Replacing Tailgate gas struts Lexus RX300/350/400h


My auto tailgate stopped working and I suspected it was down to a failing gas strut. After replacing the struts it’s working perfectly again (only one was not functioning but this was enough to effect the tailgate motors).

•    2 X Tailgate gas struts from SGS Engineering (2 X £44.10 inc next day delivery)

•    12mm spanner/ratchet/torque wrench
•    Dremel
•    Needle nose pliers

~30 minutes

First off the replacement gas struts don’t come with the ball joint bracket for attaching to the car/tail gate. So you will have to reuse your old ones.

This is probably a two man job as you will need someone holding the tailgate open while you work. I did it by myself using a 6ft step ladder held firmly in place with supports. Do this at your own peril though! I turned off the auto tailgate motors from the little button in the glove box.

With the tailgate open, remove the original gas struts from the car first, then the tailgate by removing the nuts.

Tailgate Picture1.png

The next challenge here is the old struts are kept very firmly on the old ball joint with an o-ring and there doesn’t seem to be any obvious way to remove. I had to grind enough of the outer ball joint away until I could see the o-ring.. then prise this out with some needle nose pliers. It got easier as I did the other joints and I got more efficient with how much I had to remove.

Tailgate Picture2.png

Tailgate Picture3.png

Tailgate Picture4.png

Once you’ve freed all 4 ball joints. Re-attach them to the car and tail gate. Tighten to 8Nm if you have a torque wrench. You can use some locktight on these if you’re worried about them coming loose.

Remove the retaining pins from the new struts and pop them in to place starting with the tailgate end first. Re-insert the retaining pins when done. I put a small bit of grease inside each one.

Tailgate Picture5.png

Try opening and closing the tailgate a few times to ensure everything works and it’s well supported. Then turn the auto tailgate back on again from the glovebox.

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Great guide and thanks for taking the time to do it. However, for those who aren't quite so handy or just don't want to take the risk of damaging the ball, if you can do without using the tailgate for a couple of days, you can send your old struts to SGS and they will take off the brackets, refurb and paint them and place them on your new struts before sending them out to you. I paid £94.76 for two new struts with my own refurbed brackets attached.

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Had struts from SGS and they failed after a week, had them re-gassed at SGS and they failed again within six months.  SGS would not issue a refund so had to purchased genuine replacements from Lexus. Beware of cheap parts they are not always the best way to go.

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