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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?
IIRC, the tops of the struts aren't exposed enough to grab onto with a wrench/crow's foot, right?
 

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Would any of these work:



 

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Ya, unfortunately it's pretty buried in there
The gold standard method is a shaft clamp which is a split aluminium block with a shaft dia hole through the middle. You put the halves around the shaft and then clamp the block to to hold the shaft without damaging it. You could try a strip of 2mm thick aluminium sheet metal bent around the shock shaft and then gripped with vice grips. use it at the top of the shaft where the seals dont reach just in case. Also apply heat the the nut to release the blue loctite and hit with the rattle gun.
Those rubber strap wrenches are useless rubbish. A strap wrench needs to have a leather or a flexible composite strap.

Ciao
 

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I don't think this is the issue he's facing. While he can use one of these sockets (which I believe @BigFatFlip already has since that's what he used to install them), the problem is when he uses these with his impact, the whole strut assembly spins. He needs something to hold the strut to keep it from spinning while he tries to bust the top nut loose. Here's what the top of the strut looks like:
346074

Here's the top of the rear for a clearer shot:
346075

So the problem is that top portion is so recessed inside the top nut holding camber plate on, he can't grip it with anything.
 
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The gold standard method is a shaft clamp which is a split aluminium block with a shaft dia hole through the middle. You put the halves around the shaft and then clamp the block to to hold the shaft without damaging it. You could try a strip of 2mm thick aluminium sheet metal bent around the shock shaft and then gripped with vice grips. use it at the top of the shaft where the seals dont reach just in case. Also apply heat the the nut to release the blue loctite and hit with the rattle gun.
Thanks for the tip. I'll measure the shaft tmrw and see if I can find any shaft clamps at the auto parts store that are close in size. It'll at least give me something else to grab on to.

Also, hitting it with a torch was my initial plan to release the loctite, but I was a bit hesitant since it is so close to the wire, I'm worried I might melt or damage it. These dampers are not cheap...

So the problem is that top portion is so recessed inside the top nut holding camber plate on, he can't grip it with anything.
^Exactly!
 

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Ahhhhh, I got you now.

Good luck tomorrow.

I'm going to help my nephew install his fortune 500 suspension on his Mazdaspeed 6 tomorrow. And he wants his friend to "help".

Fun times 😭
 

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Quick update: I ordered a couple of the right sized shaft collars from Amazon and ground down a couple of flats on em. I then used the zip tie trick to partially compress the springs to get enough room on the top section of the shaft to put on the shaft collars. Cranked em down tight and aligned the flats. I also hit the top nut with a torch to try to melt the loctite on there (here's hoping I didn't damage anything electrical in the process. I'm desperate at this point). Grabbed onto the flats on the collars with an adjustable wrench on one hand and the impact on the other and...SUCCESS!

Victory was short lived tho...

The saga continues...
 

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Brake out the tap and die set....
 

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You use heat to loosen locktite. Normally no heat is needed to loosen blue, use heat to loosen red. By using heat you did the opposite of what you wanted to do.
Personally, if it was me I'd get a new strut.
 

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Brake out the tap and die set....
I didn't have the right die (I only had the coarse size), but I was advised by @Shimmer to use a thread file instead, which I've never heard of until yesterday. The fine thread means there is very little material and a die would be too agressive. Ordered one and will give it a try.

You use heat to loosen locktite. Normally no heat is needed to loosen blue, use heat to loosen red. By using heat you did the opposite of what you wanted to do.
Personally, if it was me I'd get a new strut.
The loctite was applied by the alignment shop from last time it came loose. Not sure what they ended up using (red or blue), but it wasn't budging, hence the need for heat.

Buying a new strut is pretty much not an option for me at this point as I have already spent the money on replacing the other side. If I buy another replacement, I would have spent more than twice the original cost of the kit.

Plan now is to try to recondition the threads enough to get the new GC camber plate top nut on, re-loctite and hopefully not have to undo it for a long time.
 

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I can tell you for a fact that the 4 threads will NEVER be enough to secure that shaft. It is a tough material, but you can see what the last attempt did to them. The threads are damaged for sure. If you insist on using the GC camber plates, looks like you must modify them to allow the shaft far enough into the plate to have at least 2 threads showing above the nut when tight. Otherwise you're risking a constant loosening problem or worse, a thread failure and the whole assembly exiting the vehicle...

I just happen to have a brand new set of GC camber plates on the shelf in my garage(had them for a couple years!), so I took a close look at them. GC is using the aluminum to nylon fit as the upper strut bearing! The steel convex washer is what is applying the load to the "bearing" lower side. The nylon lower bearing thickness is what's holding the damper shaft from fully inserting into the plate for a secure mounting.

Ok, if you insist on using the GC plates, then I recommend you remove the TOP nylon spacer under the nut so the damper shaft will insert far enough for a secure mounting. The bottom nylon spacer must remain in place to provide the bearing material. The GC nut will tighten down directly onto the aluminum top plate, but it MUST be secure for safe operation.

Bottom line is that the GC plate design is inadequate for the application. The entire force for securing the camper rod is passed through a couple of nylon(?) "bearings" that are supposed to slippery, not securing a damper rod against rotational spring load and vehicle dynamics.

Edit: Well, it may be the one-size-fits-all dampers you're running as well. The damper rod must rotate freely within the damper body as well.
 
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⬆He’s giving you solid advise. I used to design thread patterns in steel & plastic. Two threads past the nut is the min. you would want on new threads, much less compromised.
 

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Maybe it's worth getting the damper rebuilt and replace the part with the threads?
 

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The good thing is when the re-cut threads shear or the top of the shaft breaks off, the strut will still be maintained with in the wheel well. I had the same setup until this summer when I switched to coil-overs. Oh, it destroyed my racing tire and the alignment on that side was non-existant but at least the car did not roll when the strut-shaft sheared within the GC plate.
 
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Bottom line is that the GC plate design is inadequate for the application. The entire force for securing the camper rod is passed through a couple of nylon(?) "bearings" that are supposed to slippery, not securing a damper rod against rotational spring load and vehicle dynamics.
Very much agree with all your points. I too took a closer look at the design while cleaning them up and rebuilding the assembly. The "bearing" is composed of 2 polyurethane bushings sandwiched by the top nut and bellville washer at the bottom, as you described. The flex in the bushings allows the nut+shaft to pivot within it when adding negative camber. I can see this lending it self well for street use, minimizing NVH while allowing for some camber adjustment. I was running about -3 deg camber on these and ended up snapping the thread on the driver side while out on some rough canyon roads (hence the rebuild). They have since updated the design to a 2-piece top-nut and bottom support piece (instead of the washer) to better support damper shaft thread.

346832


346833


From the looks of it, I will have the same amount of thread engagement as the original top nut, so things aren't looking so good.

Maybe it's worth getting the damper rebuilt and replace the part with the threads?
Unfortunately, KW does not offer any rebuild service for this particular damper, so it's only available new from Germany (long lead and $$$, as I found out while replacing the other side).

The good thing is when the re-cut threads shear or the top of the shaft breaks off, the strut will still be maintained with in the wheel well. I had the same setup until this summer when I switched to coil-overs. Oh, it destroyed my racing tire and the alignment on that side was non-existant but at least the car did not roll when the strut-shaft sheared within the GC plate.
Yep, I am very much familiar of that failure lol. I think the weight of the car kept the damper within the camber plate perch. Despite all the horrible noise it made while driving over bumps, I was able to limp it home.
 

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You could gain some thread engagement by trimming the thickness of both of the poly(?) pieces (larger flat section) to keep the same setup just with thinner "bearing" sections. If you sand/cut each one about 1/2 the thickness it will gain you enough threads to secure it while you decide on what to replace them with.

I've just installed the full DSC Tractive setup on mine and it looks to be the real deal. Not feedback, the car is still in garage not fully back in service...
 

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You could gain some thread engagement by trimming the thickness of both of the poly(?) pieces (larger flat section) to keep the same setup just with thinner "bearing" sections. If you sand/cut each one about 1/2 the thickness it will gain you enough threads to secure it while you decide on what to replace them with.

I've just installed the full DSC Tractive setup on mine and it looks to be the real deal. Not feedback, the car is still in garage not fully back in service...
Hmmm... that might be a viable solution, although i would also have to machine down the bottom support piece the same amount since the space between the top nut and the bottom support piece is the same as the thickness of the bushings combined. Either way, these will be my "back-up" set of dampers since I have the Ohlins coming with Vorshlag camber plates. I really do like the way the KW DDCs rode, maybe I'll put them back on when the RS is no longer my do-everything car and I have a dedicated track car.
 

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Unfortunately, KW does not offer any rebuild service for this particular damper, so it's only available new from Germany (long lead and $$$, as I found out while replacing the other side).
That's bogus. Maybe Mountune can help you out or has seen this before as they sell KW bits. If you had to send the part back to Germany, you would end up spending almost as much on shipping as you did on the damper.

@FORZDA 2 come hang out with us on the DSC/Tractive Programming thread if you want a crash course in tuning your new setup. We discuss fixes for common problems as well.
 
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Yep, I've been keeping up with the DSC thread for "years". I bought the very first set of dampers they sold way back. Car was broken by then, so I'm just now getting it back together...
 
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