wsouders New Reader
9/13/17 8:18 p.m.

Please help. I finally decided to upgrade the suspension on my daily driven 2007 Focus ST. I already tore apart and rebuilt with polyurethane bushings and new ball joints the front control arms. My problem is with the back of the car. I have 4 bolts that I have been able to remove the nuts from, but the bolt itself is rusted fast to the metal sleeve inside of the old dead bushings on the lower and toe control arms. I have been spraying them down with 3 different types of penetrating oil and tried banging on them with a mini sledge, but they refuse to let go. Does anyone have a tried and true suggestion to keep me from having to cut them out with grinder? Any help is appreciated.

TenToeTurbo Dork
9/13/17 9:18 p.m.

I'm in the same boat with the rear LCA on my SVT Focus. I plan to Sawzall through the bolt on both sides of the bushing. 

wsouders New Reader
9/14/17 7:28 a.m.

I was hoping to avoid having to cut the bolt if someone had a way around it.

NOHOME UltimaDork
9/14/17 4:42 p.m.

Use a pickle fork to wedge it out. first soak it in a 50-50 mix of acetone and aod fluid.

Stefan MegaDork
9/14/17 5:04 p.m.

Use of heat via torch followed quickly with freeze spray to shock and fracture the rust helps.

Plus you can get the penetrating fluid further into the material.

Using a 3 or 4-jaw puller to apply pressure to the bolt can help in combination with the heat/cold above.

dculberson PowerDork
9/14/17 7:52 p.m.

I've had good luck with this technique: soak with lube, wait two hours. Soak again, then use the impact driver on tighten then loosen back and forth repeatedly. Soak again with lube from time to time. I was not only able to get my very stuck alignment bolts out like that, I was able to reuse them. To try to prevent a recurrence of the issue I put a thin layer of antisieze on the shanks. Eastsidemav will have to tell you if that worked, assuming he ever has to remove the alignment bolts on the gs430. ;)

wsouders New Reader
9/16/17 11:13 p.m.

Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I ended up finally getting fed up and just cutting them out. I did try the acetone and aod fluid mix with no real effect even after letting it soak for days while trying to beat it out. One point to remember on the center of the rear lower control arms for the Focus is that those bolts are not only expensive, they also have a concentric washer built into them to allow the alignment to work through the range of motion of the suspension. Apparently only Ford sells them and they are not cheap. I will be buying some on Monday from a local dealer to make sure that my rear suspension can keep it's alignment. I hope never to have to do this again, but if I do I will try some of the other suggestions.

boxedfox New Reader
9/17/17 8:32 p.m.

In reply to wsouders :

There's no shame in breaking out the sawzall for stuff like this. Besides, you probably don't want to reuse a rusty pitted alignment bolt anyway.

The good news is that once I've had to do that with a suspension bolt, I've never had them seize up again. Maybe it's because the trauma of having to cut and pay for new bolts was so mentally scarring that I instinctively spray them with penetrating lubricant every time I'm under the car.

wsouders New Reader
9/17/17 9:53 p.m.

Actually, the sawzall didn't work too well on the grade 8 bolts, so I had to break out my cheap 4 inch grinder from Harbor Freight with the cut off wheel which made quick work of everything. I also put on anti-seize on the bolts as I was reassembling everything. I too am a bit scarred after spending a week on a "simple" project. What do you expect though, I live in Northeast Ohio and the car has 150k miles through every sort of weather including the winter salt. I also just ordered the bolts online and saved some money even though they still were not cheap. Looks like I know what I'll be doing later this week...

Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
9/21/17 7:27 a.m.

It doesn't always work, and on an eccentric bolt it is even tougher, but I will usually tighten the bolt first.  By leaving the nut on, and turning the bolt, the sleeve will still be clamped tight, maybe well enough to break the rust bond between the bolt and sleeve.  Bonus, if you break the head off the bolt, then you can go tighten the nut and either it pulls the remaining bolt or breaks as well. 

WatanabeWannabe New Reader
9/21/17 2:31 p.m.

For the record, here's another corrosion destroying strategy:

Basically, heating the bolt itself up with electric current rather than a torch.

Hal UltraDork
9/22/17 7:58 p.m.
TenToeTurbo said:

I'm in the same boat with the rear LCA on my SVT Focus. I plan to Sawzall through the bolt on both sides of the bushing. 

Having done ~20 of those, that is the only way to do it.  Gave up on trying to get them out after the first two.  No way anything is going to penetrate thru the 3" length of those bushings in any reasonable time.

Just make you apply anti-seize liberally when installing the new ones.

wsouders New Reader
9/28/17 11:39 p.m.

Well, the bolts were delivered on Saturday and I had them on the car in about an hour. They are now slathered with anti-sieze and should be good for a long, long time. While having the car aligned on Sunday one of the new Ball joints on the rebuilt front control arms decided to let go. Luckily, the O'Rieley's where I got them had another in stock and as they were the lifetime warrantied Moog ones I was able to get it and installed it that night. Since then, the car has felt soooo much better and tighter. I installed Prothane bushings on the front control arms as well as the new Moog Ball joints. Out back I put on the Massive performance Upper and Toe control arms with a generic Lower as no one seems to make a performance piece for that. Earlier this year I put on the Ford Motorsports Shock and Strut package and now the car rides better than new. Thanks again everyone for your suggestions. If I ever do this again I will be glad to use your suggestions.

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