Auto Parts and Repairs
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

How do you replace tailgate lift cylinders on a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo?

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Wiki User
03/26/2007

I did two of these jobs last month.The replacement shocks I got just bolted on very much like the originals on the top side and cliped on the bottom. Removeing the old one is a little tricky figering out how to flip the little spring clip up then pull it out then pop the shock off.Have somebody to hold the gate up for you while you work it is much safer than a prop rod. Have either a study six-foot step ladder, or a tall and patient friend, nearby to help with this job. Don't use a 2x4 or pole to hold the hatch up - it'll go right through the window, or you'll get a concussion. The hatch can jerk or torque when the pistons come on/off. If you do use a ladder to support the hatch, make sure the ground is flat. Open the rear lift-gate and put the ladder underneath. Put a towel between the ladder and the lift gate to ensure contact. Also, wear eye protection. There are two connection points for each cylinder - the bottom ball & cup joint and the top flange pinned through the piston. On the bottom joint, with a small screwdriver, pry out the 3/4" sheet metal clip in the back of the plastic cup socket. Then, pry off the cylinder from the ball-joint socket with a wooden dowel. You may need to get some leverage between the cylinder and the wall. When you do this, watch out - the cylinder will pop a bit, and the lift gate may shift/drop if your ladder isn't right underneath the door. Unscrew the two bolts of the top bracket for the cylinder. Repeat for the other side. Install replacement cylinders per manufacturer's instructions. Remember that you'll have to pry-out the same clip on the socket end of the pistion - just make sure this time it stays in place. Pry it out just enough to get the head of a screwdriver in there. Good luck.