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Old 09-23-2012, 07:50 PM
Shawn S Shawn S is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Brookings, SD
Posts: 87
My $10 trailer gate lift, struts

First of all this wasn't my idea, there are others on the board that have done this to their gates.

I went to the U-Pull-It and picked up two struts and strut mounts from a 99 Windstar. They are the strongest I could find in my quick web search, they are rated at 163 pounds each. The struts were $4 and change each. I built the brackets out of steel I had, and spot welded everything together to try it out. I think the struts may be too strong. You actually have to push the gate down. Lifting it is very easy.
Since these photos I welded the brackets on and painted them black. I also flipped the struts over so that if they get wet, it won't run down into the cylinder.
I am not sure this is a perfect system, we will have to see how they stand the test of time. When the strut is on a car, it is inside, and protected from the weather. I do park my trailer inside, but when it's on the road the struts will see dust, dirt and moisture.
I also think I need to move the struts out about an inch on my lower bracket, I think if we park high, and the gate goes really low, we will bottom the strut out in the cylinder. For now I am leaving the lower brackets long, and once I am happy with the positioning of the lower strut mount I will trim them off and round the corners.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:35 PM
Shawn S Shawn S is offline
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Well it's been a week and I must say I love these things!! I did move the lower mounting points in an inch to give the shocks an extra inch before they bottom out. They were right at the limit before, and with an inch to spare I feel much better. It also allowed me to trim the mounting brackets significantly. Here is a photo after moving them in and trimming the brackets.
I would highly recommend this mod to others. Even if you buy the struts new, it's still a relatively cheap mod.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:14 PM
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ed2hess ed2hess is online now
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Location: Austin Texas 78727
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And what holds the gate down?
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:15 PM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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Location: Winder, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed2hess View Post
And what holds the gate down?
Gravity once it cams over...

Glad you trimmed those lower brackets...they looked like ankle biters!

Job well done!
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:17 PM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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You may just drill a few holes and mess with the angle a bit to get them in the right position.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:13 PM
Shawn S Shawn S is offline
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Location: Brookings, SD
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The gate is heavy enough that it holds itself down, no concern with that. The gate doesn't lift itself until it is pretty close to the top, otherwise you have to assist it up. I would say it reduced the "work" of lifting the gate by 90%.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:14 AM
bwaters932 bwaters932 is offline
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Location: Idaho
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You think I could get away with using just one on a 5x8?
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:56 PM
Shawn S Shawn S is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Brookings, SD
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bwaters, just saw your post. Try one, if it doesn't work add another.

Just wanted to check in to say that the struts are still going strong.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:15 PM
Green-Man Green-Man is offline
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Location: Sunny South Florida
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I really like that a lot! Awesome job keep us posted!
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