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Re: Strut removal tool

> Bentley shows two tools -- the super deep socket, and what looks like a medium
> socket that allows access to the strut piston rod with a hex wrench.  
> 1. Which one are you refering to?
> 2. Where is it (or both) available & for how much?
> 3. Can you change the bounce stops and/or the strut bearing with this method ?
> 4. How easy is it to preserve the alignment?
> Thanks much -- been contemplating this task for a couple weeks.
> PS - Parts Place for VW (nee recycled) has what looks like the 2nd tool for
> $20 (more precisely, a substitute for the 2nd tool).

I wrote:
>>...They charged me $75 (labor) to replace the strut inserts - it is
>>so simple with the special Audi tool...

I was refering to the first tool that you've mentioned - the super deep socket
used to remove the strut cap that holds the strut insert in the strut body.
This tool apparently costs over $100 according to the dealer parts person. I
don't remember the exact amount but $150 to $180 seems like the right range.
I considered buying it and called Shokan to see if I can get it cheaper;
they said they don't carry any tools. Your Audi dealer parts dept can order it
for you. In fact, it might be cheaper to get one fabricated. Its a pretty
simple tool. It is really a 1.5 inch diameter pipe about 10 inches in length
which needs to fit into the strut cap on one end and accept a half-inch
ratchet drive on the other end. The strut cap has a 1.5 inch wide hexagonal
hole in it for the strut piston to go through. One end of the tool has a
hexagonal outer shape that fits into the strut cap. All dimensions given
above are approximate. If you are interested in fabricating this tool, I can
give you the exact dimensions of the hexagon end since I've saved
one strut cap that came off of the car.

	The second tool you are refering to is used to remove the top nut off
of the strut piston. It is used to prevent the strut piston from turning while 
the nut is being removed. This tool is not necessary if you have access to an
air impact wrench. The Audi mechanic just used his impact wrench to remove
this nut with no difficulty. 

	The triangular plate (I don't remember what its called - I'll just
refer to it as the strut tower plate) can be removed when the three nuts on
each corner and the strut piston nut is removed. The bounce stop is below this
plate on the piston rod. So you don't need the deep socket to change the
bounce stops. On my car I replaced one bounce stop and both strut tower
plates because the rubber had cracks in it. 

	The strut bearing is not accessible  unless the spring/strut
assembly is dis-assembled using a spring compressor - neither of these above
tools by themselves allow you to do that. The alignment (camber really)
can be preserved approximately if the position of the triangular strut
tower plates is marked before dis-assembly and installed in the same
position. This is what I had done at the dealer; though it loses accuracy
if the tower plates are replaced. I did this as a stop-gap measure until
I took the car down to Sears where I have a lifetime wheel alignment

All of the above refers to the 5000s. I don't know if it applies to any
other model.

Hope this helps.