Help needed - rear strut removal [4kq]

Roa, Greg Greg.Roa at Cinergy.COM
Fri Nov 1 11:00:51 EST 2002

Hehehehe..  By far my least favorite part of the job.

You can do one of three things here.
-The way to do it if everything is new, and you have a lot more luck than me, is that you take that single bolt from the ball joint off, and pull the ball joint and the slider piece (the part that goes into the control arm) apart.  That has never been even remotely close to happening for me.  Usually those two things are so stuck together, that you have absolutely no hope of getting them separated.
-Second option is to mark the position of the slider, take the two bolts out that hold it to the control arm, and remove the strut housing with it still attached.  When you get done, you put it back in, using the mark you made on the slider, so that your rear alignment isn't messed up too bad.
-Third option is to go insane, and pry the stupid ball joint out of the strut housing, cut the stud off of the joint, and burn or beat the stud out of the slider. Then, replace it, and chop the old one into pieces with a wafer wheel and a cutting torch.

I prefer the third method for it's obvious therapeutic benefits, and the ability to destroy something that is such a pain in the ass.  Bad part is, you have to replace the ball joint.

The way that Bentley suggests to remove the ball joint (if you are replacing it), is to take a "u" shaped piece of metal of fairly sturdy construction, with a hole in the center of the "u".  Put the stud of the ball joint through this hole, and then put the legs of the U on the strut housing.  Put the nut onto the ball joint and tighten.  As you tighten, it should pull the ball joint up via the stud, and extract it from the strut housing.  You may have to do some measuring to get the correct dimensions of the U so this procedure works.  Determination, and a lot of work with a cold chisel will get the joint out without fancy tools sometimes too...

Installing the new one is usually done with a correctly sized piece of pipe to get the joint in, initially, then using the screws on each side of the joint to pull it into place in the strut housing.

If you've used a pickle fork on it already, I'd probably count on needing to replace the ball joint.  The fork will typically destroy the rubber boot.  I've not had much luck finding those locally.  Usually mail order or dealer part.

Good Luck!
Greg Roa
Cincinnati, OH
86' 4kcsq
93' 90 CS
83' 944

>Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 20:00:44 -0800 (PST)
>From: "Bob H." <rjh_tsi at>
>Reply-To: bob at
>Subject: Help needed - rear strut removal [4kq]
>To: quattro at
>Okay, I got the front strut cartridges replaced ... started on the rear
>tonight.  I can't for the life of me get the rear balljoint off of the
>bottom of the strut housing.  The fronts came off easy enough with a pry
>bar, but I can't find a good spot for the bar on back.  And, I've had no
>luck with the trusty pickle fork.
>I removed the nut on the bottom of the ball joint.  Now, do the two parts
>come apart here, or does the plate attached to the bottom of the strut
>housing with two bolts come off instead?
>Pictures of what I'm talking about:
>Thanks in advance for any advice.
>-Bob Hodgeman
> '85 4ksq beater
>Racing makes heroin addiction seem like a vague wish for something salty.

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