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strut replacement problem

  #1  
Old 08-13-2018, 11:55 AM
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Default strut replacement problem

While replacing struts on my 99 Town and Country w/3.8 eng. I've run into a problem. I've removed two of the three nuts or top of the strut and loosen the third. Then I've disconnected the stabilizer link from the strut. After removing the two nuts from the two splined bolts holding the bottom of the strut in place, when I tried to knock them out with small sledge hammer neither would budge as shown on various utube videos. I'm confident I was tapping as hard as I've seen in several of the videos. Any ideas or suggestions? Vehicle has nearly 200,000 mi. on it. Guess I might have a rust problem, although it's not apparent if so. Are all these bolts splined and supposed to knocked out? I don't want to break or damage anything so any suggestions are appreciated. I've applied liquid rust buster to the ends I took nut off of.
 
  #2  
Old 08-14-2018, 05:21 AM
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How long did you leave the liquid rust buster on for? Sometimes it can help to keep coating for a couple of days / overnight.

Are you able to apply any heat at all to the bolts to help loosen them up?
 
  #3  
Old 08-14-2018, 07:13 AM
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Taronga 76, thanks for the suggestion. I've been soaking it with the rust buster stuff for about two days now. Unfortunately my garage(2 car) is full of tools, work benches, assorted stuff belonging to my three grown children, my wife and myself. For example a small 8ft. boat my 31 year old made when he was eleven I think. He's in Paris doing research finishing his dissertation for his pHd. Both sides are so full I have trouble finding room for my lawn mower. My repair operations of necessity are done in my drive. Since I posted this it has rained almost constantly. As to applying heat I thought of that. I don't have a torch, but do have a heat gun that might do the job Another thing that I more recently thought of is possibly I've put my jack stand in some position that has got the part of the steering linkage that those bolts are in where they attach to the strut in a bind. When it dries up a little I'll check things, apply more rust buster and maybe heat, check to see if I've got things in a bind. I'll provide more info when I get to it again. Seems like it is getting more difficult to find jacking points on cars these days even older ones!
 
  #4  
Old 08-14-2018, 03:31 PM
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Have you tried turning the bolts to break them free? That is what I have had to do before, the aluminum in the knuckle corrodes and bonds to the bolt. Once you get the bolts to turn you can pound them right out.
 
  #5  
Old 08-15-2018, 04:45 PM
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I've reapplied Liquid Wrench, let it soak and as georgef suggested turned the two bolts out with a long breaker bar and then rachet. Once I got the bolts out of the bracket on bottom of strut I removed the last nut on the top and worked the strut out. After I installed the new assembly I discovered that I was about two inches short of being in position to insert the two bolts at the bottom that attach the bottom of strut to the knuckle. I took it off and tried to pull it out a couple of inches but couldn't. What is easiest way to do this?
 
  #6  
Old 08-16-2018, 03:10 PM
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georgef-I got the two big bolts out by using your suggestion and use a 36inch breaker bar and socket on them. They started turning and I use a rachet in place of the breaker bar. I had also applied some more liquid wrench the afternoon before and it had another 24 hrs. to soak. However I'm sure the breaker bar/socket did the trick. After removing the last nut at the top and removing the brake line attached to the bracket, it came out easily.
However I ran into another problem while installing the new one which I'll discuss in case anyone who like me was doing one of these replacements for the first time. When I got the new one in place and got nuts on the top, after geting the knuckle into the bracket so I could install the two large bolts the strut needed to be moved down about 2inches for the holes in bracket to align with the holes in the knuckle. I took it off and tried to pull it down some and wasn't strong enough. Remembered doing that with some shocks I'd installed years ago. That didn't work and I gave up and slept on it last night. This morning I thought well I've got the left front side I'm working on setting on a jack stand so I don't need my floor jack which was still in place. I moved the floor jack, set it under the brake rotor with a 8" piece pf 2'x4" between rotor and jack. With a little jacking I got the bracked lined up and got the bottom bolt in. With a more effort got the top bolt in and both tightened and then finish with my torque wrench. Thanks again to taronga76 and georgef for their advice. Hope this additional bit of info might help someone in future.
 
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