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Hood Prop - Tired Of Struts Failing

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by J_C, February 17, 2016.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    '98 Explorer. My hood struts are failing again. I've already replaced them at least 3 times. Fortunately the first time I bought them from Autozone they had a lifetime warranty, which they no longer have, but I made a scan of the receipt before the ink disappeared so I can get them free - which is why I'm not just looking for best brand alternatives.

    Regardless, I'm a fan of doing a repair once and having it last so now thinking about using a hood prop rod instead. Has anyone done this, or have suggestions for a make/model vehicle to pull one from that would be a good fit?

    I'm not stuck on keeping the hood at the same lift height but it would be nice. If I had to drill a hole or two, fabricate a metal plate or some other minor mods that would be acceptable.
     
    Last edited: February 17, 2016
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  3. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  4. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    At the risk of my seeming cheap, those are $70 to $120 + S/H vs free, or nearly so for a prop rod from a junk yard. I'm not even sure how bad mine are, wondering if they'll recover a bit when it gets warmer. They didn't work at all when it was 4F outside a couple nights ago then almost worked at 25F yesterday.
     
    Last edited: February 17, 2016
  5. 1997XLTRollover

    1997XLTRollover Well-Known Member

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    I did this on my 93 Taurus. grabbed a prop rod from a scrap yard and looped it through one of the holes in the rad support, put a rubber bushing on it where it went though the rad support and it works fine. Been on there 10 years now.
     
  6. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    There is what looks like plenty of flat metal area on the radiator support (or maybe it was in front of that) to bolt one onto, but I can only guess that the best donor vehicle for a rod would be something with the same length hood, or I suppose I could just take the struts off so they aren't working against the rod.

    I don't recall if the hinges themselves have a stop built in or the stop point is just the max travel of the struts. Then again I could probably get a longer rod than needed then cut/heat/bend it to whatever length I want.
     
    Last edited: February 17, 2016
  7. Jeff213

    Jeff213 Active Member

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    I got some "strong arm" brand, they are supposed to have a lifetime warranty and they are made in usa. They are not much more than the auto zone ones and I haven't had any problem with them yet. When I put them in it only took 1 to hold the hood up.
     
  8. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    ^ They're even cheaper at $12.85 each delivered on Amazon under other sellers (assuming they don't make two versions, one cheap and one with lifetime warranty), compared to what I got from Autozone which cost $18 each now ($17 back in 2004), but I already have a lifetime warranty so $0 is as cheap as it gets.

    They must have wildly varying quality control on the Mighty Lift I have because the 1st replacement pair lasted only 3 months, then 2nd pair 3 years, 3rd pair 2 years, and the 4th pair which is the last I recall, a little over 6 years.
     
  9. Robman

    Robman Active Member

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    I need a stick to hold the hood up on all 3 of my Explorers.

    Such a luxuriously stupid design they are.

    I especially enjoy it when I'm using booster cables and I think the shocks will hold, only to then come crashing down on the jumper cables causing muchos sparks. Or when it simply falls and hits my head... good times.
     
  10. amberanger

    amberanger New Member

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    Grab one off a ranger, would work great
     
  11. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    ^ I just looked at some pictures for a '98 Ranger and the support rod mounts to the front side of the housing which seems like it would interfere with the plastic on mine, was looking for something that bolts to the top.

    I'd like to keep that plastic but might be able to just mount it an ~inch higher to be clear of it, and bolt plate metal over the new hole to reinforce it since I have no means of bending a circular shape around the hole to stiffen it like Ford did, but either way if I could keep the (new, replaced under warranty) gas struts on too, that would be ideal but then the rod has to be pretty near the same hood height which I don't know about even if it's from a Ranger.

    Ranger
    [​IMG]

    Explorer
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: February 17, 2016
  12. Mike65

    Mike65 Elite Explorer

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  13. chefduane

    chefduane Texas Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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    I use a Lisle Hood Prop. Works great. Can also be effective as a defensive device when in unknown territory. :salute: I keep mine behind my driver's seat. I have a set of some 'strong arm' type lifts installed right now, but they will probably eventually fail.

    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/LIL-45900?seid=srese2
     
  14. 429CJ-3X2

    429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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    1st Gen Explorers had prop rods that mounted to the top of the radiator support. Been thinking about adding one to my STs and Mounty.

    Years ago I found some things that fit between the end of the strut and the body of the strut to lock it in place, & folded out of the way to close the hood - or topper door which is what it was really for. Wish I knew what I did with them.
     
  15. Runnin'OnEmpty

    Runnin'OnEmpty Well-Known Member

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    I have an 04 Ranger prop rod on both my 00 Sports. Had to drill one
    small hole for the rod and affixed the keeper in an existing hole. The length
    of the rod was perfect, and it fits in an existing hood hole when opened.

    My struts still held the hood open, but I didn't trust them anymore, not with
    my head underneath a heavy hood...:eek:
     
  16. Bobmbx

    Bobmbx Active Member

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    Anyone remember when hoods had spring hinges and held themselves up? No rods, no shocks.

    I long for a left-foot operated hi-beam switch.
     
  17. 429CJ-3X2

    429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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    Yes, to all of the above!!!
     
  18. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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    ... and automatic parking brake release when shifted into gear.
     
  19. chefduane

    chefduane Texas Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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    Heh. When I was a kid my dad had a '51 Merc (this was '68 or so) that had a pushbutton start. Turn the key on, then push the button. He always let me push the button. When I see them nowadays and folks wonder at the technology, I get a laugh.
     
  20. Flash

    Flash Well-Known Member

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    I've wondered about a coil spring slipped over the strut, like a coilover shock.
    Where would you get a spring like that?

    My hood struts are ok, it's the glass hatch struts I have trouble with.
     
  21. delexploder

    delexploder Well-Known Member

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    There is a thread on here about this , I remember that the member said a prop rod from a Chevy s10 somehow fit
     

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