Installing Rear Hatch Stay Assembly - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Installing Rear Hatch Stay Assembly

I need to replace the right stay assembly(the hydraulic assist deal) on a 2003 Subaru Outback. Never done it before so I was wondering if any of you had any installation tips.
I'm thinking I'll need to unbolt the remaining stay, lift the hatch as high as it will go, install the right stay, then bolt both of them back to the hatch. Sound about right?
By the way, the reason the stay needs to be replaced is that the lower ball joint was rusted in the stay and broke. A few drops of oil now and then would have prevented the replacement of this $70 part.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 02:17 PM
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I'd be tempted to find a tree limb or other way to tie the hatch up, rather than rely on myself to avoid bumping a supporting 2x4 .

but I'm somewhat maladroit at car maintenance anyway.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 09:04 PM
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You're right on the money. These gas charged shocks can be easy to change or a pain, depending on the application and whether or not you have the correct one for an exact replacement. I'll assume that you do.

The end with the ball joint comes apart. There is a spring clip that encircles the entire shock right over the ball joint. Slip a flat bladed screw driver under the clip on the side 180 degrees from where the ball enters the shock and pry up until the clip stays in place, about a quarter inch up.

Now you can pull the ball out of the socket and install it with a wrench or socket wrench onto the car body. Screw the swing bracket on the other end of the shock to the tail gate. Now push the spring clip back into place on the shock, position the same end of the shock over the ball, and press it into place until it snaps onto the ball firmly.

Last step, ........... go reward yourself with a beer. Good Luck!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Easier than I expected. Prop the hatch open, install the lower ball and pop the new stay on the ball. It had a ring clamp; a few drops of oil and it popped on with light pressure using a block of wood. Have somebody hold the hatch all the way open and install the two upper bolts.
Easier to oil the lower ball joint occasionally and not need to replace it at all...
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