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Can't get the bolts out in front lower control arm


Guest MYCTLS

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Guest MYCTLS

I have started rebuilding my 72 Cutlass front suspension and while I'm at it I will lower the front end 2 inches and convert to disc brakes.

I have removed the brakes, spindles and the upper control arms but am now stuck. The problem is that I can't remove the rear bolts on the lower control arms. These are the bolts that hold the oval bushings. The bolts turn OK after being soaked with liberal amounts of DW40. But, they totally refuse to move laterally.

I have tried knocking on them but there is not room enough between the frame and the bolt to get any power. And since the frame turns downward just behind the threaded end of the bolt, the blow comes at it from an angle.

Has anyone encountered this problem before and if so, what is the recommended course of action?

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Has anyone encountered this problem before and if so, what is the recommended course of action?

Yup, been there, done that. The problem is that rust builds up between the bolt and the steel sleeve inside the bushing. Keep soaking and pounding on the bolts to break them free. Failing that, use a sawzall between the bushing and the tab on the frame to cut the bolt. You will want to replace these bolts whether you have to cut them or not.

Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)
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Guest MYCTLS

Thanks!

After posting I discussed with a friend and we came to the conclusion that the bolt may have fused with the sleeve. I will try your proposed methods, in that order :-)

And yes, I will replace the bolts so no need to be too careful.

/Per

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Another method that I've used is a cutting torch. Remove the head of the bolt and the nut end, then burn in the remaining ends of the bolt until you can clear the tabs on the frame. Of course you need to be careful not to damage the holes in the frame, and expect to set the remains of the rubber bushings on fire. This method is usually only applicable if you have the front sheet metal off the car and the engine and wiring removed.

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Guest MYCTLS

I have the engine in and all sheet metal in place so I don't dare to try that solution :-)

Been trying to soak, knock, and turn the bolts today. I think I'm off to Home Depot this evening to buy a saw....

Found new bolts on OGPI.com so I know I don't have to be worried about finding correct dimensions or quality bolts for the install.

Thanks!

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Guest MYCTLS

Got this resolved! With a sawzall and my impact wrench... Success! Now the control arms are cleaned from grease, will be blasted tomorrow, and on Monday the bushings will be pressed out and new going in. Can't wait to drive the upgraded version of my Cutlass!!! :-)

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