Bonnet support struts, a warning on the hinge mounted types!

Paulie68

Active member
OK guys, if anyone has bought the type of struts that were mentioned on here a couple of weeks back, or you're thinking about buying them. you need to read this!!

(This warning applies to the type that bolt to the bonnet hinges. There are other types that bolt to the bonnet insulation pad fixing points, I can't comment on these, but as they bolt to thin sheet metal not designed to handle loads, I'd expect them to cause fatigue cracking in short order, they may even bend the inner skin against the outer over time and give you a dented bonnet!).

The hinge mounted struts look like a neat solution on the face of it, as the hinges are structurally heavy, so you assume this is a good idea, it's not! The following is why:

1, Strut quality, this may not be the case for all of them, but at least the ones I bought, looked like this after the bonnet has been opened and closed only half a dozen times or so. The mounting ends are breaking away from the captive tread on the strut:

IMG_20200913_183520 (1).jpg

I might just have got a bad set, but the next two issues make these an absolute no no!

2, When the bonnet is open, the struts are, of course, exerting force on the hinges to hold up the bonnet. The problem is the amount of force needed to start the bonnet closing causes a disturbing amount of flexing between the sheet metal of the bonnet and the hinge in the areas as shown below. This is due to the bonnet sheet metalwork being designed for manual lowering, expecting no resistance against it from the hinge, so it doesn't have any reinforcement to cope with it. I am convinced you will get stress cracking in the area I've shown before very long, using these struts.

IMG_20200913_183442.jpg

3, With the bonnet closed, the struts are retracted to minimum length and therefore under maximum pressure. This is exerted against the bonnet hinges. The result is they, or more likely the mounting point metalwork is flexed causing the bonnet alignment to go to s**t and lifting the rear of the bonnet up several millimetres against the panel behind it. Again, potential long term fatigue damage aside, it just looks terrible!

IMG_20200913_183357.jpg

I've now removed mine and thrown them away! Thankfully they weren't on long enough, or used enough to cause any damage. I hope this is useful to everyone. But I now don't believe there's a straight forward bolt on strut retrofit that can be made to work successfully on our cars.

Here's the set in question, so please avoid them, they show a different set and mounting in the pictures, but that isn't what you get!

 
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Mgkev

Active member
Thanks for sharing your experience regarding these struts. I always thought the acute angle of operation theses struts are asked to work didn’t look like good engineering practice.
 

Frank

Well-known member
OK guys, if anyone has bought the type of struts that were mentioned on here a couple of weeks back, or you're thinking about buying them. you need to read this!!

(This warning applies to the type that bolt to the bonnet hinges. There are other types that bolt to the bonnet insulation pad fixing points, I can't comment on these, but as they bolt to thin sheet metal not designed to handle loads, I'd expect them to cause fatigue cracking in short order, they may even bend the inner skin against the outer over time and give you a dented bonnet!).

The hinge mounted struts look like a neat solution on the face of it, as the hinges are structurally heavy, so you assume this is a good idea, it's not! The following is why:

1, Strut quality, this may not be the case for all of them, but at least the ones I bought, looked like this after the bonnet has been opened and closed only half a dozen times or so. The mounting ends are breaking away from the captive tread on the strut:

View attachment 542

I might just have got a bad set, but the next two issues make these an absolute no no!

2, When the bonnet is open, the struts are, of course, exerting force on the hinges to hold up the bonnet. The problem is the amount of force needed to start the bonnet closing causes a disturbing amount of flexing between the sheet metal of the bonnet and the hinge in the areas as shown below. This is due to the bonnet sheet metalwork being designed for manual lowering, expecting no resistance against it from the hinge, so it doesn't have any reinforcement to cope with it. I am convinced you will get stress cracking in the area I've shown before very long, using these struts.

View attachment 543

3, With the bonnet closed, the struts are retracted to minimum length and therefore under maximum pressure. This is exerted against the bonnet hinges. The result is they, or more likely the mounting point metalwork is flexed causing the bonnet alignment to go to s**t and lifting the rear of the bonnet up several millimetres against the panel behind it. Again, potential long term fatigue damage aside, it just looks terrible!

View attachment 544

I've now removed mine and thrown them away! Thankfully they weren't on long enough, or used enough to cause any damage. I hope this is useful to everyone. But I now don't believe there's a straight forward bolt on strut retrofit that can be made to work successfully on our cars.
 

Paulie68

Active member
Sorry , I feel somewhat responsible. Mine are ok. Can I ask where you mounted them on your car?

Frank
Don't, it's hardly your fault! They're mounted as in the pictures above, the same as the picture you posted of yours.

Have you looked carefully at your bonnet alignment? Are you sure it's not pushed up at the rear like mine when it's closed? Even if your struts don't have the fault mine do, you're going to get problems over time because the engineering is just wrong with the way they're working in this format!
 

Frank

Well-known member
Don't, it's hardly your fault! They're mounted as in the pictures above, the same as the picture you posted of yours.

Have you looked carefully at your bonnet alignment? Are you sure it's not pushed up at the rear like mine when it's closed? Even if your struts don't have the fault mine do, you're going to get problems over time because the engineering is just wrong with the way they're working in this
 

Paulie68

Active member
Perhaps MG knows best? ...on this occasion.
Not really a valid comment! MG have chosen to cheap out and not provide the convenience of bonnet struts and therefore not engineered a suitable strut mounting solution into the bonnet to allow fitting of them.

At least in the case of the type of aftermarket struts I bought, the sellers haven't given any thought to properly engineering a retrofit solution either, just a barely working bodge of a solution!
 

Frank

Well-known member
Don't, it's hardly your fault! They're mounted as in the pictures above, the same as the picture you posted of yours.

Have you looked carefully at your bonnet alignment? Are you sure it's not pushed up at the rear like mine when it's closed? Even if your struts don't have the fault mine do, you're going to get problems over time because the engineering is just wrong with the way they're working in this format!
Paulie,

When I fitted mine I did have the same problem as you which was caused when I used the car mounting points on the black tracking . The problem was (it took me a while to find it) that when using the initial mounting points (car end) that top of the rear mounting point of the strut hit the inside of the bonnet and lifted the hinge hence the panel misalignment. I tried a couple of other things to cure it before I worked out the cause. When I used the other mounting point which was lower the misalignment was cured completely (so I thought until your experience).

I now think that my fitting instructions should have included some other information, however until you tried to fit yours I thought I had solved the issue completely, hence why I never mentioned them. I am going to check my installation again today and come back with my findings. So I do feel responsible and as I recommended them I am willing to refund you the purchase costs.

I will come back later today and if meanwhile you can confirm that you did not use the black tracking mounting points that would be appreciated.

Regards

Frank
 

Freddy

New member
I actually just fitted mine yesterday, and I don't have the same problem. I will double check when the wife gets home with the car. Also I have fitted mine differently. Where Paulie has fitted his to the hinge mine are the other way round, eg the nearside and offside are are swapped on mine. Wether that makes a diference or not I don't know.
 

Paulie68

Active member
Paulie,

When I fitted mine I did have the same problem as you which was caused when I used the car mounting points on the black tracking . The problem was (it took me a while to find it) that when using the initial mounting points (car end) that top of the rear mounting point of the strut hit the inside of the bonnet and lifted the hinge hence the panel misalignment. I tried a couple of other things to cure it before I worked out the cause. When I used the other mounting point which was lower the misalignment was cured completely (so I thought until your experience).

I now think that my fitting instructions should have included some other information, however until you tried to fit yours I thought I had solved the issue completely, hence why I never mentioned them. I am going to check my installation again today and come back with my findings. So I do feel responsible and as I recommended them I am willing to refund you the purchase costs.

I will come back later today and if meanwhile you can confirm that you did not use the black tracking mounting points that would be appreciated.

Regards

Frank
Hi Frank,

I didn't use the points you mentioned, I assume you're meaning the ribbed plastic light fitting mount, but the bolt to the side of this which sits lower. This seems the correct point and there is definitely no physical contact. The reason for the bonnet lift is the heavy pressure the struts are applying to the bonnet hinges when closed. This pushing on the hinges is causes a flex upwards in the case of my car and mis-alignment of the bonnet when closed.

I'll be interested to hear what you find, it will be strange if your bonnet hasn't been lifted a little, as your fitment looks to be the same.

It's very kind of you to offer to refund me, but I won't accept it, It's not your fault at all that the product hasn't been researched and designed properly by the seller. I just wanted to warn other potential buyers of the issue.
 

Paulie68

Active member
I actually just fitted mine yesterday, and I don't have the same problem. I will double check when the wife gets home with the car. Also I have fitted mine differently. Where Paulie has fitted his to the hinge mine are the other way round, eg the nearside and offside are are swapped on mine. Wether that makes a diference or not I don't know.
I see what you mean, but that should just change the direction the strut clips on to the bracket, not the actual position. Do have a careful look at the alignment at the rear of your bonnet to the panel behind it. I'd be surprised if it's not moved upwards a little.

It might also be that some people don't notice the mis-alignment, or don't worry about it, I am very fussy and can't tolerate any incorrectly set up panel gaps or alignment due to my pedantic attitude. (Or so I'm told by the wife!)
 

Frank

Well-known member
Hi Frank,

I didn't use the points you mentioned, I assume you're meaning the ribbed plastic light fitting mount, but the bolt to the side of this which sits lower. This seems the correct point and there is definitely no physical contact. The reason for the bonnet lift is the heavy pressure the struts are applying to the bonnet hinges when closed. This pushing on the hinges is causes a flex upwards in the case of my car and mis-alignment of the bonnet when closed.

I'll be interested to hear what you find, it will be strange if your bonnet hasn't been lifted a little, as your fitment looks to be the same.

It's very kind of you to offer to refund me, but I won't accept it, It's not your fault at all that the product hasn't been researched and designed properly by the seller. I just wanted to warn other potential buyers of the issue.
Paulie,

Thanks, I will be checking and sending some photographs.

Regards

Frank
 

Freddy

New member
Hi
I watched as the wife was pulling up, and saw straight away the bonnet was indeed high at the back, so much so I can't believe I didn't notice in the first place. 2 mins later they were removed and bonnet closed as it should be. Good spot Paulie. Also Frank, I can't believe anyone would blame you, I certainly don't, and look forward to seeing other mods or accessories you may fit.
 

Frank

Well-known member
Hi
I watched as the wife was pulling up, and saw straight away the bonnet was indeed high at the back, so much so I can't believe I didn't notice in the first place. 2 mins later they were removed and bonnet closed as it should be. Good spot Paulie. Also Frank, I can't believe anyone would blame you, I certainly don't, and look forward to seeing other mods or accessories you may fit.
Freddy,

If you liked the concept and would still want them fitted once the problem is solved than please look at my crease lines with them fitted. Wife just called for tea, if you do think of refitting them then let me know and I will send further pictures.

Regards

Frank

rear bonnet 1.JPG
 

Attachments

Paulie68

Active member
Freddy,

If you liked the concept and would still want them fitted once the problem is solved than please look at my crease lines with them fitted. Wife just called for tea, if you do think of refitting them then let me know and I will send further pictures.

Regards

Frank
All I can think is your bonnet might have been set low from the factory, so the struts pushing on the hinges have brought it up such that it now looks OK. It might be interesting to un clip the struts and then compare? (although, I'll fully understand if you don't want to bother lol!!)

I'm certain the mounting points we've used are the same as yours, so the effect should be the same, I wonder if you have a different strut set that uses a lower pressure? Seems odd.
 

Frank

Well-known member
All I can think is your bonnet might have been set low from the factory, so the struts pushing on the hinges have brought it up such that it now looks OK. It might be interesting to un clip the struts and then compare? (although, I'll fully understand if you don't want to bother lol!!)

I'm certain the mounting points we've used are the same as yours, so the effect should be the same, I wonder if you have a different strut set that uses a lower pressure? Seems odd.
Dear All,

What I actually did was a bit more complicated than that. When I originally tried to fit them I used the mounting point (car side, not the bonnet) that secures the light unit and had exactly the same problem as you guys. I tried some fixes whilst using the first car side mounting point, which were first of all, changing the orientation of the knuckle joint (I think that's what you call the thing where you connect the strut to) on the bonnet side from a higher position to a lower position (didn't work), I then cut out a bit of the scuttle tray, (picture shown) again didn't work. I was mulling over what to do next and I noticed that there was two small dents in my bonnet just above where the car side of the strut was mounted which then proved to me (then anyway) that the problem was being caused by that. I then moved the car side of the strut mounting point to the mounting point next to the light unit mounting point which was a good bit lower and lo and behold the problem of the misaligned panel was solved.

This led me to believe wrongly as it turned out that this was the only source of the problem. It was not until you guys reported the same problem even though using the same mounting points as myself that it became clear that the problem was caused mainly by the use of the higher mounting point at the car side but ALSO by the fact that the barrel of the strut was being fouled by the scuttle plate.

The attached picture shows where in my first attempt to fit the struts whilst using the higher car side mounting point I cut out quite a bit of the scuttle plate (too much as it turns out) the red line is about all you need to go down to make it work. I hope this I not too confusing but it does work and I believe that this is the problem and nothing to do with pressures etc etc. After all they are a "universal fit" so a little bit of modification is not too bad. I fully understand if no one wants to take bits out of their scuttle plate but it works for me and the struts do work well.

Regards

Frank


PS Hi Paulie, I know you have a different opinion and seem genuinely worried about fitting these but they work fine for me and my offer still stands to reimburse your costs.

lhs.jpg

I done this both sides and you can see where the gas cylinder has compressed the foam thingys showing where the strut cylinder lies which if you did not do this it would cause a problem. The Red Line shows about how much you actually need to take off. I used a file to do this and as you see I got a bit carried away.

I feel bad about not mentioning this in my fitting instruction but I thought the ONLY problem was the use of the higher car side mounting point, and it is only now after your experiences that I know that the problem was both the use of the higher mounting point AND the strut cylinder being fouled by the scuttle plate (is that what you call it, I am not sure).

Regards


Frank
 

Freddy

New member
Frank, yours are obviously spot on.
I,m pretty sure I have fitted them same as you, I think it is probably inconsistent struts.
When I fitted mine, and took them off I had to get all my strength to compress them enough to get them to fit even with the bonnet as high as it would go.
When fitted the bonnet is about 2 inches higher than than with the original front stay, so I think the pair I have are too strong.
However I can see clearly the bottom attachment is where I had ours connected.
But it wouldn't hurt to see a clear picture of the hinge connection too be sure.
 

Paulie68

Active member
Dear All,

What I actually did was a bit more complicated than that. When I originally tried to fit them I used the mounting point (car side, not the bonnet) that secures the light unit and had exactly the same problem as you guys. I tried some fixes whilst using the first car side mounting point, which were first of all, changing the orientation of the knuckle joint (I think that's what you call the thing where you connect the strut to) on the bonnet side from a higher position to a lower position (didn't work), I then cut out a bit of the scuttle tray, (picture shown) again didn't work. I was mulling over what to do next and I noticed that there was two small dents in my bonnet just above where the car side of the strut was mounted which then proved to me (then anyway) that the problem was being caused by that. I then moved the car side of the strut mounting point to the mounting point next to the light unit mounting point which was a good bit lower and lo and behold the problem of the misaligned panel was solved.

This led me to believe wrongly as it turned out that this was the only source of the problem. It was not until you guys reported the same problem even though using the same mounting points as myself that it became clear that the problem was caused mainly by the use of the higher mounting point at the car side but ALSO by the fact that the barrel of the strut was being fouled by the scuttle plate.

The attached picture shows where in my first attempt to fit the struts whilst using the higher car side mounting point I cut out quite a bit of the scuttle plate (too much as it turns out) the red line is about all you need to go down to make it work. I hope this I not too confusing but it does work and I believe that this is the problem and nothing to do with pressures etc etc. After all they are a "universal fit" so a little bit of modification is not too bad. I fully understand if no one wants to take bits out of their scuttle plate but it works for me and the struts do work well.

Regards

Frank


PS Hi Paulie, I know you have a different opinion and seem genuinely worried about fitting these but they work fine for me and my offer still stands to reimburse your costs.

View attachment 557

I done this both sides and you can see where the gas cylinder has compressed the foam thingys showing where the strut cylinder lies which if you did not do this it would cause a problem. The Red Line shows about how much you actually need to take off. I used a file to do this and as you see I got a bit carried away.

I feel bad about not mentioning this in my fitting instruction but I thought the ONLY problem was the use of the higher car side mounting point, and it is only now after your experiences that I know that the problem was both the use of the higher mounting point AND the strut cylinder being fouled by the scuttle plate (is that what you call it, I am not sure).

Regards


Frank
Ah, I see.... I most likely am wrong about the pressure of the struts causing the hinge lift then.

I personally won't be refitting though, as there's no way I'm hacking chunks out of my scuttle panel!, but mostly because I know too much about metallurgy, and can confirm for a fact that the flexing caused between the hinge and bonnet sheet metal when you pull the bonnet down, even very carefully to overcome the resistance of the strut pressure as you close the bonnet will cause cracking above the hinge sooner or later with this design. Please look carefully at the area I marked up in my pictures as you pull down the bonnet to close it, the metal flexing is significant!

I have now found a supplier with an entirely different design of operation that I do think might work very well, but I'm going to consider it carefully first and will advise my thoughts if I decide to fit it and it works well.

Once again Frank, thanks for the offer of a refund, but really don't worry about it, it's in no way your fault. I did ask Alibaba for a refund as my struts were also faulty and they offered me £5.50 lol!! If I can be bothered, I might just take it up with Visa for the rest as their protection will get me the difference refunded for sure.
 
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