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Strut Removal Tool

Can anyone tell me if there is a specific tool/tool kit for the removal of the front strut nuts in a 2004 Saturn Ion Sedan, 2.2 liter. With the strut removed from the car, and compressed and with the top cover of the mount removed I can see that the threaded rod needs some type of star or hex insert that must fit thru a socket - as an open end wrench will not fit down into the mount. The hex fitting will hold the rod from turning while the socket is used to remove the nut so the strut can be removed. I would like to know where i can get a tool and if anyone also knows, if the struts on a 2007 Saturn Vue 6 cyl. require the same tool.

For removal, I’ve always used an air impact, and a pair of vise grips. The condition of the one you’re taking out doesn’t matter.

Installation is the hard part. I normally put it all together, then torque it after I install it back in the car, with the weight of the car helping to hold everything still.

I can’t find a special tool listed anywhere…however, I also don’t have access to a proper maintenance manual for either of those cars. My guess it that it’s simply a fitting used during the manufacturing process for the central rod in the strut, and not a slot for a special tool.


Yes, there are special tools needed to undo the nuts once the strut is removed and the spring is compressed. For example, see here:

The last time I tried this on my Dodge I ran into the same removal problem. I chose to simply bring the old assembly and new struts to my local mechanic. He has a special machine that does the replacement 1-2-3 at modest cost. I then brought everything home for final assembly. You might consider going that route. It may be cheaper than buying the tools yourself.

…and there you go. :slight_smile:

Chase, you can’t do it with the strut in place because the mount has a cover.
SteveF, I found the tool and it looks like that is what I need. Thanks.
Let me tell you what I did to get the nut off. With the spring compressed and in a vise I cut the top of the rubber mount with a sawsall to try and get a box wrench on the nut and hold the end of the rod with a vise grip. That didn’t work. Then I tried holding the shaft. With the vise grips between the spring but it kept turning. They I got a cutting wheel and just cut the shaft. The strut came out in two pieces and then I was able to loosen the nut to remove the remaining piece of mount. Putting the new strut in the spring and tightening the nut was a breeze considering what I did to get it out. Before I do the Vue I’m gonna get the tool first. Thanks again.

What you need to remove the strut nut by hand is an O-Ratchet set or a Pass-Thru socket/ratchet set such as this. This ratchet/socket set allows access thru the center of ratchet and socket so a Torx bit can be used to hold the strut shaft to prevent it from spinning.


You can use special tools, or get the pass through sockets if you like. I’ve done quite a few struts on various vehicles, and the vise-grips/air impact has always worked for me to get them apart. It turns some in the vise-grips while the impact hammers away at it, and then it’ll spin off.

I’ve never tried doing it in the vehicle, and didn’t suggest it. It may be possible, I don’t know. I prefer to remove it and give it, the joints and everything else there a thorough inspection at the same time. Some of the one’s I’ve done were not the type that had a cartridge from the factory, but the whole thing was built up as a shock. Those require turning it upside down to get the various parts (and fluid) out of the tube before you can put an insert in, and a small amount of oil put in the tube before installation.

Anyway, I can only say what’s worked for me. I’m sorry so many apparently think I’m nuts…well, I guess I am - I keep doing this stuff.


Nobody thinks you’re nuts. But the OP doesn’t appear to have a compressor or an impact gun. So without this equipment what I described is the easiest way to remove the strut nut from the strut rod.


What’s an OP?

Original Poster.


You. :slight_smile:

Even with an impact gun, you sometimes can’t spin the nut off the piston, if the piston just spins with the nut. If you put a vise grips on the piston shaft, you gotta put it way up high where the piston never enters the cylinder since the burr you create with the vise grips will tear up the seal post haste.

When the old strut is removed, it goes in the trash where we don’t care about seals.

I thought the GM10 strut tool was only for midsize GM cars that used cartridges, like the Lumina, Regal, and Grand Prix of the early to mid '90s.

good point. Never mind…

It’s still OK to think ahead, which you were doing. I have discarded a hundred things that I needed a week later.

Not that tool. They were just talking about the hex nut. It’s like the one on a shock absorber that tries to rotate the piston when the nut is turned, except that on a strut it is recessed. The OP was wondering how to hold the piston so the nut would come off. Once you take the nut off, the spring comes off the strut.