1994 Ford T-Bird front tension strut

Tiny
SPARK PLUG
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 FORD THUNDERBIRD
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
It seems to be a bear getting the tension strut off (I need to change the lower control arm)
The nuts seem to be frozen, the entire strut turns when I turn either nut. Heat, penetrating oil and a breaker bar didn't work, neither did holding one nut while turning the other.
Anyone have other suggestions?
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Saturday, August 13th, 2011 AT 3:37 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Are you referring to the lower bolt that goes through the strut's lower bracket and control arm? If so, use a sawzall to cut the bolt on both ends just inside the strut bracket, then get a new bolt and nut from the dealer.

When you tighten that nut, the car must be sitting at normal ride height. That means leaving it loose, bouncing the car on the ground, then crawling underneath to tighten the bolt, (unless it's sitting on a drive-on hoist). When you tighten that bolt, it captures and holds the rubber bushing in the lower control arm. If you do that with the suspension hanging down, it will put that bushing into a permanent twist when you lower the car to the ground. That will greatly reduce the life of the bushing.
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Saturday, August 13th, 2011 AT 8:54 PM
Tiny
SPARK PLUG
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Thanks for replying
No, it is the tension strut bolt that goes through the subframe (32MM I think). I also tried turning the nut on the end that goes through the LCA, and all that does is turns the tension strut too.
Do you think I could use an impact and socket to zap it off?
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Sunday, August 14th, 2011 AT 12:46 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
OHHH! I'm stupid. I couldn't figure out what you were referring to. Never heard it called that before. That nut is going to be real tight and there might even be a roll pin through the threads of the rod. An impact gun is probably not going to be real effective because they work with a hammering action. Since the bar is mounted in rubber, it's going to bounce and absorb those impacts.

Try holding the bar from turning with a big pipe wrench, then use a 3/4" breaker bar and deep socket. You will be getting your exercise for the day. If you can anchor the pipe wrench solidly, an impact gun might work but be aware that nut will be real hot when it comes off.
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Sunday, August 14th, 2011 AT 1:34 AM
Tiny
SPARK PLUG
  • MEMBER
Thank you again for replying
I've had PLENTY of exercise with this thing! I will the pipe wrench.
I guess if I already damaged the strut, I'll get MORE exercise from the junkyard trying to replace it. If this don't work, I guess a cutoff wheel will.
Thanks again
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Sunday, August 14th, 2011 AT 3:12 AM

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