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.