How to Install Gas Struts on a Lid

7.5 inch 80NRV-cabinet-shocks-

Previously, we presented a guide on “how to install soft close gas spring hinges in 10 minutes“. Today, we’re going to share a quick method for installing lift support gas struts. Similar to our previous guide, this strut installation can be accomplished in just 10 minutes. Whether you’re looking to install shocks on a cabinet door, a hatch door, or an RV storage box door, you can streamline the intricate installation process with the following three steps. In this post, I’ll also provide insights into some common errors, assisting you in sidestepping the traps that novices often fall into, aiming for a successful spring installation on your first attempt.

Step 1: Choose the Right Size Gas Strut

To select the correct gas strut size, we must first gather several measurements, including the extended length, stroke, compressed length, and the required lifting force. I’ll provide detailed explanations in the following diagram, and you can also refer to our article “How to Measure Gas Struts” for a more in-depth understanding.

How to measure gas strut

Two Common Mistakes During the Purchasing Process:

1. Buying only one shock.

Using a single lift shock will add force to one side, causing uneven pressure and reducing the lifespan of the mechanism. We do not recommend using a single lift shock unless the lid is very light.

2. Thinking that a stronger force of a gas strut is always better is a misconception.

In reality, we just need to choose a pair of gas shocks that are sturdy enough to support the weight of the lid. Using gas springs with excessive force will make it difficult to close the cabinet door. If you’re facing a situation where the lid won’t close due to high-pressure gas struts, our article “How to Address the Issue of Not Compressed Gas Struts” offers a definitive solution for you.

how to easy fix problem that new gas struts won't compress

Step 2: Determine Installation Points and Pre-Drill Holes

To achieve optimal lifting and support performance for gas shocks for lids, the most effective approach is to pre-drill holes at the designated installation points as instructed in the paper guide. However, if the lift strut size is not mentioned in Apexstone mounting instructions, we can also locate the mounting points easily, the extra thing we should do is to consider the gas shock size, the design of the lid, and the desired opening angle. For an easy way to calculate the gas strut position, you can refer to the guide.

Key Factors For Successful Gas Strut Installation:

Once you determine the mounting points, 90% of the hard work is done. Follow these six tips to ensure a successful installation.

1. Check Gas Struts End Fittings

When you receive the product, check that both ends of the piston head are tightly screwed in. If you find any looseness, securely tighten the connectors onto the rod threads first.


2. Do Not Place Brackets Too Close To The Edge Of The Box

Placing the brackets too close to the edge of the box can hinder the lid from closing properly, especially if the lid has overhanging edges. In general, it is advisable to maintain the upper and lower mounting points as level as possible, while also ensuring that they are positioned away from the cover’s edges.

Successful Gas Strut Installation

3. Install Shocks More Vertically Than Horizontally With Rod Down

For flip-up cabinet doors, the upper installation point is typically closer to the hinge than the midpoint. Similarly, for flip-top bench storage boxes, the upper installation point is usually closer to the hinge than the midpoint. This will allow the best damping performance.

Install gas strut vertically than horizontaly with the rod down

4. Account For The Compressed Length Of The Lift Support Gas Spring

To close the lid correctly, we should leave enough space for the support strut to compress, so, do not have the upper and lower mounts positioned on/near the same spot when closed. To simplify the process, we can position the two mounting points (A and B) at a distance approximately equal to or greater than the compressed length when the lid is closed.

Compressed-gas-struts and extended gas struts for cabinet door, screen door spring installation

When we can ensure a correct closing, then, install the strut to those marked points with the lid open. It’s important to note that there’s some flexibility, as the strut doesn’t need to compress fully when the lid is closed. You can also refer to the article “How to adjust gas struts mounting point” for a detailed guide.

5. Pre-Drill 1-2 Holes In First Try

During the initial drilling process, start with two holes and fit the metal washers. You don’t need to fully tighten the screws at this stage to allow for future adjustments.

6. Ensure Drilling Holes On Both Sides Are Symmetrical

Balancing the drilling positions on both sides can prevent any uneven force load.

struts for cabinets Worked-great-for-my-application-and-the-quality-seems-like-they-...

Step 3: Finalize the Installation

After pre-installing brackets on both sides, the next step is to install the gas struts. Prepare the gas spring with the metal shaft down, then connect the piston head with the ball joint in turn. This step completes approximately 80% of the installation. Then, we can test the performance by opening and closing the lid cover multiple times to ensure smooth operation and secure joint connections. If the door opens and closes without any issues, it indicates a successful setup. Finally, proceed to drill and secure the screws in the remaining bracket holes, marking the true completion of the installation.

Finalize the Installation of box shocks

Additionally, to extend the lifespan of the gas struts, consider the following guidelines, even though box shocks don’t require specific maintenance:
1. Always position the rod facing downward. This helps lubricate the gas strut accessories and enhances damping performance.
2. Protect the piston from damage, dirt, and paint.
3. Install the struts in a dry environment.
4. DO NOT try to manually compress the gas struts, as this may result in rod bending.

More information on how to install a gas spring?

I am confident this article will make installing lift support easy for you. Should you have any queries about installation or product selection, our FAQ section contains answers to common user questions that may address your concerns. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to us at alvinluo2013@gmail, and we’d be delighted to assist with any questions you may have.

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