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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen a few people asking about this so I thought I would chime in.

I have done MANY suspension swaps in my time (I am an old fart) and the Focus has given me more trouble than anything else... mainly... Frozen LCA bolts

IN the LCA there is a bushing with a steel sleeve in it in which the LCA bolt goes through and it threads into a lock nut thats tack welded to the LCA. Over time 2 things happen.. 1) they get dirt and rust in them 2) they warp.

There are a couple of things to avoid when removing them... HEAT is the #1 thing to avoid... it doesnt help at all. The bolts sieze up to the sleeve in the bushing not the lock nut.

You need either a very powerful impact gun ( I use an IngersolRand 660ft/lb one) or a long breaker bar.... sometimes even my IR wont break them loose.

Usually once the bolt breaks loose it will turn out until it clears the nut then it gets stuck again.... thats where warping of the sleeve/bolt comes into play.

There are only 3 options at this point...

1) cut the bolt off and pry out the bushing (of course you'll need to replace the bushing and the bolt is you cant get the bolt out after you remove the bushing)

2) use a punch and a hammer and drive out the bolt

3) use an air hammer with a flat tip (basically a punch) and drive it out that way.

Unfortunatly all 3 ways suck.

Sometimes the sleeve will come out of the bushing along with the bolt (it usually breaks loose from the bushing when you're trying to break the bolt loose) You can fix this with out replaceing the entire bushing.

Once the sleeve is out find a drill bit to fit inside the sleeve.... and redrill it back out to where it should be... incase you ever need to take it back off.

After you do that get some black siliconeand coat the outside of the sleeve and reinsert it into the bushing.. once it sets up a few minutes it will work fine and you'll never be able to tell it was even out.

Another thing to look out for is the nut will alot of times break loose from the LCA.... I usually just weld them back on. You can replace it if need be....

Depending on the shape of your nut and bolt you can always replace both of them if you have the time and tools at hand... the nuts dont HAVE to be welded on... but its just nice to have them like that.

Feel free to ask any other questions you may have.
 

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As you know I had this problem and we cut the bolt out and I simply replaced the lower control arm since you cannot buy a new busing to press in.
 

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Using an air powered cut off wheel, I was able to cut through the bolt on both sides with relative ease. Then I replaced both control arms with new units. I think in the future if I ever do this again on another focus, I will plan on this happening. I too have never had problems like this while working on any other cars suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I actually laughed out loud, i didnt expect that from you, haha. Nice info!
You should hear some of the stuff I say when I'm trying to get one of those bolts out.


To answer an earlier question.. Yes I have tried pretty much every penatrating oil on the market and none of them really helped... so I just whip out the air hammer and pop them out in about 15 seconds. [whip]
 

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un1corn
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I've read several times there aren't any aftermarket bushings that can replace the ones that seize. I find it hard to believe there aren't any prothane or energy suspension bushings that go where the control arms bolt to the knuckle or whatever. That's lame!

I would REALLY like to do this the right way next time i have to take apart my rear suspension, but mine are seized!
 

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When you put new bolts in make sure you use plenty of anti-seize!
 

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un1corn
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i have a huge bottle of it in my tool box haha. Most of the time when i take things apart i put them back together with it, somtimes i'm lazy.
 

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Adam
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You know, some company needs to make replacement bushing's for the RLCA's they would make a killing from everyones missfortune.
 

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Putting a new control arm on is easy. Just have a cutoff wheel handy!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I "think" they are just pressed in... but I'm old and cant remember.
 

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I just happen to have mine, I will take a picture and show you!
 

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This is the busing that was seized up and we had to cut out. As you can see we tried to back the bolt out and just ruined the bushing. The bushings are a little more them pressed in. It seems like there is a seam that would make them impossible to remove.



Here is the other side that luckly came out easy. This was the passenger side arm. The drive side both bolts came out with no problem. This is a car with only 33k miles on it too and very limited weather (namely snow) since I have owned it.


 

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Great thread!!! I wish I would have read it when it was originally posted. My two best friends (the only two that I made most progress with) when tearing apart mine were a sawzall and a cutoff wheel. I tried some of the other things you suggested, but didn't make out too well so out of frustration I just started cutting away. I sideswiped a curb in some snowy weather and I bent the pin that my hub sits on. I made a tweaking bar to bend it back, but it was impossible to get everything realigned again. The wheel looked good, but when I tightened everything down, the rotor was binding in the caliper. Could someone help me with the technical term for the arm in my picture, and if somebody has a spare one for the passenger side I would like to take it off their hands. Thanks.
 

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lol. no question . but a related poor planning story to go wit hit.

i dropped my focus spring of last year. since it is a 2003 i thought the lca bushings would be fine. boy was i wrong. we ended up breaking one bolt in half trying to remove it. then had to cut the bushing to get teh busted bolt out (by the time we were done it was dark out. and we hadn't started on teh other side) so i ahd to leave my car at mikes house (focus guy 03). in manitowoc overnight while his dad figured out a way to get it back in town (30 mile drive to my place.) fortunatley his dad is a genius at fixing things so he set about making a lca bushing. he used wire conduit (the solid pipe they use in shops) and around 3 rolls of electrical tape. it had to be trimmed down to fit. but it worked. with no major issues up to 50 mph on the smoother roads. then i let the local shop take care of it after getting replacement lca's. i wish i could have kept that home made bushing. but the shop simply tossed everything out. the lesson here is always have the replacement necessary if things get too messed up to fix.
 

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Mine seized up as well. I had to cut mine out and pushed the old bushings and sleeves out. Luckily i had found a Prothane Master kit with the replacement LCA bushings and sleeves on ebay for the same cost as the lesser kits elsewhere. I used my 6" bench vise and pressed in the new sleeves. My vise handle looks like and 'S' now, but it was worth it.
 
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