Minivan Tailgate Lift Supports

Thanks to everyone who has bailed me out in the past. Our 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan needs new tailgate lift supports. Picked up a set at Advance Auto. Find I need a driver a size between T-40 and T-45. None of the hardware stores have an inbetween size. Is there such a driver and, if so, where do I find one?

There is no size between T40 and T45

Perhaps the screws are internally rounded, so to speak

Have you tried cleaning the screws and lightly pounding the T45 into the screws?

You want a driver for the newer generation of torx called torx plus. The size you probably need is an IP40.

Holy cow, that’s a new one on me. Gotta get another set I guess. If you have a Fastenal store near you, give them a try. They have most everything and if they have to order it no charge and have it the next day. They special ordered me a 45 cent stainless set screw and had it the next day no extra charge.

Sears sells torx plus. Stop in and see if they have what you need.

That is also a new one on me. I’m not sure what was wrong with torx to begin with. Another mod by automotive engineers to drive people to the shop rather than DIY? Specialty tools often do that very thing.


All those torx, torx plus, tamperproof torx, etc. are readily available to any man, in Sears, Pep boys, online, etc.

With your reasoning, you could argue that the fuel pressure test port is disappearing, so that people take their car to the shop, rather than trying to figure it out themselves

Same thing with the plastic engine covers, to discourage people from messing around

But I don’t see it that way . . . I don’t see any of these things as a hindrance

Yes db, I know they are available to any “man” (or woman or child). Whether they were available or not is not the point. If you can provide me the exceptional engineering benefit to having there liftgate supports mounted with torx rather than “torx plus” then I will accept it. I just doubt that there is one. Manufacturers frequently build in barriers to DIY, and not only in the auto industry.

And yes, I would argue that to the extent that fuel pressure test ports disappear, it is not for any other reason than to make people have to seek out a proprietary scantool rather than just deal with themselves.


Here’s an interesting thing about those disappearing fuel pressure test ports, and it’s based on my personal experience

The cars that no longer have a test port often have a fuel rail pressure sensor . . . Ford comes to mind. Bear in mind I’m only talking about cars that no longer have test ports, not those that never had them . . . Toyota comes to mind

Anyways, what the fuel rail pressure reports to the PCM isn’t what your gauge reads if you actually tee into the system, as I’ve done from time to time. The difference can be 10psi or more.

Yesterday I had my gauge hooked up to a Ford truck. My gauge read 30psi, but the pid on the scan tool showed 40psi. The specs are 30-45psi. The pid would have you believe everything’s great. But the reality is that the fuel pressure was acceptable and normal, but barely within the acceptable range.

The other “interesting” thing is that you now need a scantool to test fuel pressure. What you are reporting is also disturbing in terms of the accuracy of it. Of course, one would have to sort out whether it was their conventional gauge that was off, or the pressure sensor, or the programming in the PCM. That all sounds like even more fun!


Through my personal experience, I know my conventional gauge is not off

When I have been in doubt, I have used other gauges, and they all read the same.

All in all, I’ll trust my gauge over the sensor and the pid

Manufacturers don’t just change tooling for the fun of it. I remember way back when they switched to philips screws because you could use them with power drivers a whole lot better. I for one was glad to see them go in favor of the torx if you ever tried to remove a rusted philips. It looks like the new torx plus is maybe a little thicker in the points which might work better for the heavier bolts.

Phillips screws were developed for the aircraft industry so they would cam out before applying enough force to strip the threads in aircraft grade aluminum. They have never been a good fastener for high torque applications.

I love torx. They are in a whole different world from philips head. I just can’t imagine that the liftgate mounts on a minivan need “torx plus” even if beefier. No one said they change things for “fun.”

Thanks everyone. Job done. Was able to get better quality T-40 and with lots of pressure on the wrench able to remove and replace the screws. Turned hard all the way out and again back in.


Congratulations on a job well done!

And thanks for the update

I also thank you for the report back.

It was actually a T40 and not a “Torx Plus” T40? I just did sway bar links on my caravan today and the insert for the stud was “about” a T40 - the fit wasn’t great so I was wondering if it was really a T40 “plus.” But not having any of those bits or - knowingly - having dealt with them before I wasn’t sure. I did wreck one OEM brand 3/8" drive T40 bit - they will hear from me. But got it done with a another T40 bit I had in a 1/2" socket set. One hand smash when the OEM bit twisted out and gave way.

So anyway, did you try a torx plus and that wasn’t it? Just trying to sort out where my tools are lacking, if at all.

OEM has lifetime warranty, correct?

@db4690, OEM does have a lifetime warranty - you know, with “proof of purchase.” I’ve had these so long that I have no idea where I got them. I did send an email to OEM customer service to inquire. Mostly I think I wanted to make sure they know that I have a swollen finger and bloody knuckle from their lousy tool. But hopefully they’ll give me an easy way to take care of it.

I’m not that concerned though. After this, I don’t think I care to use these anymore.


“I’m not sure what was wrong with torx to begin with. Another mod by automotive engineers to drive people to the shop rather than DIY?”

“I just can’t imagine that the liftgate mounts on a minivan need “torx plus” even if beefier”

First, the patent on the “original” Torx fastener was expiring when they came out with the improved version. Business as usual would allow the competition to steal/erode market share, so they were motivated to stay ahead of the competition and continue to provide significant barriers to entry for them by releasing an improved version that was again (reasonably) protected.

The improvement is real, they provide a couple of good features. First the camming action is reduced under higher loads. Secondly, it is far easier to engage the tool with the fastener due to the improved lobe design. Both of these factors are big sellers to the industry that places a high value on labor reduction and improved quality.

Seeking to further reduce costs, any manufacturer will try to standardize on a particular fastener type. No way they are going to mix old and new, especially if they are so close in design that they are virtually indistiniguishable to the operator setting up the tools or switching bits without careful examination. So you will see the new design across the board, even if that particular application does not benefit from the feature that provides higher torque loading. It’s easier to engage the tool in high volume environments and they want to standardize on a single fastener type wherever possible.

A win-win for the fastener maker and the automaker.