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> Rear trunk gas strut mod -- any reason not to revert to original?
98101
post Feb 25 2021, 02:30 AM
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My car came with gas struts to lift the trunk lid. I don't know why someone felt the need to install these. The previous owner was a bit of an oddball. I'm considering putting this back to stock, but I want to make sure I'm not missing some important reason.

Downsides of this modification:
  1. Slightly more awkward to get the roof in and out.
  2. Looks out of place.
  3. Holes cut in metal.
  4. Gas struts frequently fail and need replacing (though this is cheap and easy).
  5. Gas struts may not work properly in very cold weather.
I searched the forum and these were only arguments in favor I could find:
  1. Necessary to make room for some engine installations.
  2. Torsion bar replacement can be dangerous (though 914 Rubber sells a tool that may help).
My car has a cable release for the rear trunk, in case that's relevant somehow.
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914Sixer
post Feb 25 2021, 07:27 AM
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They mostly came about because replacement rollers can be a pain to install. The rollers failed because of the poor quality of the plastic used. You have to remember the 914 was a throw away car when it was released at $3600. The were all about cutting corners as each model year progressed.
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Superhawk996
post Feb 25 2021, 07:37 AM
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QUOTE(914Sixer @ Feb 25 2021, 08:27 AM) *

They mostly came about because replacement rollers can be a pain to install. The rollers failed because of the poor quality of the plastic used. You have to remember the 914 was a throw away car when it was released at $3600. The were all about cutting corners as each model year progressed.



All true. However, I don't recall seeing the gas strut kits until much later - like the early 90's. Could also be that I was never looking for them!

By then we already had vendors making the rollers out of bronze rather than the OEM plastic.

I'm a big fan of the OEM torsion bar setup for it's simplicity and longevity. 50 years later and they still work.

If you buy the tool or make your own, the install (or removal) of the torsion bars doesn't have to be a big deal.
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ClayPerrine
post Feb 25 2021, 07:48 AM
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I hate the gas struts. The kit gets in the way of putting the roof in, you have to cut a slot in the pinch weld at the front of the trunk for them, and I HATE getting clunked in the head by the lid when the fail

I would rather have a prop rod in the trunk than them. And I do on the 4.0 car. The throttle body and intake boot intrude on where the torsion bars run.

The DAPO (Hi Rusty! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) ) put a set of gas struts on Elwood. I have not removed them....yet.

Betty's car always had the torsion bars. And I will be putting them back when it comes home from the body shop.

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Steve
post Feb 25 2021, 07:56 AM
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Unless it’s a conversion and the V8 distributor hits the torsion bars or in my case the 3.2 injection then its kind of a dumb mod.
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bbrock
post Feb 25 2021, 08:00 AM
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I am a hater of gas struts and not just on the 914 - ALL of them for the cold weather reason. However, the pivots for the trunk hinges are under tremendous strain by the torsion bars and if the mechanism gets rusty or dirty, the pivot brackets fatigue and break off requiring new pivots, and often a patch, to be welded in. It is a PITA job that I think leads many to ditch the torsion roads for struts. Drilling holes to install struts sounds like a PITA to me too, so I'm not sure there is much difference.
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ClayPerrine
post Feb 25 2021, 08:20 AM
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QUOTE(bbrock @ Feb 25 2021, 08:00 AM) *

I am a hater of gas struts and not just on the 914 - ALL of them for the cold weather reason. However, the pivots for the trunk hinges are under tremendous strain by the torsion bars and if the mechanism gets rusty or dirty, the pivot brackets fatigue and break off requiring new pivots, and often a patch, to be welded in. It is a PITA job that I think leads many to ditch the torsion roads for struts. Drilling holes to install struts sounds like a PITA to me too, so I'm not sure there is much difference.



Use the J-West trunk pivot kit. It is adjustable and uses heim joints so no more broken off pivots.

https://www.jwestengineering.com/914-Rear-T...-EACH_p_17.html

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Robarabian
post Feb 25 2021, 10:23 AM
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I searched the Bird for the bronze rollers. Don't see them.

Anyone know where to get them?
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Rusty
post Feb 25 2021, 10:53 AM
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QUOTE(ClayPerrine @ Feb 25 2021, 07:48 AM) *

I hate the gas struts. The kit gets in the way of putting the roof in, you have to cut a slot in the pinch weld at the front of the trunk for them, and I HATE getting clunked in the head by the lid when the fail

I would rather have a prop rod in the trunk than them. And I do on the 4.0 car. The throttle body and intake boot intrude on where the torsion bars run.

The DAPO (Hi Rusty! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) ) put a set of gas struts on Elwood. I have not removed them....yet.

Betty's car always had the torsion bars. And I will be putting them back when it comes home from the body shop.



Yep, I did. I was pretty happy with that kit - but my car was never a CW ride.
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Mikey914
post Feb 25 2021, 11:36 AM
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We did make them from Delrin that look like factory I even have McMark's Original customs tool in stock if you want to save a finger.
https://914rubber.com/rear-trunk-torsion-bar-roller-1-1
PS if you're missing the hold down plates I can throw you a set of new ones in.
OC tool -
https://914rubber.com/rear-trunk-spring-pre...-relieving-tool

Here's Mcmarks original thread
http://www.914world.com/bbs2/index.php?sho...+spring+rollers


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rjames
post Feb 25 2021, 12:01 PM
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QUOTE(ClayPerrine @ Feb 25 2021, 06:20 AM) *

QUOTE(bbrock @ Feb 25 2021, 08:00 AM) *

I am a hater of gas struts and not just on the 914 - ALL of them for the cold weather reason. However, the pivots for the trunk hinges are under tremendous strain by the torsion bars and if the mechanism gets rusty or dirty, the pivot brackets fatigue and break off requiring new pivots, and often a patch, to be welded in. It is a PITA job that I think leads many to ditch the torsion roads for struts. Drilling holes to install struts sounds like a PITA to me too, so I'm not sure there is much difference.



Use the J-West trunk pivot kit. It is adjustable and uses heim joints so no more broken off pivots.

https://www.jwestengineering.com/914-Rear-T...-EACH_p_17.html


(IMG:style_emoticons/default/agree.gif)

I hate the gas struts. I also installed the J-West trunk pivot kit which is a beautifully overbuilt product. The OEM torsion bars are a PITA if you have to deal with them, but in the time it would take to remove them and install gas struts you could've fixed whatever issue caused you to consider gas struts in the first place.
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ClayPerrine
post Feb 25 2021, 12:26 PM
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QUOTE(rjames @ Feb 25 2021, 12:01 PM) *

QUOTE(ClayPerrine @ Feb 25 2021, 06:20 AM) *

QUOTE(bbrock @ Feb 25 2021, 08:00 AM) *

I am a hater of gas struts and not just on the 914 - ALL of them for the cold weather reason. However, the pivots for the trunk hinges are under tremendous strain by the torsion bars and if the mechanism gets rusty or dirty, the pivot brackets fatigue and break off requiring new pivots, and often a patch, to be welded in. It is a PITA job that I think leads many to ditch the torsion roads for struts. Drilling holes to install struts sounds like a PITA to me too, so I'm not sure there is much difference.



Use the J-West trunk pivot kit. It is adjustable and uses heim joints so no more broken off pivots.

https://www.jwestengineering.com/914-Rear-T...-EACH_p_17.html


(IMG:style_emoticons/default/agree.gif)

I hate the gas struts. I also installed the J-West trunk pivot kit which is a beautifully overbuilt product. The OEM torsion bars are a PITA if you have to deal with them, but in the time it would take to remove them and install gas struts you could've fixed whatever issue caused you do consider gas struts in the first place.



And if you put anti-seize on the shoulder of the OEM bolt, it won't seize to the hinge and break the mount.

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Mikey914
post Feb 25 2021, 01:13 PM
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QUOTE(ClayPerrine @ Feb 25 2021, 10:26 AM) *

QUOTE(rjames @ Feb 25 2021, 12:01 PM) *

QUOTE(ClayPerrine @ Feb 25 2021, 06:20 AM) *

QUOTE(bbrock @ Feb 25 2021, 08:00 AM) *

I am a hater of gas struts and not just on the 914 - ALL of them for the cold weather reason. However, the pivots for the trunk hinges are under tremendous strain by the torsion bars and if the mechanism gets rusty or dirty, the pivot brackets fatigue and break off requiring new pivots, and often a patch, to be welded in. It is a PITA job that I think leads many to ditch the torsion roads for struts. Drilling holes to install struts sounds like a PITA to me too, so I'm not sure there is much difference.



Use the J-West trunk pivot kit. It is adjustable and uses heim joints so no more broken off pivots.

https://www.jwestengineering.com/914-Rear-T...-EACH_p_17.html


(IMG:style_emoticons/default/agree.gif)

I hate the gas struts. I also installed the J-West trunk pivot kit which is a beautifully overbuilt product. The OEM torsion bars are a PITA if you have to deal with them, but in the time it would take to remove them and install gas struts you could've fixed whatever issue caused you do consider gas struts in the first place.



And if you put anti-seize on the shoulder of the OEM bolt, it won't seize to the hinge and break the mount.

The shoulder bolt is another animal. In stock configuration they are under a load continuously. If you look at the picture of the part you can see there is not a lot of material there. These are best changed out every soo often.


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wonkipop
post Feb 25 2021, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE(Robarabian @ Feb 25 2021, 10:23 AM) *

I searched the Bird for the bronze rollers. Don't see them.

Anyone know where to get them?


i wonder if you can get those anymore.
i have a pair i bought 30 years ago when i was still living in the states.
back then that was the fix for broken plastic rollers.
they are a slightly smaller diameter than the factory plastic rollers.

l lived with one broken roller for 30 years ago until last year.
i got two new plastic rollers from 914 rubber (i am pretty sure 914 rubber was the source).
made an installation tool (as shown in the factory manual) out of flat bar. i did not think it was a hard instal, but there was two of us to do it.
one person holds the torsion bar back with the tool and the other slipped/guided the roller on to align with torsion bar.
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Luke M
post Feb 25 2021, 02:06 PM
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QUOTE(Mikey914 @ Feb 25 2021, 12:13 PM) *

QUOTE(ClayPerrine @ Feb 25 2021, 10:26 AM) *

QUOTE(rjames @ Feb 25 2021, 12:01 PM) *

QUOTE(ClayPerrine @ Feb 25 2021, 06:20 AM) *

QUOTE(bbrock @ Feb 25 2021, 08:00 AM) *

I am a hater of gas struts and not just on the 914 - ALL of them for the cold weather reason. However, the pivots for the trunk hinges are under tremendous strain by the torsion bars and if the mechanism gets rusty or dirty, the pivot brackets fatigue and break off requiring new pivots, and often a patch, to be welded in. It is a PITA job that I think leads many to ditch the torsion roads for struts. Drilling holes to install struts sounds like a PITA to me too, so I'm not sure there is much difference.



Use the J-West trunk pivot kit. It is adjustable and uses heim joints so no more broken off pivots.

https://www.jwestengineering.com/914-Rear-T...-EACH_p_17.html


(IMG:style_emoticons/default/agree.gif)

I hate the gas struts. I also installed the J-West trunk pivot kit which is a beautifully overbuilt product. The OEM torsion bars are a PITA if you have to deal with them, but in the time it would take to remove them and install gas struts you could've fixed whatever issue caused you do consider gas struts in the first place.



And if you put anti-seize on the shoulder of the OEM bolt, it won't seize to the hinge and break the mount.

The shoulder bolt is another animal. In stock configuration they are under a load continuously. If you look at the picture of the part you can see there is not a lot of material there. These are best changed out every soo often.



IIRC wasn't someone selling these bolts with a grease fitting? Guessing it wasn't 914rubber otherwise Mark would've posted those. This is another issue I need to fix on my 6 too. The PO welded the living snot out of my bracket but never fixed the torn sheet metal behind it. I have the new RD pieces to install but now thinking of doing the Jwest setup... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/idea.gif)
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Mark Henry
post Feb 25 2021, 02:51 PM
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The wife's 914 has them, they're better than nothing, but the stock springs are way better.
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roblav1
post Feb 25 2021, 03:33 PM
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I'll be the outlier here and say I prefer the gas struts!
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Mikey914
post Feb 25 2021, 03:41 PM
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No we didn't make any with a grease fitting.
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98101
post Feb 26 2021, 12:30 AM
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QUOTE(roblav1 @ Feb 25 2021, 01:33 PM) *

I'll be the outlier here and say I prefer the gas struts!

For aesthetic reasons, or maybe some practical reason that I'm missing?

I'm glad that people have different opinions and do different things with their cars.
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wonkipop
post Feb 27 2021, 03:26 AM
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early publicity photo 914/6.
advertising mad men airbrushed in the gas burners (no show at factory yet?).
forgot to airbrush out the rod prop on the boot lid supplied by the race dept. stuttgart cowboys.



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