It’s common to have a frozen, stuck strut bolt when working on the front end. When you have to remove a strut bolt that’s stuck, it’s easy to cut it and remove it, but there is another method you can try without cutting the bolt off. This article and video reviews two ways to remove a frozen or stuck strut mount bolt.
Two Ways to Remove a Frozen or Stuck Strut Mount Bolt
How to remove a frozen or stuck strut mount bolt
- Cut the Bolt Off
The most common method to remove a stuck strut mount bolt is to cut and remove the bolt. You can remove it with a Sawzall by cutting the bolt into pieces to remove it. The problem with this method is if you don’t have a replacement bolt on hand, you’ll have to find one. This next step might allow you to salvage the strut bolt.
- Remove the Bolt by Cutting the Bottom of the Strut
Another method you can try is to remove the bolt by cutting the strut. In the example in our video, the bolt holds the strut to the control arm. There is a rubber bushing inside the shock and a metal bushing that wraps around the bolt. To access the bolt, you’ll need to cut the bottom of the strut away.
We removed the sway bar link, and the bolts that hold the control arm to the frame and any other parts so the control arm can swing down when the strut is cut.
Cut the metal on the strut with a cutting wheel. Separate the cut with a pry bar and hammer. Pry the cut mark down to separate it further. Then cut off the rubber bushing with pliers and a razor blade.
Heat the sleeve up with a blow torch. When the bolt is cherry red, tap the bolt with a hammer to break it free from the sleeve. If it’s cherry red and doesn’t want to loosen, cut the sleeve off with a cutting wheel. Then hold the nut with a wrench and loosen the bolt with an air hammer. Then tap out the bolt with a hammer and drill it out from the back.
After the bolt is removed, cool it down with soapy water and let it cool before touching it. Inspect the bolt and see if it’s salvageable before reusing it or replacing it with another. Then, after the strut repair is complete, get a 4-wheel alignment.
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