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Discussion Starter #1
Remove the side panels


Remove the upper panel and peel away the headliner


Headliner hook, so you will know where to put it back


Exposed access to rear hatch strut which is inside the rubber boot




Peel the boot back




Notice the square metal piece


Liberate it, it holds the strut one end but make sure that the gate is OPEN all the way


Go back to the rubber boot area and remove the C clip where the strut attached to the hatch hinge then slide the pin out. Once done, slide the strut back towards the front of the car. Reverse process to install.
 

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Good pictures, bound to help others when they get tired of their hatch falling on their heads (or their children while trying to get out of the pop-up seats!)

I would have gone for this and done the job myself now, but when I first bought my wagon (with weak struts) I didn't have the confidence to try and had the job done for me along with a lengthy list of maintenance work.

I know that this would take me twice as long as it would most competent DIY'ers, but if you're in doubt of your skills I would say a job like this is a great way to gain confidence on working on your wagon while saving significant labour costs.

Buy original MB struts - I have heard of pattern parts beginning to fail within a couple of years which would be deeply annoying.

And lastly, despite the extra effort needed to access and replace the hidden struts, it's such an elegant solution that demonstrates the obsessive care the 124 designers took over getting this car right. I'm always noticing visible hatch struts on modern cars and thinking how ugly they look.

Usually a wagon / estate variant does not receive this kind of care from the design department, whereas the 124 Kombi looks like it was born to be this way. As do the coupes and the cabs - In fact I can't think of another car whose design works so seamlessly between different body styles including the excellent new E classes.

The only quibble I have with the design of the wagon is with the rear widow seals. I have never encountered a completely dry wagon - the rear glass looks lovely with the skinny pillars and minimal seals, but they are definitely best in a dry climate! In the UK, every single remaining wagon leaks at the back somewhere.
 

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Great pictures! This is on my to-do list and your picture will help. Thanks!
 

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Excellent write up and pics! It's on my list as well, although mine do work at present, they are weaker in cold weather. But since I snowboard, the hatch is used more in the winter.

The only thing about this that concerns me is the headliner part. I have a perfect, non-sagging headliner and I want it to stay that way.;)

Kevin
 

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Great tutotial. I replaced both struts couple months back and find it much easier to have extra pair of hands to help lifting the hatch all the way up and move the hatch slightly up & down while removing / replacing the pins and struts. I did have some difficulties taking the old strut out through the narrow opening though. Kevin, I did break one of the snaps that hold the liner during the process

Finton
 

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Yikes....were you able to find another snap?:eek: How do the snaps work exactly...I mean what motion do you exercise when removing that part of the headliner?

Kevin
 

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I use a small thin flat ply bar to remove the snaps, they are just pressure clips. I guess they just get bristle with age. I managed to replaced it with a slightly different colour clip from a part out 300E in my area.

Finton
 

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OK, I think we're on the same page...I have a tool in my tuck that works great for those types of clips. Thanks for the tip!:thumbsup:

Kevin
 

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yeah, I hate it when people post stuff linked to photos, then later move or delete the photos. these were posted on photobucket, which is awful about that. flickr is nearly as bad. google picasa and smugmug albums, the URLs for direct linking the pictures stay permanent.

sigh.
 

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I don't think it was intentional and a lot of those photo sites dump pics after a certain amount of time...especially the free sites.

On one of my hobby sites which is international, a hacker group from Holland hacked the site. The owners put it all back together, but all pics that went with tutorials are lost forever. And it really pissed off the forum members...especially the ones that posted all the pics & information in the first place. So they're sitting there just like this thread....all the information with no companion pics.

Kevin
 

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yeah, on a motorcycle adventure touring site I used to frequent, a guy I know did an epic 2 year siberia, middle east, southeast asia, indonesia, africa solo motorcycle trip, and shot tons of pictures, blogged as he went. all the pictures he was sending to another friend who'd posted them on his own personal server, so Glen could link them in his forum posts. just as the trip was winding down, the server the pictures were on suffered a hard drive failure.... AND THERE WERE NO BACKUPS. Glen has all his original pictures (and in fact turned the blogging into a rather good travel book), but rebuilding literally 100s of posts linked to 1000s and 1000s of pictures would be a nightmare task as the files the forum posts were linked to had all been renamed to descriptive names. so that whole 500 page long thread is full of broken photo icons. meh.
 

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Three years later and the struts installed when the OP started the thread are still super strong (I'm the current owner of his old car)
 

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Gators's "super strong" is a bit of an understatement. I've experienced his hatch. It will take your nose off on the way up.
 
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