On my 1989 Toyota Land Cruiser, I need to replace the gas pistons attached to the lop half of the rear liftgate. How do I separate the gas piston from the body mounted ball socket? There is not any type of external clip to release so the piston will come off of the ball socket.
It appears from the images of the lift pistons I've seen for your Land Cruiser, they should just pop off. The clip is sort of an internal clam shell. Put a pry device between the rod end and the body (either lift gate or vehicle body) and gently pry it away. Ensure you are careful not to mar the surfaces with the pry device (placing some thin wood like a paint stir would work great here). Also be careful not to wedge it against glass, as you'll most likely break it. With some gentle force, it should pop right off without issue. To re-install, just press it against the ball and give it a little gentle persuasion. Also, either have someone helping you to keep the lift gate open, or securely place a piece of 2x4 under it to keep it upright while you're removing the strut.