31 Ford Model A Coupe 31 Ford Model A Coupe
2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser

PT Cruiser Hood Strut Installation Guide
The OEM hood support rod has been an area of concern for many PT owners. Its design is unique. It's less than half the size of an average support and very easy to overlook since it's located towards the rear, right side of the engine. When the PT Cruiser was first brought to market a significant number of new owners complained of hood damage. Auto technicians, who were not familiar with the PT's hood support, failed to lower the rod prior to attempting to close the hood and in many cases damaged (creased) the hood. In some instances hoods were inadvertently damaged by dealership service departments during the vehicle pre-check, just prior to the owner taking possession of their new PT.

Fortunately, Moss Motors stocks a new PT Cruiser "Hood Lift Struts Kit" (P/N 001-134, about $130), which replaces the OEM hood support, and greatly reduces the likelyhood of hood damage. This is a procedure for installing the moss motors kit.

Pre-installation Notes:

I followed the kit instructions and installed the kit on my car in about 15 minutes. It took about 10 minutes for the passenger side and about 5 minutes for the driver side. I'm an experienced auto mechanic so it was pretty easy for me.

The only real difficulty in doing the installation is the coordination of fingers needed in installing the 10mm headed toggle bolts in a rather large existing hole and holding it while positioning a bracket over it and then placing washers and a nut on the bolt to hold things together. Long thin fingers are desirable and a second set of hands would be helpful.

Another item of some difficulty is installing the self-tapping bolt into an existing hole. It takes a bit of force to get it started. Otherwise everything else is pretty much a snap.


Small Flat Screwdriver
Small Phillips Screwdriver
10mm Wrench
13mm Wrench
Parts: 1 - Upper Bracket - Passenger side
1 - Upper Bracket - Driver side
1 - Lower Bracket - Passenger side
1 - Lower Bracket - Driver side
2 - Toggle Plates
2 - 10mm Headed bolts
2 - 10mm Nuts
2 - 10mm Lockwashers
2 - 10mm Washers
4 - Ball Stud
4 - Ball Stud Locknuts
2 - Self Tapping Bolts
2 - Lift Struts
Installation Procedure:

Open Hood of the PT Cruiser and support the hood with the factory hood prop rod. Start on the Left (Passenger) side of the engine compartment as seen from the front of the car.

  1. On the underside of the hood, remove the forward nut from the stud that secures the hinge assembly to the hood. Save the nut for re-use. Just forward of (above) where the hinge meets the hood should be a black plastic plug. Remove it with a small flat bladed screwdriver if it is there.
  2. Assemble the toggle assemblies by firmly screwing the two 10mm headed bolts all the way into the toggle plates provided.
  3. Pass the threaded shaft of a toggle bolt into the smallest hole of the upper hood bracket with the nut and lock washer just started on the threads. Next install the ball-stud and lock nut in the hole on the tab of the bracket using a 13mm wrench. Install the upper bracket on the hood by first installing the toggle bolt into the hole formerly occupied by the black plastic plug. Once inserted, turn the threaded shaft of the toggle bolt so that the toggle plate is horizontal in the hole. Next slide the bracket over the hood hinge stud and secure it with the original nut, previously removed. Tighten both nuts on this bracket securely with 10 and 13mm wrenches.
  4. Assemble the lower bracket by installing the ball-stud and locknut in the hole on the end of the bracket. Install the lift base bracket by first removing the black plastic fastener just forward of the hinge base on the firewall edge. Remove the center fastener with a small Phillps screwdriver and then pull or pry its base out. Next remove the fender-securing bolt and washer located 6" ahead of the plastic fastener on the fender. Save the fender bolt and washer for reuse.
  5. Place the lower bracket over the fastener hole in the firewall edge and secure it with the new self-tapping bolt. This will take a little effort at first. Next install the fender bolt through the lower bracket and into its original hole. Tighten both fasteners securely.
  6. Install the lift strut by snapping the socket on the cylinder end onto the ball stud on the lower bracket. Attach the other end of the strut to the upper lift bracket by snapping the socket on the ball stud on the upper bracket.
  7. Installation of the hood lift on the Right (Drivers) side is exactly the same except that you can remove the factory hood prop rod when you're done.
Hood Strut Kit Hood Strut Kit Hood Strut Kit

Notes - With the Hood Lift Strut installed, you will find that when you first open the hood, there will be some resistance as you raise it, then it will gently rise open on it's own. It works wonderfully on my car. It really should have been an OEM installation.

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George Carnut McDowell
est. 1996