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Discussion Starter #1
Wondering if any one has encountered a similar predicament and had any advice. I'm trying to get my rusty old car back into alignment--it has many issues, and in the process of that I'm replacing the rear lower suspension arm and the rear toe-in link. Well, today I started on the left side rear, and was able to remove to the old lower suspension arm by cutting off the bolts, it's easy to get the blade in there and cut off the old adjustment bolts. That went well enough, but, naturally, when trying to remove the rear toe-in link adjustment screw, the nut sheared off with part of the bolt on the opposing side.

The bolt head remained solid, and I tried everything reasonable to loosen it and get it out of the bushing--penetrating oil (of course), impact wrenching it forwards and backwards, heating it good and hot with an acetylene torch, punching it through with an impact hammer...it isn't budging. My only real options as I see it are to use a reciprocating saw, which I can just barely get in there, maybe. Or to use a plasma cutter, but its perilously close to the plastic fuel tank for that.

I'm going to get some fresh blades for the saw, and see if I can attack it that way. But other than cutting through part of the subframe to get it out, I'm out of ideas. This is a supremely frustrating predicament, so if anyone has a tip on how they got this out, I'd love to hear it!

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/28HGnwikpjirsNSN8
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Will a drill fit? If so get one or two carbide drills, I know expensive, and drill it out.
Yes, I think this is going to be the only option. I don't think a carbide bit will work in a handheld drill without splintering, but I bought some new Cobalt bits and some drilling oil to try on the bolt. I had tried drilling the last time I was under the car but I don't know what the bit material was and I think it was just a hardened steel. I drilled it for about ten minutes and made about 2 mm of progress. I'm hoping that the new bits can chew through it.

Still don't know why they designed the sub frame with those flanges. They must have know it was all going to rust together and someone was going to want to attack it with an angle grinder one day. 😁
 

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Yes, I think this is going to be the only option. I don't think a carbide bit will work in a handheld drill without splintering, but I bought some new Cobalt bits and some drilling oil to try on the bolt. I had tried drilling the last time I was under the car but I don't know what the bit material was and I think it was just a hardened steel. I drilled it for about ten minutes and made about 2 mm of progress. I'm hoping that the new bits can chew through it.

Still don't know why they designed the sub frame with those flanges. They must have know it was all going to rust together and someone was going to want to attack it with an angle grinder one day. 😁
Yea, engineers are notorious for designing things that are difficult to work on but work beautifully. Maybe before drilling, if it fits in there, try a c-clamp and a short piece of steel rod or a hardened dowel pin and press it out. The stationary foot of the c-clamp needs to be offset or modified with a hole just bigger than the hole in the part, but it is worth a try. To get the torque on the handle, use a length of black pipe. If you have one, or can borrow one, and you didn’t already try it, an air hammer might work as well.
 

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Yes, I think this is going to be the only option. I don't think a carbide bit will work in a handheld drill without splintering, but I bought some new Cobalt bits and some drilling oil to try on the bolt. I had tried drilling the last time I was under the car but I don't know what the bit material was and I think it was just a hardened steel. I drilled it for about ten minutes and made about 2 mm of progress. I'm hoping that the new bits can chew through it.

Still don't know why they designed the sub frame with those flanges. They must have know it was all going to rust together and someone was going to want to attack it with an angle grinder one day. 😁
Remember to try and center drill it as close to centered as possible to keep wander when starting the drill to a minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you have one, or can borrow one, and you didn’t already try it, an air hammer might work as well.
I tried an air hammer. I rounded off the protruding broken bolt but it didn't move at all. I thought about a c-clamp but didn't bother after the air hammer didn't work. I'm going to see how I go with the cobalt drill bits, if that still isn't working then I might try modifying a c-clamp, and failing that I might have to remove the fuel tank and then get a plasma cutter on it. Or at least, get someone who knows what they are doing to put the plasma cutter on it...
 

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I tried an air hammer. I rounded off the protruding broken bolt but it didn't move at all. I thought about a c-clamp but didn't bother after the air hammer didn't work. I'm going to see how I go with the cobalt drill bits, if that still isn't working then I might try modifying a c-clamp, and failing that I might have to remove the fuel tank and then get a plasma cutter on it. Or at least, get someone who knows what they are doing to put the plasma cutter on it...
Damn thats one stuck bolt. I have the engine out of my saab, and one of the engine to trans bolts snapped. I tried a lot of things as well. The last thing I tried was welding a nut to it. When I was rocking it back and forth with a big wrench, the mounting point busted of the transmission 😭 The joys of classic car repair lol A piece of sheet metal in between the tank and plasma cutting might do the trick. Wish I had one available personally for other projects. Oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When I was rocking it back and forth with a big wrench, the mounting point busted of the transmission 😭 The joys of classic car repair lol A piece of sheet metal in between the tank and plasma cutting might do the trick. Wish I had one available personally for other projects. Oh well.
Ouch. Sorry to hear that, that's even more painful than my situation. I am quite shocked how frozen this bolt is. It's unlikely I'll ever touch it again after this but I think a light coating of grease inside the bushing might be in order to prevent this in the future.

My cobalt drill bits arrived, I just need to get some more drilling oil and then to find the time to attack this again. Next time I get under there it's coming out one way or another.
 

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Ouch. Sorry to hear that, that's even more painful than my situation. I am quite shocked how frozen this bolt is. It's unlikely I'll ever touch it again after this but I think a light coating of grease inside the bushing might be in order to prevent this in the future.

My cobalt drill bits arrived, I just need to get some more drilling oil and then to find the time to attack this again. Next time I get under there it's coming out one way or another.
Yea, when I heard that ting noise and the clink on the ground, I said “well sh**”. I’ll probably never need to touch that one again either. As for the grease, copper anti-seize would probably be better for that, even though you don’t see yourself ever again removing it. From my experience the grease has a tendency to smush out. The copper flakes somehow stay in. When I reassemble my engine, most of the bolts in my cylinder head and the plug threads will be coated with a bit. The dissimilar metals thing. Good luck on your bolt. Hopefully I get my cylinder head back from the shop tomorrow and can continue on as well 😊
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good luck on your bolt.
Well...I had a crash on the bike and then gave myself a nice second degree burn on my hand on the stove, so I wasn't feeling up to tackling the car for the past two weeks, but finally had another go at it yesterday. The cobalt drill bits I bought chewed right through the stuck bolt with no fuss at all. You can see in the attached photo, it went right through the bolt head and there is nothing left.

Unfortunately, the other end of the link was, of course, also not going to go without a fight. I couldn't get the nut to turn against the threads, I tried using a strut holder and turning it, but it was just stripping the inner part even though it was the correct size and had a good fit. An impact wrench just spins it in its fitting. I tried attacking it with an angle grinder, but the 10mm grinder disc couldn't get into the side with the nut and while I was able to get it in and cut a bit of the link from the other side, it wasn't big enough. Naturally all other potentially useful tools had a problem, so I resorted to my cordless Dremel with a metal disc, which was working to cut that bolt off, slowly--but the battery died before I could get it out.

In a fit of frustration I attacked the outer side with the air hammer hoping to just snap it off, but now it's just good and mangled and wedged in place. I've got a standard, mains powered Dremel coming in the post hopefully tomorrow and then I'll try and attack this damn thing again on the weekend.

Once this is out then I can start on the other side! 🙄 I am very much looking to having this car aligned and driving it straight down the road after all this effort!

270789
 

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Well...I had a crash on the bike and then gave myself a nice second degree burn on my hand on the stove, so I wasn't feeling up to tackling the car for the past two weeks, but finally had another go at it yesterday. The cobalt drill bits I bought chewed right through the stuck bolt with no fuss at all. You can see in the attached photo, it went right through the bolt head and there is nothing left.

Unfortunately, the other end of the link was, of course, also not going to go without a fight. I couldn't get the nut to turn against the threads, I tried using a strut holder and turning it, but it was just stripping the inner part even though it was the correct size and had a good fit. An impact wrench just spins it in its fitting. I tried attacking it with an angle grinder, but the 10mm grinder disc couldn't get into the side with the nut and while I was able to get it in and cut a bit of the link from the other side, it wasn't big enough. Naturally all other potentially useful tools had a problem, so I resorted to my cordless Dremel with a metal disc, which was working to cut that bolt off, slowly--but the battery died before I could get it out.

In a fit of frustration I attacked the outer side with the air hammer hoping to just snap it off, but now it's just good and mangled and wedged in place. I've got a standard, mains powered Dremel coming in the post hopefully tomorrow and then I'll try and attack this damn thing again on the weekend.

Once this is out then I can start on the other side! 🙄 I am very much looking to having this car aligned and driving it straight down the road after all this effort!

View attachment 270789
UGH she is putting up quite the fight I must say.... Now that you have the bolt head gone, and a nice center cone in the body of the bolt, try a smaller cobalt drill, around a 1/4 inch, 6 or 8 mm, and drill out the center of the bolt. Get progressively larger and you should be able to drill it right out. Since there should be no threads in there to speak of, this might work. If you get the center out of the bolt enough, it might deform enough for the air hammer or a hammer and chisel/punch. Good luck again, wish I could give you a hand with it.

Hopefully you are feeling better from your crash and burn, I know I seem to have the same luck at times.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, yeah, I'll survive. It just takes a lot of will power to want to get under the old car on a weekend when there is whisky in the house. 😁

It's in deep enough now that I think I'm done with that eccentric bolt, I should be able to slide the link out once I free up the lower mount. As ever it's just an issue of not having the right (or in this case, functional) tools to finish the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Finally got the all of the alignment parts in the rear replaced. Even with all of the tools at hand it was still an undertaking to do the other side. Bought a new reciprocating saw but the blades I bought just weren't doing the job, spent about 10 minutes making hardly any progress. Went back to the angle grinder and cut out the lower control arm in about 20 seconds. Then cut off the toe-in link on the back side of the bolt, and used a dremel with some small metal discs to cut the rest of the seat out and pushed the old bolt through with an air hammer. Back to the cobalt drill bits to get the rest of the bolt out at the bushing.

Somehow it soaked up a solid six hours working on that rear right wheel, so I have one more trip to install some new tie rod ends, put some new tires on, and align the car. Really looking forward to it tracking straight down the road.

This seems like it should be a straightforward job, but it's not pleasant and if anyone else is thinking about tackling this on a car with corrosion, I wouldn't recommend even starting it without having a large angle grinder (or saw with hardened blades), a Dremel with cutting discs, a 10mm (maybe an 11 or 12, as well) cobalt drill bit, an air hammer, and an impact wrench on hand.

271057
 

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Well, I was finally able to get the new tires fitted on the car and get it on an alignment rack. I thought it would be a snap to get everything just so with all the new parts, but it was a fight to get the rear into alignment and had to sacrifice some camber angle to get the toe exactly in specification on the rear, but I think that the toe being correct is the more important variable. It took a good 40 minutes of wrangling to get it all lined up and I ended up with the camber on the left rear wheel at -0°58' and the right side at -1°12'. The minimum specification is -1°18', so it's just within specification.

The front also has issues--naturally setting the toe was a snap, but the camber is again, just on the specification limits. The left side is at -1°21' and the right at -1°18', with a minimum acceptable of -1°24'. I installed new strut mounts and bearings so I don't think that's the issue, but something somewhere is sagging. Maybe bushings in the sub frame? I took a look at my records and I see that back in 2015 the left/right was at -0°41' and -0°47', respectively, which is right within spec, so something has got some sag going since then.

I'm going to sleep on it for a while and decide if it's still worth messing with or if I'll just live with it. I don't have the time or energy or commitment to replace worn bushes in the subframe, especially as [unfortunately] I'll likely only be driving this car for another year or so, but I might cheat and install some camber bolts in the front to compensate for the sag.

Also, annoyingly, something is lightly rubbing or clunking on the front left wheel, so I've got to bring it back in at least once more to investigate that.
 
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