Installation instructions

Gas spring replacement for VW T3 pop-up roof

Gas strut replacement

Is your VW T3 hanging its spoons?

Old gas springs that hold the pop-up roof in the upper position can leak over time and no longer provide the necessary force to keep the pop-up roof of the van in the highest position.

Tools and materials required:

  • new Gas springs
  • Pipe wrench
  • a 13 mm open-end wrench
  • a stable, non-slip base
  • at least one helper (two would be recommended;-))
  • something to hold the pop-up roof in position (broom, wooden pole, ...)
  • Optional: 4x new M8x25 hexagon head screws made of stainless steel (serve as a replacement for the Phillips screws)
Gas strut replacement

First you have to unlock the pop-up roof, raise it upwards and hold it in position with suitable tools (if necessary, one of the helpers will have to do this).

In our T3, the screws used on the old gas spring are cross-slotted screws with their heads facing the fabric (i.e. pointing towards the center of the vehicle). Unfortunately, no cross-slotted head fits between the fabric and the screw, so we used a pair of raw-nose pliers to loosen the screws.

First loosen one side and remove the damper.

Gas strut replacement

Now you can put on the new shock and screw it to the upper attachment point. We have used new M8x25 stainless steel screws with an external hexagon so that we can get a better grip here and continue working with a 13 mm open-end wrench.

Then pull the damper guard over the new gas spring.

Now it's time for the tricky part of the conversion. The spring must also be screwed back onto the attachment point at the bottom. The new spring is really strong, which is why it cannot be pushed in by hand.

To get the spring into place, you can place the lower spring section on a non-slip, stable base. We use a piece of wood and a rubber mat to protect the vehicle paint and prevent it from slipping.

Gas strut replacement
Gas strut replacement

Extreme caution is required for the following step. If you are not confident enough to do this, please have a specialist do it.

An assistant must now enter the vehicle and slowly pull the pop-up roof downwards (please remove the catch first). At the same time, an assistant on the outside must press the lower spring section firmly onto the base. Now quickly lift the roof upwards from the inside. While the spring extends with a delay, the helper on the outside can push the lower part towards the fixing bracket. Repeat this process until the screw can be replaced.

Now nothing stands in the way of your next camping trip!

Gas strut replacement