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Strut Replacement (car)

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  • Strut Replacement (car)

    That GM thread reminded me of a current problem I have. The rear struts of my car (91 Buick Regal) needed replacement, which I undertook to do last weekend.

    After working off and on both Sat and Sun I only got one swapped out, and have not even finished with that one. ...been so blasted hot I've just left it alone and been driving my P/U.

    The problem is trying to get that nut on the top of the shaft on. I can never remember all of classes of fits, but these must be classed DNI (damn nigh impossible)! Especially after I already installed the lower end and now have to work up in the trunk.

    I thought maybe there was something wrong, so tried the other new one which I haven't installed yet. And even having it where I can work freely it's still a bear just to turn it onto the threads (with a 16-18" long box-end wrench). I know it's intended to not back off, but that seems rediculous to me.

    These are Gabriel struts BTW.
    Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

  • #2
    You probably already know this, but.....

    If you place the nut on the end of the male threads and turn it carefully counter-clockwise, you may be able to feel a little click when the start point of the nut threads line up with the start point of the male threads. Then you can carefully try to turn the nut clockwise to get it started.

    Sometimes that helps me.
    Lynn S.

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    • #3
      The nuts that hold the motor mounts in my Ford Escort are like that even after removeing them with an air wrench and putting them back on with an air wrench, they are really stiff. I wonder if those strut nuts are designed the same way. For sure they will not vibrate off. If you were to loose one while underway it could be very dangerous.

      I would think one of the mechanics hear could maybe explain?

      ------------------
      Gene
      Gene

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      • #4
        <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Lynn Standish:
        You probably already know this, but.....

        If you place the nut on the end of the male threads and turn it carefully counter-clockwise, you may be able to feel a little click when the start point of the nut threads line up with the start point of the male threads. Then you can carefully try to turn the nut clockwise to get it started.

        Sometimes that helps me.
        </font>
        If I'm understanding your point correctly, I don't think that's an issue. I also normally do that to insure I don't cross-thread.
        These nuts will screw on nicely for several turns. ...almost the full depth of the nut. Then it's gets tighter'n all get-out. It's like the pitch dia increases several thou at that point. Not really abruptly, but within a turn or two.

        When I look at the male thread with a magnifying glass (after threading on the nut and backing it back off) I see a hairline near the crest that almost suggests the pitch changed very slightly.
        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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        • #5
          Actually, I think you just reinforced what I thought might be the issue. A type of lock nut. Made to use once. The threads on my motor mounts almost looked stripped. I think they might have meant them to be used one time?

          But I again would refer the subject to someone that might not be guessing.

          ------------------
          Gene
          Gene

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          • #6
            Gene you may be right. That thought had crossed my mind, since this is certainly an application where there'll normally be no need to remove it once it's installed.

            But.., the nuts on the two mounting studs for the lower end are not replaced, but re-used. And they're also a super tight fit. Of course they're in a handy position to deal with.
            Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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            • #7
              I think what you've got is a "distorted-thread" locknut. They have one or more threads which are deformed during manufacturing to provide a friction fit which resists vibration. You aren't supposed to reuse them.

              Sometimes you can see the top of the nut is egg-shaped, or there will be a small rectangular impression on the side of the nut.

              Roger
              Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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              • #8
                Maybe it's just "6-sigma" parts from India, or China, or "Kafiristan", Mr Kiplings name for some place away lost & gone.

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