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Front Suspension - In a little predicament! - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Mysterae

Front Suspension - In a little predicament!

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While attempting to remove the offside bottom wishbone I soon discovered that the rear bolt that goes through this pivot point was seized solid. No amount of lubricant or force would make it budge. So must leverage was used in the attempts at freeing it that it sheared the socket extension!

 

The wishbone had to come out as the bushes were shot so the only option left was to cut it free, which I have now done. I've cut the bolt at both sides of the bush and this is where I'm now at:

 

front_sus_refurb_02.jpg

 

Yeah, not so great...

 

The chassis is unmolested, you can see parts of the bolt sticking out left and right. Here' what the nearside of the car looks like when all goes well:

 

front_sus_refurb_03.jpg

 

I need to get these bits of bolts out before I can proceed. I've tried drilling it out but there's not enough space to get the angle right. I think I've a few options -

 

1. Fabricate an arrangement of nuts and bolts that will expand between the two parts of the bolt, hopefully freeing one end if not the other. Don't want to bend the chassis though.

2. Cut away the collars that are welded to the frame of the car meaning less of the bolt is present and stuck. Quite brutal and would mean new collars/spacers would need welding back on (beyond my skills though).

3. Keep drilling and dremelling away until the bolts are no more.

 

Has anyone else found themselves in this predicament or have any suggestions?

 

 


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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

I'd be wanting to get some gas on that - would need plenty of galv spray over the top after.

Best of luck - I've got mine to do this winter - somewhat nervous now


Only here once

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Cheers Barry, how would heat help? Would the expansion help dislodge it or break down the corrosion? I've got a mini blow torch and some freezer spray that I could maybe use.


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Just helps to free off anything seized

Expansion rates, rust, moisture etc - and the occasional smack

The galv plate will be affected though - so make sure you galv spray after cleanup


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I had to cut that bolt out as well, but only because they installed it backwards at the factory and I wanted to install new bushings in the wishbone....

 

Some say to melt bees wax into the joint while hot and then let it cool!

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general-archive/poor-mans-guide-extracting-broken-studs-79490/

 

 

Maybe something like a tie-rod/ball joint press tool?

balljoints4.jpg


On my daily driver recently, I couldn't get the lower ball joint to pop out even with the above tool cranked really hard (almost to breaking), so I took the suspension assembly out in the yard and covered it with a towel, and I tapped on the bolt with a chisel (light tap), while compressed with that tool, it flew apart almost explosively!


Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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Could you safely file down 2 sides and then get a grip on it? mole wrench etc

Bit of Plusgas and then twist?

124295_p.jpg


"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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Cheers guys, that gives me a few options :).

 

I'll try some heat with my torch and remember to get some galv spray on the chassis afterwards, thanks for the tip Barry.

 

Ball joint tool - I'll definitely be giving that a try Travis, cheers. A well used tool when dismantling the suspension :). Here's the one I use, as well as the saw I used to cut the bolt out :).

 

front_sus_refurb_04.jpg

 

What was left of the bolt still inside the wishbone:

 

front_sus_refurb_05.jpg

 

 

Simon, is PlusGas better than the usual WD40? I've tried lots of that :). I've tried vice grips on either side, even the type that you can tighten with an allen key, then smacking it, no joy :(.

 

If it comes down to it I'll cut the collars down so there's less bolt attached, try again at clearing the holes then reattach the collars back to the chassis using the stuff in the video below, but that's last resort stuff!

 

 

 

 


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Re plusgas - yes I think so. It seems to be active rather than passive.


"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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I'm just going to worry you a little further, but nothing to do with seized suspension bolts. The next time you use axle stands on your driveway it might be prudent to place a sheet of ply or similar under the feet to spread the load out a touch. Using them "bare" like you are can sometimes dislodge the bricks on the block paving. 

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Cheers Simon, I'll have a look out for some although I see Screwfix or Halfords don't sell it.

 

Thanks for the warning Advantage, but I'm not sure I get you, how could the jacks dislodge bricks of the block paving? The jacks are pressing down just like car tyres. Still a good idea to spread the load though I know.


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The jacks point load a lot more severely than a tyre.

 

Heat will cause different parts to expand at different rates and sometimes help to free things up. Once it is all hot though, you're buggered. You will have to wait for it to cool again. The freezer spray on the bolt as well may assist.

We have a product here called Penetrene which is very capillaric in the way it works and might be worth a try if you can get it.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Or there's a homemade recipe: 1:1:1, dexron type ATF: White spirit: diesel fuel.

I've used it to good effect having found it on an engineering site where it was" scientifically" tested to be 10 times better than Wd.

I'd still go with heat if possible too though, then soak in release oil.

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Don' think Penetrate will burn though. I have seen the above as well years ago, but added to heat, it could combust.

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All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Agreed...should have appended " when cool".

Alan, if you can fashion some sort of container around the bolt in situ, it may help to soak it overnight . Worked for me on a seized CRV suspension arm. I glued a cut down milk bottle around the joint with silicone.

Bit of a hassle if you're in a hurry though.

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Thanks guys, I'll be careful with the heat and any fluids I use, with a fire extinguisher at the ready. 

 

Another option I'll be trying once I've tried the penetrating fluid is a g-clamp with a socket over the chassis collars, hopefully that may press them out. It's a bit like using the ball joint tool but access should be easier.

 

I've got 5 days left until the MOT so should be plenty of time, but still got other things to complete.


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Twisting may move the bolt more easily than pressing. Not sure how much bolt you have left to get purchase on though? Rust converter may also be of a help, but I'm not sure if you are dealing with rust or just simple grime seizure?


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Brace the 2 verticals of the chassis with a section of U shaped channel placed over the internal stubs.  Then brace with a baulk of wood to the internal wheelarch.    As you have now removed the centre and the stuck bits are independent of each other much less force will be required to remove.   Simply try drifting out after bracing as suggested.    Alternatively they would just tap out if you had access to oxy acetylene which burns away the oxidation, but clearly you would need to be careful to avoid overheating.    You will struggle to get enough useful heat into it with a domestic blowtorch - chassis will act as a heatsink.      

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Why dont you try a combination - Apply push pressure with your g-clamp with a socket idea and then apply some heat.

 

Si


"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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I'm assuming you are swearing at it whilst trying to remove.

I always find it helps


Only here once

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So, progress... all 1.26mm of it!

 

front_sus_refurb_07.jpg

 

That part of the bolt previously had the head of the bolt, but as it was mashed and of no use I ground it down so that it was flush. What you see sticking out is progress :( , as well as the hole I drilled through it to try another idea. In the end a lot of penetrating fluid, smacks with a drift and swear words (thank Barry!) got me to this point. Progress continues tomorrow.

 

And look what it did to my poor ball joint tool :(. My own fault, wasn't sat properly

 

front_sus_refurb_06.jpg

 

Considering hiring an oxy-acetylene torch for this job but I've not used one since my college days over 20 years ago. Not sure if you need proof of training or evidence of non-pyromaniac tendencies?! 


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Oh that's cold man, pouring salt on the wound..


Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '91 Elan SE | '97 XK8

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Have you actually managed to move any of the remaining bolt shank?


Margate Exotics.

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