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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Front strut replacement - stubborn bolt

How the [email protected]#& do you get the strut bolt out of the big fat bushing it's stuck in? Does it thread out, or do I bang heck out of it with a hammer? Have had the struts since winter and need to get car running for daughter to take to college in three weeks.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 01:57 PM
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I think a big hammer

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 02:17 PM
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Its supposed to slide out, but that never happens...

Hammer and twist out, that has always worked for me.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 03:02 PM
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You're talking about the lower shock to control arm mounting bolt? PB Blaster, hammering and twisting should work. If it goes too slowly for you, hammer and twist until you can see the bolt get thinner (about 1/2 to 3/4" out), saw the thick part off, and hammer it out the opposite way.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 04:35 PM
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i used a pneumatic hammer with a fine point tool. costs less than 20bucks at a harbor freight store
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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OK - I just didn't want to strip out any threads if they existed. If its just stuck I can wail at it. The bolt head is starting to round off, so I didn't want to wreck it in case there were threads and I had no choice but to turn it. Maybe a little torching before the Blaster to suck it between the bushing and the bolt thru capillary action?
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 07:08 PM
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You don't want to torch it or you'll burn up the rubber bushing. If you go that route, be prepared to replace the entire control arm.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 09:51 PM
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I could not get mine loose so I replaced the lower control arms. Sure made it ride better.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 09:57 PM
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Thats cheating

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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big hammer, PB, prybar and wrenching, with liberal cursing and two hours did it. now i'm wrestling with the upper control arm pinch bolt which won't come out either.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 12:08 PM
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Here's a hint for that one too, at least this is what I've done to multiple successes in the past. Soak it up from all angles in PB, then stick a crescent wrench onto the square head of the bolt. Rock the bolt back and forth to loosen it up a few dozen times, then try whacking it out with a hammer. You might need to soak it in Blaster and go through the rocking routine a couple times before it finally loosens up. You might also want to find the biggest/longest crescent wrench to use because sometimes those bolts are really stubborn and don't want to break free. I used a 10" crescent with and old pipe over the end to amplify the torque.

Once you get the bolt out you'll probably have issues getting the end of the ball joint out of the spindle. For that I used a tie rod end lifter, those things are indispensable when it comes to ripping apart sticky suspension components. http://www.amazon.com/Tool-Aid-61900.../dp/B0002SRDRI

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shumbody View Post
big hammer, PB, prybar and wrenching, with liberal cursing and two hours did it. now i'm wrestling with the upper control arm pinch bolt which won't come out either.
That one has always been easy. Hammer a wedge into the slot and then hammer the bolt out. Maybe that is to get the ball joint loose. I have to remember.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 09:05 PM
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That one has always been easy. Hammer a wedge into the slot and then hammer the bolt out. Maybe that is to get the ball joint loose. I have to remember.
Thank god for being Southern, lol.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Slow going, but its going.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 07:21 AM
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Thank god for being Southern, lol.
I was thinking the same thing. A little wack with a hammer and mine came right out.

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Update: Left side all done and replaced, new record for cussing. Working the right side now - had to cut the bottom of the strut off cause the bolt was frozen solid to the bushing which was turning along with everything. Metal sleeve with bolt attached is now out of the control arm, and the question is - do I replace the whole bushing, or try to get the bolt out of the sleeve and put the sleeve back in the bushing? Or do I have to replace the whole lower control arm now? And who had the bright [email protected]##$% idea to leave zero clearance between the upper control arm bolt and the A/C evaporator? !!!!!
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by shumbody View Post
Update: Left side all done and replaced, new record for cussing. Working the right side now - had to cut the bottom of the strut off cause the bolt was frozen solid to the bushing which was turning along with everything. Metal sleeve with bolt attached is now out of the control arm, and the question is - do I replace the whole bushing, or try to get the bolt out of the sleeve and put the sleeve back in the bushing? Or do I have to replace the whole lower control arm now? And who had the bright [email protected]##$% idea to leave zero clearance between the upper control arm bolt and the A/C evaporator? !!!!!
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...2936&ppt=C0106

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That bolt is easiest with a ratcheting wrench.

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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 06:21 PM
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I bought a ratcheting closed end wrench for that upper control arm bolt. Worth the money unless you have lots of time and patience. Recommend you replace the lower control arm if that bushing is bad.

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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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bought a moog bushing for the strut mount that should be fine. got a c wrench on the inboard upper arm nut and a six-point socket on the bolt and it came right out. and for once, installation WAS the reverse of removal!
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 08:37 AM
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Just figured I'd throw my 2 cents on the lower shock bolt - kroil and an air hammer. Piece o' cake!

Tried PB blaster and a rubber mallet about 15 times over the span of a month, didn't budge. Kroil and an air hammer...first time, bolt went flying.

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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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OK - strut bushing on the LCA was a b$%^& - locked up tight - got it out with a sawzall cut. BUT - there is a little bit of cut on the control arm strut bushing housing too - i mean about 3/4" long, maybe a 1/32" deep. Is that problematic, or am I good as long as the bushing is tight? Fill it with JB Weld to keep out moisture, or worry?
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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 09:59 AM
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OK - strut bushing on the LCA was a b$%^& - locked up tight - got it out with a sawzall cut. BUT - there is a little bit of cut on the control arm strut bushing housing too - i mean about 3/4" long, maybe a 1/32" deep. Is that problematic, or am I good as long as the bushing is tight? Fill it with JB Weld to keep out moisture, or worry?
strut bushing housing? not sure what you are referring too.

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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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the hole in the lca the strut bushing goes through.
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 11:03 AM
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Any cut in suspension can potentially cause failure. Creates a stress point.

The Lower control arm is pretty beefy, but....
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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know as its deep enough for concern - and it doesn't go all the way across the hole. Goin' for it.
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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 11:46 PM
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Here's a hint for that one too, at least this is what I've done to multiple successes in the past. Soak it up from all angles in PB, then stick a crescent wrench onto the square head of the bolt. Rock the bolt back and forth to loosen it up a few dozen times, then try whacking it out with a hammer. You might need to soak it in Blaster and go through the rocking routine a couple times before it finally loosens up. You might also want to find the biggest/longest crescent wrench to use because sometimes those bolts are really stubborn and don't want to break free. I used a 10" crescent with and old pipe over the end to amplify the torque.[/url]
Seconded to that, and do the pinch bolt first (unless your testing the pass ac clarence) and in the end tighten completely only after the vehicle is lowered to prevent wind up.

I did the drivers a year ago and just did the pass today. I forgot so much because I was so focused on getting around the ac canister. 18mm ratcheting wrench by Duralast worked like craftsmen and in the end took a heel kick straight up to loosen the pinch bolt initially. Wiggle that thing like crazy until it feels like it can not get looser and rap the other side with a mallet while still moving the square head. Get some daylight and shove a screw driver in and pry while still tapping. As always use PB.

Anyway getting around the ac canister can not be done without at the very least loosening the metal screw that is forcing the metal to hug it completely and removing the screw around the front end UCA frame bolt (this keeps the metal line from giving any play as it goes to the canister). If you follow the metal that wraps around the canister it has 2 holes that loop over firewall bolts and these are tightened down by nuts. Removing the bottom nut requires you to reach it from below and my skinnier arm barely fit between the cat and engine to reach it. I removed this one as well as the top when I was trying to insert a huge ratcheting wrench in between the space provided while using a set of pliers (closed dull point) to pry the canister away, I got lot's of play, but in the end the single 18mm was necessary and I only had to remove the top nut to get enough wiggle room to finish the job.
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