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rear strut torx sux


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Anybody have any ideas how to get the rear strut top nut unscrewed? I have the torx sockets but there isn't enough room to get it in, and definitely not a socket wrench above it. I tried gripping the "plunger" rod with vice grips but they don't hold. Anyone have experience with this? I'm on my way to pep boys to see if they have allen wrench shaped torx wrenches, or if not, a bigger set of vice grips.

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First you need to clean/lube the exposed threads as well as possible & preferably over a period of days (spray every night).<P>Then you need a T-50 L-wrench. As you have noticed, there is no room for a socket.<P>Highly doubt that MM&J would have a good one, would suggest Sears first if you need to ask.<P>BTW, a standard vice-grip will not work as you have found. In fact the only one I have seen work on smooth shafts is the oddball one designed for holding nuts. Is the top one at <A HREF="http://www.jandsproducts.co.uk/jsvisegrip.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.jandsproducts.co.uk/jsvisegrip.html</A>

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I recentlty replaced by rear struts. A 7mm allen is too loose and an 8 mm is too big. I believe it is a 7.5 mm allen. I looked for a whole day trying to find one. I only found it in an expensive strut removal kit that was too long to fit the tight clearance in the wheel well. I finally used a belt sanded to sand down my 8mm allen to fit. Then put a pipe over it to hold it while turning the nut.

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I believe Padgett is correct, as usual. It takes T-50 torx socket. Since the socket and ratchet are too tall, I took the torx head out of the socket by loosening the set screw, put a box end wrench over the end that went into the socket, and got additional leverage by putting a piece of pipe over the wrench. It definately helps to soak the threads for a couple of days in penetrating oil.

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I don't know the history of my car. I got it a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps the rear struts I replaced weren't original. Maybe the supplier used both torx and allen heads. I do know the difference between torx and allen and the ones that came off my car were allen.

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Thanks for all the replies. The first strut (drivers side) took about 6-7 hours, including a trip to pep boys to buy a set of L-shaped torx bit wrenches for $13. I finally finished last night and decided to do the passenger side this morning. It was so hot (Not supposed to be this hot in December, even in Florida). Either the passenger side is easier or experience or the right tools, but it only took 1 hour. Hardest part was lining up the torsion bar bolt hole. Finally used combination of vice grips on the torsion bar and screw driver to pry the vice grips. I hate using them, but sometimes vice grips come in handy! Now I'm off to do the passenger side ball joint and bushing. Already did the drivers side. That will probably take all day today. THe hardest part is getting the bushing in using a bench vise. Just trying to get rid of my shudder. If these other steps don't work, next will be outer tie rod ends. Anyone have prior experience with them? How do they compare with struts, ball joints, bushing installation?<p>[ 12-15-2001: Message edited by: 2c_ter ]

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Hate to say I was rong but was. Sears does not have L-shaped TORX wernches but evidently Pep Boyz do. Was that the Oly-Pro 22-296 set ? Was just a vacant space in the west Orlando store & wondered if it included a T-50. <BR>Olympiaweb.com web site was not a lot of help other than indicating they made such.<P>Have had front & rear struts in garage for a while but the round tuit is still in the house.

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Padgett, that's the correct number for the set. If you are anywhere close to St. Cloud Wal-Mart I can get it there through a friend and you can use it. Don't see any other immediate needs for it. Just email and let me know. When I did the fronts I ended up taking the old assembly and the new struts to a local garage (Muffler Man) and had them do the disassembly and reassembly. They charged me $30 but after cranking on the spring compressor for an hour decided that was the easy way to go.

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  • 1 year later...

I know this is a few years too late, but...

My '89 apparently has the original struts. P/Ns indicated on them (post removal) and plain black exterior seem to support this. At 124K+, I think they're all well due for a replacement. I've tried looking with mirrors and testing with allen bits, and they are neither allen headed nor torx. They have a little dimple at the top, but nothing accepting any sort of drive. Removal has reqired Implements of Nut Destruction. (IND) Splitters, and Dremel cutting wheels. So far the left rear strut has been removed and replaced. The Monroe unit has a 10mm hex on the top, which provides a much easier surface to work with.

IMHO, the rear stockers I have have no easy holding provisions for the strut shaft.

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It has been my sad experience with tools and especially those Torx and Hex tools, Is that you have to pay a few more bucks for the Snap-On or Mac tools.

Most of the bolt and Fasteners that are Torx or Hex are Grade 8 or Better. The tools of losser quality are about the same hardness. So the tool falses before the bolt moves.

Cleaning all the dirt and crudd out of the head of the bolt head slot with brake cleaner and dental pick if need will give you a better grip on the faastener.

If you are planning to replacing struts or any of that other rust stuff. Start spraying it as many times as you can with Penetrating oil starting a couple of weeks in advance.

If you don't have a cutting /welding torch availble get a Self Ingniting Turbo Torch. Hooks on a small propane battle. Great tool.

I just save the frustration and heat up rusty nuts,bolts and most of all brake bleeder screws before I even start.

When you are working on any rusty stubborn bolts , nuts Brake calipers etc. RELAX

It takes 10 -20 times as much time and money to fix broken fasteners.

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I take back my previous statement. The stockers are T-50 torx. They just had a little plastic plug in there. With 14 years of road grime, it wasn't evident. After I had the first one out, it was.

Live and learn...

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