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cutting a bolt connecting the control arm to the lower ball joint (C3)

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Ultra_Extreme, 25 May 2019.

  1. Ultra_Extreme

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    Joined: 22 Aug 2004

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    Hey guys, started the seemingly easy task of disassembling the front OS strut to replace the spring, CV boot and track rod end ive hit some real issues. Main one right now being that one of the bolts attaching the lower ball joint to the control arm is bulged, its been hit or used for a jack point or something, its fubar. So im gonna need to cut it off to get the strut out.

    Dont have any experience cutting bolts really, thinking from looking around that a dremel could be the way forward, more accurate than an angle grinder. I have neither so its screwfix for me in the morning, what would yall do?
     
  2. Orionaut

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 2 Aug 2012

    Posts: 7,813


    First start would be some good pictures of the situation.

    Otherwise nobody can really advise and even if they tried none of the advice would make any sense.

    Pictures, from many different angles. Some close up, some from further away.

    :)
     
  3. Ultra_Extreme

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  4. Ultra_Extreme

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  5. Ultra_Extreme

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    i would like to tighten it and cut it off above the bulge so i can reattach to get car to garage. as you can see above it ive removed the pinch nut for the lower ball joint and had a go separating that way but i need a better lever
     
  6. tl45

    Hitman

    Joined: 26 May 2014

    Posts: 636

    Location: Warrington

    Doesn't look that deformed to me or am I missing something?

    If the bolt is slightly deformed at the end you can try getting a similar nut and winding it on to the end of the bolt which could help reforming the thread at the end. Treat the extra nut as being expendable.

    If you had access to a die the right sizefor the bolt you could recut the thread at the end of the bolt then just undo the nut. Failing that just try undoing the nut & bolt - it might strip part of the thread on either the nut or bolt as it comes apart but these can easily be replaced.

    Or if the nut does jam up on the end of the bolt you can then cut it off above the nut.

    Another option just cut the bottom of the bolt off below the nut - junior or full-sized hacksaw may do the job if you've got room then undo it. Prob some WD 40 or similar sprayed on it as it may have got a bit corroded in there.
     
  7. dholdi

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Apr 2010

    Posts: 1,267

    Location: Preston

    If you are going to cut it off an angle grinder with a cutting disk, a dremel would do it but its a bit lightweight and would take ages plus quite a few disks.
    Looking at the picture though I'm sure with a bit of wire brushing then WD that would unbolt.
     
  8. Ultra_Extreme

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    thanks guys. the issue is the top of the nut isnt a hex it's a rusted torx and access is quite restricted by the hub. I'm worried about rounding that out. vids online seem to all pop off the lower balljoint so I might go that route first with a pry bar and cut as second option. its deffo bulges and is about a mm thicker than others at worst so I dont see it undoing without knackering the torx head
     
  9. LizardKing

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Location: The Land of Roundabouts

    it doesnt look that bad at all imo!

    a good 6 sided socket, a bit of wd40 and a mallet will get the socket on (maybe an old socket if likely to be a one way trip!) or an impact gun and heat.

    Failing that a cold chisel will get through the nut no problem.
     
  10. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2008

    Posts: 12,070

    Cleaning the threads up with a wire brush would be a good start.
     
  11. area51

    Gangster

    Joined: 22 Mar 2009

    Posts: 468

    Location: Down town gaza/Lah'darn

    Angle grinder with a flat Zip wheel will clean the threads up. they don't damage the metal
    Douse it with plus Gas or Plumbers Crackit. WD40 isn't a release agent it's a water dispersant. give it a few soaks

    I take it you need to keep that stud? If not lop top off with a thin disc on angle grinder then straight through nut so cut down thread then whack with cold chisel will split it.

    Have a Gander on the French Car Forum if cars a C3?
     
  12. Ultra_Extreme

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    ok well i was being dramatic i guess (read inexperience) i used a wire brush on a drill to properly clean the thread, then i got some molegrips and locked em around the head of the bolt. Barely took and effort then, tie rod was way worse lol

    one thing, im rebuilding the strut, does this look normal? im guessing once compressed itll line up but errrr https://photos.app.goo.gl/cZyYGmuUL8rYrUoG9

    Also anyone know if i can use the plate at the bottom of the shock to attach the spring compressors?
     
  13. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2008

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    It doesn't look wrong.

    Attach the spring compressors to the spring. Once it's wound down you should be able to drop the spring into place and bolt the top on.

    Using the compressors from the base plate is just asking for something to slip which can be very nasty with a compressed spring.
     
  14. Finglonga

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 20 Aug 2008

    Posts: 1,853

    Location: Stafford

    Spring compressors go on the spring and nothing else. Be VERY careful as not kidding here they can be deadly if handled wrong. Do not skimp, get some good compressors or take them to a garage to put the spring on for you as the top nut of the damper rod can be a bugger to get tight without the correct tools.
     
  15. Ultra_Extreme

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    yeah i do know of the bomb like nature of compressed springs. very scary lol i believe i do have all the tools and have done a spring before (strut in a vice torqued up) but maybe if i can find a garage open tomorrow ill get it done on a machine
     
  16. Ultra_Extreme

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    only asked about the plate as the hooks on the spring compressors fit neatly into the holes in it, wondered if it was "a thing" lol
     
  17. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2008

    Posts: 12,070

    Those holes are probably just there to prevent water sitting.
     
  18. pastymuncher

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 12 Jul 2005

    Posts: 19,456

    Location: Aberlour, NE Scotland


    The holes are there to let water out. If the water sit's there it will corrode the plate and the suspension could collapse. It happened to me once. It was a couple of months after I had bought the car and we were coming back from my sister in laws late in the evening in a snow shower. We were just coming into the village and I braked for the 30mph limit and the front right of the car dropped as soon as I touched the brakes. The suspension dropped onto the tyre and the car went into the oncoming lane, luckily there was nothing coming. I managed to get the car into the village, destroying the tyre in the process and under the streetlights so I could see what had happend. This is the one time I was thankful for a spacesaver spare as I could remove the alloy wheel and fit it which had enough clearance to crawl home to the far end of the village. Next morning I jacked the car up to find that the plate that the spring sits in had no holes in it and it had completely corroded and broken away from the strut. The garage I bought the car from had put it through the mot the day before I picked the car up which you would have thought would have picked up severe corrosion on the suspension. Phoned them up to tell them what happened and they basically told me tough luck which meant their so called 3 month warranty was worthless. I just ordered new shocks and springs for all four corners and replaced the lot. It taught me a valuable lesson not to believe a word a garage says and check things thoroughly myself. I dread to think what would have happened on a busy fast road.

    Anyway, back to your shocks. They look pretty corroded from that picture and before fitting back on the car I would clean them up with a wire brush to see what condition they are in. If they are ok give them a coat of Hammerite or similar before reassembling. If you are in any doubt about them replace them. It's better to be safe than sorry.