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Unable to remove upper front shock nut
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jeremypbeasley
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:35 pm    Post subject: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

First supension job. I've got the control arm off, and bottom bolt out of the shock, but the top nut simply won't budge.

The protective cap was still in place so there's no rust or obvious seizure. The issue is clearly how I'm going about this. When I jack up the lower control arm, I turn the nut counter clockwise, and it rotates the shaft it sits on as well as the rubber and flange below.

I've seen some threads here that note a hex hole in the top of the shaft you can use to keep it from turning but I have no such thing.

Any direction on how I can turn the nut without turning the shaft? Thanks a ton for your help.


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VicVan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

Hi

1/ Put WD40 or Seafoam or PB Blaster, or whatever you use, on these threads, and wait a few minutes
2/ Use a vise-grip to hold the shaft from turning, while unscrewing the bolt.

Do you have a torch? Heat would help.

if you have a Dremel or similar, just cut the nut off (make sure you don't damage the big washer underneath.
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levi
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

I would be tempted to get in there with a dremel and cut a deep slot wide enough for a piece of metal that won't twist when you crank on that nut.
But that's me, and I'm not always that sharp.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

I ran into a similar problem when i replaced my front suspension. I went though everything to try to remove it, but just couldn't get it. I didnt want to wreck the shock so I didnt want to just cut it. I solved my problem with a nut splitter. It was super simple and cheap and took only a couple of minutes. Just need to buy a replacement nut.

https://www.amazon.com/Cal-Hawk-Tools-AZNS3P-Split...mp;sr=8-55
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4Gears4Tires Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

Take the seat out, remove the rubber plug, and hit it from the top with an impact gun.

Edit: This is assuming the top is torn up because you already clamped vise grips on it and used a regular wrench to turn it off.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

4Gears4Tires wrote:
Take the seat out, remove the rubber plug, and hit it from the top with an impact gun.

Edit: This is assuming the top is torn up because you already clamped vise grips on it and used a regular wrench to turn it off.


Only the Syncro had the access hole.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

Although if needed you can create one....
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jeremypbeasley
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

Thanks everybody!

I use my Dremel to cut off the bolt, but unfortunately damaged the threaded shaft in the process.

Now Iím at the other side (drivers) and having the same issue.

Iím confused as to the designed and proper way to do this. It doesnít make sense that there would be a nut could be turned out without a way to secure a tool on the shaft. Any ideas? Iím down to cut some shit up, but Iíd rather have that be a last resort.
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

Most shocks have a head on top to put a wrench on but quite often you have to just cut them off. You donít have to remove shocks to often unless you are replacing them. I am glad to see you got it done. John
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SyncroHead
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

All the Vanagon front shocks I've used have a threaded shaft on top that has two flat sides to allow using an open-end wrench or a vice grips. You hold the shaft from turning as you turn the nut. Your photos show that your shock shaft has these flat sides, and I assume that's what you used to hold the shaft. looks like it was not up to the force applied and began breaking instead of allowing the nut to turn.

Since you've gone through so much already, I'll ask an admittedly stupid question. Are you turning the nut the proper direction?

Next, there might be considerable force placed on these threads between the shock and the nut if the shock is at full extension. Have you tried jacking upward from the bottom of the shock to relieve some of this thread pressure?

Agreeing with advice above, heat and penetrant like PB Blaster are your friends.

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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

There is always some way designed to hold the top of the shaft to tighten or loosen the nut. That does not mean it is always adequate if the nut is stuck on due to corrosion. My shock shaft has a 6mm allen head recessed in it. I have to take a small piece of cut off allen wrench 6mm and an open end wrench to hold the shaft. PITA but it works.

Hmm that may be smaller than 6mm. It has been a while.
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jeremypbeasley
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

Yes, I tried vice grips on the shaft but it bent the metal before it would consistently hold.

Thereís no trace of corrosion here, so Iím confused as to why it would be difficult to turn. Iím going to try vice grips again tomorrow, much tighter this time.

Thereís so little space to operate the dremel that I donít want to risk cutting into the shaft again.


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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

The shaft threaded portion has very little stress on it. It is in compression mostly. Some small nicks will not sacrifice function.
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Odd_Dutch
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

SyncroHead wrote:

Next, there might be considerable force placed on these threads between the shock and the nut if the shock is at full extension. Have you tried jacking upward from the bottom of the shock to relieve some of this thread pressure?

Jim Davis


A while ago this was the trick for me, jack the control arm up with the shock in place. My bolts looked way worse but came off very easy.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

jeremypbeasley wrote:


Iím confused as to the designed and proper way to do this. It doesnít make sense that there would be a nut could be turned out without a way to secure a tool on the shaft. Any ideas? Iím down to cut some shit up, but Iíd rather have that be a last resort.


After you replace the shocks or nut put a thread protector on them. May save you some other aggravation in the future.

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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:29 am    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

^^^ Great idea, especially if you first grease <or> antisieze the exposed threads ...

Belt+suspenders... Cool

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:15 am    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

I just had to Sawzall out a shock that had been place for less than 3 years. No visible corrosion but it would not move using a 6mm (I think) wrench as an anchor on those flat points, and, with vise grips, it rounded off. The metal seems very soft and to get the vise grips tight enough, I was deforming the metal.

So yeah- a cover and anti-seize will be used on the replacement.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:18 am    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

Are you replacing the shocks? If so just cut through the rubber bushing and shaft with a sawzall. Make sure you have replacement bushing of course. that bushing is dry rotted enough that it should be replaced anyway.


https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8175335
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

For the recessed hex head shock absorber shafts I use a cut down Allen key with a piece of tubing for an extension handle. The 17MM ratching box wrench on the nut lets me swing away with the Allen key.

For the ones with two flats, I use my Citroen bellhousing bolt socket. Who knew that I'd ever find another use for it?!? Shocked Cool
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SurfaceRust
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:19 am    Post subject: Re: Unable to remove upper front shock nut Reply with quote

Sounds like a lot of you guys destroying shocks when a nut splitter would do the job and not damage the shock at all.... just saying
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