Nissan Pathfinder Forum banner
41 - 48 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Just stumbled upon this forum - what great info! My 2014 PF hybrid just lost its driver side (L?) strut bracket to rust. I had to force close the hatch by propping the now loose strut to the hatch and pushing down until it locked... am reluctant to try to open hatch until I know what to do... Can't afford to pay $2k repair bill as I'm looking to see the car in the next few weeks!

After reading the above manual workaround: If I buy a new bracket/ball part and somehow drill out the rusted ball from the strut, how do I reinsert the bracket that you first pry off with a screwdriver? Do I need a new one? or is this not an issue?

Any advice or guidance would be appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,500 Posts
Just stumbled upon this forum - what great info! My 2014 PF hybrid just lost its driver side (L?) strut bracket to rust. I had to force close the hatch by propping the now loose strut to the hatch and pushing down until it locked... am reluctant to try to open hatch until I know what to do... Can't afford to pay $2k repair bill as I'm looking to see the car in the next few weeks!

After reading the above manual workaround: If I buy a new bracket/ball part and somehow drill out the rusted ball from the strut, how do I reinsert the bracket that you first pry off with a screwdriver? Do I need a new one? or is this not an issue?

Any advice or guidance would be appreciated!
I did this and reported here on this forum. Yes, remove the clip and then the rusted-in ball. New one will fit in there. And don't open the hatch!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
After reading the above manual workaround: If I buy a new bracket/ball part and somehow drill out the rusted ball from the strut, how do I reinsert the bracket that you first pry off with a screwdriver? Do I need a new one? or is this not an issue?

Any advice or guidance would be appreciated!
If you are not doing the stud repair shown on this thread, then you will need to replace the entire bracket. The part is actually called LIFTGATE SUPPORT STRUT HOLDER. It was easy to find it in the US, but I don't how easy it is in Canada. Here is one such online parts store you can buy in the US.
LIFTGATE SUPPORT STRUT HOLDER (LEFT, LOWER) Part Number: 90477-3KA1A

As I mentioned in my write-up, the hardest part is drilling out the ball that seized inside of the socket. Unless it can be released out of the socket easily, you will need to take the strut off from the car. It is almost impossible to drill out the ball using a hand drill while the strut still on the car.

This video will help you how to take off the strut. The bracket will come off easily with a 10mm socket wrench. Assuming you have a power liftgate, the hard part is disconnecting the electric power connection that is inside of the panel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Thanks for all the info and details. Here's where I'm at - ordered Strongarm universal 13mm mounting studs off eBay (total $54CDN) as well as the entire bracket from a local Nissan dealer who sells parts ($65 CDN). As luck would have it both arrived the same day.

I ultimately installed the full bracket replacement as its just easier. Returned the eBay purchase this afternoon.

I cleaned up the rusted end and after some elbow grease managed to pry the clamp/clip off. Now's the hard part - the ball is totally rusts/seized inside the strut end. Ronald St.Peter suggests one can drill this out while the strut is still on the car, others say to remove however I don't have that nice table drill press like Salkin, and I think jman even suggested to drill a small hole in the backside and pop the ball out with a hammer and pointed chisel... I'll try drilling out the ball from the front with a metal drill bit on a hand drill and if that doesn't work, go through the back side with a small hole.

16161
16162
16163
16164
16165
16166
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,500 Posts
If you can remove the strut from the liftgate, it is much easier to do this off the car. You removed the clip (you will need it later!) so I would only drill from the front. Once you get a hole, use an Easy-out and work it out of the socket. Lots of PB Blaster help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I'll try drilling out the ball from the front with a metal drill bit on a hand drill and if that doesn't work, go through the back side with a small hole.
As commented already. It will be very difficult to drill it out without first removing the strut off the car. If you are using just a hand drill, then what I may suggest is to use a reverse spiral type screw extractor. Bushman calls it "Easy Out". They are basically the same thing. With a bench press, I could drill a very precise hole in the ball and I was able to remove ~95% of the ball with a 1/2 inch drill bit, and the remaining ~5% at the bottom popped out of the socket. I really had to press hard to drill that amount of metal out of the socket. It would be very difficult to do this with a hand drill.

If I had to do it with just a hand drill, I probably used a smaller diameter screw extractor as shown in the video below. As the video cautions, it is very important to punch a guide hole on the dead center. And use a very good quality drill bit suitable for hard metal. A cheap dull drill bit of the wrong type will make the job much harder. Once the initial hole is made, I think the reverse spiral-type extractor should give better leverage to ply off the stuck ball part without drilling most of it out.

Good luck. And let us know how it went.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
As commented already. It will be very difficult to drill it out without first removing the strut off the car. If you are using just a hand drill, then what I may suggest is to use a reverse spiral type screw extractor. Bushman calls it "Easy Out". They are basically the same thing. With a bench press, I could drill a very precise hole in the ball and I was able to remove ~95% of the ball with a 1/2 inch drill bit, and the remaining ~5% at the bottom popped out of the socket. I really had to press hard to drill that amount of metal out of the socket. It would be very difficult to do this with a hand drill.

If I had to do it with just a hand drill, I probably used a smaller diameter screw extractor as shown in the video below. As the video cautions, it is very important to punch a guide hole on the dead center. And use a very good quality drill bit suitable for hard metal. A cheap dull drill bit of the wrong type will make the job much harder. Once the initial hole is made, I think the reverse spiral-type extractor should give better leverage to ply off the stuck ball part without drilling most of it out.

Good luck. And let us know how it went.

Thanks for all the help and advice folks. I'm pleased to announce I now have a working automatic rear hatch on my PF2014 hybrid!

Ultimately I did remove the strut from the top/inner bracket and through some man-handling, sweat and cursing managed to drill the seized ball into smithereens with my handheld drill. I bought two types of bit extractors but neither helped. Instead a titanium 5/32 drill bit reduced the metal to shavings. A small tip fell out at the end. I'm off to Home Depot to get some grease (and try to return the Ryobi extractor kits), although I have put the clip/clamp back on and tested the auto hatch already out of sheer joy of completing this DIY project.

Thanks Bushman, Salkin et al!
16192
16194
16195
16193
 
41 - 48 of 48 Posts
Top