Liftgate Support Broke Away from Hatchback Door Frame

Hi all,

I drive a 2008 standard/basic Toyota Yaris three-door Hatchback, named Bessie. I’ve had the car since 2010 and take good care of her (quote from my mechanic). Tonight I was loading items into the trunk and a loud pop came from the back when I closed the hatch door. Turns out one of the liftgate supports stopped working and instead, caused the support to actually break off of the metal frame on the inside of my hatch door.

My father is very mechanical, but also 81 years old and while he loves a good car project, I wanted to see if anyone on here had advice.

Here are my questions:

  • Should these “pneumatic struts”, as my dad calls them, be replaced regularly if you have a car for more than 10 years?
  • Do I need to take this into a shop to get fixed - as in, does the metal piece near the windshield, that secured the liftgate support to the door need to be taken in to be welded back into place? Or can this be fixed at home without welding the metal piece back into place?
  • If I’m replacing one liftgate support, should I just replace both, to be safe? It seems they are sold in sets, such as on this website,

It’s too dark for me to post photos tonight, but I’m happy to upload an image tomorrow in the daylight.

Thanks in advance for the help! And apologies for any mis-used terminology.
Liz :slight_smile:

  1. To be on the safe side, yes.
    2, Unless he’s a good spot welder, yes
    3 If one’s worn the other’s probably close to go and anyway they’re sold in pairs.

You may want to double check on whether the support actually broke off. In my experience (2005 4Runner, 2008 and 2009 Outback) the anchor screws into the body. I replaced all my support lifts this year (yeah, time on my hands for some reason) and the replacements included the screw-in anchor parts.

The lift supports do wear out eventually, replace both just to be safe. I

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Thanks to those who have replied. I uploaded an image of where the device broke away from the hatch door and where my dad unscrewed the support, to help paint a more detailed image of what happened to my poor Bessie. Apologies in advance for the junk in the trunk - I am in the process of moving!

Thank you again for your help - for now, we’ve found a piece of wood that is helping to keep the door propped open until we can get it properly repaired.

Stay well, all!

Looks like a non weld to me maybe sheet metal screw’s or pop rivets with new struts.

Thank you! I’m sharing all of this with my dad, who wants to try to fix it himself.

i would try something like this. you need a special rivet gun to put it in. but then you would be able to use a bolt to hold the strut. they are called nutserts or sometimes rivet nuts.

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That looks like it would be even better than sheet metal screws or pop rivets.

The riv-nuts were ripped out of the lift gate.

The only way I see repairing this is, flatten the sheet metal with a body hammer.

Then grind down to bare metal.

With a TIG welder, plug weld in the holes.

Grind the plug welds flush.

Plug weld bracket to lift gate thru the holes on the bracket.

Grind those welds smooth.

Prime and paint to match.


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I wish your dad luck with the attempted repair. If he can’t, I would recommend checking with a body shop rather than a mechanic.


Wouldn’t it be nuts to put that amount of labor into a 13 year old Yaris?

I could have it fixed in less than an hour. :roll_eyes:


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Remove the lift gate. Purchase a sheet of Visqueen and secure it over the opening with duct tape. This is how we would make the repair in my part of the country.


Yep, see a lot of that around here.

And there’s the ‘cut a broom stick to prop up the tailgate’ solution.

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Classical redneck enginerring.

Not sure what you are referring to, visqueen not in my vocabulary, redneck engineering has had it’s uses over the years. Shoe Goo my go to glue!

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Not sure what you are referring to, visqueen not in my vocabulary, redneck engineering has had it’s uses over the years. Shoe Goo my go to glue!

I was refering to what what Triedaq called Visqueen that is a highfalutin word for what we call plastic.

Visqueen is a tradename for a plastic film. It comes in different thicknesses. The only time I ever used it was on a Sunday afternoon back in the late 1980s. I had gone into my office to work and the window of the computer lab was opaque. I thought maybe the maintenance department had covered the glass so people couldn’t see what was behind the door. After I got in my office, I thought I should investigate the lab. The glass in the door was steamed up from the inside. Water was dripping from the ceiling into the computer monitors. A humidifier had stuck wide open. I called campus security, but the person that arrived didn’t know what to do. I ran for my car and went to Lowes and bought Visqueen. I covered the computer monitors as best I could. When we finally got the humidifier steam shut off, the computers disconnected and the water mopped up, we dried out the monitors. In the whole episode, we only had one keyboard ruined. The computer towers were under the tables and not damaged.
The university never did reimburse me for the Visqueen. I now have a business where I carry the Visqueen along with duct tape in my car. When I encounter a motorist with a broken window, I offer to “repair” the window at a price much less than a body shop or glass shop would charge to replace the window.