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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-11-2013 03:57 AM
Originally Posted by finalfantasy View Post
I just got my passenger strut off only removing the sway link bolt and strut pinch bolt (and 13mm nuts on top of course too). I tapped the knuckle w a copper hammer to finally clear it from the knuckle.

All these howtos show removing the control arm bolt and tierod end in addition, but I can't afford an alignment right now :(

This method wouldn't affect my drive axle or CV joint, would it?
That's all you do. Except we usually use a rubber mallet when the strut wants to be difficult coming out or going in. Sometimes have to wack the crap out of the strut and or knuckle a lot along with some wd40 to get it out if its sticking. Then a jack underneath can help to raise the knuckle/rotor assembly to more easile seat the new strut. Shouldn't have to touch anything to do with tie rods or cv axles. At least we didn't on the 7-8 different suspension swaps I've done. And we had no alignemnt issues either.
04-11-2013 03:16 AM
finalfantasy anybody?
04-10-2013 06:48 PM
finalfantasy I just got my passenger strut off only removing the sway link bolt and strut pinch bolt (and 13mm nuts on top of course too). I tapped the knuckle w a copper hammer to finally clear it from the knuckle.

All these howtos show removing the control arm bolt and tierod end in addition, but I can't afford an alignment right now :(

This method wouldn't affect my drive axle or CV joint, would it?
02-04-2012 10:50 PM
fhh02a thats a great idea..

today i used a crow-bar to get ball joint out.. i guess your thing works the same
02-04-2012 09:14 PM
perpetual problem...update on old post

Here's a tip for anyone faced with removing stubborn struts from older Focii...

I just installed new struts - but only after battling through a decade of rust & winter salt corrosion that had cemented the old ones to the car!

The passenger side went okay, but the drivers side was impossible - the strut was rusted into the lower mount. With the pinch bolt removed and the entire front end submerged in WD40, I beat the steering knuckle like a red-headed stepchild, but it barely budged.

Then I got one of those once-a-year inspirations: I inserted a "key" (any piece of thin, hard steel) into the knuckle gap so that it covered the pinch bolt hole. While holding the key in place with one hand, I threaded the pinch bolt into the wrong side of the knuckle, until they met. I continued threading-in the bolt with a drive ratchet until the knuckle expanded and separated from the strut.

Here's a photo (after the strut was removed) of the drivers side knuckle showing the trick:

Some suggestions:
  • Prior to embarking on this procedure, wire-brush the pinch bolt and clean/lube the threads inside of the knuckle. This will prevent unnecessary thread damage, as well as allow you to hand-thread the bolt.
  • Expand the knuckle gap no more than necessary. Ie., don't overtorque the pinch bolt, so as to not deform the knuckle. In fact, after removing the strut, verify that both sides of the knuckle remain on-axis by fully threading the pinch bolt into the correct side of the knuckle and ensuring that it grabs the threads cleanly; this will provide some reassurance that no unpleasant surprises await you when installing the new strut.
  • Insert the key into the knuckle gap prior to threading the pinch bolt, so that you can use a mirror to peer down the bolt hole and determine when the key is fully covering it. The heart of this trick is the key blocking the pinch bolt's progression.

Some notes on the "key":
  • Key must be hard steel (ideally, hardened) otherwise the pinch bolt will simply deform it. A nickel, quarter, or your ex's house key won't work!
  • Key thickness should match your knuckle gap - about the thickness of the strut hook (a little thicker than a quarter).
  • In a normal strut installation, the strut hook points to the engine and occupies most of the knuckle gap, engaging the pinch bolt there from the top, side (engine-side), and part of the bottom. That leaves a small opening in the bottom of the knuckle gap, so your key must be long & narrow enough to squeeze in there - but not too narrow because it must be wide enuf to cover the bolt hole. (If you are able to leverage/bang the strut out of the knuckle by at least 1/4", then the hook will no longer block access to the side & bottom of the gap, giving you a wider choice of key geometries.)
  • For my key: I used bolt cutters to snip the hook off of the other old strut I had removed earlier. Its hook-shape allowed me to fish it up into the gap and cover the bolt hole, as shown in the photo above.

Good luck!!
04-13-2007 01:25 AM
Peregrine No prob.
04-12-2007 01:25 AM
rnrbldrlvr24 thanks for everyones help. we found out that the spring wasnt compressed far enough to let the knuckle come all the way off but we got it compressed more and now everything is smooth as butter. But thanks again for everyone who helped
04-11-2007 11:50 PM
nate2006 I had the same problem at first. I sprayed WD40 at the base of the strut where it goes into the steering knuckle. Be sure and loosen up the 3, 13mm nuts at the stop of the strut tower under the hood. Half way is good. Then once the WD40 sets in it will slide much easier. If you can get the control arm and knuckle to push all the way down the strut will want to come out towards you away from the knuckle. Once you have the angle right it should pop out.

If you are still not getting enough clearance, loosening the tie rod from the knuckle might be required. More WD40 is always ok and letting it sit will help too.

Good luck!
04-11-2007 08:39 PM
Peregrine post up a pic with the problem spot circled if you can.

Did you guys drop the front sway bar down??
04-11-2007 08:05 PM
rnrbldrlvr24 the only bolt on a 2004 gti is the one that hold the strut to the knuckle and thats it we have removed it and just wacked it down and its gone down but now its like stuck with about half an inch to go and wont move no matter what we do to it we have kicked it like alot of ppl have told us even auto parts stores double and triple checked all bolts were out use lub to see if that helped used a rubber hammer and it just doesnt want to budge anymore
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