How to replace a hydraulic lift

Written by nicholas rossillo
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How to replace a hydraulic lift
If your car boot closes on its own, you may have a damaged lift. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

If you have ever struggled to keep your boot or hood open while putting things inside or fixing your engine, you may have a broken hydraulic lift support. A lift creates energy by compressing gas into a cylinder. The energy is stored when the device is closed so that when needed, the device releases the energy to open your bonnet or boot. The problem is simple to fix -- even someone without any auto mechanic skills can likely fix the lift. Many people are unaware of the problem and therefore do not know where to turn. With a few simple steps and a new part, your boot will no longer slam on your head.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Safety glasses
  • Lift support (also known as a U-band)
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Assistant or helper

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  1. 1

    Put on your safety glasses. Safety should be priority so have someone assist you with the installation of your new lift.

  2. 2

    Inspect the end connections of your new lift support. Compare them to the old unit(s) on your vehicle or device to make sure they are the same. Also inspect the length when fully extended to make sure they match.

  3. 3

    Remove the old lift support. Place a flat head screwdriver under the band on the end of the support. You will know this band because of its "U" shape. Slowly lift it up and pull it away until it releases. There is no need to remove this band. Just lift it slightly until it is released from the ball stud. Note how the old lift is removed as you will do this in reverse with the new lift installation.

  4. 4

    Install the U-band for the new lift. To install, place the flat head screw driver under the U-band on the new support. Gently lift up while at the same time push the bottom of the support over the old ball until it clamps on.

Tips and warnings

  • Due to unequal pressure, supports need to be replaced as a pair.
  • While installing keep in mind that you are lifting slightly on the U-band which opens and closes the claw on the other end. There is no need to remove this band.
  • If you do pull it too hard, the band will may go flying away and that is why you need eye protection. If it does come off, the band can be placed back onto the support but may be bent and not have the clamping effect needed.
  • Do not force an ill-fitting lift or you could cause additional problems that will be expensive to replace as well as dangerous.
  • Do not puncture or attempt to change the lifting force. If the new support does not perform the way you feel is correct, contact the professional from whom you purchased the U-band
  • Lift supports need to be installed in the fully-extended position.

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