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Discussion Starter #1
I got some new boots for the front struts on the 164S. Can't find any reference for this stuff:

1. What is the significance of the arrow on the top rubber cover.
and
2. There's some kind of semi-hard glue/silicon on the top end on the strut. This looks like it might be a problem when trying to remove the struts. Anybody know what or why this stuff is there?
 

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I looked at my 91S, and I don't have anything like that on the top of the struts, but looking closely, it might appear that there are vestiges of some sort of similar stuff in just a couple of places, but just barely. Never noticed before.

If you've never had the struts out before since new, maybe that's the way they came, but my struts have been out several times since I bought it, and have never seen the stuff. It is possible that the struts on my car originally had it but removed before I bought the car at 40k miles.

I suspect it is to keep water out of that area.

BTW, the little arrows on the rubber caps both point outboard in my car. The caps can go only one way since the strut studs are not spaced equally around the strut hole, but are offset a little. Not sure why they thought they needed the arrows since the caps don't really fit well any other way.
 

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My front struts had the thrust bearings renewed. Don't know if that involves removing the strut. If not then my struts have never been out of the car. Lifting up one corner of the rubber cap reveals the same solidified goop around the strut as in your photo.

I suspect both that goop and the arrow on the rubber cap are intended to assist in the original assembly of the car in the factory. The caps only fit one way but it might speed up assembly by a second or two if the cap is marked directionally, who knows.

If the goop is important then it should show up on every car you might look at.
 

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From the diagram in the shop manual it looks like the factory doesn't intend that the top rubber isolator be removed during renewal of the strut, spring or strut bearing.

Assuming the diagrams are accurate the three securing nuts are removed from underneath those rubber caps and the bottom of the strut unbolted from the hub. Then the strut/spring assembly is withdrawn complete as a unit leaving that top isolator glued in place.

That makes sense since there would be no reason to remove that isolator unless it wears out, neither of mine are worn after 27 years and 230,000 km. Mind you, the original struts and springs are fine also which is impressive. The strut bearings have been replaced and the lower ball joints but not the struts. Excellent quality.

I'm sure you're aware but it always bears mentioning again. Removal of the strut assembly is quite straightforward but disassembling the strut from the spring can be exceptionally dangerous. Anyone unfamiliar with this process should take the entire assembly to a shop to have parts renewed and reassembled. The spring deserves complete respect given the stored energy in a bolted together strut assembly.
 

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Good Evening Folks,

Having removed struts from at least six cars I never saw that sealant slash goop as shown in the pics above.
All struts just dropped out as soon as the last nut came loose.
I never felt that anyone had removed the struts before me either.

I tend to think that someone added that sealant for reasons we can only guess at.
To me the sealant application shown in the pics appears unprofessional and wrong color.

The arrows also never seemed to mean anything to me as the boots will only fit one way.
Possibly the boots are generic to other cars and mean something elsewhere?

Not much help from this quarter.

Ta,

Neville.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
On my left strut, it's obvious that someone in the past tried to loosen the nut using the allen wrench to immobilize the shaft, because it's stripped out pretty well. I tried at least breaking the right side nut loose with a 7mm allen wrench and a 22mm socket, but no luck. There is precious little side reinforcement of the allen key socket . . . certainly not nearly enough to put sufficient torque on the nut to break it loose.

So, it looks like I'll have to break the nut loose once off the car and the springs compressed so as to get a couple of vice grips on the shaft.

The other thing I think about is when the previous owner or his knucklehead mechanic stripped the allen key socket out, did it expand the threads to that the nut won't thread-off the shaft.

And that's assuming this "goop" hasn't seized the top of the strut to the body in order to get the strut off in the first place. :angry:
 

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I have never seen any sealant on top of struts and in order to remove strut assembly as you know you have to remove those 3 M8 nuts from studs sticking up as well as the 4 M10 bolts from lower attach point.

Let us know how you overcome that sealant to get strut assembly out.

Get roll of plumber's emery cloth from Home Depot and a good pair of curved jaw vise grips to hold shaft once you have good spring compressor set compressing spring.


I suspect if struts are oem 164S electric ones you have to be extra careful holding shaft tight so it won't turn. I expect you will have to use brute force with air/electic impact gun to get M22 socket size nut off shaft since M7 allen head hex in top of piston stripped.
 

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On my left strut, it's obvious that someone in the past tried to loosen the nut using the allen wrench to immobilize the shaft, because it's stripped out pretty well.
I have a strut with exactly the same issue, inner allen key is stripped.
The strut is good otherwise so I am of course frustrated as to how I will get that nut loose.

I am currently dealing with struts in a big way as trying to concurrently setup two rebuild cars with front suspension ahead of engine drop.

I have all the parts but just struggling with stripped nuts etc.

Ta,

Neville.
 

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Interesting, all the struts I've had out have had sealant and for that reason, I put them back in with silicon.
 

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Interesting, all the struts I've had out have had sealant and for that reason, I put them back in with silicon.
Very interesting as that contradicts my experience.

It means that I will go to all four of my 164's and look more closely for traces of sealant slash goop.

This is indeed interesting as I see absolutely no need for the sealant application.

Ta,

Neville.
 

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When turning the car, doesn't the strut tube turn with the shaft remaining fixed?
It would certainly appear so. The housing will move, not the shaft.

I have remnants of that stuff on the passenger side of my L. There were no problems during strut and upper bearing replacement.

Arrows on the rubber boots point out to the sides. Only way they fit, as mentioned.
 

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Just turned the wheel full lock both ways and the shaft didn’t rotate

Pretty cool to see how it flexes within the rubber housing though! Never had a reason to look at that before.
 

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Annoying if the allen socket has been rounded - does mean the only way to grip the shaft is via the shaft itself. Just try to grip it as high as possible to avoid damage to a section that passes the strut seals.
The goopy stuff is not standard. Someone has decided to add it as a 'good idea' at some moment of stupidity. Sadly have seen it before. And yes, as mentioned, the arrows on the rubber top boots indicate the outside of the vehicle alignment. Strut tops only go in one way. If it seems you are having to force them try different holes or swapping left to right.
 

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On my left strut, it's obvious that someone in the past tried to loosen the nut using the allen wrench to immobilize the shaft, because it's stripped out pretty well. I tried at least breaking the right side nut loose with a 7mm allen wrench and a 22mm socket, but no luck. There is precious little side reinforcement of the allen key socket . . . certainly not nearly enough to put sufficient torque on the nut to break it loose.

So, it looks like I'll have to break the nut loose once off the car and the springs compressed so as to get a couple of vice grips on the shaft.

The other thing I think about is when the previous owner or his knucklehead mechanic stripped the allen key socket out, did it expand the threads to that the nut won't thread-off the shaft.

And that's assuming this "goop" hasn't seized the top of the
to the body in order to get the strut off in the first place. :angry:
You do not need to and should not do anything to the strut nut before removal of the entire strut assembly. The shop manual states the strut/spring assembly is removed entire by removing the three strut assembly nuts from their bolts/studs. The hub is unbolted. The assembly is then mounted in a jig in order to hold the top and bottom spring seats parallel to facilitate removal of the strut from the spring. Once the assembly is retained in a suitable jig the nut on the top of the strut is loosened but not removed, then the spring compressor/ retainer is clamped onto the spring for safety and the strut removed and replaced. That top nut on the strut shaft holds the rubber isolator assembly onto the top spring perch.

As I tried to point out the goop only sticks the upper rubber isolator to the strut tower. It has no effect on the strut assembly and removal of the strut assembly should not be affected at all by the gluing of the isolator in place.

There will be no trace of the glue on the top spring seat when the strut assembly is dropped down out if the strut tower. It will have no effect on reassembly either except to hold that isolator aligned and in place while you poke the three strut assembly mounting bolts up through the holes in the strut tower.
 

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The sealant I encountered is between the metal plate holding the 3 studs that bolt the strut to the tower. The strut came out easily inspite of the sealant.
 

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Struts NLA???

....There's some kind of semi-hard glue/silicon on the top end on the strut. This looks like it might be a problem when trying to remove the struts. Anybody know what or why this stuff is there?
Greetings Roadtrip: I find myself here with the same question, after previewing the work required to change the front struts on my 1995 164LS. The same whitish solid sealant on mine - looks just like yours. Michael Smith's post here has allayed that concern.

But, that now seems to be the least of my challenge. I just spent two hours trying to acquire a new sets of new front struts. Surprise: NLA. Since they are not cartridge-capable, no one is making replacement struts.

What is the 164 crowd doing about this... am I faced with stripping off working struts from dead 164s????
 

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What was wrong with the existing struts on the car?

They do last a very very long time, unless they develop a leak. although, they can rust badly in the joint between the cylinder and the wrap around flange.
 

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Interesting, all the struts I've had out have had sealant and for that reason, I put them back in with silicon.
I have seen the sealant on a few, not as much but have had it on my own as well. Only on the mount between the plate and body. I think it was to keep water from leaking into the bearing from under the car.

Otherwise not positive the reason other than possibly keeping water out?

I have struts, fronts in stock, rears coming. I also have koni fronts that require a little mod to fit them in old housings
 
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