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Using equations at the assembly level



I'm new to the forum, and relatively new to Solidworks. I understand how to use equations in theory, but I'm having trouble in practice.

I want to create a part with an equation driven length, and insert it into more than one assembly. I guess I'm trying to create a custom ToolBox part. But even though I apply an equation at the assembly level, the value it produces gets 'locked' into the part. I then can't change its length in other assemblies. Please advise.