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Old 09-28-2006, 10:46 PM   #1
mpcv2000
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Unhappy Rear suspension . How to....get you in trouble......

What's up ?

Finally decided to lower my ride but I'm running in some inexpected problems and expenses.


The bolts of my rear arms ( hope not all of them ) are seized in the bushings so that mean I just destroyed 2 bushings trying to remove the bolts from the rear lower arms . The bolts are seized so badly in the inner metal bushings that it destroyed the rubber wrapped around it and since I was able to unscrew it with a 1/2" long pry-bar the "base" where the bolts goes thru spreaded apart ( see photos ) , I can fixe that but the 2 rear lower arm are screwed and I will need new one but now I have to find a way to cut the bolts without damaging stuff around it. So what I thought was gonna be a fun little projet just frozed my car in my garage for I don't know how long.


Anyone of you ran into seized bolts in the rear suspension ?




Here's the project car :







On this pic the car is ( left rear and right front ) to help you locate the parts on picture you are looking at .

This bolt is seised on the bushing , I can't heat it that much since the bushing will melt because they are rubber even if they are "shot" I need to remove the arm somehow without burning the car , I need to buy a small grinder with a wheel not too big to be able to squeeze it between the arm and the bushing to cut it.















With the rear of the car always on the left you can see how badly I spreaded the "base" where the bolt goes thru :









Here you see the bolt giving me trouble , I have the feeling they will be all like that .









The car is a 03 and haven't see snow or rain since May 2005 but did before so damaged is done .









I'm not a professionel mechanic and do it as a hobby but this issue is charlenging me pretty good.




This is again ( right rear ) the 2nd bolt I started to work on and I'm having the same problem, to go further I need to buy a tool to help me cut the bolts safely.









I'm open to any virtual input to help me take all this stuff apart , I'll be taking out the whole rear suspension to grease if possible of replace all seized parts I have to.


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Old 09-28-2006, 11:14 PM   #2
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My LCA Bolts were frozen too. I was actually able to take what i think are the rear chamber bolts out and basically swung the LCA's out towards the outside of the car. The second pic has a dash on the frame to where LCA meets the Frame. Hope that helps.......


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Old 09-28-2006, 11:17 PM   #3
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are you just adding springs or are you doing shocks/struts as well.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:26 AM   #4
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I'm not doing shocks or struts for now , I'm just lowering the car , if bolts weren't frozen it will have been a easy job but it's not the case.




lildisco , this is a good idea what you are suggesting me , I wish I would have think about it before but since the right rear bushing is destroyed I need to find a way to take it out.


Today I'll go shopping for a cutting tool....
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Old 09-29-2006, 06:56 AM   #5
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Why don't you just get a spring compressor and and compress the spring? Though I know your too far into it and will have to replace the bushings though it is now the perfect excuse to upgrade the bushing with some energy suspenison bushing. I may be wrong but I thinkyou might have enough room to get a spring compressor in there I do know there are different styles of spring compressors. I wish you all the luck in fixing it. Oh and great photos and documenting of the problem.
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Old 09-29-2006, 07:35 AM   #6
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Impact wrench, baby. Those work exceptionally well at removing stubborn bolts. You'll need new bolts and bushings anyhow so go ahead and torque the hell out of the frozen ones. Looks like you have some oil or something on there already, but let some good quality pentrating oil sit on there for a good long time and then hit it with an impact. You'll need to borrow an air compressor too - hopefully a local shop or someone you know can loan you the equipment.

Oh and Sleepyboy, spring compressors suuuuck! Esp in a confined space like that, ugh! You're forced to use them for the front Macphersons but in the back, it takes about 2 minutes to lower the control arm out of the way and drop the spring out the bottom... ...unless your bolts are stuck

Best of luck mpcv
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:45 AM   #7
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I had to cut all of the bolts off of my rear control arms. The pisser was that you cannot replace just the bushings, they are manufactured into the control arms so I ended up buying new rear control arms.

I suppose it's possible to rig something that would have worked instead but I needed it back together quick. The control arms were $60 each and the new bolt for the upper end of the control arm with new nut and washer were like $15 each.
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:59 AM   #8
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This is a common problem with the focus rear suspension. It happened to me when I did my install.... although I got off easy and only had to replace one lower control arm. Ford should have made the bushings seperate so you wouldn't have to replace the whole arm.
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:36 PM   #9
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Day 3....


Impact wrench won't do much since the bolts are frozen in the bushings .. Today I bought a grinder with a few cutting wheels and I cut everything and stopped by the Ford dealership to get new arms and bolts. I did try with a spring compressor tool but no luck and I don't want to have frozen bolts in my suspension anyway. I was suppose to take everything apart but I just want to put the pro-kit in and drive the car a bit more before putting her away for the winter , I'll have plenty of time to take everything apart and buy more new parts if I have too.





Here's my new arms and my grinder , this grinder cuts bolts like butter , I just had to be carefull not to destroy stuff around what I was working on .










First bolt down with tons of sparks all around me....























First one is down...finally







This is the rest of the bolt stuck in the arm...
















Now the other side.....







One bolt down... one more to go...












That's it , it's out....












I have a very tiny garage but it's perfect for my need....










There's tons of smoke that came from cutting and grinding part of the evening....









I have also a PC and a wireless keybord , mouse and speakers loged on XM radio to have some nice tune while doing my hobby...












Tomorrow will be cleaning all rear suspension parts , toutch up paints and putting it back together before attacking the front end. I love doing that when you have the tool for it . I can't beleive all the weird bolt sizes Ford is using , I need to get a 18mm socket tomorrow, I have one but it's only 3/8 drive and 1/2" is better when you need to pry hard on them..


More to follow tomorrow evening...
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Old 09-30-2006, 03:54 AM   #10
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Nice to see you got a good tool and are getting it done. Sorry to see it was such a pain, but just keep going. Are you sure you don't want to do the shocks and struts while you are here and get it over with??
Good work so far !!
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