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urgent help needed - bolt stuck on downlink


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I am hoping someone can suggest something i havent tried. Had a noise coming from the front when braking and after reading the forums decided it could be the downlinks to the antiroll bar. Looked easy enough to fit and cheap so embarked on changing them. The drivers side was hard. the top bolt that holds the downlink to the suspension strutt was very hard to get out. In the end i took an angle grinder to the side of the bolt that has the downlink on and removed the actual downlink bar so I could get a socket on the end of the bolt on that side. This worked well and i was able to free the bolt by turning it and then with a bit of encouragement from the other end with a hammer I got the bolt out. Decided to do the same on the passenger side, got the bottom nut off first on the bottom of the down link, then anglegrined off the actual downlink. Managed to start to turn the bolt but it was a lot stiffer and I managed to round off the bolt. so... i went to the other end and tried hitting it as hard as I could (could only use left hand as just had carpel tunnel syndrone operation on right hand) but still bloody hard. The bolt would not budge and i actually started to burr over the edge of the bolt, which i was concerned that even if i got the bolt to move, the burr would stop it passing through, so I had no choice but to angle grind it flush with the surface. ive tried hitting a centre punch placed in the centre of the flush side of the bolt but no movement. I only have a cheap mig welder and tried to weld on another bolt head to the other side to see if i could get some movement, but it just broke off. I have a small butaine bottle and tried to heat up the suspension casting the bolt is incased in, but dont think that had any effect as such a large area.

I need the car to get to work on monday so any one who can give me any help or suggestions (other than take it to a garage :-) ) Many thanks in advance...

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Did you strike it after you heated it (red hot)?, or let it cool naturally?

1.) IIRC if you strike it with a hammer while it's hot it will make the metal brittle, and easier to weld on a bolt and/or turn with a bolt out or reverse drill bit if you have one (pb blaster is good here)..

2.) Annealing. If you let it cool naturually and slowly and didn't strike it, you would be amazed what a dremel and a few tungsten carbide bits (slow RPM) would do. It just takes lots of patience, but the tungsten carbide will go through anything.

My two cents if you have a good welder option 1, otherwise option two works pretty much every time just takes a lot of patience.

Afterwards since you've destroyed the threads, you can easily timesert or helicoil it.

Worst case, remove the entire assembly and take it to a machine shop. They will take care of it for you.

Or even replace the assembly with another from a used parts shop.

Edited by logray
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Did you strike it after you heated it (red hot)?, or let it cool naturally?

1.) IIRC if you strike it with a hammer while it's hot it will make the metal brittle, and easier to weld on a bolt and/or turn with a bolt out or reverse drill bit if you have one (pb blaster is good here)..

2.) Annealing. If you let it cool naturually and slowly and didn't strike it, you would be amazed what a dremel and a few tungsten carbide bits (slow RPM) would do. It just takes lots of patience, but the tungsten carbide will go through anything.

My two cents if you have a good welder option 1, otherwise option two works pretty much every time just takes a lot of patience.

Afterwards since you've destroyed the threads, you can easily timesert or helicoil it.

Worst case, remove the entire assembly and take it to a machine shop. They will take care of it for you.

Or even replace the assembly with another from a used parts shop.

Many thanks logray for the quick response. I cheated in the end and took it to kwickfits which is open on a sunday morning and with neumatic drill and a right hand without surgery they got the bolt out :0) and they didnt want to charge me! so bunged them a tip for a drink . Found what you said very useful for future though so thanks again....

regards

Mark

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