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Stubborn suspension bolts & ball joints
Posted to Technical Tips Forum on 7/19/2009 21 Replies

Suspension bolts such as spring shackle bolts and bolts that pass through a sleeved bushing commonly rust into place in our part of the country. Many times we have to resort to chopping them off and pressing them outta the bushing once the spring or control arm is removed. In some cases an air impact tool strategically held against the end of the bolt (perhaps with a nut partially threaded on) may get a stubborn bolt to move but usually mushrooms the end and makes a mess of the bolt's threads.

We've used a [Snap-On PH 1050 driver] successfully for a while to loosen bolts. It does a nice job of rattling the fastener loose while you rotate the driver's hex portion with a wrench. The same driver can be used with a flange-nut to rattle out a stuck bolt. I collect castle nuts, flange-nuts, & axle shaft nuts in a plastic jug and find they come in handy quite often. Place a flange-nut on the stubborn bolt or ball joint stud so that the bolt or stud is flush with the top of the nut and so there's a gap between the bottom of the nut and the surface of the control arm or shackle. [Driving out a stuck bolt ] Place a 6-point socket over the nut, and snap the driver and impact gun onto it. It'll usually rattle right out. [socket, driver, & impact tool] Also works slick as turtle-poo on ball joint studs where you have a straight shot at the nut to pop the tapered stud loose from a control arm or spindle.

Happy trails,

Rusty from Massachusetts

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