2002 Chevrolet Cavalier


Ryan South

June, 8, 2011 AT 2:35 AM

My question is in regards to changing the front struts on my 2002 Cavalier. I have changed struts before and never seen something so poorly designed. I am talking about tightening the top main nut on the strut. There is this metal round plate located here. So there is a 10 mm small bolt end to hold while tightening the nut-22 mm-onto the top of the strut. However the round plate prevents using a wrench as it cannot fit into the round opening in the plate and you would have to have 2 sockets-10 mm and 22 mm the 10 mm Inside the 22 mm and a way to hold both of them to tighen the nut. There is no way to hold the strut from spinning when trying to tighten the nut as the shaft of the strut is smooth with no notches or way to hold the shaft of the strut securely to tighten the nut. I have now changed both struts and have no way to tighten the top nut on the struts. I am assuing Chevy did not think of this and now I need a special tool just to tighten the top nut? How can I do this or is there a way to tighten it that I am not aware of without a special tool for the 2002 cavalier? Now I have new struts that are loose.
Thank you for your previous prompt replies on my inquiries.


Replacing Rear Struts


Rear Strut


4 Answers



June, 8, 2011 AT 2:57 AM

Can't argue with a word you wrote, but there is a simple solution that works on any strut. Use a half inch impact with a six point impact socket but instead of just spinning it on, snap the trigger repeatedly for just an instant each time. Each time it will shock the nut on just a little more before the shaft starts to spin. "Zip, zip, zip" will do it in less than a dozen tries. Be aware that the upper mount will start to spin when the nut gets tight but it scares more than hurts if you're holding onto it.

Don't let the shaft spin too long as that can overheat and damage the seal. In the rare event that doesn't work, hold onto the rubber strut cushion on the shaft. Squeezing it will add enough friction to help that nut go on.



June, 8, 2011 AT 4:01 AM

Just to add to this one most of the strut cartridges shafts on the end where the nut goes there is a flat edge and they make special sockets to hold the shaft while you tighten the nut. In case you don't have a air compressor or a impact gun.


Ryan South

June, 8, 2011 AT 3:39 PM

Thank you both for your replies! And the speed of your replies. I can try the impact gun solution. It will make the shaft of the strut spin however. However in regards to the flat edge (I have seen this on many struts) there is not one on these struts (another terrible design). I checked the whole shafts both old and new. Nowhere to grab onto the shaft. There is a small 10 mm hex top that is supposed to be held while the nut is tighten-however the top round plate prevents a wrench getting to the bolt. I would need a 'hollow' socket to grab the nut and a a regular socket to go inside the larger socket to both hold the hex (which is to hold the shaft from spinning) and tighten the nut (obviously I have never seen a 'hollow' socket before of 22 mm). Again, I will try the impact-and when the plate starts to spin the nut is tight enough? Thanks again, Ryan



June, 8, 2011 AT 6:41 PM

Yeah once the plate starts to turn the nut is tight enough sounds like the impact gun is your best bet.

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