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Old 10-24-2004, 04:00 PM   #1
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Default Specialty tools required for DIY struts

I'll pass along some of my experience for changing the front struts. The first thing you will need is some specialty tools that you may not already have. I own basic hand tools and some specialty trim tools but not much else. Fortunately, I'm able to borrow mostly anything which saves a few bucks.

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A) A REALLY big hammer
B) A pair of heavy duty spring compressors
C) W-body strut kit (more on this later)
D) A very big 1/2" breaker bar
E) 6 point impact sockets 15/16" and 13/16"
F) Adult beverages. Quanity and type will vary
G) Pain relivers

The most difficult part of the whole ordeal was not removing the strut-to-knuckle nuts, it was the bolts. I consider myself a pretty strong dude and it took quite a bit of effort to break the nuts loose. The bolts however, were a different story. Here'* a tip: if the bolts don't turn, they can not be hammered out. I broke two of my own sockets trying to turn the bolts before I borrowed the impact sockets. They did the trick. Once you can turn the bolts a bit, use penetrating oil and tap them with a hammer. After about 5 minutes, beat the snot out of them with the big hammer to remove.

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Here is that W body strut kit in action. I only needed to use two pieces of the kit. The first is a special gizmo kinda like a box end crow foot socket. The 1/2" ratchet is connedted to it. It'* hollow in the middle which allows a Torx 50 socket (connected to the 3/8" ratchet) to connect to the strut rod. This enables the strut rod to be held while loosening the top nut. The kit comes from Autozone and is a part of their loaner tool program.
NOTE: The above picture is for illustration purposes. These tools are NOT USED until the strut is removed from the vehicle and the spring is securely held with the spring compressors.

I think I now need to get some more F & G.
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Old 10-24-2004, 05:31 PM   #2
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You need to add two things to that list:
penetrating lube(WD-40, liquid wrench,etc)
and a torch to heat up some of the more stubborn bolts.
I've never come across a spring/strut job that went smoothly.
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Old 10-25-2004, 10:22 AM   #3
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Try PB Blaster for stuck/rusted bolts, it is the best there is.

Jay
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Old 10-25-2004, 10:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smellbird
You need to add two things to that list:
penetrating lube(WD-40, liquid wrench,etc)
and a torch to heat up some of the more stubborn bolts.
I've never come across a spring/strut job that went smoothly.
That kit woulda been nice when doing my car... However, we weren't swapping struts.

If you can't get a hold of that kit, and your struts are not keyed (stanchtion spins freely) you can put a strap wrench on the stanction while you turn above. Yes you'll need two people.
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