VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,348 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I'd put all MkIV strut tool info in one place for the FAQ. I will gladly add other suggestions to the list. Many of the tools will work on other cars as well but the focus is MkIV
Now thats a tool!



Background
# You need to hold the inner shaft stationary while applying torque to the strut nuts. If you don't hold the shaft, it'll just spin and you won't get anywhere. The nuts are either 21mm or 22mm depending on model year and strut manufacturer.
# The spreader tool is used to spread the big metal clamp that is integrated into the spindle/knuckly assembly. This clamp holds the bottom of the strut in place. You need to insert something into the clamp and spread it open to get the strut out - hence the term "spreader". Lots of items laying around the shop will work, but I have given the best examples here.
# When re-assembling the strut, you need to tighten the inner strut nut (also called a strut bushing??? in the Bentley shop manual) with the spring compressed. You do not want to tighten this nut against the force of the spring, otherwise you won't get th eproper torque setting and you may damage the strut bearing on re-install. So use a spring compressor to make your life easier, or get a friend to hold the spring compressed while you torque that inner nut.
# Don't use an impact gun to tighten anything unless you can adjust the torque. You will damage the strut bearing with over-torquing.

Strut nut tools part 1 - grab your nuts
# 13/16" long spark plug socket 1/2" drive with rubber insert removed and inside edges filed down ($5-10)
# 7/8" Split Oxygen sensor Socket from zdmak/Sears ($8)
# 21 or 22mm deep socket 1/2" drive with top outer portion filed down slightly, so it can be gripped by an adjustable wrench or vise-grip pliers($3)
# Metalnerd combo strut tool ($40)
# Parts4vws Schley strut nut tool ($28)
# OR you may simply use a 13/16"/21mm, or 7/8"/22mm deep offset wrench from Sears/Stahlwille/Hazet ($20)

Strut nut tools part 2 - don't spin your shaft:
# OEM & Bilstein struts: 7mm allen/hex key (optional: add vise grip pliers for extra leverage)($5)
# Koni - instead of 7mm hex key, - use an 11mm socket on a long extension
# KYB struts - you need some weird non-standard adapter to prevent the strut from spinning by grabbing a little nub. You might be able to use an adjustable wrench to grip the protruding nub, or you can use an impact gun.

Notes on Strut nut tools
# All above strut nut options except for the deep offset wrench will also require one of the following: torque wrench/ratchet with crowfoot wrench head, adjustable wrench, or vice-grip style wrench. ($10-100)
# Bilstein and some Koni struts ship with 22mm outer nuts, so you may need both 21mm and 22mm tools for your suspension job
# Air tools and impact wrenches work great for removing strut nuts but its hard to set the torque on the nuts accurately. Overtorquing can crack the strut bearings. Also you cannot prevent the inner strut shaft from spinning and excessive spinning can lead to broken seals. Finally, these big power tools are expensive to buy and maintain. Stick to hand tools wherever possible and do the job right.

Spreader tools:
# 8mm or 5/16" extra long allen/hex wrench with four sides filed down into an ovalish shape - leave two opposite sides flat so that the bit doesn't spin under pressure ($3-5) (aka traffic's ghetto spreader)
# metalnerd or autotech brand spreader bits ($15)
# big slot screwdriver and mallet - other items laying around the toolbox

Spring compressors:
# cheap ebay or sears strut spring compressors ($20-75)

Other helpful tools
# Bottle jack - in addition to a regular jack, a bottle jack makes it a lot easier to position the LCA and compress the strut spring while still installed on the car

Where to buy:
# Sears
# Snap-on
# ZDMak
# Ebay
# Stahlwille
# Metalnerd
# Autotech
# Parts4VWs
# German Auto Parts
# Hazet

References:
# http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1646838
# http://www.nclh.org/car/coilover_howto/
# http://peterpyce.com/Shine/Sap...1.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (John A)

May I add...
I bought these from Stahlwille direct. Not too expensive and they work great... Give you flexibility on the allen key.
http://www.stahlwille .com and You don't have to buy the whole set. Just contact them with the ones you want.



Modified by 1stVR6 at 4:09 PM 11-6-2004
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
318 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (phatvw)

Just got finished installing my cup kit. In place of "the spreader tool", I found that a 3/8" to 1/4" adapter worked really well. The 1/4" end slipped nicely in the gap on the lower strut mounts. Using a 3/8" drive ratchet to turn the adapter 45 degrees spread it apart so that the old strut slipped right out and the new one slipped in just as easily.
Just thought I'd share...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,097 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (Mr.Clean)

The strut spreader tool is basically a hex socket ground down to oval except on 2 sides. With a grinder wheel you could make one for about $4 instead of $30+.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (AutoXMan)

Quote, originally posted by AutoXMan »
The strut spreader tool is basically a hex socket ground down to oval except on 2 sides. With a grinder wheel you could make one for about $4 instead of $30+.

BRILLIANT!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,303 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (phatvw)

For spreader I used a 3/8" to 1/4" socket adapter, and just used the 1/4" end as the spreader. It fits in the gap perfectly, and you just turn it diagonally. Works great and if you're trying this install, you probably have one anyway. Total cost $0.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,712 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (phatvw)

At least on my car, the 11/16" spark plug socket fit both top nuts snugly. It's possible they're the same size on my 2000. I used a big wrench to hold or turn it. I found a 7mm allen for 50 cents, and can use it either as is through the spark plug socket, or grid off the short end and use in a ratchet handle.
Ive used the 1/4" driver to spread, but that has stopped being effective as the material in the knuckle has deformed as Ive done this numerous times (it's 5 now), and am needing thicker spreaders. A cold chisel also works as a last resort.
The strut clamp nuts were 18mm and I needed to buy one of those. But didn't need to buy anything else.
I think most people live near to a Canadian Tire, PartSource, or Autozone and can 'rent' their strut tool for no money. I have done that every time. Really dont' want this thing hanging around taking up space, since it almost never gets used
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (.je)

I like the filed down 8mm allen wrench. It's small yet has good leverage. And the 8mm is sometimes needed over a 7mm after some 'deformation'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,207 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (traffic)

Quote, originally posted by traffic »
Here's a pic.


Best tool ever. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
853 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (phatvw)

Quote, originally posted by phatvw »

Now thats a tool!



Using the crow's foot as pictured in that position will yield an incorrect torque to the nut.
The crow's foot should be set at a 90deg angle to the torque wrench for the torque at the nut to correspond to the torque setting on the wrench. Some links to confirm:
http://www.norbar.com/torquewr...r.php
http://www.engineersedge.com/m...1.htm
http://realbig.com/detomaso/1999-10/480.html
I believe this is also explained in the little pamphlet that accompanies a Sears Craftsman torque wrench.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
846 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (GTIspirit)

Damn... looks like you beat me to it!! Good writeup.

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2906553



Quote, originally posted by GTIspirit »

Using the crow's foot as pictured in that position will yield an incorrect torque to the nut.
The crow's foot should be set at a 90deg angle to the torque wrench for the torque at the nut to correspond to the torque setting on the wrench.

Very true.


Modified by lazyace at 1:49 PM 11-5-2006
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,498 Posts
Re: (MikekiM)

Quote, originally posted by MikekiM »
I use this for 21mm and 22mm nuts.

Do you guys just grind off the deep socket's flat on each side so you can get a grip with the wrench head? or buy them that way?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,140 Posts
Re: Inexpensive strut tool alternatives for MkIV (GTIspirit)

In honor of NOVAdub!

Quote, originally posted by GTIspirit »
The crow's foot should be set at a 90deg angle to the torque wrench for the torque at the nut to correspond to the torque setting on the wrench.

Even with the torque wrench set at 90* to the crow's foot, the reading will only be an approximation--it'll be close, considering how short the crow's foot is, but it won't be exact. Imagine that the crow's foot extension were a foot long, or five feet long, as you can start to visualize how the torque reading will be way off...
With the torque wrench in-line, as in the photo, one can calculate the real torque value as follows:
M1 = M2 x L1 / L2, where...
M1 is the torque setting of the wrench,
M2 is the actual torque applied to the nut,
L1 is the normal length of the wrench, and
L2 is the extended length of the wrench.
If your computer is Java equipped, you can use this torque calculator; just plug in your numbers.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top