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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was changing the spring seats on my '04 XC90. I completed the DS without much issue but PS I've hit a snare I need advice on.

When the strut was still mounted on the car I attempted to loosen the top bolt. I didn't do this on the DS and was a pain to get free so thought I'd learned my lesson. ;)

I used a T-47 and it was the right size cus it worked fine on the other. I hit with PB Blaster about 3 times and gave it time to penetrate. As I cranked on the bolt and the Torx the darn post cracked/split.:facepalm: By post I mean the part you put the Torx into. It only stripped after my attempts after the metal cracked/split. Any ideas on what to do now?

So far my thoughts are:

1) Use vise grips on the strut tube and try to loosen the top bolt but then I'm not sure I'd have much luck with the cross-bolt.
2) Just buy a new strut, cut the current one off and replace it. My other front strut is only 16 months old so I might be able to get away with just replacing one and then replacing both when the oldest dies.
3) Combo of trying #1 and then if all fails doing #2.

I don't have vise grips until tomorrow but thought I'd see if anyone had ideas or had ran into this before.

I did some forum searches and the only thing I found was using air tools to break the top nut free but then might have trouble with cross-bolt. I do not have air tools but I noticed on the first strut that wrenching on the top bolt without the torx just spins the tube. Am I wrong on that?

Any help, info or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I would try vice grips and an impact wrench. Even something like the craftsman xcp 1/2" impact can do 300ft/lbs and are quite affordable. Plus you can use it for a ton of other stuff too. Grab one of those and a cheap impact socket set from Harbor freight and you're good to go.

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I wouldn't do vice gips on the tube, that will surely mess your strut up if you cause damage to the shaft. Impact wrench though (you should be able rent an electric one somewhere) might do the trick. It will hammer the nut before the tube spins and may break it free.
 

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Without the impact wrench, you could grab the broken bolt with the vice grips tightly, then hit the vice grips with a ribber mallet. It might have enough force to break it free.
 

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I had a similar problem on my ç70 struts. Finally ended up taking it to a local shop and the charged me $20 to remove the old strut and install the new one.
 

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I wouldn't do vice gips on the tube, that will surely mess your strut up if you cause damage to the shaft. Impact wrench though (you should be able rent an electric one somewhere) might do the trick. It will hammer the nut before the tube spins and may break it free.
If you grab the shaft high enough, you won't affect anything that touches a seal

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Good luck! Situations like this, while frustrating, are a great reason to get additional tools. Even with an impact gun purchase you'll still come out ahead than if you paid a shop to do the whole job for you.

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I totally forgot about the 40 dollar electric impact gun at harbor freight. That thing is actually really good for what it is. I bought one to do the suspension on my audi and it worked great on the struts.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll grab an impact wrench today and see what happens. I'll post final result. Thanks all!
I picked up the HF electric impact wrench and it worked great! Job complete and I now have an impact wrench. Now onto fixing the pesky sunroof drain leak.
 

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To Do:
1. Put a HF coupon in each car
2. Pick up the $40 electric impact wrench from HF next time I am in the neighborhood.
 

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I have no complaints with mine.. I used it for everything from lugs to struts, control arms... Wobble extensions and universal sockets help squeezing them into tighter areas. I wish craftsman made a right angle c3 impact gun. The corded hf one was great, except I live in an apt and was running an extension cord out my kitchen window so I went with a cordless lithium. It's a little smaller, probably more powerful, and I got it on a black Friday sale. And the led lights on it are super cool. I did my brakes in the dark the other day with it.

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