More hatch strut info from the SOGI list...
In Brief: at CarQuest the front strut number is "strong arm" brand 4682,
and the hard-to-find rear is 4327.
Long Version: So I finally replaced the rear hatch
struts on my 86.5, which were installed when the car
was built in June of 1986...not that they really
needed it, you understand. I remember about 1993 the
hatch would no longer stay up with the roller-cover
attached, and about 1996 it would only stay up when
the outside temperature was above 75 degrees. I had
made several enquiries at Mr T's, but I seem to
remember $240 being the asking price, so I never got
around to replacing them. I did decide to replace the
hood struts however, and found some at a standard auto
supply store (AutoZone, Pep Boys, etc.) that were
exact fits. But I was never able to find struts for
the rear until one day last April I was in CarQuest to
buy a second replacement set of hood struts, the first
generic replacements lasting only about 3 years.
Will wonders never cease? They had a
listing...however it was for the MK II...$35 each.
But wait, there was the listing for the 1987-1992
Supra Turbo for $39.59 each, (but with the "good
customer" discount, only $26.765), or a total of
$53.53 for two. I figured... turbo...NA...what's the
difference with hatch struts? I ordered two. They
were a special order, produced in Canada, and the
chaps actually rang to find out how long it would
take. "About six weeks" was the answer. OK, said I.
This was 8 April. To make a long story short, they
arrived on 8 September.
First in putting them on, however old your existing
struts are (few will be older than June 1986) they do
still provide quite a bit of lift. When I removed the
existing struts, the hatch felt like it doubled in
weight...and it is not light. The cleats in the drain
channel have welded studs, which attach from
below.under the plastic trim. You really do have to
remove it, so add one-half hour to install time.
(Optionally cut a hole so you can get a 10mm socket on
the nuts). Once you have the cleats removed, the
other end unscrews from the hatch: no need to detach
the snap on socket plastic part.
The new struts have the correct threads in the hatch
end, but the hole in the cleat end is much smaller. I
had to grind the existing rivet off that holds the
strut to the cleat, and then attached the new strut to
the cleat with a 6 mm machine screw (you can use ¼
inch, it's not critical) and a self locking nut. The
cleat has to fit in the drain channel, so either get
the right length machine screw or use your hacksaw, as
Screw the threaded end into the hatch socket (still
attached to the hatch) and then bolt the cleat down
into the drain channel. I accidentally knocked out
the 2x4 at this point that was holding the hatch up
and discovered.one (new) strut will hold the hatch! I
opted to install the other anyway.
The most startling thing is that it is actually
difficult to get the hatch started back down. However
once it moves 3 or 4 inches, you are good to go.
PS the front struts went on in about 2 minutes.
86.5NA 239,000 original-owner miles.