I had driven my mom’s FZJ80 the 4 hours from Alamosa, CO to Denver, CO. When I got to the parking garage I needed, it started overheating. I was quite confused because it had ran beautifully all day.
I popped open the hood, leaned into the engine compartment… BLAM! I was knocked straight down into the engine… Holy shit that was a surprise. I pulled myself out and looked around to find nobody around. Yup, the lift supports just gave out (or the Cruiser was trying to kill me).
Our UZJ100’s never really held itself up; I’ve always used a pair of locking pliers on the rod to hold it up. Same for the lift gate; sometimes it would sag just enough that I would ram my head into it when I expected it to be fully up (what is it with these killer Cruisers?)
On our last camping trip, the pliers on the lift gate slipped and Natasha took a shot on top of the head from the hatch. Yup, time to replace them.
I picked up some Monroe lift supports from Rock Auto. It’s a super easy swap… kind of. On the rear hatch there are two bolts on the top, and a ball mount on the bottom to remove. But, trying to get the ball mount out of the support was hell. No matter what I tried: small screw drivers, hooks made with paper clips, curse words… I couldn’t open the clip.
I finally gave up and took a Dremel tool and cutoff wheel to them; lots of sparks later, I had the mounts on the two rear supports out:
I installed one side and when I moved to the other, guess what I found? Yes, Monroe includes new bottom mounts (the clip is from the mount I had needlessly cut out of the old unit).
I made sure to check the hood support packages before I started working. Yes, they included two new ones per side. That made that job far easier: remove the mounts (while still clipped into the supports), install the new ball mounts, clip on the new supports… done.
Now I don’t have to worry about that Cruiser sucker punch…