What's the trick to tighten those Bilstein strut caps?

Phil Payne quattro at isham-research.com
Mon Mar 22 06:36:16 EST 2004

> My bigger problem was tightening the top nut on the rear struts. Have
> you dealt with these yet?  Bilstein specs something like 40 ft lbs and
> expects me to hold the thing with a 7 mm hex,  No way!

Sorry - standard practice.  Sounds to me like a seriously sub-standard Allen key.

I use a Stahlwille 1051 22mm cut-away socket and a high-quality long 7mm Allen key.  Just make
sure the Allen key is fully home.  Tap it in with a hammer and slide the cut-away socket over
it - lift and rotate the socket and not the Allen key when tightening.

<entirely justified rant>

I like good tools.  As a mobile engineer (Kerbside Motors) I need stuff I can depend on - I
don't have the space to carry two of everything.  Since I junked Snap-Off and went with FACOM
I've had almost no tool problems - a breath of pure relief.  Jeez - that stuff was crap.
"Lifetime guarantees" are no use in the pissing, freezing rain miles from the nearest dealer.

Stahlwille is good, and they have the nouse to stamp their tools with their name so I can
"brand recognise" and buy more of their stuff.  I have done just that - a complete set of
12-point Crowfoot sockets for Audi fuel injection and their wonderful slimline open-ended
spanners (wrenches) that are particularly useful for brake caliper guide pins.  Out of a set
of nine, I've replaced ONE in 29 years.

(It was the 15mm.  I opened it up on an I5 turbo nut.)

The Allen key I normally use for the strut job is VERY high quality - as good or better than
Beargrip or FACOM.  But all it says is "Made in USA".  Morons.  Whoever you are - if your
stuff is all as good as this, I would like to buy more of it.  I've been doing strut top
mounts on ur-quattros and Type 44s with this Allen key (to 40Nm, which isn't all that much)
for eight years and there isn't a scratch on it.  It is an _excellent_ little piece of
engineering - but no one seems to be proud of having made it.

</entirely justified rant>

  Phil Payne
  +44 7785 302 803

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