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Discussion Starter #1
I got started on a suspension swap and had to turn back when I couldn't get the upper control arm ball joints loose. They were rusted in place and would not even budge. I sprayed them with WD-40 and I will keep doing this until next week when I try again. If it won't work then I think I will try to loosen them by lighting a small fire under the gas tank.

AND THEN as I was putting it all together again I found my clunk in the upper control arm ball joints. I could move the tire enough to see it.

Grrrrrrrrrrr. Now I guess it just got more complicated.
 

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it is still possible to get the spring strut assembly out without freeing the upper control arms/ball joints, albeit much more work. pm me if you'd like an alternative solution.
 

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I found it easier to have someone turning the steering wheel a little to each side as I was hitting the underside of the ball joint with a 3/8 extension and rubber mallet or similar object. They really moved then.
 

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please put some penetrating fluid on the rusty bolts/nuts before trying to talke em off. it will make the job ten time easier. :thumbup:
 

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Try a product called PB Blast. It is great on getting rusted or frozen parts loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is the bolt that goes accross the swingarm where the two ball joints go in (the squeezing one) supposed to come out? Mine wouldn't (and trust me I really tried to coax it BASH BASH BANG BANG) It didn't move a bit. Niether did the joint (not even a hair.
 

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ronniebaldino said:
Is the bolt that goes accross the swingarm where the two ball joints go in (the squeezing one) supposed to come out? Mine wouldn't (and trust me I really tried to coax it BASH BASH BANG BANG) It didn't move a bit. Niether did the joint (not even a hair.
I feel you pain. That bolt has got to come out....



...and last year I experienced exactly what the same. I got three of four corners done and when I went to get the passenger front that bolt would not budge. Not any amount of pentrating oil, taps with a hammer or heating with a torch would do it. I finally had to take it to independent mechanic who ended up drilling the damn thing out. If you can't get that bolt out, you will not be be able to pop the two upper control arms out of the spindle to remove the entire strut assembly.

However, once you get them out, be sure to replace them and lube the hell out of them with a waterproof grease so they won't ever freeze up again. I replaced mine with stainless steel bolts and nuts just to be sure.

Joe
 

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ronniebaldino said:
However, once you get them out, be sure to replace them and lube the hell out of them with a waterproof grease so they won't ever freeze up again. I replaced mine with stainless steel bolts and nuts just to be sure.

Joe
Just a cautionary note. Stainless steel bolts are generally not as strong as regular steel bolts. Also, adding lubrication to the threads of bolts lessens the torque needed to achieve the correct tension in the bolt. It is entirely possible to snap the bolt off this way.

A more correct method would be to use a correct steel bolt and coat it with antiseize (shank only) and then clean the projecting threads before installing the nut.

Of course, if you didn't break the bolt, and you achieved the correct tightening torque, then you are probably alright.
 

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Mr_Mike said:
ronniebaldino said:
However, once you get them out, be sure to replace them and lube the hell out of them with a waterproof grease so they won't ever freeze up again. I replaced mine with stainless steel bolts and nuts just to be sure.

Joe
Just a cautionary note. Stainless steel bolts are generally not as strong as regular steel bolts. Also, adding lubrication to the threads of bolts lessens the torque needed to achieve the correct tension in the bolt. It is entirely possible to snap the bolt off this way.

A more correct method would be to use a correct steel bolt and coat it with antiseize (shank only) and then clean the projecting threads before installing the nut.

Of course, if you didn't break the bolt, and you achieved the correct tightening torque, then you are probably alright.
Thanks..actually I didn't grease the thread. Just the portion of the bolt that sits in the spindle. In my situation, the nut came off the bolt without a problem. What was frozen was the bolt inside of the spindle. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, it was the same for Ronnie.

Joe
 

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I found that a rubber mallet wasnt enough force to drive out that bolt. I used a regular old hammer and a nail punch to drive the bolt all the way out. Then used the same to drive the control arms up and out.
 

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Donuts said:
Mr_Mike said:
ronniebaldino said:
However, once you get them out, be sure to replace them and lube the hell out of them with a waterproof grease so they won't ever freeze up again. I replaced mine with stainless steel bolts and nuts just to be sure.

Joe
Just a cautionary note. Stainless steel bolts are generally not as strong as regular steel bolts. Also, adding lubrication to the threads of bolts lessens the torque needed to achieve the correct tension in the bolt. It is entirely possible to snap the bolt off this way.

A more correct method would be to use a correct steel bolt and coat it with antiseize (shank only) and then clean the projecting threads before installing the nut.

Of course, if you didn't break the bolt, and you achieved the correct tightening torque, then you are probably alright.
Thanks..actually I didn't grease the thread. Just the portion of the bolt that sits in the spindle. In my situation, the nut came off the bolt without a problem. What was frozen was the bolt inside of the spindle. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, it was the same for Ronnie.

Joe
Good, less chance of snapping the bolt that way. Still, I recommend not using stainless hardware. Use grade 8 equivalent (sorry can't remenber the appropriate metric name) hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The nut came off easy. The problem is the bolt. It will not move. Rusted in place. Damn winter. I envy all of you that never have to deal with salt, rock chips, massive potholes . . Ah, the Great White North.

How much play should I get in my control arm (upper) ball joints? I can see the joints move side to side and they clunk a little. I think I need new ones.

My Seventeen year old Porsche has a better looking belly than my four year old passat. Winter sucks.
 
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