Creative alternatives to a vise for strut insert replacement

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speedgraphic
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Creative alternatives to a vise for strut insert replacement

Post by speedgraphic » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:11 pm

I've got a lot of tools now, thanks to learning how to wrench on my Tercel - an air impact wrench, a click-stop torque wrench, a larger pry bar than I'd ever though I'd need... but one thing I still don't have is a vise. I know, I know, I should get one... but the house that I rent comes with a decent table in the garage, one that I can't bolt into, nor can I slide anything onto due to it being one of those brad-in-hole type shelving units.

Has anyone come up with creative ways to secure a strut during insert replacement that don't involve a vice, or maybe you have a suggestion for how to secure a vise in a non-destructive, portable, or removable fashion?

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Petros
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Re: Creative alternatives to a vise for strut insert replace

Post by Petros » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:48 pm

I have a metal table that I need to attach my vise to, but just clamp it on with a couple of large C-clamps, I have used it for years like that (I bought the vise at a garage sale cheap).

I have removed strut inserts by putting a length of rebar through the mounting holes at the low end, stand on it while I pull on the cheater bar on the top end of the strut. A large pipe wrench will also grip the barrel, but I would rather secure with the normal mounting points so I do not damage the barrel. It would not take much to make simple tool to bolt to one end of the strut while you wrench on the other, the tool could even go in a receiver type trailer hitch on a heavy duty pickup truck if you have one handy. It gives you something heavy to lever against.

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ARCHINSTL
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Re: Creative alternatives to a vise for strut insert replace

Post by ARCHINSTL » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:27 pm

Pick up a used door (interior/hollow core should be cheapest) and mount it on two knocked together or borrowed sawhorses.
This should be sturdy enough to mount a vise, even by drilling holes and bolting the vise to the table.

Another method I used in my second bike shop for an extra bench for Summer help to use...
Same interior door with eye bolts (reinforced with washers) at the front corners and 3 or 4 or four hinges at the back, screwed into the wall studs. We then attached appropriate lengths of chain to two more eyebolts higher up on the studs, making it a folding "shelf." This also had the virtue of being able to be folded back up against the wall in the Fall to make room for the Christmas inventory buildup.
This should be plenty strong to mount a vise, although I'd mount it toward the corners - or maybe just mount a 2x4 support to the center front edge, again using a hinge. This could then flip down against the floor (and also fold down when/if the "shelf" is raised against the wall for storage.
Tom M.

Sorta like
------/|
----/--|
--/----| > wall
/____|
-|-----|
.Floor
T4WD augury?
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speedgraphic
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Re: Creative alternatives to a vise for strut insert replace

Post by speedgraphic » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:14 am

Petros wrote:I have a metal table that I need to attach my vise to, but just clamp it on with a couple of large C-clamps, I have used it for years like that (I bought the vise at a garage sale cheap).

I have removed strut inserts by putting a length of rebar through the mounting holes at the low end, stand on it while I pull on the cheater bar on the top end of the strut. A large pipe wrench will also grip the barrel, but I would rather secure with the normal mounting points so I do not damage the barrel. It would not take much to make simple tool to bolt to one end of the strut while you wrench on the other, the tool could even go in a receiver type trailer hitch on a heavy duty pickup truck if you have one handy. It gives you something heavy to lever against.
I'm having trouble envisioning exactly what's going on during that procedure... have you already compressed the springs with those two-piece tools and are now just removing the top nut? Could an air wrench replace the cheater bar? Can you re-compress the springs while they lie on the ground?

ARCH: Good idea! There's a "Veteran's Green Warehouse" near me that sells recycled building supplies - I could get a solid-core interior door for cheap!

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Petros
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Re: Creative alternatives to a vise for strut insert replace

Post by Petros » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:16 pm

I was already assuming you had the spring and retainer off, you need to in order to get the old shock out and install the new insert. I use the inexpensive two piece spring compressor, if you have room to work you can just put a foot on the strut and use and impact wrench to unscrew the top wile it is pointing away from you and anything important. Wrap in a blanket or tarp to keep it from flying too far, spin off the nut and allow the spring and retainer to pop off. I have also removed the center nut while it is still in the car, and than allowed it fall apart as I pull off the lower mounting bolts.

There is local tire store chain that has a wall mounted spring compressor that is nice, I would like to find one of those somewhere, never seen them for sale.

Anyhow, once the spring is removed you lay the strut on the ground, put a bar through the bolt holes on the lower end of the strut assembly, and stand on the pry bar to hold it down. Put a large pipe wrench or adjustable wrench (or open end wrench if you have one that large) on the collar nut, and put a pipe extension on it to break it free (if necessary) and spin the large collar nut out of the top of the strut tube. the internal parts will all come free, and any hydraulic oil left. than you can install the new inserts.

speedgraphic
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Re: Creative alternatives to a vise for strut insert replace

Post by speedgraphic » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:34 pm

Awesome! New struts coming Tuesday!

keith
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Re: Creative alternatives to a vise for strut insert replace

Post by keith » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:48 pm


teranfirbt
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Re: Creative alternatives to a vise for strut insert replace

Post by teranfirbt » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:18 pm

It's WAY easier to loosen the gland nut with the strut in the car, you can get a large pair of channel locks through the spring coils pretty easy...

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SinusoidalTendencies
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Re: Creative alternatives to a vise for strut insert replacement

Post by SinusoidalTendencies » Thu May 09, 2019 5:19 pm

>>>>>OOPS!!! wrong thread...how do you delete a post? i only see the option to edit , quote or report it <<<<< >>>>do want to put it in the appropriate and best repair thread if someone would like to pm me about it>>>

I know this thread is old and dead now but.....
there is actually a backyard redneck method of compressing the spring with tie down straps. they have to be the ratchet kind though.

you essentially wrap the strap around the spring coils <doesn't have to all of them, just enough> again and again until you get around the whole thing with about a straps length between wraps. use multiple straps if you need to <in fact i think multiple straps is recommended>, just make sure your ratchet ends are on the outside opposite each other. it's easiest if you can do do it on the car so you can compress the strut with a jack on the wheel or something while you tighten down the straps. once it's compressed, just remove the assembly as usual and treat the compressed spring as though you had clamped it already cause you have.

here's a video too
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fyU96hiI4E&t=4s

Edit:
Releasing the strap is the dangerous part. don't compress the spring any more than the strut will go. if you can manage to only compress it as little as necessary to get the nut on and off that is best. install it and compress it to release tension on the trap before you release it.
<<<<<<Caution>>>>>>
i haven't actually tried this yet....and i am pretty sure that spring can indeed kill you

Edit: this video is even better, and actually makes me way more confident in this method. bout to try it in fact. so i'll let you know how it goes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6J14pP44RQ&t=10s
I don't always learn my lesson.
But when i do, it's the hard way.

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