E51 E51 Tailgate strut-what strength?

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#1
I have fitted a Thule 973-18 bike rack, but unlike others who have done so (posting on this here ) my tailgate struts don't quite hold the tailgate up.

I'm going to contact SGS Engineering to see if my existing struts can be uprated but uprated from what to what?

So what rating are the struts and by how much should I realistically increase the strut power to?

I do suspect that my existing struts were lacking as (before fitting the bike rack) they didn't fully open without an extra shove, so I would expect a small increase from their normal spec would do it.

Below is a pic of the info on one of the struts - does 0760N indicate strut strength of 760 Newtons?

What views on getting existing struts re-gassed (and uprated) vs getting new?

View attachment 1966
 

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
Premium Member
E51 Expert
E51 Owner
#2
They sell gas struts in some good farm shops ... but I'd try an oe set of a breaker first as they are probably ok and much cheaper than buying new.
 

sitting_duck

Well-Known Member
#4
I think that 760 refers to extended length rather than newtons (it could be newtons) - but looking at this site and comparing to a VW Transporter:

http://www.cargasstruts.co.uk/index.php?Make=Volkswagen&Model=Transporter+/+Bus&Year=2009&submit.x=106&submit.y=9

then you'll see it's 755mm for the VW - for a broadly similar sized vehicle.

It'll show you how to measure etc, I guess if you used a luggage scale attached to the tailgate you could figure out (with strutts disconnected) how much force you'll need to lift the tailgate and can then order appropriately as you'd now know stroke, length and force required?
 

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#6
I think that 760 refers to extended length ........
I have the struts removed now, and yes, they are indeed 760mm between fixing point centres (as per that useful link) so thanks for that.

.................. I guess if you used a luggage scale attached to the tailgate you could figure out (with strutts disconnected) how much force you'll need to lift the tailgate ................................
I thought of using bathroom scales - (1) me standing on scales then (2) me on scales whilst I held the tailgate up (or propped it up on my head?)

Anyway, I've now posted the struts off to SGS Engineering (link here) for re-gassing to an uprated strength. I phoned them beforehand and they appeared to know the E51 and didn't ask me for any weight measurements, just to post off the original and they'd take it from there.

Thanks for the reply @MrRob_in - I'd not thought of visiting an agricultural store, but hey, I've let the fingers do the walking and posted off the struts for refurb. Having a 2m length of 2x1 to hold up the tailgate at the moment is OK whilst I do my camper conversion.
 

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#7
Okay, to finish off this thread with respect to strut strengths.
  • I sent the original OEM tailgate struts off to SGS Engineering of Derby to see if they could uprate them to take the weight of the Thule bike rack. They said that the struts couldn't be uprated (no reason given) and so I ordered replacement ones - £60pr inc postage
  • Now you recall that the OEM ones had the digits 0760N on them and there was some debate in this thread as to wether this was the strength in Newtons or the length. What I can say is that SGS Engineering didn't send me uprated struts but ordinary replacement struts rated (as per the stamp on the side) at 740N. And guess what they didn't hold the tailgate up any better than the OEM struts. From this it is fair to sumise through comparison that the OEM struts were around the 740N mark
  • A conversation ensued with SGS Engineering and a second pair of struts arrived stamped a 930N and yes, they work with the Thule bike rack perfectly
View attachment 2097
 

ALAN RODGERS

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#8
Okay, to finish off this thread with respect to strut strengths.
  • I sent the original OEM tailgate struts off to SGS Engineering of Derby to see if they could uprate them to take the weight of the Thule bike rack. They said that the struts couldn't be uprated (no reason given) and so I ordered replacement ones - £60pr inc postage
  • Now you recall that the OEM ones had the digits 0760N on them and there was some debate in this thread as to wether this was the strength in Newtons or the length. What I can say is that SGS Engineering didn't send me uprated struts but ordinary replacement struts rated (as per the stamp on the side) at 740N. And guess what they didn't hold the tailgate up any better than the OEM struts. From this it is fair to sumise through comparison that the OEM struts were around the 740N mark
  • A conversation ensued with SGS Engineering and a second pair of struts arrived stamped a 930N and yes, they work with the Thule bike rack perfectly
View attachment 2097
Alan, what was the price of the 930N struts ?
 

Wightr

Proud Father of an Autistic Genius
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#12
In response to a post elsewhere, here is a little bit of info on how to take off the OEM struts.
View attachment 2157
Hi Alan, how well does the tailgate lift up on its own now?

I ask as I would love to be able to get the tailgate to lift on its own in my camper conversion, it would be easier to get SGS to make a very strong strut so it will lift itself up, rather than getting a costly actuator arm fitted instead? just wondering.
 

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#13
Hi @Wightr, with the 940n struts the tailgate lifts easily with the bike rack on. With the bike rack off it fair whizzes up but of course takes a little more effort to close but well within the capabilities of a normal, able bodied person.
 

Wightr

Proud Father of an Autistic Genius
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#14
Hi @Wightr, with the 940n struts the tailgate lifts easily with the bike rack on. With the bike rack off it fair whizzes up but of course takes a little more effort to close but well within the capabilities of a normal, able bodied person.
Thanks Alan, do you have to help it get going with the new one?
How far out does it need to go before it opens on its own?

Cheers.
 

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#15
Hi again @Wightr, do you mean with the bike rack on or off?
  • At the moment the bike rack is off and the tailgate lifts itself after I've opened it by around 0.5m/18".
  • I'll double check this tomorrow and then I'll put the bike rack on (I need to do this sometime this week anyway) and see what the difference is in terms of opening distance and post back
 

Wightr

Proud Father of an Autistic Genius
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#16
Hi again @Wightr, do you mean with the bike rack on or off?
  • At the moment the bike rack is off and the tailgate lifts itself after I've opened it by around 0.5m/18".
  • I'll double check this tomorrow and then I'll put the bike rack on (I need to do this sometime this week anyway) and see what the difference is in terms of opening distance and post back
Yes with the rack off, just figuring out how far I will have to open it before it will self lift on its own, 18" seems about right.
Thats great news, thanks.
 

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#18
Well @iainmd, are those struts for the tailgate without a bike rack? As said earlier, my bike rack weighs 13kg and operates fine.

If anyone needs my original struts which were fine lifting just the tailgate, there yours for free plus postage (less than £10)
 

iainmd

Member
E51 Owner
#19
I don't have a bike rack fitted just now as I use a towball mounted one but decided the extra lift strength would be a good plan. I've got OEM strength struts on both our Volvo's as well an over time they fail to lift the boot lid so stronger = better from my perspective. If these SGS ones are decent I'll be getting new ones for my S40 and V50 Volvo's as well preferably uprated from standard spec.
 

Phil

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#20
Well @iainmd, are those struts for the tailgate without a bike rack? As said earlier, my bike rack weighs 13kg and operates fine.

If anyone needs my original struts which were fine lifting just the tailgate, there yours for free plus postage (less than £10)
Hi @Alan Morgan . Are your original struts still available? Mine have stopped working - the tailgate is damn heavy without them :)