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#4522520 - 09/21/17 06:35 PM Should strut rod spin freely when turning top nut?
Cressida Offline


Registered: 10/16/02
Posts: 474
Loc: Joplin
I mail ordered and installed a set of name brand strut assemblies for the front of an older Camry. The struts have about 15,000 miles in 1.5 years and I believe have a lifetime warranty.

When you put a socket on the top center nut on one of the struts, the piston rod will not turn at all (up to about 35 ft. lbs. - I didn't want to push any further to risk damage). On the other side, the piston rod turns almost freely (measured at around 30 inch/#'s, or basically you can turn the nut with one finger on my ratchet.) So there is a very significant difference b/t the two struts.

Thinking that this strut's center nut was just loose, I purchased a tool so that I was able to hold the center rod in a fixed position while tightening down that top center nut. I was very surprised to find the nut was already torqued tight, and didn't take or need any further tightening.

On the side that spins freely, I can get just a bit of a rattle noise by reaching in and shaking the strut spring, but it's not enough to be noticing it in most driving conditions.

Can anyone explain why there would be this noticeable difference in the two struts?

And, does this indicate the strut has failed in some way and needs to be repaired or replaced - like it's broken loose from a mount, bushing or something ?

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#4522531 - 09/21/17 06:53 PM Re: Should strut rod spin freely when turning top nut? [Re: Cressida]
6starprez Offline


Registered: 02/25/12
Posts: 533
Loc: North Carolina
I may be off but I thought the top of the piston rod sits in a groove on the strut mount. Is it seated properly?
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#4522535 - 09/21/17 06:56 PM Re: Should strut rod spin freely when turning top nut? [Re: 6starprez]
L_Sludger Offline


Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 3947
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: 6starprez
I may be off but I thought the top of the piston rod sits in a groove on the strut mount. Is it seated properly?
This is true for 92-00s Camrys. Something is horribly wrong with what Cressida described. The fact that he can shake the spring on an assembled strut assembly sends alarm bells ringing.


Edited by L_Sludger (09/21/17 07:00 PM)
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#4522571 - 09/21/17 07:39 PM Re: Should strut rod spin freely when turning top nut? [Re: Cressida]
mk378 Offline


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1417
Loc: USA
Why are you trying to turn the nut?

Is the strut in the car and the car on the ground? In that case, there isn't spring pressure on the strut shaft. The nut will be turned down tight holding to the top mount. Depending on the design of the suspension, the top mount may have a bearing so you can make turns.

Never ever take the nut off without spring compressors on the spring. The assembly will fly apart with dangerous force.

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#4522589 - 09/21/17 07:54 PM Re: Should strut rod spin freely when turning top nut? [Re: Cressida]
190E26FTW Offline


Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 306
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: Cressida
I mail ordered and installed a set of name brand strut assemblies for the front of an older Camry. The struts have about 15,000 miles in 1.5 years and I believe have a lifetime warranty.

When you put a socket on the top center nut on one of the struts, the piston rod will not turn at all (up to about 35 ft. lbs. - I didn't want to push any further to risk damage). On the other side, the piston rod turns almost freely (measured at around 30 inch/#'s, or basically you can turn the nut with one finger on my ratchet.) So there is a very significant difference b/t the two struts.

Thinking that this strut's center nut was just loose, I purchased a tool so that I was able to hold the center rod in a fixed position while tightening down that top center nut. I was very surprised to find the nut was already torqued tight, and didn't take or need any further tightening.

On the side that spins freely, I can get just a bit of a rattle noise by reaching in and shaking the strut spring, but it's not enough to be noticing it in most driving conditions.

Can anyone explain why there would be this noticeable difference in the two struts?

And, does this indicate the strut has failed in some way and needs to be repaired or replaced - like it's broken loose from a mount, bushing or something ?


Yes it should spin freely so dont worry. I just helped my buddy change the strut nut on top of the rear strut on his 2016 Prius. It makes the clanking sound as he drives. There was a TSB on it but since he drove 73,000 miles in one year, Toyota says it is out of warranty. When we tried to take off the under torqued nut it kept spinning so we had to wrap a towel around the metal strut itself and then clamp it before we could remove the old nut. The new nut spun on super quick. Loctite it and forget about it after it was torqued correctly. No more clunking sound.

Toyota wanted $1700 to do that....we were like what the f? The nut itself was $1.99 and they wanted $160 just to diagnosis initially. Took 2 hours but we got it done correctly. Next time would take 15 minutes now that we know how to do it correctly for the other side.

Im thinking the one strut that does not spin freely is a bad one. Even my Bilstein Heavy Dutys spin freely.

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#4522618 - 09/21/17 08:33 PM Re: Should strut rod spin freely when turning top nut? [Re: Cressida]
slacktide_bitog Offline


Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6150
Loc: USA
You should get quick struts. They're awesome. Plus, KYB has a $100 rebate on a set of four this month smile

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#4522854 - 09/22/17 06:19 AM Re: Should strut rod spin freely when turning top nut? [Re: Cressida]
camrydriver111 Offline


Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 1488
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: slacktide_bitog
You should get quick struts. They're awesome. Plus, KYB has a $100 rebate on a set of four this month smile


My experience with Monroe quick-struts is they are junk. The main complaint is the spring in them is not OE feel, quality, or even the proper ride height. They are a good idea in theory.
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