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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I have a focus rs mk3 with the dampening wire going through the centre top strut bolt... the top shaft bolt has come loose and obviously just spins when trying to tighten and asking if anyone had devised a way to tighten this without removing the shock from the car?
 

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Try using an air impact wrench on the nut. The initial hit with the air impact will spin the nut some before the inertial starts rotating the strut rod. Other than trying that, you'll probably have to pull the strut because I don't think you have room to put a strap-wrench on the strut rod to keep it from turning.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Problem is the wiring for the damper is sticking out of the bolt...I thought there may have been a place on the shock to hold to the shaft... usually there is an Allen key bolt to hold the shaft where on the rs it just has the wire in the centre
 

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Problem is the wiring for the damper is sticking out of the bolt...I thought there may have been a place on the shock to hold to the shaft... usually there is an Allen key bolt to hold the shaft where on the rs it just has the wire in the centre
Take a socket and modify it by creating a slot on one of the wrench flats which will allow the wire to exit the side of the socket while its engaged on the top nut.. Easy with a grinder wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Are they holes in the strut bearing to hold the shaft with a screwdriver or something?
 

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Are they holes in the strut bearing to hold the shaft with a screwdriver or something?
Either drain holes, or they are keyed mold over locations during assembly at factory. Holds assembly together.
 

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What you do is, with the strut on the bench you install a couple of spare bolts into the top plate mount holes and use a large screw driver between them to hold the plate and shaft from turning when you tighten up the shaft nut. Nord-lock washers aren't a bad idea on the plate mount holes as well.Without doubt the best lock washer available.

Ciao
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks mate
What I’m trying to understand is why can’t it be done if it’s in the car and those holes are done up holding that plate in place? Wouldn’t it be the same?
 

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Thanks mate
What I’m trying to understand is why can’t it be done if it’s in the car and those holes are done up holding that plate in place? Wouldn’t it be the same?
I would have thought so. I assumed that the top of the shaft had a flat section on it that engaged the plate that had a corresponding hole with flats to stop the shaft rotating. It looks like that in the image and i've seen the technique I've mentioned to remove/install springs.The other option is to use an impact gun judiciously insitu with some blue loctite on the nut.
I've seen struts wrecked by holding the shaft with lock jaws.
Another option is the same as we use on motorcycle shocks which is a shaft clamp. Just a split block of aluminium with a shaft dia hole that you put in a vice and clamp the shaft over an inch or so length and doesnt cause any damage to the shaft.Would need to be sizeable though to insert through the spring coils. Bike shocks don't have that issue.

Ciao
 

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Discussion Starter #11
By watching YouTube clips and I mean every one of them haha, it seems that whenever this bolt is loosened or tightened the spring is compressed. Assuming I’m able to compress the spring on the car without removing the shock I just can’t see as to why it won’t work.... I used to work on dirt bike suspension and really it’s a mind fark
 

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By watching YouTube clips and I mean every one of them haha, it seems that whenever this bolt is loosened or tightened the spring is compressed. Assuming I’m able to compress the spring on the car without removing the shock I just can’t see as to why it won’t work.... I used to work on dirt bike suspension and really it’s a mind fark
With the spring compressed such as when the weight is on the car the shock damper shaft isn't carrying any load. It's bolted to the top plate and along for the ride as the suspension go's up and down. If the wheel leaves the ground as in a jump or if its jacked then the damper shaft holds the whole strut together under the pressure of the spring preload. You'd be better jacking the wheel off the ground and maybe gain a little bit of friction from the damper piston topping out in the damper/strut body but it probably still wont be enough. As I said the shaft needs some flat sections at the top to engage with same in the mount plate so it doesn't turn while you are doing up the nut. I imagined it had this, maybe its rounded out?
Failing that a shaft clamp but I'd suggest the wheel off the ground some blue loctite on the nut and a light rattle up with a rattle gun with the special socket as mentioned. Put a sharpie mark on the strut shaft and get a friend to watch it as you rattle it up. If its turning too much or spinning stop.

Ciao
 

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From what I remember when installing Mountune Springs two years ago, there is no flat spot on the shaft. However there is a rubber snubber on the shaft that keeps the shaft from bottoming out. You could grab that part of the shaft with a clamp, vice-grip, or strap-wrench as that part of the shaft never enters the seal of the strut. If you score that top portion of the rod it won't matter since it's always covered by the rubber snubber.
 

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Thanks mate
What I’m trying to understand is why can’t it be done if it’s in the car and those holes are done up holding that plate in place? Wouldn’t it be the same?
Are you using stock struts? The stock front strut upper pin has flat spots that line up and allow it to sit inside the matching flat sides at the center of the strut mount/hat. If it's all assembled correctly, the strut mount/hat holds the shaft from spinning when it's bolted to the car, so you can correctly torque the top nut down. Your only problem then is access, since you're either going to have to drill an access hole or remove the stock strut brace. Hopefully I've understood your question and this makes sense. I've torqued that top nut down with the strut installed on the car a few times without it spinning.
 

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From what I remember when installing Mountune Springs two years ago, there is no flat spot on the shaft. However there is a rubber snubber on the shaft that keeps the shaft from bottoming out. You could grab that part of the shaft with a clamp, vice-grip, or strap-wrench as that part of the shaft never enters the seal of the strut. If you score that top portion of the rod it won't matter since it's always covered by the rubber snubber.
Another possible solution is to make a 1 or 2 mm thick aluminium sleeve to go around the shaft at the area you mentioned beyond the area the seal runs just to be safe. This could be made from aluminium sheet maybe 1/2 inch wide and bent around the shaft and the gripped by vice grip pliers. This would protect and hold the shaft while you did up the nut.
I generally would never go near anything like this with vice grips but sometimes if done with care and thought you can be ok.

Ciao
 

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Are you using stock struts? The stock front strut upper pin has flat spots that line up and allow it to sit inside the matching flat sides at the center of the strut mount/hat. If it's all assembled correctly, the strut mount/hat holds the shaft from spinning when it's bolted to the car, so you can correctly torque the top nut down. Your only problem then is access, since you're either going to have to drill an access hole or remove the stock strut brace. Hopefully I've understood your question and this makes sense. I've torqued that top nut down with the strut installed on the car a few times without it spinning.
This is what I imagined the components were like. Maybe the flats in the top plate have rounded out and wont hold anymore.

Ciao
 

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This is what I imagined the components were like. Maybe the flats in the top plate have rounded out and wont hold anymore.

Ciao
Possible, but there shouldn't any wear on the flats to that extent. Also, I think I remember being able to assembly it with the flats misaligned. The top hat will still sit and look ok but provide no help in holding the shaft during final torque. Learned that the hard way.
 

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Sorry guys, I'll have to take back my previous comments as I am running camber plates. Not the same situation the OP is in since he's running factory top hats. Memory goes south a little once you hit 70+
 

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Here’s what I did, I used a strap wrench around the shock shaft to hold it tight and then used a set of pass through sockets to feed the wire through and tighten the shaft nut.

Strap wrench
341955

Harbor freight Go-thru sockets
341956
 

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Quick necro-bump since I'm running into a similar issue now.

I'm currently trying to take my KW DDC dampers off my ground control camber plates and running into the same issue. Unlike the OEM top hat, the GC camber plates do not have the flats/oval that prevents the shaft from spinning. Also, I've used blue loctite per GC's recommendation since I've had the top nut come loose over time, but now that I want to service them, I'm having a bit of trouble getting it off.

I used one of these for the install: Schwaben Shock Nut Socket, 17mm, 1/2" Drive - PelicanParts.com

First I tried compressing the spring just enough to exposed some of the top shaft so I can get a strap wrench around it, but it just slips. Also tried a piece of rubber pad and clamped down on it with some channel locks, but again, same issue.

I also tried hitting it with an impact driver, but I just end up spinning the shaft after a couple of taps and just end up whipping myself with the cable lol.

Any other suggestions?
 
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