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1991 STS, 1992 Fleetwood, 1987 Maxima wagon
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276 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm replacing the struts all around on my '91 and started on the rear. The bolts at the top on the strut rod are frozen on and just spinning the rod around. For anyone not familiar with these cars, the struts are attached to the subframe top and bottom. There's a little 1/4" stub of the strut rod visible on top, the bolt, a donut shaped steel mount covering a 1/4-3/8" rubber isolator, the subframe and then a large steel sleeved mount on top of the strut respectively. Since the car is old and still has the original CCR struts, everything's gotten a shot of PB Blaster.

Now, from what I can see, I think I have 2 options. 1. See if vice grips can grab on to the stub at the top and use a wrench to try to free the rusted bolt but that would probably damage the strut rod threads possibly making life that much more difficult. 2. Torch the 1/4-3/8" rubber bushing off which MIGHT give enough room to get vice grips around the rod.

Anyone replace struts on these cars and have any ideas on how I can free the bolts?
 

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1990 Seville STS 1990 Eldorado Touring Coupe
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22 Posts
I will be doing the original 150K rears on my 90 STS in a few weeks, so I will be interested to see how you make out. But I think torching the rubber bushing is a good place to start, and should give you the room you need to clamp on to the rod. Is there a torx in the top of the rod? Sometimes if there is you can get a torx in there to hold the rod in place to turn the nut. I'd check this out better on my own car but I am in the middle a final exam lol. Anyways, good luck and nice to see another notch STS owner on here.
Steve
 

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1991 STS, 1992 Fleetwood, 1987 Maxima wagon
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276 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You're a f***ng genius...felt like a T50 slips into the top. Wooo Hooo! Will keep you posted as I don't have much time to work on it during the weekdays but I think that's it.
 

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1991 STS, 1992 Fleetwood, 1987 Maxima wagon
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276 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
hit it with an impact gun with some quick bursts should knock it loose..
Wish there were room. The tops don't mount thru the body..they're fully mounted outside to the subframe with about 2.5" max between the top of the strut rod and the wheel well...room for hand tools only. At least my replacement Delcos have notched rod tops so I can use vice grips or a wrench without messing up the threads.
 

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1990 Seville STS 1990 Eldorado Touring Coupe
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22 Posts
NICE good luck I'll be in the same boat in a few weeks as my car has been through several ME winters and those nuts always get covered in salt/sand lol.
Steve
 

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94 Eldorado, and a 99 ETC
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3,887 Posts
There is actually a tool to snap off the top stud. That nut seizing is very common. I would put anti-seize on the new one when you install it. It just makes life easier next time it has to be replaced.
 

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1991 STS, 1992 Fleetwood, 1987 Maxima wagon
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276 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yeah the T50 broke off and I've been looking at nut splitters that will fit a 24mm (hair under 1") bolt. Of course all the in-stock splitters here in town only fit up to 7/8ths. If I had to do it again, I'd go straight for the nut splitter and not f-around with it. I just wish I could find something locally so I could actually get this done seeing as I took Mon. and Tues. off to finish it.
 
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