Hollow socket?

We bought a Chilton repair book for our 99 contour. It states that we need a hollow socket to remove the top of the strut. We asked Sears, Snap on tools, Mac tools, and autozone, and no one seems to know what a hollow socket is.

Please if anyone knows, can you tell me where I can get one!

Thanks, Julie

Never heard it called a hollow socket. you need something like this:

The large socket goes over the nut at the top of strut and is then turned with a box/open end wrench. The torx or allen bit that holds the shaft fits down through the large socket and can be held with a wrench or socket.

You also need a strut spring compressor or things will fly apart real fast! Strut replacement is not for the faint of heart. Be very very careful. And remember you will need a front end alignment.

Better refered too as a “deep” socket. I am suprised that the tool boys did not put this together as they usually will go to any lenghts to sell a tool.

Thanks for the info. Now to find a 18 MM one. Doesnt look easy right now.

Once the struts and ball joints are done, then we are getting an alignment and 2 new tires.

Thanks, Julie

I sincerely hope that you’re aware that this nut should NEVER be removed without a spring compressor in place.

Failure to do so could lead to loss of fingers, part of the skull, or even your life; and believe me, when it gets down to the last couple of threads it will come apart so fast you won’t even know what happened.

You skull should be pretty safe…It’s your toes that get crushed when the lower control arm hits the floor…Use a spring compressor to unload all the parts you are removing…

Sears sells these socket sets with a hole through the ratchet so you can tighten a nut with a lot of bolt sticking out above the nut. I had a strut change job on one of my cars that required an 18MM socket so I just bought one and put a Vise-Grip plier on it. Techno-whatever.

But the nut could fly off, too and that’s what will hit your head.

We did rent the spring compressor from autozone, but now my hubby is complaining that he doesnt see how there is any room to put it on. Right now he is working on the second ball joint, and then we will see after that what he wants to do. Most places want around $450 to do both front struts, parts included. That is why we are doing them ourselves, or at least we are going to try. I have seen them put the spring compressor on, in videos on youtube, and I hope its that simple, well not really simple, but they make it look fairly easy if you do it right!

Your husband is trying to do this strut job with the struts removed from the car isn’t he?

If he’s using a spring compressor like this be advised these compressors are difficult to use along with being mildly dangerous.


The ones I did on my 2 Camrys had a small 10-12 mm end on the shock shaft, so you wedge the bigger nut while turning the shaft the opposite way. Also…DON’T take off the shaft nut yet (you can loosen it 1/2 turn or so…you must first remove the lower connections…bolts,nuts, etc.ands the brake line if it’s in the front (no need to open the hose) then you lower the axle onto a piece of wood on the floor and unbolt the 3 nuts up on top in, the engine compartment Lower slowly when you take off the last nut - it’s not light ! THEN…find a spot with room and put on the compressors…making sure to tighten evenly both sides, back and forth. Use the safety hooks if you have them. The shaft nut is the very last thing. check the intructions to see if there is oil - 2’ or so for dampening which goes in first before the new strut cartridges… Mike