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Avanti 2003 Firebird Trunk Lid Lift

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  • Avanti 2003 Firebird Trunk Lid Lift

    Recently acquired. Trunk does not pop up when release is pressed. I have to use key fob stand in back of trunk and lift when I hear the click.
    I suspect it is the gas shocks that need replacement or service.

    Can anyone confirm that they perform this function and suggest source or repair station?

    Thanks//
    acedrummond@gmail.com

    Parker Colorado - Avanti Owner Since 6, Feb 2013

  • #2
    that happens on a lot of cars. try a little lubricant (WD-40, better PB Blaster) on the lock mechanism, hinges and struts. move the lid up and down a few times. if that doesn't help, get new trunk struts.
    Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

    '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

    '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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    • #3
      I've noticed something similar on my 2003 Ford Excursion.
      In cold weather, the old lift struts have a very hard time keeping the back window open.
      In warm weather it's much better.
      63 Avanti R1 2788
      1914 Stutz Bearcat
      (George Barris replica)

      Washington State

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      • #4
        I had that same thing happen to me on that '90 Avanti convertible I had a while back.
        Ended up replacing the gas struts with a pair from Carquest.
        Thought about adding a 'door popper' from the street rod world.
        Never did install it, though.
        HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

        Jeff


        Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



        Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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        • #5
          I have experienced this type of strut (trunk/hood/hatch) lasting about ten years. The problem with them shows up the colder they are (what gas is left expands in heat). I have used and been very satisfied with Rock Auto replacements. They are cheaper than local FLAPS, even considering shipping, and you can still select name brand parts.
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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          • #6
            A fellow member of Chicagoland AOAI has an 03 coupe that has had the gas struts replaced on his rear deck lid. The fiberglass panels also add weight, making a heavier load for the struts to support when in the raised position. He did fashion a support rod from plastic to use when he has the lid raised for an extended amount of time. The struts are standard Firebird parts, which they probably never had a heavy duty version of.
            sigpic[SIGPIC]

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            • #7
              I obtained replacement struts from O'Reilly; however, the ball on the trunk lid is too big to fit that strut. I tried enlarging the hole however it still too big of a ball. I need to either refit with smaller ball or find a different strut. I am going to wait to get tags for this car and it will make it a lot easier than trial and error I'm going through now. Car was acquired last week and just waiting on some paperwork that is in the mail now.

              I also agree that this is a quite heavy trunk lid and the standard Firebird struts look rather puny not up to the job. I will try the standard ones and if that doesn't work will look for something more robust as I'd rather not have to put a stick in place when I open the trunk.

              Thanks for all the feedback. I will report outcome when I get this the way I want it.
              acedrummond@gmail.com

              Parker Colorado - Avanti Owner Since 6, Feb 2013

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              • #8
                Just a thought/guess...would Camaro/Firebird stuts for the coupe be capable of holding up more weight, the glass hatch must weigh more than the trunk lid?
                63 Avanti R1 2788
                1914 Stutz Bearcat
                (George Barris replica)

                Washington State

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JBOYLE View Post
                  Just a thought/guess...would Camaro/Firebird stuts for the coupe be capable of holding up more weight, the glass hatch must weigh more than the trunk lid?
                  I think the part number for both is the same. I spoke with Rock Auto on this yesterday they carry 3 brands and could not say any one different or better.

                  Incredibly, I figured out that if you try to put the struts on upside down it doesn't work! The ball at the lid is bigger than the ball at the body. I think they did that for guys like me to figure out!

                  I have now got new struts installed and the lid, in fact, stays up. The lid still does not pop up when I actuate the release. I think it is quite a heavy lid.

                  Then I found a site http://www.strutwise.com where they take your old struts, rebuild them and can even increase the pressure. He also states he might be able to retrofit a replacement as well. So those struts in the mail today to see if that can solve my issue.Will update once I know more.
                  Last edited by acedrummond; 02-13-2013, 09:48 AM.
                  acedrummond@gmail.com

                  Parker Colorado - Avanti Owner Since 6, Feb 2013

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                  • #10
                    Had the same problem on an 89 Avanti, new gas struts were not strong enough to raise the heavy trunk. Solved problem by removing the plastic cover on the latch mechanism and inserting a flat washer under the spring that forces the trunk up a fraction of an inch to clear the triangular bracket screwed to the inside of the trunk. This is difficult to accurately describe and if it does not make sense to whoever may be concerd about this issue, I'll take pics and send them. Ken, Deltaville, Va

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                    • #11
                      Just a thought.
                      I've taken the plastic ends off of struts at work and transfered them over if the size or angle is different on used cars. They usually are threaded on. The one on the large black gas end is usually easier to take off.
                      You have to hold the chrome shaft with something to keep it from spining, the closest you can get to the plastic part the better. I use a small needle nose vice grips. It'll most likely leave marks, just make sure it doesn't go into the piston when it closes or it might leak. It shouldn't since they rarely go all the way in.

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                      • #12
                        Had the same problem on my 89 CNV, depressing push button would release but not raise the trunk and then it would relatch when the button was released. Adjusted the trunk latch so that the trunk would release (and stay released) when the button was pushed but the trunk would not raise (although it would stay up when manually raised). Tried new struts from local FLAPS but trunk still would not raise. Returned new struts and accepted that the trunk must be raised manually.
                        Last edited by Jackson; 02-14-2013, 08:13 AM.

                        34 Studebaker Street Rod (completed)
                        55 Speedster (in work)
                        63 Lark R2 (completed, 63K miles)
                        64 Daytona CNV (completed, 63K miles)
                        64 Avanti R2 (completed)
                        85 Avanti(blackout trim, 10K miles)
                        89 Avanti CNV (19K miles)

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                        • #13
                          Success. I obtained new custom built struts from http://strutwise.com and installed today. It now releases the trunk when I use the key fob or the release button. Frank Irvine who owns Strutwise was very helpful. He took my old struts and provided ones with the right size ends that have a bigger piston and more pressure. They appear to be stainless steel too.

                          Problem solved!
                          acedrummond@gmail.com

                          Parker Colorado - Avanti Owner Since 6, Feb 2013

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