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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I'm about replacing front and rear struts/shocks. I have all the parts already.
I really want to use the right torque on the top nuts and so on.
This requires special tools.

Does anyone have any recommendations for any "cheap" tools that makes it possible to use the right torque?
I know it's 19mm nut on the front strut and I think it's 13mm on the rear.

I found a good tool for the front for $15 from the US but $50 in shipping. Not worth it...

Thanks.

Edit: The car is a Volvo V50 2.0D 2007 if it matters :)
 

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I have both a Sears Craftsman 1/2" and one from Harbor Freight. Both are accurate and were compared to a friend's professional Snap-On tool. Harbor Freight is the cheapest and, after 3+ years works fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Spring compressors I do have. It's the tools for the top nut I'm missing.
Links where to buy the tools is also nice :)
 

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It's a special tool for the top nut on the strut. It has a slot in it so you can use have a socket and wrench on it. You can try to get around it with a slim wrench.

The rears don't require special tools. The front you just have to make sure both don't spin. I'm not sure what "special" tools you are talking about.
 

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Like mgm7890 said. Nothing special required on the rear. Front is the issue. I assume you want something as pictured so you can sneak a hex key inside to hold the shaft. I will caution you that the hex key alone will not hold the shaft tight enough to torque. It will strip out. It's also not a good idea to use the mount itself to hold the shaft as it's bonded rubber. The only way to really do it in the car is to use both the hex key & mount combined to lesson the load on each.
While the strut is out of the car you can fashion two hardwood blocks & clamp the shaft. This takes a LOT of clamping force & is pretty awkward. I like to torque things properly as well but this is one tough area to do correctly. This is why almost all "pros" will use an impact & call it good. In the hands of someone with a lot of experience this will get you pretty close.

 

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The best way I've found to get the front struts tight is a few light hits with an impact wrench. I've been through the "hex key and socket" stuff and it ended up stripping the hex and tearing my mount. In my opinion I'd just do it right once. Even if you have to take the assembly somewhere to have it tightened it will be worth it in the end.
 

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Impact works great. If you're going to use a hex, use an impact hex. One piece will minimize stripping.
 

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You will likely need an impact gun to remove the top nut from the old strut, electric works good. You may need to hold the shaft with channel-locks to keep it from turning.

I tried without and got nowhere on my old S40 and had to reinstall the strut until I got an impact gun.
 

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I just did mine and only used traditional sockets, box wrenches and I used a crescent wrench to hold the shaft while loosening/tightening the nut in question. Impact gun for the compressor is best. shoot the threads/nuts with PB Blaster the day before. You'll be fine.
 

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I use a high offset box like that to get it snug also. Unfortunately it doesn't help you to torque the nut to spec.
This is true... Just like end links though, I'd rather it be nice and tight than perfectly to spec.
 

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If you have a spark plug tool a lot of times those have a hex on the back end of the socket, along with the 3/8 square so you can hold the hex with i wanna say 17 or 19mm and use the square access hole to hold the allen bolt head.

It worked for me, no special tools purchased.
 

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I have found with times that the hex is easy to round off. The technique I use is I take a piece of old serpentine belt or a rubber hose (radiator style) that i put over the shaft and hold with vise-grips. This avoid marking the shaft and allows me to use a proper tool on the top nut (ie. a torque wrench if you want the appropriate torque).
 

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I know this wont be able to let you get a torque wrench on there but if all else fails --like a few others mentioned above-- use a socket and hex.
I dont know, this worked for me, it wasnt hard to get nut off the this was, and there was no need to disassemble bearing and such.



2 years later its held up... most things I do i try to get the right torque, this isnt one that was simple to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the answers! All is better than nothing :)

To clarify some more, I don't need or want to disassemble the old struts at all. I have bought every detail needed to make new complete struts/shocks.

The picture of ECS socket, that one I only find from US. And $50 for shipping is not happening at all! :)
There are a way to make it work and that is to buy a crow foot(spellning?) and use a socket that the hex can pass through.

But for the rear, I do need special tool as I want to use the right torque. If I don't found a good solution I will just use any tools as needed.

Also I have an other option. That is to weld a socket to a long socket and then I will be able to use the torque wrench on the regular socket and the hex socket through the long socket.
For this I need to call in a favor from someone I know who can do this properly. I guess I will try this first as I don't need to think too much :)
 

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Here's my solution for the rear shocks - if you have them, insert soft jaws in a bench-mounted vise (no soft-jaws is okay too). As close as possible to the shock mount, grip the shock shaft as to prevent any marring of the shaft to interfer with the shock travel (and potentially mess up the shock seal). Apply lots of force to hold and then torque to spec. You may get just a bit of marring, but surprisingly the shock shafts are very very hard steel.
 

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Then you need a torque wrench. Get a click style. The beam is tough to read. I have a used Snap On one from Craigslist that's been good for years.
 

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Thanks for all the answers! All is better than nothing :)

To clarify some more, I don't need or want to disassemble the old struts at all. I have bought every detail needed to make new complete struts/shocks.

The picture of ECS socket, that one I only find from US. And $50 for shipping is not happening at all! :)
There are a way to make it work and that is to buy a crow foot(spellning?) and use a socket that the hex can pass through.

But for the rear, I do need special tool as I want to use the right torque. If I don't found a good solution I will just use any tools as needed.

Also I have an other option. That is to weld a socket to a long socket and then I will be able to use the torque wrench on the regular socket and the hex socket through the long socket.
For this I need to call in a favor from someone I know who can do this properly. I guess I will try this first as I don't need to think too much :)
Then you need a torque wrench. I have an old Snap On clicker style. Don't get a beam style, very hard to use in tight spots.
 

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You will likely need an impact gun to remove the top nut from the old strut, electric works good. You may need to hold the shaft with channel-locks to keep it from turning.

I tried without and got nowhere on my old S40 and had to reinstall the strut until I got an impact gun.
Be VERY CAREFUL holding the shaft with channel locks (unless you're tossing the strut). You don't want to create any deformities on the shaft if you plan on using the strut.
 
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