Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gas Spring Strut repair for Hammerhead 42" Toolbox from Costco


The gas spring struts that hold the lid open on my stainless steel Hammerhead 42" Toolbox (model 2002-1800) from Costco just failed. Sadly, they leaked oil in the top compartment of the box, making a mess and melting the drawer liner. A big mess.

Amazingly I have the old toolbox manual and it lists the replacement as part number TB12U06. But I suspect I'm out of the warranty period.

The original struts measured:
eye to eye:   extended: 350mm (13.8"),     compressed 220mm (8.7")
stroke: 130mm (5.1")
10mm ball receptacle

I measured the force it took to compress one of the old ones on a bathroom scale. Of course it had been leaking so maybe it was a bit low. It seemed to take 15-20 lbs to compress it.

Removing the old struts just require lifting the metal band up a bit with a screwdriver and then the head pops off the ball.

I scoured the Internet and it seems gas spring struts like these are available, but the lowest force ones I found were 24 pounds each! The lid on my toolbox isn't that heavy, but I decided to try them: Suspa 24 LB Gas Spring C16-06389. About $30 for a pair on Amazon. (See addendum at the bottom for a better strut option!)

Here is a pic of the old and new strut. The new one is on the bottom and you can see it is just a bit longer.


Installing the new strut requires you lift the band on the head just a bit with a screwdriver so the head can pop on the ball.

Here is a shot of the new strut installed:

And here is the strut in action. You can see it is a bit too strong, the lid really flies open!


If you can find them, I instead recommend struts rated for around 15 pounds each.

Addendum: As recommended in the comments, I tried some different 10 pound struts from liftsupportsdepot.com. The struts I bought were part number SX140P10. These are also available through Amazon here. I have installed these, and I much prefer how the lid now opens in a much more controlled manner. I suspect a 15 pound struts would be perfect, but these 10 pound ones are much better than the 24 pound ones I started with. Get the 10 pound struts if you can't find 15 pound ones.

18 comments:

  1. You can get 10lbs struts at Lift support depot.... I am going to order a set and check them out.

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  2. Very cool. Please comment with the part number and how it works out if you can!

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  3. Sure. sku # 60022W. Model number sx140P10W. The parts are in the mail.... I will comment after I install them.

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  4. Please do! I just ordered some for myself and will report too. Thanks Anonymous.

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  5. See the addendum above for my comments on the 10 pound struts! My thanks to Anonymous for the tip.

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  6. I just got my 10lbs struts and agree with the comments above.......... 12-15lbs struts might be better but I could not find them anywhere. I am happy with the 10lbs struts they do the job..... maybe one option would be to try using one 10lbs strut and one 20lbs strut, I am concerned it could twist the lid a bit while going up and down but I am personally not going to spend the extra dollars to try it out...... but if you already have both, please give it a shot and let me know how it works out.

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  7. I don't think the mix of one 10 and one 20 is a good idea. The 20 is much stronger (obviously) and I do think it would be dragging the weak side around. Maybe I'll pop on later this week on and see what happens.

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  8. Thanks for specifying the Lift Depot part for Hammerhead tool box struts. The manufacturer is out of business. I installed the struts and they work fine.

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  9. Thank you, just ordered some for my Hammerhead tool box.

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  10. Glad the post is helping some people!

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  11. Thanks for taking the time to post. I had the same experience with the struts leaking a mess. I just ordered replacements, thanks to your info...

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  12. I have a Hammerhead tool box I bought from COSTCO probably 15 years ago with original operating struts. I just purchased a used box which is in need of struts. FYI, Lift Support Depot (760-744-2956) now carries the 15# struts (part # SX140P15W0). Free shipping for orders over $39 with 8.25% sales tax in CA. I ordered 2 sets and plan to pro-actively replace my still good +15 year old ones as well. As a side note, my recently purchased box is missing the keys. The keys are available on eBay using the code on the cylinders. Luckily my new box had same #s on top and bottom. 2-keys cost $12.10 pp.

    Hope this helps anyone in need of struts and/or keys.

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  13. Thanks guys, this was a helpful thread. I just purchased the 15# lifts from the last posting. One question... was there any reason why you mounted them upside down from the way they were originally mounted? Both left and right side on mine, the compression chamber was mounted towards the front of the toolbox, not the back.

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  14. Thanks guys. I just purchased the 15# lifts too. I was just curious, was there any reason why you mounted the lifts upside down? Both left and right side struts on mine have the compression chamber toward the front of the toolbox.

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  15. The directions for the struts say to mount the fat end (compression chamber) higher, so the oil inside gets to the seals when you open the lid.

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  16. "Should a Lift Support be mounted "shaft up" or "shaft down"?"
    https://www.liftsupportsdepot.com/blog/2010/09/should-a-lift-support-be-mounted-shaft-up-or-shaft-down#top

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  17. Struts were bad on the toolbox I got (my dads old toolbox). Lift Supply Depot has the rumored to be perfect 15lb ones too, I ordered 'SX140P15'. Will try to report back when they're delivered/installed. Good information in this thread regarding keys and such too. Thanks for the post, still helping folks out since this toolbox will likely last forever.

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  18. I just bought my set of SX140P15 because of your blog!
    I found them on Amazon

    Thanks!

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