Strut shaft spins when I try to remove the top nut (strut won't come out.)

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13,459
Location
North Carolina
I think this illustrates that some jobs require availability of the right tools. While i don't discourage doing things yourself , as long as the safety factor is considered. You have to realize as you take on jobs like these, that you have to have the right tools on hand, or be willing to buy the right tools for the job, if it gets a bit sideways.

The OP did did the right thing, getting opinions here first. You just have to be committed to having/buying what you need before you get in over your head.

I've gotten in over my ability/ willingness a time or two. I had multible bolts on my truck transmission pan break off, from rust. I tried and managed to get one out. But i realized getting 4 or 5 broken bolts out ( and possibly having to heli-coiling them) lying on my back on the ground was just silly. The trans had a lot of miles on it, with no trans cooler, i had the money, so i said screw it. I'm sending it to a shop and rebuilding it before a failure, and fix the broken bolts a the same time.
 
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2,932
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Kentucky
That's pretty much how I accumulated my tools over time. By starting a job and realizing it couldn't be done, or would be faster with X, Y or Z. Often times I'll finish a job and next time I'm shopping for tools, pickup whatever it was that I realized would make the job that much easier for the next time. Nothing wrong with that, I still encounter it to this day, even though I have a large tool collection.
 
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36,650
Location
ME
Like said several times this is a perfect job for an impact wrench. The nut has very little mass while the strut rod has a bunch. It'll rattle right loose! That's how impact wrenches... work.

I've put vise grips around a rag around a strut rod and loosened the top nut just fine. Left no marks, could have reused the strut.
 
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1,424
Vice grip the strut shaft and air gun the nut off with a swivel socket and extension. If you’re reusing the strut, put a rag on the shaft and then the vice grip. It’ll come off easily.
 

Astro14

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13,390
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Virginia Beach
While I would use an air gun (I’ve got several), the OP is new to the hobby and doesn’t have a big selection of tools. Air gun requires impact sockets and compressor.

While I agree that it’s the best approach, suggesting the purchase of a compressor, sockets, and gun might not be practical.
 
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36,650
Location
ME
Messages
3,692
Location
Parts Unknown
I’m concerned about the design of your struts. The struts I’ve worked on are bolted to the body by a couple of nuts that hold the strut plate.

That hex head top nut holds the spring seat in place. You do the top nut AFTER the strut is out and the spring compressor has removed the tension from the nut.

Are you certain that you should be unbolting this top nut? Is the spring tension accounted for?

Got a picture of your car?
Here's different car from the Honda that uses the same method to mount the strut assembly to the body:


You can see after the strut is removed and the top hat is out of the way, you see the actual strut nut that would hold the strut mount to the spring.

or this video where Charles (HumbleMechanic) takes an impact wrench to zap that nut off.
 
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3,381
Location
Idaho
.....So, normally one holds the strut shaft with a hex bit (or hex key) while using a 17mm wrench to spin the top nut free. Unfortunately, the hex key has STRIPPED the hex hole on top of the strut shaft.
When I did the rear, it got stripped too (why????? salty air probably!) but I was able to hammer in a torx bit which held the rear damper strut shaft in place, while I spun the top nut free.....

Too bad you did not have some RBRT hex bits in your tool kit.
 

lizpat

Thread starter
Messages
147
Location
New YOrk
For those kurious, here's an update:

I was able to borrow a Harbor Freight Earthquake XT impact wrench with something like this: ( https://www.amazon.com/TITE-REACH-EXTENSION-WRENCH-Combo-Pack/dp/B004UBHRWO ), and holding the strut shaft from below with a small pipe wrench, the nut came off.

Here's a mistake I made at the outset: I used PB Plaster instead of Liquid Wrench. I truly believe that was a big error, at the outset of this project. I used PB Plaster at every point when I should have used Liquid Wrench (which is what I used last year when I lowered my Corolla on BILSTEIN B12's.)
Youtube Project Farm did a video comparing PB Blaster vs. Liqud Wrench and the latter is far superior. It's true, I can attest to that.
 

Astro14

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13,390
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Virginia Beach
Glad you got it solved!

I hadn’t considered electric impact, as I’ve got no experience with them. Can’t recommend what I don’t know...but please use impact sockets with an impact wrench.

As far as PB’laster - it’s never worked well for me. I threw my last can in the trash years ago. Kroil is my favorite. Works well. Liquid Wrench is a close second.
 

lizpat

Thread starter
Messages
147
Location
New YOrk
Thanks for that video, he faced the same situation I did----he had trouble removing the top nut AND the one right below it, both require holding the strut shaft, sigh.
 
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