Minii Van lift gates

On a 2000 Chrysler minivan, the gas-charged pistons have failed. I looked in the repair manual; it shows a simple diagram of a socket with a big torx end to take off the inaccessible upper bolt. The lip of the door opening is in the way, even if the weather seal is pulled out. How are you supposed to get to these things?

You might need some extra hands for this job. They have to hold the door farther open after you disconnect the other end of the strut. Maybe you can get to the difficult end after that. Make sure they don’t let go of the door, it is heavy. Just came back to say maybe not, now that I thought about it. You might have to grind away some of the metal or use a vise grip plier on the screw.

I Have A Caravan And A Factory Service Manual.

You’re supposed to raise the liftgate and support it. You are suuppsed to pull the weatherstrip out for access and remove the screws on each end. That’s really all that’s said. Sounds simple.

I went outside and had a look at the Caravan. I see what you are talking about. I didn’t want to pull my weatherstrip off, but I wonder if the metal flange is notched or has a hole there (covered by the weatherstrip) to access the screw on the D-pillar end? Have you pulled the strip away?

Otherwise, when I have to eventually replace mine, here’s what I would try. Get the appropriate sized Torx bit (the shorter, the better or buy one and grind it shorter if necessary) and the appropriate sized wrench (box-end, if possible to reposition, open-end if that’s not workable) whatever it is 6,7,8,9,10 mm, etcetera, to fit the outside hex shank of the Torx bit so you can turn it. You may have to use a screwdriver blade or lever to apply inward pressure on the Torx bit end to hold it into the screw while turning it.

Be patient it could take several minutes of turning and repositioning. I think that once the screw is just becoming loose you could get the bit out of there and just work the screw from the side of its head either with fingers, pliers, vice-grips, etcetera.

It looks to me like these struts are installed after everything else is put together (except the weatherstrip) so I don’t think we’re talking rocket science, but rather gathering the correct tools, developing a procedure, and patience.

Have you looked under the weatherstrip?
How does this plan sound to you?


I have looked under the weatherstrip. There is a solid metal lip that blocks access tothe torx head of the screw. I was hoping for a hole wthough which the torx driver could access the screw head. No such luck.

The plan sounds as reasonable as anything I’ve been able to come up with except taking it to the shop - but I’m basically too cheap for that.

I think you are correct - it will take a grinder or drill, something to create access.