Rear Lower Control Arm Bolt Stuck and Broken - Focus Fanatics
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:36 AM   #1
gondorian
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Rear Lower Control Arm Bolt Stuck and Broken

So I was trying to do an alignment with my friend at his shop and when we were trying to loosen the bolt it broke off with the nut . I tried to loosen it and to punch it out but nothing worked. I'm wondering if I could just use an acetylene torch to cut it out but it seems rather close to the fuel tank. Have any of you had this happen before and what did you do to fix it? Here is a picture: Thanks


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Old 11-14-2012, 07:54 AM   #2
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The opposite end of that control arm is usually the one siezed in place. That is one reason to be glad I'm not in Michigan any more. Lots of rust underneath there...

Maybe try an air hammer to punch it out? Here's the general problem with this design, and you'll see it if you search. The bolt shank becomes one with the inner shank of the bushing. So you can't get the bolt out, and the bushing is still working, so it absorbs your attempts to pound the bolt out.

And, if you do get the bolt out, but damage the bushing, you'll be even worse off trying to get the outter one to remove the whole control arm.

My advice, though its probably not what you want to hear, would be to pick up two new rear control arms, hardware, and swaybar end links, then go to town with a cut off wheel.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:59 AM   #3
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Could I just cut through the old bushing and the press in a new one after I get the old bolt out? Or is it too soft to press in a new bushing correctly?
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:25 AM   #4
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You could, but there is not (that I'm aware of) an aftermarket OEM style bushing for the car. Ford and the 3rd party suppliers only sell arms. Maybe I'm wrong here?

There are aftermarket performance bushings available. I think it would be easiest to remove the arm from the car to install. Also, I cannot advocate doing just one side of the car, it would make the handling pretty wonky, maybe unsafe. Both are my opinions, YMMV.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:39 AM   #5
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Thats the cam bolt/bushing for the rear alignment. Pretty sure Steve at Toulsey can get these. If not, its honestly easiest to just replace the whole arm and bolts. Bolts through bushings will need to be cut out.

snow/salt, FL rules for that. Also, no emissions!
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:56 AM   #6
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I'm doing both sides of course. I just trying to figure out the best course of action before I start. I don't want to drive around with the broken bolt and I can't leave my car at work or in my friend's shop, which are the two places I have enough tools for this sort of operation.

This all started because I was experiencing some rear hop, and I figured an alignment should help. Right now my plan is to replace both bolts and bushings and get it aligned, then do the whole rear suspension next summer once I get the funds. I'm also getting sick of rust so I may take a wire bush to most of these parts while I'm at it and put rustoleum or bedliner on them.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:25 AM   #7
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So y'all are right. I went to the local ford dealer to order the bolts and see if they sell the bushings. They don't sell the bushings, only the whole control arm. I decided I'd look for a bushing before I got a whole new arm, but after finding some on rockauto I had to measure the bushing to see what size it is. When I was measuring I noticed that there is a groove that holds the bushing. Getting the old one out wouldn't be too much of a problem, but pressing a new one in would be pretty impossible without something breaking in the process (probably the bushing.

Now I've decided to do the smart thing as wrc_fan suggested and get two new arms. While I'm down there I'm wondering if you think I should replace the coil springs, which look rather worn, or if there is anything else that would probably need to be replaced after a couple hundred thousand miles. Here are some pictures:
Driver's side


Passenger side:


Thanks a lot y'all, this forum is proving to be very helpful :)
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:15 AM   #8
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At that kind of mileage, I would do the dampers too. Remember, the wagon dampers are different than all other foci.

The alignment probably won't help your rear end hop. This is more likely a symptom of blown dampers (lack of control of wheel motion), or sway bar binding (additional uneven spring rate).
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:21 AM   #9
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^this. and order all parts through steve at toulsey ford. 10% over stocking fee for OEM parts. you'll thank yourself.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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Here's is some advice from experience. Sawzall and a bunch of good blades. Get new control arms and bolts, then enjoy a few cold beers.
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