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Author: Subject: Stuck suspension arm (Matiz)
SteveWalker

posted on 10/6/22 at 06:45 PM Reply With Quote
Stuck suspension arm (Matiz)

I'm after any ideas to remove a stuck front suspension arm.

The offside lower arm on my wife's Matiz needs replacing. I have already done the nearside, but the offside has been stuck. I've freed the balljoint from the hub and released the arm from the anti-roll bar, but I can't release the arm from the car body.

There is a 5-sided cube, with the arm inserted through the open side, so that is the only access. The cube is approximately 2-1/2" on a side. The end of the arm contains a bush, with a crush tube and a bolt through the box and crush tube into a welded nut on the other side. The arm/bush fills the cube from side to side, sits around 1/4" from the back and has about 3/8" above and below.

At first I could not move it at all, but with much penetrating oil, time and effort, I eventually got it to start moving, but with great effort. Having moved it a little, it is clear that the crush tube has corroded solidly onto the bolt and unscrewing it is bending the side of the cube and threatening to push the crush tube through the metal.

Any ideas how to get it out?

Cut the bolt? With what?

Cut away the arm? And then what?

Burn away the rubber and hope that the heat releases the tube?

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obfripper

posted on 11/6/22 at 07:44 AM Reply With Quote
Is there enough room to get some parrot grips like this down the side of the arm and onto the bush sleeve? These type of grips have a very high leverage, and will self lock as you turn against them, mole grips tend to be too soft in the flutes and usually round off when put under high load.
As the bolt is only siezed in the sleeve it doesn't matter if you're turning it in or out, whichever damages the mounting the least is the best option, once it's moved a bit it will free off quite quickly.

If not, i would use a sabre saw/slitting discs to cut up the arm until just the bush sleeve remains, then cut slits on opposite sides of the sleeve and split it with a chisel - you will not be able to cut through the sleeve right up to the edge, unless you have something like a oscillating multitool that cuts square to an edge, this may be the only option if the sleeve is recessed deeply inside the mounting location.

Dave

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Mr Whippy

posted on 11/6/22 at 09:08 AM Reply With Quote
Personally I'd be taking the whole strut off the car and work on it on the bench. Sounds very rusty, time to do some dismantling with a grinder and get some new bolts. It's usually about this time you find quite a few things needing replacing. Watch what you heat as you may alter the metal properties which can be dangerous on suspension and steering components.
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adithorp

posted on 11/6/22 at 11:19 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Whippy
Personally I'd be taking the whole strut off the car and work on it on the bench..


How would that help? Clearly states "...I can't release the arm from the car body."

I'd go along with opfripper but i seem to remember having a similar problem on one of these and it was an odd attachment and I can't quite picture it. Think we ended up burning the bush out. Take care though the fumes aren't nice and the melting rubber sticks well to skin.

[Edited on 11/6/22 by adithorp]





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SteveWalker

posted on 11/6/22 at 11:39 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by obfripper
Is there enough room to get some parrot grips like this down the side of the arm and onto the bush sleeve? These type of grips have a very high leverage, and will self lock as you turn against them, mole grips tend to be too soft in the flutes and usually round off when put under high load.



Unfortunately the arm goes almost to each side and teh rubber bush right to each side.

quote:

As the bolt is only seized in the sleeve it doesn't matter if you're turning it in or out, whichever damages the mounting the least is the best option, once it's moved a bit it will free off quite quickly.



The sleeve is seized tightly to the bolt. The bolt is now free to unscrew, but it is trying (unfortunately successfully) to push the sleeve through the metal of the mounting point as it does so.

quote:

If not, i would use a sabre saw/slitting discs to cut up the arm until just the bush sleeve remains, then cut slits on opposite sides of the sleeve and split it with a chisel - you will not be able to cut through the sleeve right up to the edge, unless you have something like a oscillating multitool that cuts square to an edge, this may be the only option if the sleeve is recessed deeply inside the mounting location.

Dave


That may be what I have to do in the end, although I'm not sure what I can get into the recess deep enough to cut the sleeve once the arm is removed. I could get a Dremel in, but that may take some time!

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nick205

posted on 13/6/22 at 02:47 PM Reply With Quote
Can you jam something in to stop the bush sleeve from spinning?

Maybe knock centre punch in if space allows.

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Mr Whippy

posted on 14/6/22 at 11:35 AM Reply With Quote
These are good for removing annoying parts, like turrets etc.


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SteveWalker

posted on 18/6/22 at 04:38 PM Reply With Quote
I finally got it apart. Previous efforts to unscrew had already started to push the stuck sleeve through the side of the housing. I decided to go along with this, as the damage had already started and I figured that I could bend the raised metal back and weld a piece over it to restore the integrity. That only partly worked, as the bolt ran out of thread when the sleeve was only 1/4" out, but it was still held tightly in the rubber. After various attempts to lever while turning, I burnt the rubber out. extracted the bolt and sleeve and fixed up the damage.

I have since had the bolt and sleeve in the garage, tightened into a bench vice using a hammer to get it ultra-tight and used an air-impact gun. The bolt is still stuck firmly in the sleeve. I am giving up on that and will find somewhere to buy a new bolt.

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adithorp

posted on 18/6/22 at 04:47 PM Reply With Quote
Big hammer and the bolt lying on an anvil (or the vice). Hit the slieve, working around it repeatedly useing lots of easing oil. Eventually the shock will break up the rust and the tube will come loose. Heat will also help.





"A witty saying proves nothing" Voltaire

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