Replacing the hatch shocks is not all that difficult, however it does help to have the plastic trim tools. The shocks are located in the roof section under the headliner.
This is also a good time to replace your ugly shark antenna since it is also easily accessible.|
The basic idea is to remove the headliner trim pieces so that the headliner can be moved down. Then will you get a limited amount of access to the shocks.
All of the trim pieces can be pulled out carefully using your hands or with the plastic trim tool. You basically pull on the trim until you find where it is attached to the car. From there you insert the tool under the plastic and wedge the trim off the mount.
|Once the big piece is off, you can pull off the side, C pillar pieces and then the side pieces. You just pull on these and they pop right off.
The last piece to remove is the safety net attach point. Pull the cover using a small screwdriver and then pull up the plastic pins. I used another plastic tool to fully pull out the pins. The entire plastic piece needs to be pulled out, except one part remains inside the main mouting hole.
Once these pieces are removed the rear section of the headliner will fall down. Now you will have some access to the shocks.
|Before removing the shocks you need to either have someone hold the hatch up or use some type broom handle. Otherwise you will get one hell of a surprise when you pull off the first shock!
In order to remove the old shocks easily you need to pull out a little safety pin. The pin is first unwrapped from around the shock and then pulled straight out.
I used a small pry bar to pull the shock off the mount. Only do 1 shock at a time!
|Installing the new shock is harder than it looks. I ended up removing the safety pins and not using them at all.
I could not install the shock with them on and I could not fit the pin in afterwards.
My process was to get shock mounted to the hatch first and then reach in to push on the other side with my hand. Also, I found that the new shocks were extended more than the old ones and required me to really push up the hatch in order to get it on the mount.
Once both shocks are installed, close and open the hatch a few times to make sure they are good. Just stand back when you open it up as it will literally fly up at first!
Reinstalling the trim is straight forward. Just go in the same order you removed it.