How do you get the front struts apart? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 12-18-2006, 05:56 PM   #1
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Default How do you get the front struts apart?

I am in the process of replacing my struts all the way around. I have gotten the back two on and I am in the process of getting the front two replaced. I can't seem to get the front struts apart to get the spring and strut mount to reuse them.

Any tricks I should try?

Thanks in advance.

-JJ
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:21 PM   #2
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Are you using a macphearson type spring compressor?
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:25 PM   #3
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Yes, I have the spring compressed on the strut and it is all out of the car. I just can't figure out how to get the mounting bracket off of the top of the strut to reuse it and the spring on the new strut.
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:31 PM   #4
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I had to use an impact to get the top nut off when I did mine. Theres a torx bit hole on the top of the strut right? have you tried to hold that and use an open-ended wrench on the nut?
PBlaster is always good too.
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:43 PM   #5
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I can't get a wrench on it because of the mounting bracket. It seems the mounting bracket is two pieces, I could be wrong about this, and if the top piece came off I could get at the nut. But I can't get anywhere because I can't get a wrench on it at all because of the mounting bracket. I am going to see what the folks at O'reilly'* have to say. Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:58 PM   #6
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Take the strut out of the spring compressor and see if you and get the nut to break free - not all the way off and get some PB blast in there too, then report back...
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:45 PM   #7
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I had this SAME problem and discovered it to be VERY hard to fix. I got a little bit creative and had to SLOWLY work it down. NOW, listen carefully, this method rules.

I do believe your problem is that the strut piston is spinning when you are trying to loosen it, and its going to get worse to tighten it.

You will NEED to do this, if you spin the piston on the new strut while tightening it, internal hydraulic strut damage WILL OCCUR.

You need, a pipe wrench, a piece of serpentine belt for holding the piston.

What you're going to do is put the piece of serpentine belt in the mouth of the pipe wrench and then fit it pretty tightly on the strut piston reaching through where the coil is.... DO NOT...I REPEAT DO NOT MAR the surface of the piston, using the belt prevents ANY damage.

as soon as you have that positioned, put a socket and ratchet on the top nut and back it off. but ONLY do this as soon as you're sure that the spring is WELL COMPRESSED and that it is safe to relieve pressure from it.

Then take the strut mount apart and repack the bearings with grease and clean out the rest of the strut mount.

Make sure to get that rubber coil pad off the old strut and replace it correctly on the new one.

Then install the new strut and installation is the reverse of removal. Once you have it back in there replace the pipe wrench with belt on the piston, once again being VERY careful not to mar the surface...and then begin to retighten the piston nut to spec.

You can then release the spring fully and reinstall the strut in place.

It is optional to replace the lower mounting bolts and upper strut mount if you feel its nessicary, but I found that on my car, that is MUCH older than yours, everything was able to be safely reused.

Remember to excercise the highest level of safety while doing this.

This is all personal experience so treat the advice as such, it is not a documented procedure and you are following it at your own risk.

Good luck!
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:16 AM   #8
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Thanks for the advice. I won't be able to get to it until tomorrow, but I will let you know how it goes.
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:26 AM   #9
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The proper tools always makes the job go easier. You need a set similar to this...

http://www.autopart.com/tools/toolsmain/tool/T_A450.htm

One of the parts shown on the left will hold the rod in place, then the socket shown on the right is hollow and slides over the other part. Hold the center with socket or end wrench, then use a large end wrench, crescent wrench or whatever tool that is large enough to hold on to it.

The set should be available at virtually any autoparts store.
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Old 12-19-2006, 03:26 AM   #10
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I was only suggesting that as an easy way to get the job done while saving money. But of course, if you have the money, the proper tools are always suggested.

And of course, sometimes you can't always just run to the parts store...and theres always a way to make spare junk useful
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