I'm trying to install liftgate supports to replace the failing ones on my 1999 Lexus RX300. I bought two of them — one for each side. However when I went to install them, I noticed that the orientation of the ball socket is the same on both supports. So the ball socket of only one of the supports is facing the right way (towards the ball connector on the liftgate). When I try to install the support on the other side of the trunk, the ball socket faces away from the ball connector. It seems like there should be a right side and left side support but I didn't see those options when I bought the supports. I tried to twist the socket but it doesn't seem to move. What am I missing here?

Here are some photos to illustrate:

Right side of trunk

Base of new support below the base of the old support. Notice orientation matches old support.

base of new support next to the old support

The socket end of same support above, but notice the socket is facing away from the ball end.

socket end of new support facing away from liftgate

Left side of trunk.

When I turn the support around and try it on the left side of the trunk, the socket faces the ball end.

socket end of new support facing toward the liftgate

  • Perhaps one end or the other will twist around. Does the hole in the top contain a screw? Alternatively, perhaps the bracket can be mounted with the flange facing the other way. Nov 27, 2020 at 19:27
  • @WeatherVane I tried twisting them but they wouldn't budge. And the instructions say to make sure everything is oriented exactly the same way as the old supports so I think the flange part should be facing the same way. Nov 27, 2020 at 19:29
  • If you were sold two packages take them back and ask for a pair. Nov 27, 2020 at 19:37
  • The piston will rotate in the cylinder, but whatever you do don’t scratch it.
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 27, 2020 at 20:00
  • Nobody is going to design, make, and supply two "mirror image" parts if they don't need to.
    – alephzero
    Nov 27, 2020 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


I would fit the ball end and then rotate the cylinder so the bracket fits as it should. At least that’s how I sorted the last ones I fitted.

  • Thanks let me try rotating it when I get a chance and get back to you. I tried it earlier but it didn't move but maybe I needed to apply more force. Nov 27, 2020 at 20:19
  • Don't use more force. Rotate the strut in the cylinder not the fittings. Nov 27, 2020 at 21:28
  • @WeatherVane I did write « rotate the cylinder »...
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 27, 2020 at 21:32
  • @SolarMike yep, and I wrote that because OP said he tried to "twist the socket" and now says "more force" and might have been holding the strut, not the cylinder. Perhaps the strut need telescoping slightly to take pressure off the end. Nov 27, 2020 at 21:55
  • 1
    This was the answer. Just needed to apply more torque when turning it. Apr 4, 2021 at 19:08

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