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Old 11th October 2015, 23:22   #1
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Default Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?

My question is in reference to the ford figo aspire, but it is applicable to most sedans and compact sedans manufactured in India (maybe all).

Is it possible to change the OEM boot openers to hydraulic boot struts? This discussion came up in the Aspire thread and I was wondering if it is possible to add one, aftermarket. I could not find a picture of any other Indian car having hydraulic struts, so I welcome any info on cars that have them. Maybe we can then use the parts from that car for another car.

This is what is available. (Image taken from the official aspire review):

Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?-fordfigoaspire23.jpg

This is what is needed. (Image posted by 'castiel' in that same thread):

Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?-strut.jpg

If anybody has already done this then please post details. Or if anybody has an idea of how to do this please share them.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 12th October 2015 at 04:13. Reason: Inserting images as attachments not under [IMG] tags.
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Old 12th October 2015, 00:37   #2
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Default re: Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?

My Fiat Linea surely have them by default from the manufacturer and it has been discussed n no. of times on Team-BHP.
Yes the hinges take precious space so its a matter of time before the manufactures start installing them.

As far as DIY is concerned I don't think its as easy as it looks. IMO the struts may result in misalignment of feather light boot lids.

Pic Source : Carwale
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Last edited by carwatcher : 12th October 2015 at 00:40.
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Old 12th October 2015, 07:39   #3
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Default re: Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
My question is in reference to the ford figo aspire. Is it possible to change the OEM boot openers to hydraulic boot struts?
For the Aspire, I'm not sure if that would be possible in an easy or clean way. I'm not saying its impossible, but just that it'll have to be a custom design. Carwatcher also makes a good point about alignment.
  • The Aspire is specifically shortened for India to hit the <4m length as a compact sedan, and there are no other international markets having the same length. Therefore, whatever boot mechanism Ford designed for India is probably the only design in existence (its not like they designed hydraulic boot openers for export, and removed it from the Indian versions for cost). Therefore, there will be no retrofit possible with official Ford kit.
  • The Ka+ sedan in Brazil does get hydraulic boot openers. Bear in mind, however, that the Ka+ sedan is over 4m long (4254 mm) giving it a hefty boot of 445 L, compared to the Aspire which is 3995 mm long and has a 359L boot. The key point is, that extra length of nearly 26 cm is all in the boot, given that both the Ka+ and Aspire have the same wheelbase of 2491 mm. This also means that there's an extra ~25 cm for designers to slot in the struts.

Here's a crude comparison of the Aspire teaser (with the hydraulic structs we didn't get, which is the picture that castiel posted), the Ka+ in Brazil, and the Aspire boot we did get:
Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?-boot-comparos.jpg
  • While the angles don't make it fully apparent, the Ka+ boot has nearly 25 cm of extra length (though not all of it might be on the side sill).
  • You can see that in for the Ka+, in front of the hinge mechanism & struct, there's more free space at the base of the C-pillar.
  • Also, in the teaser picture, I've circled an area in yellow where the strut fits onto the body. In the equivalent review picture, I don't see any mounting point (or even space) for such fitment, circled in orange.
In hindsight, I think the Aspire's teaser picture is purely a rendering derived from the Ka+ and not one based off a working model.

Last edited by arunphilip : 12th October 2015 at 08:07. Reason: Typo
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Old 12th October 2015, 09:30   #4
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Default re: Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?

Good explanation arun. So its out of the question for the aspire unless there is some cutting and welding involved. (That will have to wait atleast a couple of years in my case)
So, I will work on softening the opening action, once I get my car.

But the hydraulic struts are theoretically possible for full size sedans, right? How much would a manufacturer be saving on those anyway.

BTW, is Linea the only car that has them?
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Old 12th October 2015, 10:13   #5
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Default re: Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
BTW, is Linea the only car that has them?
Jetta, Octavia, Superb off the top of my head.

BTW these are pneumatic struts not hydraulic. The struts have compressed gas (nitrogen mostly) inside.
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Old 12th October 2015, 11:31   #6
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Default re: Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?

The boot release for the Aspire is quite weird. The boot just flies open when unlocked. I was shocked for an instant when I saw it fly up when I had gone for a TD and tried it out. I guess that is the background for this thread also.

As far as I know, for most cars, the boot just gets unlocked and raises a couple of cm max (I maybe wrong here) and that's how it should be.

As Arun mentioned, i guess once it was shortened to meet the <4m criteria, the designers found no space for a proper boot release mechanism and hence did some kind of workaround.
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Old 12th October 2015, 11:33   #7
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Default re: Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?

I have a simpler DIY that you could try; simply get a spring like the one seen in the first picture, hook one end to the back of the trunk hinge bracket (where the torsion bar sits) and the other end to the closest hole on the rear deck. Make sure the spring is relaxed but not loose when the trunk is open. Works like a charm

PS: on second thoughts, what does the spring seen in the first picture actually do? If it does the same and the problem you are trying to solve is the boot flying open, then my suggestion is moot

Last edited by IshaanIan : 12th October 2015 at 11:35.
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Old 12th October 2015, 11:54   #8
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Default re: Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
PS: on second thoughts, what does the spring seen in the first picture actually do? If it does the same and the problem you are trying to solve is the boot flying open, then my suggestion is moot
I believe the spring in the first picture is responsible for holding the boot open, and for trying to break samaspire's teeth once the boot is unlocked! So, the spring is stretched out under tension when the boot is closed, and compressed/relaxed when open.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
I have a simpler DIY that you could try; simply get a spring like the one seen in the first picture, hook one end to the back of the trunk hinge bracket (where the torsion bar sits) and the other end to the closest hole on the rear deck. Make sure the spring is relaxed but not loose when the trunk is open.
This did get me thinking of two options:
1. A weak spring wound around the fulcrum of rotation to help dampen the force of the original stronger spring
2. Put a pneumatic* damper right through this original spring, so the force of the spring is attenuated by the damper's action. IIRC, the damper costs <500 for a Figo, so finding one that is thin enough to fit through the spring shouldn't be too hard or expensive. EDIT: Just realized that the normal pneumatic struts for hatchbacks perform the damping action when their length increases, whereas here we are looking for the exact opposite behaviour - damping action upon compression. So that's something to be borne in mind.

* Thanks Gannu for the correction!

Last edited by arunphilip : 12th October 2015 at 12:15. Reason: Directionality of pneumatic struts
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Old 12th October 2015, 13:33   #9
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Question re: Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?

I replaced the hydraulic lifts on my lift-bed - not knowing the exact spec (loading), I ended up ordering a vastly over-spec'd gas-spring lift. The seller, of course, refused to take them back.

I was able to get lower load rated gas springs from EBCO (much cheaper too), locally and after a bit of jugaad, everything worked out.

This thread
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...lift-hood.html
has good info.

It should not be too hard, if you get adjustable lifts, where you can release the pressure a bit via a valve (It's on the site suggested in the above thread by Gannu_1 ).

Key parameters - Loading, length and stroke length
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Old 12th October 2015, 15:32   #10
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Default Re: Struts to lift the tail-gates of sedans. DIY possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Jetta, Octavia, Superb off the top of my head.

BTW these are pneumatic struts not hydraulic. The struts have compressed gas (nitrogen mostly) inside.
Did not know that. Thank you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
I guess that is the background for this thread also.
It is. I was inside the car in the showroom when it happened and I thought something broke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
I have a simpler DIY that you could try; simply get a spring like the one seen in the first picture, hook one end to the back of the trunk hinge bracket (where the torsion bar sits) and the other end to the closest hole on the rear deck. Make sure the spring is relaxed but not loose when the trunk is open. Works like a charm

PS: on second thoughts, what does the spring seen in the first picture actually do? If it does the same and the problem you are trying to solve is the boot flying open, then my suggestion is moot
I had a similar thought. Maybe a looser spring would work just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
I believe the spring in the first picture is responsible for holding the boot open, and for trying to break samaspire's teeth once the boot is unlocked!
This could also be an additional feature that Ford can promote. The internal boot release mechanism is designed for kidnapping situations - so this violent boot opening could work well together for a quick escape.
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