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Front Lower control arm bolt hits steering rack. What to do? by MacGyversMullet
Started on: 12-30-2013 12:30 AM
Replies: 11 (454 views)
Last post by: bcampbell on 12-30-2013 06:42 PM
MacGyversMullet
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Report this Post12-30-2013 12:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MacGyversMulletSend a Private Message to MacGyversMulletEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am having the same problem as this member did, but I can't see the picture of how he got the bolt out:

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...130314-2-119340.html

How can I get the front lower control arm bolt out without tearing the steering rack rubber? I know it is pretty thick rubber, but I don't want to take the chance. I can get it halfway out, but it just jams into that rubber too much. Another 1/"8" and it would all be good.

I cannot unbolt the rack and move it, by the way. The first rack bolt I tried to loosen snapped right off like butter, from all the rust (even with major soaking from PB Blaster). I would also not want to drop the crossmember, since every bolt is rusty up there.

It also doesn't help that the other lower arm bolt is rusted into the sleeve. I tried a torch to the sleeve, a center punch to the seam of the sleeve, etc.... No dice. Why did I opt to replace the bushings when replacing the balljoints??

[This message has been edited by MacGyversMullet (edited 12-30-2013).]

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bcampbell
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Report this Post12-30-2013 12:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for bcampbellClick Here to Email bcampbellSend a Private Message to bcampbellEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I went through the same thing when replacing my control arm bushings. Just go ahead and remove the rack. You don't need to drop the crossmember to fix the snapped rack bolts. Take a chisel to the rack nuts that are tack-welded to the crossmember to remove them , then replace them with new bolts and nuts. The nuts come off surprisingly easily.

If you have compressed air use an air chisel to remove the LCA bolts that are rusted to the sleeve. Of my 6 control arm bolts 3 were rusted to the sleeves.

[This message has been edited by bcampbell (edited 12-30-2013).]

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MacGyversMullet
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Report this Post12-30-2013 12:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MacGyversMulletSend a Private Message to MacGyversMulletEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by bcampbell:

I went through the same thing when replacing my control arm bushings. Just go ahead and remove the rack. You don't need to drop the crossmember to fix the snapped rack bolts. Take a chisel to the rack nuts that are tack-welded to the crossmember to remove them , then replace them with new bolts and nuts. The nuts come off surprisingly easily.

If you have compressed air use an air chisel to remove the LCA bolts that are rusted to the sleeve. Of my 6 control arm bolts 3 were rusted to the sleeves.



Thanks for the reply. My problem is that I really don't want to snap another rack bolt and deal with extracting multiple broken bolts. That seems like it would be a pain that could be avoided.

[This message has been edited by MacGyversMullet (edited 12-30-2013).]

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bcampbell
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Report this Post12-30-2013 12:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for bcampbellClick Here to Email bcampbellSend a Private Message to bcampbellEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
On mine two of the rack bolts snapped and it only took about 15 min to remove the nuts and replace them. It's a lot easier than you would expect and makes the bushing replacement SOOOO much easier .

I do hope you're planning on replacing the rack bolt you already snapped at least... It's kinda an important part of the vehicle.

You don't really need to 'extract' the rack bolts. Just pop the old nuts off with a chisel and replace them with new nuts. Sure you'll need to use an extra wrench to tighten them down but it saves the trouble of drilling out the old bolts which would take forever.

[This message has been edited by bcampbell (edited 12-30-2013).]

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Firebird
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Report this Post12-30-2013 06:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FirebirdSend a Private Message to FirebirdEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just crank the steering wheel. Turning towards that side of the car will push the tie rod all the way out, but if you turn it away fron that side of the car it will pull the tie rod into the rack and you should have enough clearence to get the bolt out. Worked for me a few months ago when I did my bushings.

Bob
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olejoedad
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Report this Post12-30-2013 07:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A bit of heat on the broken bolt, a pair of small channel locks to grab the end of the bolt that protrudes behind the nut and it will turn right out........

And the tip to turn the steering wheel to extend/retract the boot is the way to go!

[This message has been edited by olejoedad (edited 12-30-2013).]

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MacGyversMullet
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Report this Post12-30-2013 10:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MacGyversMulletSend a Private Message to MacGyversMulletEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Firebird:

Just crank the steering wheel. Turning towards that side of the car will push the tie rod all the way out, but if you turn it away fron that side of the car it will pull the tie rod into the rack and you should have enough clearence to get the bolt out. Worked for me a few months ago when I did my bushings.

Bob


Ha! Oh wow, I feel silly for not thinking of that. But that's just my brain being fried from fighting rusty bolts at midnight. Thanks for the tip. I went out and that worked like a charm.
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MacGyversMullet
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Report this Post12-30-2013 10:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MacGyversMulletSend a Private Message to MacGyversMulletEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

MacGyversMullet

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quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

A bit of heat on the broken bolt, a pair of small channel locks to grab the end of the bolt that protrudes behind the nut and it will turn right out........

And the tip to turn the steering wheel to extend/retract the boot is the way to go!



It ate the teeth of of my original brand vice grips, with using heat. The small pile of rust dust below the control arm bolt is somewhat astonishing.
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Report this Post12-30-2013 11:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Gotta get em red hot......
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theogre
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Report this Post12-30-2013 01:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:
Gotta get em red hot......

Rack bolts?
I didn't.
Plus that much heat will damage rack bushings. replacements Could be hard to find.

Rack bolt etc...
Is better to work from top. This means remove spare tire well but is very easy to warm the "nuts" before trying to turn the bolts.
"nuts" because may not be real nuts. The bolts look like self treader design, sim to sheet metal screws.
(Be careful... Brake line is mounted to the well.)

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Report this Post12-30-2013 01:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

Rack bolts?
I didn't.
Plus that much heat will damage rack bushings. replacements Could be hard to find.

Rack bolt etc...
Is better to work from top. This means remove spare tire well but is very easy to warm the "nuts" before trying to turn the bolts.
"nuts" because may not be real nuts. The bolts look like self treader design, sim to sheet metal screws.
(Be careful... Brake line is mounted to the well.)



If bolt is broken off, and the bolt is stuck hard enough to chew off the teeth on his Irwin vise grips......
And only with the rack removed.....
Yeah, ogre, red hot gets them out, no problem.
I have done dozens this way.

The bolts are 6mmx1.0, not sheet metal self tappers.....

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Report this Post12-30-2013 06:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bcampbellClick Here to Email bcampbellSend a Private Message to bcampbellEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:


If bolt is broken off, and the bolt is stuck hard enough to chew off the teeth on his Irwin vise grips......
And only with the rack removed.....
Yeah, ogre, red hot gets them out, no problem.
I have done dozens this way.

The bolts are 6mmx1.0, not sheet metal self tappers.....


Heat did not work for me. But an air chisel popped off the front nuts in seconds and a hand chisel popped of the rear nut with a few good wacks.

But agreed they are definitely NOT self-tappers. They just have a taper on the end of the bolt I presume to make it easier to get it threaded into the nut.
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