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Old 01-09-2004, 12:34 PM   #1
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I cant believe this happened to me !!!

This week has been a horrible week so far for me, but since this is a focus website lets keep it focus related only.
Anyways yesterday I tried installing a set of eibach lowering springs on a 2000 Focus 4-door. I’ve lowered numerous cars (5-6) in the past so i consider myself somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to this but nothing could prepare me for this. Before I started I looked at the online instructions steeda have posted (http://www.steeda.com/SpringInstalFocus.htm) which seemed pretty self-explanatory. So I started with the rear since they seemed pretty easy. I figured 30 min at most for the rear. I unbolted the stabilizer bar from the control arms and that went easy. Now all i had left was unbolt the control arm and lower it to get the spring out like in this picture ....

Well I started to loosen the bolt and at first it seemed to be going fine. But after a while it kept rotating as if the bolt and nut have striped. WTF!!! I didn’t used power tools so how the hell did I strip the bolt. Well it turns out the metal sleeve that’s part of the control arm bushing was "stuck" (more like welded) to the bolt and it would not let the bolt "slide" out like it should’ve and because of it i striped both the nut and the bolt. I used every degreaser, every torch nothing. After 2-3 hours i finally cut the head and tail of the bolt and here is what’s left......

Now what can I do??? Should i replace the whole bushing? Does energy suspension make one for the rear control arm? The bushing is pressed in so it’s going to be a bitch to replace it. I was also thinking about find a new sleeve and slide it in place of the old one. Then ill use a new bolt and nut. What do you guys suggest i do?
Do you think ford will sell me just the bushing alone? I have a feeling they are going to tell me it comes with the control arm and that will be way too much $$$$$$$$$$

I also checked the other side and the bushing is also screwed. When I turn the bolt the sleeve rotates with the bolt so im going to have to cut that bolt too if I want to take it out!
If this was a 15 years old car I would understand but can the damn bushing and sleeve go bad after only 3-4 years. Oh well I need help guys because for now I put the car back together with a new bolt but no sleeve so its got a lot of play and I don’t want to drive it like this for much longer.

Sorry for the long post and many grammatical mistakes but im a little bit pissed!

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Old 01-09-2004, 01:55 PM   #2
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dan, I feel for you. I have had the same experience, but on other cars. Surprisingly, getting a bushing out is usually harder that getting it in. The bolt rusts in the sleeve and as you found out essentially welds itself together. I would try inserting a new sleeve and bolt first. Put plenty of anti-seeze or grease on the bolt so it won't seeze up again. If you want to get the old bushing out use a sawzall and hack it into small pieces or if there's insufficent room, using a torch to burn them out is very common. Just excercise some care if you do the latter. Clean the mating surfaces really well and lubricate the bushing really well and try sliding (yes some force will be necessary) it in. The bushing should be available without buying the control arm...but I haven't confirmed this...not the answer you wanted I know.
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:01 PM   #3
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Do you have an update on your problem with the rear control arm bolt. I have the same situation with my 2000 ZX3. Luckily the shop was able to squeeze the stock springs out and put in FK lowering springs, without removing the bolt.
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:24 PM   #4
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Well I couldn't find a similar sleeve or bushing. However I got lucky with a friend that bagged his focus and had to make new rear control arms, and gave me his stock ones.

Another thing if you realized the bolt and bushing are stuck together and didn’t go any further you can replace the springs by disconnecting the bottom bolt of the shock from the control arm. That’s why I did on the other side.

You may also be able to "squeeze" the new springs depending on how short or tall they are. I have eibach prokit which only lower the car about 1.5" and they were too tall. But if you have springs that lower the car 2" or more you might be able to install them without taking out any bolts.

Heres how the car looked when i was all done.
Lowered 4 door !!!

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:55 PM   #5
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This is a common problem on the Focus. There were several threads on the old board before the switch. *sigh* but we can't search the old threads. Oh well.
Annoy a Liberal: Work hard, succeed, be happy.
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