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Issues disconnecting strut top

Discussion in 'Driveline/Suspension' started by Electrokid, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Electrokid

    Electrokid Member Established Member

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    Hoping someone can provide a link to some instructions or provide some tips on how to remove the strut top from the OEM spring/strut on a 2012 GT. I've watched a bunch of videos, and everyone makes it look so easy by just putting the impact gun on there and loosening it. When I tried that, it didn't work.

    I have the spring compressors on there, and the strut top spins freely, but when I try to loosen the nut with a 21mm socket, it just spins the entire centre of the the strut, and it doesn't actually back the nut off. It honestly seems like the strut top is moving with the spring. Like the foam part has adhered to the spring and won't separate as shown in the picture below.

    When compressing the spring, the bearings all came out of the strut top too... If anyone can provide insight into what I did wrong to cause that, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  2. GModder

    GModder New Member Established Member

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    I had the same issue when I changed mine out. The socket method as you tried won't work. You need to hold the shaft by at the top. The OEM strut for mine had a hex pattern so just hold with wrench and then loosen the nut with another wrench. If I remember, it wasn't real tight. Happy Wrenching!
     
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  3. L8APEX

    L8APEX On my tummy..! Established Member

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    One of my strut hats fell apart when it was only a few months old and putting "p" springs on. Caught the majority of the bearings, cleaned and repacked it until I replaced them.
    Just swapped out shocks and struts a month ago for my new suspension and they both fell apart (as I expected) and I tossed them, and replaced with GT500 hats. The stockers suck... best thing is to just replace them with GT500 ones, although you'll need different struts.
     
    me32 likes this.
  4. Electrokid

    Electrokid Member Established Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I bought one new OEM strut mount already, and I'm thinking I should have just bought two, and not worried about trying to disassemble the OEM struts to get them off.
     
  5. Electrokid

    Electrokid Member Established Member

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    So I got the top nut off, but the strut top hat still won’t separate from the spring. Is there something I’m missing here?

    Edit. Finally got it to separate and got the strut top off, but seems like the bilstein kit is different sizes than OEM.

    Anybody have a link to some kind of instructions for the Bilstein B12 kit? Hoping to find torque specs and proper information. Everything I see is up to 2010 or 2013+. Nothing for the 2011/12 GT's
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  6. Electrokid

    Electrokid Member Established Member

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    Next issue I seem to be having...

    Not sure how much I'm supposed to tighten this new top nut from Bilstein. Again, no instructions or information to be found anywhere which I'm finding extremely frustrating.

    Anyways, the nut is tight on there, but I'm under the impression that it needs to actually pull the shaft of the strut up through the lock nut using the hex there.
    So I've got my 7mm hex but something has to hold the nut to keep it from spinning. If you don't, the whole shaft of the strut just spins.

    I've tried adjustable wrenches, offset wrenches, pliers, but nothing fits in that recess from these strut tops.

    Does anyone have the secret tool or way to do this?

     
  7. nyuk98GT

    nyuk98GT Member Premium Member Established Member

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    Electrokid,

    Vorshlag instructions for their c/c plates say to use an impact wrench and give it a few bursts.

    The only thing I can suggest is sacrificing a socket by using a monkey wrench to turn it while holding the strut with the allen key. I would still suggest an impact wrench (with the front end normally loaded/wheels on the ground).

    HTH,

    Chris
     
  8. rdplain

    rdplain Member Established Member Beer Money Bros.

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    You may have the '05-'10 style struts that do not work with the '11-'14 strut tops. Put the struts side by side and look at top couple of inches of the shafts.
     
  9. L8APEX

    L8APEX On my tummy..! Established Member

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    When I went to Bilstein's all around for the struts I had to swap to the GT500 strut mounts (I wanted to anyway).
    Bilstein doesn't make struts that fit the 10-14 GT strut tops. That's why so many kits sell with GT500 Strut mounts included.
    Good news is the Bilstein shocks fit fine.

    *Edit* there are ones made for the newer GT..!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  10. rdplain

    rdplain Member Established Member Beer Money Bros.

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    Bilstein does have both versions of the struts.
    Part # 35-128717 is for the '05-10
    Part # 35-212676 is for the '11-14

    Most folks go with the '05-10 version and use the GT500 strut mounts. Myself included.
    The stock '11-14 mounts are rather fragile once they have been removed.
     
    me32, L8APEX and nyuk98GT like this.
  11. L8APEX

    L8APEX On my tummy..! Established Member

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    Now I know!
    I just assumed the did not make them when all the Mustang sites that carry Bilstein just had the version compatable with GT500 mounts.
    I did like you did, GT500 hats and Bilstiens are a really nice combination!

    Sent from my Note9
     
  12. Electrokid

    Electrokid Member Established Member

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    Good news! Got it all installed.

    Contacted Bilstein yesterday to get some more information. The following information is also for anyone in the future who encounters the same problem I did.

    1. The strut tops originally did not separate from the spring because the threads from the shaft were clinging to the strut top. A tip for keeping your strut hats in tact and not having your bearings fall out is to have it standing vertically while using an impact gun to tighten the spring compressors. Don't have it horizontal like I did in the bench vice. The shaking of using the spring compressors rattled the top apart.

    2. The factory strut nut is 21mm. Need a deep socket on an impact to get it loose while holding the strut top from spinning.

    3. The Bilstein strut nut is 22mm and the hex is a 7mm. Had to go buy those specific tools yesterday. If you are also buying those tools, buy them in a size that matches your torque wrench. I bought them accidentally in 3/8, but my torque wrench is 1/2 so I had to go buy more.

    4. Bilstein says for the 2012 Mustang GT, the strut nut at the top is to be tightened to 50-55ft lbs. When asked whether the hex bolt is supposed to come through the nut or to sit flush, they confirmed that it does indeed need to pass through about an inch past the nut.

    5. This is where things got really tricky and I needed a 3-person team to solve it. To tighten the nut, I first had someone use a rubber strap to hold the shaft of the strut from spinning while I tightened the 7mm hex. Once that was as tight as I could go by hand, I had one more person grab the torque wrench with the 22mm deep socket and tighten the nut even more while I held the strut hat from spinning, and another person held the strut piston with the rubber strap to keep that from spinning.
    That got it ALMOST to 55ft lbs. From there I installed it back into the vehicle and once it was mounted, I was able to finish it off with the torque wrench. Having it connected to the vehicle kept it from spinning anymore.

    Learned lots while installing this. German engineering is nice, but man can it be frustrating.

    Thanks for the ideas and suggestions from everyone who commented. Hopefully what I've learned will help someone else down the line.
     
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