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Old 05-23-2010, 04:48 PM   #1
AJT_Leo
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Default Strut/strut mount/spring removal

Howdy all,

The rear driver's side strut mount is broken in such a way that the strut piston is no longer connected to the mount. When removing the strut & spring assembly, do I have to take any special precautions with the spring or worry about it doing anything damaging? Since the mount isn't connected to the piston, I assume it will no longer contain the spring when unbolted from the car, so I expect the spring will just extend to full length when the car is raised and the strut/suspension lowered. Is that correct?

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A

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Old 05-23-2010, 04:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Strut/strut mount/spring removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJT_Leo View Post
Howdy all,

The rear driver's side strut mount is broken in such a way that the strut piston is no longer connected to the mount. When removing the strut & spring assembly, do I have to take any special precautions with the spring or worry about it doing anything damaging? Since the mount isn't connected to the piston, I assume it will no longer contain the spring when unbolted from the car, so I expect the spring will just extend to full length when the car is raised and the strut/suspension lowered. Is that correct?

Cheers,
A
I would stay as far back as possible and raise the car up very slowly. Try to raise it from the opposite side of the car so you are not in front of the coil.

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Old 05-24-2010, 09:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Strut/strut mount/spring removal

Are springs that dangerous? I mean, I know they can pack a punch, but I doubt they can uncoil in any way. I'm thinking that I can use one jack to raise the car and put another under the knuckle and slowly raise/lower each one to the point that the spring is fully extended. From there I don't foresee any issues. I could be wrong, though.

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Old 05-24-2010, 12:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Strut/strut mount/spring removal

The rear springs are, of course, not nearly as strong as the fronts. The car's weight will act as a "damper"; most likely what will happen is, when you jack up that corner, the spring will just decompress as the wheel stays on the ground. You may have to jack the car up considerably higher than you would normally, before the spring completely decompresses and the wheel starts to rise.

So can we presume that the center-hole in the top mount has broken in some way, that the nut on the piston no longer engages the hole? One "belt and suspenders" option - cut or find a piece of steel, with a hole for the piston, to lay on top of the mount, and pull the piston up through it and tighten the nut on it. For that matter, a sufficiently large washer might engage what's left of the mount.

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Strut/strut mount/spring removal

I'll be replacing the mount, as doing so seems the best option. I just find the construction of the mount odd. Why make the center of the mount rubber? Why not just make the whole thing a steel plate with a cushion of sorts on the bottom for the spring and bolt the piston to plate via the center hole. It seems rather odd to make it with rubber. Good to know, though, that I could just add a large steel washer to make up the difference.

Follow up question: instructions for removing the spring is to unbolt the top piston bolt when the entire assembly has been removed. Could I just un-tighten the top bolt while everything is still in the car, and fully unscrew it when everything is removed? Then, once the new mount is attached, hand tighten the top bolt and fully torque it once assembly has been reinstalled and the mount plate bolted down?

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Last edited by AJT_Leo; 05-24-2010 at 01:14 PM..

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Strut/strut mount/spring removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJT_Leo View Post
I'll be replacing the mount, as doing so seems the best option. I just find the construction of the mount odd. Why make the center of the mount rubber? Why not just make the whole thing a still place with a cushion of sorts on the bottom for the spring and bolt the piston to plate via the center hole. It seems rather odd to make it with rubber. Good to know, though, that I could just add a large steel washer to make up the difference.
Well, don't count on my washer idea; it's just speculation. You'll have to assess for yourself whether it'll work. But since it sounds like the mount has somehow failed, yeah, it might actually be safer to remove the piston nut now, so that as you jack the car up, the spring will decompress gradually, rather than taking the risk that it will let go more "abruptly" as a result of whatever's wrong with the mount. Without seeing the mount, it's hard to speculate on exactly what's going on, though.

Quote:
Follow up question: instructions for removing the spring is to unbolt the top piston bolt when the entire assembly has been removed. Could I just un-tighten the top bolt while everything is still in the car, and fully unscrew it when everything is removed? Then, once the new mount is attached, hand tighten the top bolt and fully torque it once assembly has been reinstalled and the mount plate bolted down?
IOW, you want to use the car as a spring compressor? I'm sure folks have done it, but the chain auto stores "lend" the spring compressor tool out for free (well, you put down a deposit), and that's the best way to know that everything is positioned and seated correctly as you assemble it.

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Strut/strut mount/spring removal

I'll be using a spring compressor and following the proper instructions once I have the whole assembly removed. I'm just wondering could I loosen it first, before removing the assembly. Once I take the old mount off and replace it with the new mount, I'll torque it down before reinstalling the entire assembly. Over all, I'm just trying to get a mental picture of the process before starting on it; to work through any questions and what not. I appreciate the assistance.

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Strut/strut mount/spring removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJT_Leo View Post
I'll be using a spring compressor and following the proper instructions once I have the whole assembly removed. I'm just wondering could I loosen it first, before removing the assembly. Once I take the old mount off and replace it with the new mount, I'll torque it down before reinstalling the entire assembly. Over all, I'm just trying to get a mental picture of the process before starting on it; to work through any questions and what not. I appreciate the assistance.
Do not cut corners. Follow directions using spring compressors. Barnowl has a good solid write up. Assume the spring is under compression at all times.

Many mechanics have lost fingers due to cutting corners. Yes the springs are dangerous. I no longer can make a fist since I broke my middle finger through, and then had to have surgery to have a wire hold it together. In my case, the spring shot out, the perch caught my hand, and then broke my finger across the rotor.

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Strut/strut mount/spring removal

Well, if the mount has failed as you seem to describe, you won't need the spring compressor to disassemble it; as I said, it'll probably just sorta come apart as you jack the car. And if you reassmble the whole thing with the new mount, using the spring compressor, you won't need to do anything else with the piston nut when you install the assembly in the car.

Oh, maybe you're wondering how to tighten the nut down without the piston just turning with it. The very top of the piston will have (depending on whether the strut is OEM or a replacement) either a torx-bit hole or a hex (allen) hole. You use that, along with a box wrench on the nut, to keep the piston from turning. The "orthodox" method, to get the torque to spec, is to put a torx/allen _socket_ in there, put the box wrench in place, then put the torque wrench handle on the socket, and since you're turning the box wrench clockwise _relative_ to the piston, you set the torque wrench on "reverse" (or, if it's an old-school beam wrench, the pointer will point to the "other" side of the scale).

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Old 05-24-2010, 02:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Strut/strut mount/spring removal

Good deal. Thanks for the help.

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