Not difficult at all. Just fiddly.
It's only held on by four nuts which are hidden by the headliner. Plus the
CAREFULLY pull the weatherstripping off its flange at the top of the hatch
opening. It can stick and will tear if you pull too hard too soon. Give it
time to let go.
Pull the rubber strip off the rear of the headliner (taking careful note of
how it goes on!).
Carefully pop the top of the thick C-pillar molding away from the pillar.
The headliner should now drop down and flex a bit, enough to get a 12mm (or
14mm? can't remember) socket or wrench on the hatch hinge nuts.
The hinges will likely be stuck fast to the roof. Slightly LOOSEN, but do
not remove, the nuts. Hammer a flat-blade screwdriver between hinge and
roof to break the seal so the hinges are now loose. One sharp tap with the
hammer should do it.
Remove the hatch trim so you can get at the wiper motor wiring. Tie a long
piece of twine to the wiring. When you remove the hatch, the wiring will
pull out of it, remaining with the car. The twine is so you can easily
thread it back in again, so make sure BOTH ends of the twine remain
available! Do not allow the twine to pull through also!
You MUST have a helper to hold things up for you. Unbolt the hatch struts.
Remove the four nuts. The hatch will now lift off. Watch that wiring and
twine! The hatch is HEAVY and VERY AWKWARD. Be VERY careful! Drop it and
the glass may shatter. Let it tip over when it's half-off, and you can
scratch the paint, damage trim or bend up the hinges.
Put a cloth or tarp on the lawn and lay the hatch there, flat. Do not stand
it on edge. Keep the kids away from it!!!
The hinges will have play in them, which will make it hard to get the hatch
aligned properly again. Leave the struts DISCONNECTED when you reinstall
the hatch. Close the hatch, align it as best you can, then just snug up the
12/14mm nuts. Push the hatch rearwards from the INSIDE, pushing hard on the
middle of the trim, while helper reports alignment. Use nylon hammer to tap
nut studs in or out, left or right, then push on the hatch again and have
helper report. When hatch is in good alignment, tighten nuts all the way,
open hatch and reconnect struts.
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