Removing the old struts was pretty easy, I just used a small screwdriver to release the clip and used a small hammer to tap out the pin. I did not have too much trouble compressing them the little bit to release the pin.
Compressing the new ones, however, proved to be quite a challenge. I guess I could have put them in the freezer but I wanted a more mechanical solution.
I made a holder bar out of some scrap flat bar. I cut a slot in one end to slip over the tang. Then I bent both ends over. I then used the lift arm to compress the strut and clip the brace in place.
With the strut safely locked in the holder, I could position the hood to match and insert the pin. I then used a pry bar to snap the other end on the ball.
The bar works well for removal also. Just set the hood in the proper spot, clip the bar in place and remove the pin.
I used 3/4 bar stock. It needs to be about 18″ long. Bend over about 1 1/2 inches on each end, leaving 15″ between the bends. Cut a slot wide enough for the tang and it will hold the strut in a slightly compressed condition.
I have been experiencing some odd behavior when starting my Renix Cherokee lately. While the starter sounded like it was spinning fine, the engine would not fire up. Often it would fire just as I let go of the key.
I have been running an old Optima battery that I got back when ChumpCar was giving them away as part of their sponsorship, The battery read over twelve volts and the starter sounded fine. However, I noticed that the REM was shutting off and the voltage was dropping while trying to start.