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Strut nut from hell

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    Strut nut from hell

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    Restoring my 89 325iX that hasn’t driven in 7 years. I’m close enough to the end that I just need to install struts and shocks and I can drive it for the first time. And of course the automotive gods must have thought things were going too smoothly.

    Someone else, or multiple someones have tried and failed to get the top nut removed from the strut housing. the above pic is what I have to start with. For your cringing pleasure, I give you the story of being too stubborn to give up:

    Both strut housings come out of the car with little trouble. Neither has much left of the top nut. My goal is to save the housing, install new inserts and not damage the housing threads.
    I start with PB blaster. The ball of rust laughs at me.
    I strip away the corrosion with a wire wheel, more PB blaster. Yawn; “I’ve been here for decades” says the nut. You aren’t trying hard enough.

    map torch, nope
    Sharp punch, just digging holes in the nut.
    I drill small holes to try and surgically remove a chunk of the nut. It won’t let go. Finally I drill and grind and pound enough of a wedge out of the nut that I can see the housing threads.
    more PB. wait.
    Pound on the newly created edge with great pissed offedness. Finally the nut turns 10 degrees.
    I got ya now sucker. More precision pounding and the nut backs out, one turn, then two, then three. And then it turns out by hand.

    the old strut insert says “ original BMW” is that likely from 1989??

    New nut threads in with two fingers.
    The new nut got installed with lots of anti seize.

    That’s one. I gotta do the driver’s side tonight. If you hear loud swearing from the center of the USA, that’s probably me.
    pics in a few min.
    Last edited by RichHawk; 05-17-2021, 12:27 PM.

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        ya gotta get the nut undone eventually. If all else fails, I'll cut the shaft on the other one tonight, then hog out the top of the nut. I didn't want to try that, because it doesn't leave me much to hammer on.


          I had one similar to that on my extra ix struts. Except the tube was so rusty, I gave up and just cut it off. I was shortening the tubes anyway for coilovers. IIRC, E36 strut tubes are basically the same as the ix - which are the same diameter as RWD E30 tubes, except they're thicker. So even if you damaged it, you can always weld on a new tube.
          Build thread