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Old 06-27-2012, 10:44 AM   #1
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Default 96 Park Ave Air Struts

I thought I'd go ahead and tackle replacing my rear struts today, figured it should be a piece of cake, so far it has not been too bad, but I have ran into a problem, I could not get a socket on the tower mount to loosen it before removing the strut, due to the size of the access hole I had to remove the two strut mount nuts, I did that, and then removed my strut to knuckle bolts, supported the control arm and all, and lowered the control arm till I could get the strut out.
I am having an issue with getting thee strut tower nut off, is there any easy way to do so, or should I order new mounts?
The mounts look ok, but I figure if I get the mounts, then the only thing I need to figure out is how to torque that tower mount nut to the strut before I put it back up in there.

I need to be able to drive the car in a few days, so any help with this is appreciated guys.

Here are pics of the old strut.



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Can I use a torx socket on the torx bolt, and then turn that nut with a crows foot socket?
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:12 AM   #2
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Tried a torx bit and open end wrench to no avail, I really wish the socket to remove that strut tower bolt would have fit through the access hole, this would have been a lot easier if it had.

I am thinking even if I order the Moog mounts I'm still going to need that torx bolt, why exactly is that bolt there?
I bought a deep well socket for it thinking it would fit through the access hole and let me remove that while the strut was attached to the control arm, of course I found that the hole there was not big enough for the socket to fit through...

If I order two strut mounts do they typically come with that torx nut, or is that needed on my Monroe Sensa Trac Air Struts?
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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Not familiar with this, so my comments are only based on your picture. Looks like the torx feature on the threaded stud is there to install the stud, and prevent it from turning when the nut is installed or removed. What happens if you crank on the nut without holding the stud? Either the nut will turn on the stud, or the stud will spin, but either way they will come out.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 2kg4u View Post
Not familiar with this, so my comments are only based on your picture. Looks like the torx feature on the threaded stud is there to install the stud, and prevent it from turning when the nut is installed or removed. What happens if you crank on the nut without holding the stud? Either the nut will turn on the stud, or the stud will spin, but either way they will come out.
Your response is appreciated nonetheless!
I did some more looking at it, and the new strut, and you are right, it seems the torx head is just there to help keep the strut from turning so you can loosen and tighten the strut tower nut.
I tried all I could with the strut to get the old rusty thing to break free, I used PB on it, still no budging it, it would help it I had a really good vice or something.
I guess I am going to be forced to order the new strut mounts, the Moog K6404 Rear Upper Strut Mount Kit..
I still will have to figure out how I am going to use any kind of open end wrench on the new one, when I use something to hold the torx head, I just cannot get an open end wrench, or a crows foot socket on it to tighten, much less loosen it without it slipping off the strut tower nut.
If I had a solid heavy table, and a vice, I could probably put the torx bit in a vice, put the strut upside down, the try to get strut tower nut off, but I do not see it coming off easy even if I had that.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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you have to use a deep socket and an impact to get that apart and put the new one back together
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
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you have to use a deep socket and an impact to get that apart and put the new one back together
I have the 24mm deep socket, and a 1/2" breaker bar, and a 1/2" ft lb. torque ratchet.
I went ahead and ordered the strut mounts, and I am hoping I'll find some way to be able to tighten that nut to 70 ft lb'*
If you used a impact gun to put it back together, even if you secured the bottom part of the strut that attaches to the knuckle in a vice, wouldn't that turn the inner part/shaft, and maybe damage the strut, or air boot?
From the way the strut is made it looks like that torx bit head is in the strut for a reason, it is supposed to be used to hold the strut from moving while you remove, and put back on the strut tower nut.
I searched the net a bit, but all I can find is somebody saying put the torx bit in a vice, turn strut upside down and place over torx bit, then use a wrench like the following to tighten it.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bahco-DEB242...item519fa9821b
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:02 PM   #7
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If the nut is in an area where you can apply heat (propane torch for example) you might try heating it to break it free. Otherwise you probably need an impact wrench like Justin said.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:07 PM   #8
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If the nut is in an area where you can apply heat (propane torch for example) you might try heating it to break it free. Otherwise you probably need an impact wrench like Justin said.
I have a torch, and could heat it, but I really do not have a vice to keep the strut secured in, so I need to figure that part out.
I thought I had done my homework before doing this, I read manuals, watched videos from the struts being done on a similar Park Ave, but I did not see them have to use any air tools.
I have the new mounts ordered, so I do not have to be able to remove these strut mounts, so can you guys think of any way I can get that strut tower nut tightened to 70 ft lb'* without air tools?

I had planned to get air tools recently, but ran out of money before I could get the setup I had my eye on.. :/

If I cannot get that nut tightened down without air tools I'll have no choice but to put the old strut back and hope it holds up a while longer till I can afford to pay a shop to do the struts for me, it is something I really wanted to be able to do myself as money is tight, I was told on anther site doing them was super easy, and a 30 minute job, even without air tools, but I cannot see that after dealing with the strut tower nut.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:22 PM   #9
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Are you able to turn the nut but the stud spins, or are you just not able to get enough torque to turn the nut?
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 2kg4u View Post
Are you able to turn the nut but the stud spins, or are you just not able to get enough torque to turn the nut?
I really cannot get enough torque to turn it, if I had a way to keep the strut from moving I could try to use my breaker bar, but I cannot hold the strut and remove the nut, my best vice is my feet right now, and that is not going to work...
If I could have gotten my 24mm deep well socket in the access hole I'd have just left my strut mount in there, as it was still good, then I could have loosened it before removing the strut.

Since I already ordered the new strut mounts, now my only problem is going to be figuring out how to get enough torque to tighten the strut when I get the new mounts.
Unless the strut mount kit does not come with everything I need, if there is anything on the old strut that I have to have that does not come with the strut mount kit, then I may be in trouble, as I just cannot get the nut free.
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