How to Measure your Gas Struts

Table of Contents

1. Measure the Extended Length

2. Measure the Retracted Length

3. Understand the Ending Types

4. Stroke Length

Cars with open hoods

Ensuring that you have the proper-sized lift support struts for your car is essential for your hoods, trunks, and lift gates to work correctly. Knowing how to measure gas struts will help you make sure you get the right part for your vehicle.

At Lift Supports Depot, we always strive to ensure that you get the right parts. When learning how to measure gas shocks, struts, and lift supports, there are several things to consider.



Measure the Extended Length

An open SUV gate

Next, you’ll need to know how to measure the extended length of your gas struts. The extended length is the fully extended length of your support when measured from the center of the Ball Socket, Eyelet, or Rivet (if a bracket is used). Refer to the picture above marked with the letter "A.”

Measure the Retracted Length

A gray car with an open hood

You’ll also need to know how to measure the retracted length of your gas struts, which is the complete collapsed length of the support measured from the center of the Ball Socket, Eyelet, or Rivet (if a bracket is used). In some cases, it is impossible to measure your lift strut’s size without removing the support. Therefore, we suggest you measure the body (not the shaft) of the unit from the end that has the Ball Socket, Eyelet, or Rivet (if a bracket is used) to the area where the shaft begins and then add 0.75".

Refer to picture B-1 if you can collapse your support, or B-2 if you cannot compress the support.


Understand the Ending Types

A man repairing a truck tailgate

When learning how to measure gas struts, it’s important to understand there are quite a few different types of ends used on lift supports. Here, we’ll discuss a few of the most popular.

The most common size is a 10mm ball stud; however, 8mm, 13mm, and some 16mm ball studs are also used. Eyelets come in a wide variety of ranges as well and need to be measured across the end.

The metal types are the best for uses that require a more secure end, and 13mm types are strongly suggested for any heavy weight lifting over 150 lbs.


Stroke Length

A car with an extended strut in front of a sunrise

The last step in learning how to measure gas struts and shocks is to measure the stroke length. The stroke length is the actual travel distance that the piston can travel. To determine stroke length, measure the exact shaft length on your existing unit. 

This measurement of your lift support struts’ size is often overlooked. But if it is too short, it will not allow the device you are using it on to close properly. In cases where you are not 100% sure, or if you have an old unit, you can place a rubber band on the shaft, close the device, and measure the distance to where the rubber band has moved. 

In the event that you do not have a metric measuring device, you can find a few of the most popular conversions below:

  • 8mm = 5/16" = .32"
  • 10mm = 3/8" = .39"
  • 13mm = 1/2" = .50".

There are also smartphone apps that can complete these metric conversions for you.

Trust Lift Supports Depot to Enhance Your Next Project 

If you are new to learning how to measure your gas struts, Life Supports Depot is here to help. We are able to build many different configurations and are here to support you if you can't find the lift support struts you need on our size selection chart. Don’t hesitate to contact us and send us the details — we will gladly quote you on your needs for measuring gas struts.

For your special projects, please keep in mind that we do not have a design staff, nor any qualified engineers or software to tell you what is suitable for your application. But, we have worked with many individuals and had great success. While it may take a little bit of trial and error, our goal is always to work with you and help you with your needs and goals. Feel free to send us a description of your situation and we'll do our best to take care of you.