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Installing new rear struts

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  • Installing new rear struts

    There is a common problem Festy/Aspire people run into when installing new rear struts, namely getting out the lower bolt that holds the strut in. Out of six bolts, I have only ever gotten one out intact. Either the captured nut breaks off, or the bolt shaft is welded to the metal tube inside the strut mount by corrosion, or the bolt head gets rounded off; or a combination of these. Here is my solution to this mess.

    When I was unbolting my driver's side rear strut, I almost got it completely off the captured nut when the nut itself broke off. It is only held to the axle beam by three tack welds, and breaking off is common. Luckily, I was able to get the nut out of the end of the axle beam by jamming a large flat screwdriver under it, and continuing to unscrew the bolt. I pulled the nut out with a telescoping magnetic probe.

    But the bolt would not come out; I discovered this was because it was welded to the metal tube. So I had to hacksaw the bolt, as it turned out in three places to get it off. So now I had no bolt and no captured nut.

    No problem.

    Looking at stuff in the JY, I discovered that the lower control arm (LCA) inner bolt on Festys and Aspires is the same bolt as the rear lower strut bolt. (See pic 2) These are much easier to get out too, as they have far less exposure to corrosion. I am six for six in getting these off.

    Then I noticed that there are two nuts that hold on the rear strut at the top, a "normal" nut used as a locknut and a flared nut under it. These have the same threads (10mm x 1.5) as the LCA bolt. So basically I used the LCA bolt and the flare nut in place of the pieces that broke, and it works fine.

    To install the nut inside the axle beam, I used a 17mm box wrench and lightly taped the flare nut to it (pic 3); you can access the area from the rear of the axle beam. I used Loctite to hold the nut on and prevent water from getting to the threads. The bolt shaft got a good dose of Anti-Sieze so it can't freeze to the tube from corrosion in the future.

    Oh yeah, before installation I cleaned up the threads on the bolt and nut with a die and tap.

    Edit: This is a lot harder to do on Aspire axle beams, because the factory put in an additional metal "wall" inside the axle beam that prevents access from the rear of the beam.


    Pic 1: LCA bolt, flare nut, "normal" nut, broken captured nut from inside the axle beam.




    Last edited by TominMO; 05-23-2010, 10:42 AM.
    90 Festy (Larry)--B6M (Matt D. modified B6 head), header, 5-speed, Capri XR2 front brakes, many other little mods
    09 Kia Rondo--a Festy on steroids!

    You can avoid reality, but you can't avoid the consequences of avoiding reality--Ayn Rand

    Disaster preparedness

    Tragedy and Hope.....Infowars.com.....The Drudge Report.....Founding Fathers.info

    Think for yourself.....question all authority.....re-evaluate everything you think you know. Red-pill yourself!


  • #2
    Nice write up!

    Codex, did you read this?
    '93 Blue 5spd 230K(down for clutch and overall maintanence)
    '93 White B6 swap thanks to Skeeters Keeper
    '92 Aqua parts Car
    '93 Turquoise 5spd 137K
    '90 White LX Thanks to FB71

    "Your God of repentance will not save you.
    Your holy ghost will not save you.
    Your God plutonium will not save you.
    In fact...
    ...You will not be saved!"

    Prince of Darkness -1987

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks. I forgot to add, I DID use PB Blaster in three separate doses over a 3-day period before attempting to get the bolts off, and even smacked the bolts with a hammer to set up some vibration. Didn't help, because it couldn't free up the bolt being corroded to the tube.
      90 Festy (Larry)--B6M (Matt D. modified B6 head), header, 5-speed, Capri XR2 front brakes, many other little mods
      09 Kia Rondo--a Festy on steroids!

      You can avoid reality, but you can't avoid the consequences of avoiding reality--Ayn Rand

      Disaster preparedness

      Tragedy and Hope.....Infowars.com.....The Drudge Report.....Founding Fathers.info

      Think for yourself.....question all authority.....re-evaluate everything you think you know. Red-pill yourself!

      Comment


      • #4
        Any chance you ID-ed the grade of the bolt?
        '93 Blue 5spd 230K(down for clutch and overall maintanence)
        '93 White B6 swap thanks to Skeeters Keeper
        '92 Aqua parts Car
        '93 Turquoise 5spd 137K
        '90 White LX Thanks to FB71

        "Your God of repentance will not save you.
        Your holy ghost will not save you.
        Your God plutonium will not save you.
        In fact...
        ...You will not be saved!"

        Prince of Darkness -1987

        Comment


        • #5
          mine has a 8 stamped on the head of it

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MTec007 View Post
            mine has a 8 stamped on the head of it
            Don't see a marking "8" only for a metric bolt.
            Anyway it might be "8.8"?

            http://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-in...ade-Chart.aspx
            '93 Blue 5spd 230K(down for clutch and overall maintanence)
            '93 White B6 swap thanks to Skeeters Keeper
            '92 Aqua parts Car
            '93 Turquoise 5spd 137K
            '90 White LX Thanks to FB71

            "Your God of repentance will not save you.
            Your holy ghost will not save you.
            Your God plutonium will not save you.
            In fact...
            ...You will not be saved!"

            Prince of Darkness -1987

            Comment


            • #7
              mine is all cruddy, i could only barley make out the 8 but i thought it was centered, possibly being the only number, could be wrong.. festys sit high enough off the ground for someone to crawl under and look without a jack though...

              Comment


              • #8
                Handy info there Tom. I must be really lucky, or something. I've now done LCAs on 3 Festivas, and rear struts on two (all Northern cars) and never had any real problems with these bolts. But that's some handy info to have, just in case.

                Dumb thieves go to prison, smart ones go to work for the Government.

                1988 L - 232K miles Batstiva
                1989 L - 247K miles Slick
                1990 L - 281K miles Orphan Annie
                Let the hoarding begin!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MTec007 View Post
                  ... festys sit high enough off the ground for someone to crawl under and look without a jack though...
                  As FB71 points, out I'm old, and your going to make me go down stairs and crawl under one of my festivas to check this out!
                  '93 Blue 5spd 230K(down for clutch and overall maintanence)
                  '93 White B6 swap thanks to Skeeters Keeper
                  '92 Aqua parts Car
                  '93 Turquoise 5spd 137K
                  '90 White LX Thanks to FB71

                  "Your God of repentance will not save you.
                  Your holy ghost will not save you.
                  Your God plutonium will not save you.
                  In fact...
                  ...You will not be saved!"

                  Prince of Darkness -1987

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    lol. well my bolts are hard to distinguish the marks so, maybe not you but someone else?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pu241 View Post
                      As FB71 points, out I'm old, and your going to make me go down stairs and crawl under one of my festivas to check this out!
                      If you would prefer someone new point that out to you, I'd be happy to help out.

                      Dumb thieves go to prison, smart ones go to work for the Government.

                      1988 L - 232K miles Batstiva
                      1989 L - 247K miles Slick
                      1990 L - 281K miles Orphan Annie
                      Let the hoarding begin!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by batstiva View Post
                        If you would prefer someone new point that out to you, I'd be happy to help out.
                        You're "up there" too!
                        "new" by butt!

                        Checked out 4 rear lower strut bolts that I know are OEM:

                        "SIM 10.T"

                        Which isn't on my little chart either!

                        http://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-in...ade-Chart.aspx

                        I also checked a car with the Aspire swap and know it was done right and those are "10.9".

                        Running the numbers, a "8.8" isn't a good substitute for a grade 8 bolt.
                        By the numbers you need a "10.9".
                        That said, I don't really know if the application, requires that kind of tensile and yield strength.
                        But I know I'd rather have the better bolts!
                        '93 Blue 5spd 230K(down for clutch and overall maintanence)
                        '93 White B6 swap thanks to Skeeters Keeper
                        '92 Aqua parts Car
                        '93 Turquoise 5spd 137K
                        '90 White LX Thanks to FB71

                        "Your God of repentance will not save you.
                        Your holy ghost will not save you.
                        Your God plutonium will not save you.
                        In fact...
                        ...You will not be saved!"

                        Prince of Darkness -1987

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A long time ago I had a shop put on my control arms. They used REGULAR bolts! In other words, NONRATED for anything. I bought some 8.8s thinking they were appropriate and took them to the shop to have them do it right with the new bolts. (That was on the Mutt, so it's no danger now.)

                          Thanks for that chart! Since 8.8s are only equivalent to Grade 5, I'll check out getting 10.9s.

                          I also have a great looking Aspire rear axle beam that has the left side captive nut bent inwards at an unusable angle.

                          Maybe I'll try to figure out another way to do this, since it won't be as easy as the Festiva axle beam.

                          Any ideas?

                          Karl
                          Last edited by Safety Guy; 05-23-2010, 06:29 PM.
                          '93GL "Prettystiva" ticking B3 and 5 speed, backup DD; full swaps in spring!
                          '91L "AquaMutt" my '91L; B6 swap/5 speed & Aspire brakes, DD/work car
                          '92L "Twinstiva" 5sp, salvage titled, waiting for repairs...
                          '93GL "Luxstiva," '94 B6 engine & ATX; needs overhauled
                          '89L "Muttstiva," now a storage bin, future trailer project

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Safety Guy View Post
                            ......I also have a great looking Aspire rear axle beam that has the left side captive nut bent inwards at an unusable angle.

                            Maybe I'll try to figure out another way to do this, since it won't be as easy as the Festiva axle beam.

                            Any ideas?

                            Karl
                            Take a chisel and hammer and shear that damaged captive nut off.
                            Think its too tight for a grinder or reciprocating saw.
                            Then use a flare nut, as above, in its place with some locktite on it.
                            '93 Blue 5spd 230K(down for clutch and overall maintanence)
                            '93 White B6 swap thanks to Skeeters Keeper
                            '92 Aqua parts Car
                            '93 Turquoise 5spd 137K
                            '90 White LX Thanks to FB71

                            "Your God of repentance will not save you.
                            Your holy ghost will not save you.
                            Your God plutonium will not save you.
                            In fact...
                            ...You will not be saved!"

                            Prince of Darkness -1987

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'll do that if I can gain access through or around the "wall" Tom described that is on Aspire axle beams. I went out and looked and saw what he meant. I'll see if I can drill a one inch hole somwhere to gain access, but I don't know where until I pull out my bare axle beam from under my tarp to see.

                              Karl
                              '93GL "Prettystiva" ticking B3 and 5 speed, backup DD; full swaps in spring!
                              '91L "AquaMutt" my '91L; B6 swap/5 speed & Aspire brakes, DD/work car
                              '92L "Twinstiva" 5sp, salvage titled, waiting for repairs...
                              '93GL "Luxstiva," '94 B6 engine & ATX; needs overhauled
                              '89L "Muttstiva," now a storage bin, future trailer project

                              Comment

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