a deadfall trap and I'm all tuckered out. My wife says "Doesn't the hood go all the way up?" My brain flops around and after a long second I push in the levers that pivot the pins out of the way and raise the hood to the full vertical position. The struts line up perfectly and pop right in. I lower the hood and release it and it raises just like new. I celebrate with a beer. My motto "Always the hard way." I also took the wife out to dinner.
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mslchief View Post
First I get the notification from USPS that the hood damper struts I ordered from EBay were delivered to the house. I get home and see the box leaning up against the front door. I quickly walk the dog, trying to talk myself into installing the struts over the weekend, that way I can take my time, you know, do it right. However, during dinner, I keep sneaking glances at the box. Its as if the struts were calling out, "Come on, just open my box, take a quick look, you know, to make sure we're what you need to fix the car." I open the box and think "That doesn't look hard, should just pop in."

I sneak out into the garage and prop the hood up with a pole. I examine the current struts and try to figure out how they come off. I try using a butter knife and gently pry on the post where they connect. Nothing budges.After 10 minutes of gentle wiggling and pulling and prying I try a different technique. A closer examination reveals a small slot on the strut clip. I select a long flat tip screwdriver with a 3/16 tip and poke it in the slot. A little pressure and the clip pops off! Yahoo!! I remove the bottom and top clip and the strut comes right off. I compress the strut with both hands and it moves in very easy, I'm certain the strut is worn out. I move on to the passenger side, and a minute later it's off. This one is worn even more. Its completely shot.

I remove the new struts from the plastic wrapper and try to compress it. Wow, it is really hard! Barely budges. Yeah, that's what I need to hold the hood up. Good 'ole German Overkill! I place the bottom end over the mounting post and give it a good push and it clicks on. The other end is facing the wrong way, hmmm. I give it a twist and it turns 180 degrees. Alrightythen! Now the hard part. Its way to long. I push down on it, really lean into, and it starts to compress. I try to line it up with the upper post and lose leverage and now its too long. I repeat and really bear down on it, move a little faster and still I can't get there fast enough. My arms are getting tired. Now I'm getting a bit of grease on my hands and I can't get a decent grip. I try using a shop towel and a jar lid gripper, no good. This just ain't happening. I use the shop towel to wipe the sweat off my face, this is turning into a $hit$andwich fast. The hell with Farfurgnugen!

The wife comes out after a half hour to see what all the ruckus is about. I try to explain that I got it under control, I'm just having a few setbacks. My right hand is bleeding, I'm sweating buckets, my hands are covered with grease, and the hood is propped open with a pole and looks like a deadfall trap and I'm all tuckered out. My wife says "Doesn't the hood go all the way up?" My brain flops around and after a long second I push in the levers that pivot the pins out of the way and raise the hood to the full vertical position. The struts line up perfectly and pop right in. I lower the hood and release it and it raises just like new. I celebrate with a beer. My motto "Always the hard way." I also took the wife out to dinner.
mslchief, I read your post, LAUGHING MY ASS OFF! I was laughing so hard, my wife came in to ask what was so funny, I read her your post, we were both laughing so hard we were tearing. She says that could be you, with 3 MBenzs I'm always doing shit like this. Yes, I will have to take out to dinner as well.
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2007 ML350, Iridium Silver/ Ash MB Tex
1996 S320LWB, Brilliant Silver Metallic / Gray Leather (SOLD)
2004 S500, Black / Charcoal Leather (SOLD)
2006 C230 Sport, Granite Grey / Black MB-Tex / Leather (SOLD)
2003 E320, Brilliant Silver Metallic / Charcoal Leather (SOLD)
2002 ML320, Everest Green Metallic / Java Leather (SOLD)

Last edited by jfamondone; 06-11-2010 at 07:06 PM.
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#3 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 07:55 PM
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Excellent prose- I almost fell out of my chair laughing. Well, you were doing better than this guy:
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 02:03 PM
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This is classic of most of us, I had to bump it

2007 ML350, Iridium Silver/ Ash MB Tex
1996 S320LWB, Brilliant Silver Metallic / Gray Leather (SOLD)
2004 S500, Black / Charcoal Leather (SOLD)
2006 C230 Sport, Granite Grey / Black MB-Tex / Leather (SOLD)
2003 E320, Brilliant Silver Metallic / Charcoal Leather (SOLD)
2002 ML320, Everest Green Metallic / Java Leather (SOLD)
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#5 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jfamondone View Post
This is classic of most of us, I had to bump it
No worries, the wounds are scabbing over nicely. When I'm older I can make up a story of fending off a cougar and rescuing a troop of Boy Scouts, pointing to the scar as proof.
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 05:31 PM
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Priceless
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 11:42 PM
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haha

If its of any consolence, as i was reading this all things came to mind but I didnt think the hood wasn't up all the way either.

vw phaeton. when vw copies mercedes, but forces you to service it next to golfs and jettas
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 03:24 PM
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Smile Loved this one

What a great story! Sounds exactly like me. Fortunately, I read it before I replaced my hood struts. It saved me embarrassment, and having to figure-out how to get the old struts off. It only took a few minutes to get it all done. One of the easiest and cheapest fixes I can remember.

A couple of years ago, I changed the struts on our 1993 Maxima which was a lot harder than the S500. I had two poles to keep the hood up. The parts cost twice as much, and they sent me one that didn't fit correctly. I had to "modify" it to make it work. No fun, but they still work.
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#9 (permalink) Old 04-01-2012, 09:05 AM
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I know that this is an older thread. But thanks for sharing your adventure. You certainly helped me out on that one. If only all repairs on the car were so easy.
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