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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Heplful video by $167: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0rHcp37Yqw

Duration:
15 - 30 minutes

Products:
New trunk shocks and ballstuds:



I bought mine from www.liftsupportsdepot.com. They come in a pair with each trunk shock individually wrapped complete with shock the and a new ballstud. The company delivered in a manner of days. I was very pleased with their quality and service.

Cost:
Approximately $90 (for the pair) plus shipping

Suggested Tools:
  • Butane Lighter or Heat gun
  • Sturdy wooden plank, pole, or a friend with arms
  • Adjustable wrench
  • 12 MM Socket Wrench
  • Hacksaw or Dremmel
  • Masking Tape
You should always replace your trunk shocks in pairs, so don't buy just one. Be sure you have two different sided trunk shocks. They are labeled either L (left) and R (right) or, A (left) and B (right):



Just so long as you install them where the letter is right side up and readable, it's hard to screw up.

Information:
Whomever was in charge of designing the stock Toyota trunk shocks probably did not take into account that they would one day have to be replaced. The way they are designed they are very difficult to remove. The two bolts at the bottom of the trunk shock are no problem. It's the ballstud-bolt at the top that takes work getting out. The screw is thread-locked in using locktite or some other screw adhesive. Some people are able to remove the ballstuds without any problem. However I along with several others, had great difficulty removing the ballstud, so much so that I ended up having to cutthrough it and remove it with a socket wrench. For this reason, I will provide a "Plan B" for people who cannot get the ballstuds out with a normal wrench.


First off, gather all of your tools and materials. Be sure you are wearing comfortable clothing without any sharp metal surfaces (metal belt buckles, metal buttons, etc) that may scrape your car. You will be leaning on and against your car for a lot of this.

Oh and don't try and take both trunk shocks off at once. As you will see for yourself the trunk is quite heavy even with just one trunk shock off. Remove and replace the trunk shocks one at a time, otherwise you may end up with a trunk smashed on your head or hands.

Procedure:
1. Prop open your trunk using your wooden plank, pole, or friend with arms.


2. Remove the strings to your trunk cover so it rests in the down position. You may choose to remove the trunk cover entirely:




3. Use your heat source on the ballstud. The reason we do this is to break up the locktite that is holding the threading in place. I used a butane lighter for 20-30 seconds from less than half an inch away. Butane lighters are inexpensive and can be purchased from any liquor store for less than $2.00. I recommend the use of a butane lighter instead of a regular lighter because the flame of the butane is directional and can be "focused" directly on the bolt. This is important because the rubber seal of your hatch is an inch away from the bolt and is prone to damage from the heat.


4. Using your wrench, unscrew the ballstud. For some people the ballstud comes out very easily this way, for others it will be nearly impossible. If it does not come out with your first couple of tries, do not force it. You will end up stripping the ballstud and making it more difficult in the subsequent steps. If yours comes out, move on to step 8. If you cannot remove it with your wrench, do the following:

Plan B
5b. Tape off the area around the ballstud:



It's important to protect the paint and the rubber lining of the trunk in the area you are working. I know it's only the inside of the trunk, but any place you scratch the paint it is prone to rusting, any place you tear the rubber is prone to leaking. You don't want your trunk rusting from the inside out or filling with water or moisture if you can prevent it.


6b. Cut through the Ballstud using your hacksaw or dremmel (note, I did not have a picture of cutting the left side ballstud which is why this picture may seem out of place):



I used a hacksaw for mine, but a dremmel with a large grinding wheel should work just as easily. With the saw I cut in an upwards motion parallel to the trunk angle to prevent any scratching of the trunk. It's a slow and tedious process and you're cutting from a funny angle without a lot of leverage. Luckily the metal of the ballstud is weak and easy to cut through.

Be prepared for the trunk to drop when you cut through the boltstud. Have the trunk propped up higher than the trunk shocks naturally extend so the trunk does not fall when you cut through the ball stud.



7b. Using your 12mm socket wrench, remove the cut ballstud bolt:



It should twist right out now. You should see red stuff stuck in the threading on the bolt. This is the loctite that you burnt off with your heat source. When you're putting in the new bolt it will be a little difficult getting it in because there will be remeaining locktite still in the threading of the trunk. Try to clear out as much of it as possible with your fingers.


8. Remove the two bolts at the bottom connecting the trunk shock to the base of the trunk and remove the old trunk shock.


9. Using your 12mm socket wrench again, screw in the new Ballstud bolt:




Be careful not to over torque it when screwing it in. You do want to be able to replace it again in the future assuming you still have the Celica a few years down the road.

10. Attach the new trunk shock to the ball stud.


11. Screw in the bottom two bolts at the base of the trunk shock.


Be sure the shock is orientated the right way. The shock should be towards the rear (trunk) side with the two bolts closer to the front. If you install it the wrong way with the shock further up, it will not lift your hatch fully. It should look like this:

Right Side:


Left Side:



11. Repeat the process for the opposite side.


And then you're done:




Quick easy and painless. I hope this guide was helpful. Let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything that is unclear or can be improved upon.
~Antithesis
 

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very nice write up. one question tho, do we really need to cut the old ball joints? Is it possible to just heat it up then use a good open wrench to take out the other end of the shock?
 

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Nice summary.

After checking Auto Zone, O'Reilly's, and NAPA for the shocks (Mighty Lift part #D95448 for '00 Celica without spoiler and rear wiper) and coming up empty, I bit the bullet and purchased the entire assembly from the link in the original post. I received them within a week, and they work great.

Two things:
1. The two lower bolts strapping the shocks to the car itself on each side (not the eyebolt attaching the shocks to the liftback door) were 10mm in my case. The eyebolt was a 12mm on both sides though.

2. One eyebolt came off just by prying a little away to where I could reach it with a 12mm open wrench. I rounded the edges out on the other one though, so I had to saw it away from the shock, then use vice grips to unscrew it.

Thanks for the write-up!
 

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great guide! got mine in pretty quick..although i needed a vicegrip to take out the old ballstuds...too tough for just the lighter and wrench. when i got the new ones in they were so strong that when i accidentally let the trunk open by itself it jumped the car a couple of inches off the ground :gap:
 

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Just put my liftdepot.com struts on the hatch. Payed $60 shipped brand new from eBay. Took me maybe half hour, and was MUCH easier than you would think. No hacksaw needed!! Just be sure to heat (about 20-30 seconds of direct flame) the ball stud before you go nuts. Just throw a wrench on it and it comes off with very little effort. Piece of cake, and now the hatch lifts with authority! :)
 

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I'm not sure if anyone still reads this but... is there any way to leave the original ballstuds in and just replace the actual shocks? I noticed the new shocks have that nice clip thing that lets them be taken off easy, but the old ones don't have them.

The reason I ask is because just a lighter isn't working (maybe because it's winter haha), and I don't have access to a hacksaw at the moment. But I guess it might be a good time to get one.
 

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Not that I know of. I was just out having a look at mine (didn't know about the locktite...) and you'd have to come up with a way to split the socket end of the original apart. It's probably just easier to try the lighter+hacksaw method.

Besides the original and replacement ball joint might be a different size...
 

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Yeah that's what I thought, thanks.

I ended up going to my local Pep Boys and had them change it out. Initially the guy said it would probably be about $10, but when he came back with the receipt it said $100+. He ended up only charging me about $20 because of his mistake, which I was fine with.

I'm just glad that I don't have to hold up my trunk anymore! :D
 

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Thanks for the instructions. Now I know what to expect. I ordered the shocks from Kragen/O'Reilly Auto Parts here in NorCal. Cost is $34.99 for both. Will post my results when complete. Will probably heat it up first, otherwise, will saw away.
 

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Hey guys.

Do u think it would be possible to somehow fit the rear (bad) trunk shocks under the front hood (with some modyfications)? They sure can't hold the trunk door up, but will they still be able to hold the hood assuming it's lighter?
 
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