If your Corvette coupe still has the original rear-hatch assist rods inplace, chances are they aren't up to par after almost 20 years ofservice. In the case of our '86, both assist rods needed to be replaced (Zip Products PN l-1113Rear-hatch assist rod with rear defroster),not only because they didn't keep the hatch open, but there was asignificant amount of fluid leaking from the rods. Time for a change.
Replacing the rods takes about five minutes and a few simple handtools.The best tool for the job is a prying screwdriver like the one shownhere. It has a large split made to reach around the rod end. For thosenot blessed with a large tool chest of specialty tools, a regularflat-blade screwdriver will work. One trick is to remove the rod endclose to the hatch glass, then rotate the rod to the center of the carto get it to release from the body-mounted rod end. Be careful with thehatch glass. If you break it, you bought it, and hatch glass isn't cheapto replace.
Follow along with our assist-rod removal process illustratedhere. Inspect the wiring for the rear hatch to ensure that no electricalcomponents can inadvertently ground out. In other words, raw wiring isbad and requires insulation. Make sure the wiring and connection coversare in good condition. If not, replace or repair them.