How to install a Standard U-Band/Ball Socket Lift Support

open hatches

Lift supports are a vital part of your vehicle when it comes to keeping your car’s engine hood, liftgate, or trunk open. However, over time, your car’s OEM lift supports may fail or lose strength. This can pose a huge safety risk and even cause serious injury when opening and closing your car’s hood, trunk, or liftgate. Luckily, replacing them is easy and requires no special tools.

Factors like frequent usage, temperature changes, and driving environments can affect the lifting power of your gas struts. That’s why you should regularly check the condition of your lift supports. If your lift supports are no longer working as expected, replace them immediately. Replacing your failed unit will easily restore your lift support application to its original condition.

If you’re looking to replace standard U-band or ball socket lift supports, follow these steps:

First Things First - Get the Correct Replacement Lift Support

  • Take photos of the existing lift support that you want to replace
  • Measure the lift support from the center point of each end fitting
  • Identify the type of connector used: it could be a ball socket or an eyelet
  • Take note of all markings on the lift support tube, specifically the pressure (check for xxx#s or xxxN)
  • Shop for the exact part number or one that closely matches the information you have

You can also identify the specific application type, such as hood lift support and identify the brand of the application, such as your car brand, make, and year, to help you find matching lift supports online to replace the existing ones.

Factors to Keep in Mind

  • Lift supports for hoods, liftgates, trunks, or other non-automotive applications should always be replaced in pairs. Don’t remove the lift supports at the same time. Instead, remove one and replace it, and then remove and replace the second one.
  • Make sure that you always install new ball socket lift supports in the same orientation as the existing lift supports that you want to replace.
  • Carefully inspect all connecting points, hinges, and fittings on your lift support application and replace them if damaged, broken, or fractured. This will ensure the reliable performance and functionality of your gas struts after replacement.

Step-by-Step Guide to Replace Your Lift Supports

cars with open tailgates

  • Assemble the Right Tools

    To replace lift supports, you’ll need various tools:

    • A flathead screwdriver
    • A safety stand to prop up the hood, tailgate, or trunk
    • Safety glasses for eye protection
    • Gloves for hand protection.
  • Support the Application

    When replacing lift supports, you need to use the right safety stand whenever the installation procedure requires you to work under the support or vehicle. For your own safety, it’s better to have someone hold the hood, trunk, or other lift support application open for you so that they can raise it and lower it as needed.

  • Inspect the End Connections

    Before you replace lift supports, inspect the end connections of your new gas struts on both ends and compare them to the existing units on your vehicle to be sure they’re the same. The overall length of the gas struts, when fully extended, should also be the same.

  • Remove the Old Supports

    Use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the U-shaped retaining clip or band that holds the ball socket lift support into place. Do this slowly and pull it away from the vehicle until it releases. Avoid pulling off the U-band all the way or using force, as it will fly off and could hurt you or someone nearby. Doing it correctly will ensure you replace your lift supports with ease.

  • Install the Replacement Lift Supports

    To install the new lift supports, start with the shaft end first. Place the ball socket over the ball stud on your vehicle and use your fingers to apply some gentle pressure until it pops into place. Grab the body of the gas strut (the thick steel cylinder) and turn it one full turn clockwise to release the lift support cylinder.

    Turn the gas strut until the ball socket is right on top of the ball stud. Push it gently onto the ball stud. After you’ve installed both ends of the gas strut, tug it gently to be sure that it is securely attached to the vehicle. No complicated tools are needed when you want to replace lift supports. Repeat this procedure to remove and replace the other gas strut.

Find Top-Quality Lift Supports

open car trunk

If you’re looking for quality replacement lift supports for your vehicle or other application, look no further than Lift Supports Depot. We have the world’s largest lift support database, making it easy for you to find the right part when you need to replace your lift supports. Shop all products, including stainless steel hardware, support connectors, mounting brackets, and colored boots by year, make, model, size, part number, or other specifications.

Contact us now for orders and check out our simple installation tips for help.