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Registered
2005 Forester XT
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178 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If your like me than you probably don't want to spend a crap load of money for hood struts for your car and you can't stand the stock hood prop. Here is a tutorial I created for cheap hood struts. I tried to post this in the DIY section but it wont let me so I'll put it in here.

Tools Needed

12mm Socket
10mm Socket
½” Open End Wrench
½” Socket

Metal Cutting Saw
Drill or Drill Press
Center Punch
5/16” Drill Bit
¼” Drill Bit


Materials Needed

Gas Struts from McMaster-Carr http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/117/1188/=ff6ee6

You could either get the 30lb struts or the 40lb struts. This would depend on if your looking for more lift out of them. I chose the 30lbs because I didn't want my hood getting thrown open after a certain point. I probably wouldn't go higher than 40 because it will put stress on the hood if it opens quickly and then the struts bottom out stopping the hood.
Part Number: 4138T563
30lb Force
Extended Length: 17.13”
Compressed Length: 10.83”
Ball Std Thread Size: 5/16”-18

Cost Shipped: $35

Materials From Lowes/HomeDepot
1”x1/8”x3’ Angle Iron
(4) ¼” Washer and (4) 5/16”-18 Nylon Nuts
Paint

Cost $15

For these struts, you will need to make the brackets that hold the struts in place. This is very easy to do. I used a dry cut saw to cut my brackets. You should be able to cut fairly accurate with a hacksaw or cutoff wheel, etc… Below are the specs to which the brackets need to be made.

***Remember you need to make the brackets for both sides so the left and right will be made in opposite directions

These are the dimensions for the hood brackets:


And here are the dimensions for the fender bracket:


Here a picture of what I used to cut my brackets:


I used the center punch to make the spots for where to drill the holes. This is used so that way the drill bit won’t wander when starting the hole. After these brackets are fabricated, it is time to install the brackets.

Here is a picture of my brackets after I painted them and they were ready to mount. I also used a stationary belt sander to grind down the points and to give it a better look. I’m sure this can be done using a bandsaw or a hacksaw.



Installation

First Remove the Fender Mounting Bolt by using a 10mm socket and install the fender bracket as shown below:



Next, using a 12mm socket, remove the two hood bolts. Make sure to hold hood or have someone help you hold the hood so that way it doesn’t fall. Then install the hood brackets that you made.



Then install the gas struts using the ½” open end wrench and a ½” socket.
Repeat for the driver’s side.

You might need to trim the hood seal so the struts clear it but it might not be necessary. I just use a utility knife to trim off about 1" on each side so the struts slide past when the hood shuts.

One thing that might help for single person installers is to use the stock hood prop to hold the hood while you install the brackets.

Finally, Enjoy your new hood struts:








 

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Premium Member
2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,463 Posts
That is a very nice write-up and the drawings make this easy for the average DIY'er. I've been holding off on this project just because I was too lazy to look for the right struts. Do you think the 30lb struts would be good for for SF model foresters too? Their hoods are steel.
 

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Registered
2005 Forester XT
Joined
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178 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That is a very nice write-up and the drawings make this easy for the average DIY'er. I've been holding off on this project just because I was too lazy to look for the right struts. Do you think the 30lb struts would be good for for SF model foresters too? Their hoods are steel.
I do not think that the 30lb struts would be sufficient enough, They have a bunch of different forced struts on McMaster. I just guessed at 30 lbs. I read somewhere that 20 lbs seemed to weak and found that some other person tired at 40 or 50lbs if I remember correctly and looked at their video and it looked to harsh so I just decided on 30. Maybe the 40 or 50 might be good for the steel hood then.

Edit: I also cannot be too sure about if the dimensions will work for other models but I'm pretty sure it will be the same for the 03-05 and not sure if they are the same for 06-08.
 

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Registered
2006 XT Limited 4EAT
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4,799 Posts
Great write-up! I'll be doing this myself sometime now that there is a more affordable option.

03-08 should all follow the same measurements.
 

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Casper reincarnated
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2,272 Posts
Thanks everyone, if you have any questions let me know
With gas struts fitted, how do you go about closing the hood securely?

My hood has to be dropped from a certain height before it close securely, I put 8 knuckle dents :icon_redface: :icon_redface: in the bonnet of 01 RX Liberty the first time I tried to close the hood in the old fashion. Paintless dent removal mob were able to get them out for me, thank heavens.
 

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Registered
2005 Forester XT
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178 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Aluminum should work, I would prob make sure its 1/8" thick. Also, I have to drop the hood from about 12 inches.

I would guess the 40lb struts would lift the hood from half way. The 30 lbs don't provide much lift until the hood is almost completely opened. I just used 30 because I only want the struts to replace the hood prop without getting in the way. The 30lb struts hold the hood open and it does take some force to close so it does not seem like it will be able to be blown shut.

I will post a video of how they work when I get to it, but right now I'm tackling down a plug change
 

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Registered
2002 L
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273 Posts
Wouldn't it have been easier to just replace the fender bolt with the ball stud all together, like the Subtle kits do? Us SF owners don't have a fender bolt there, so installation of this will require drilling into the fender.
 
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