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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

So I'm trying to change the front lower control arms on my 95 T-bird and I'm following the Ford Service Manual. Wheel is off, LCA is loose from the spindle, strut nut is off, I got the shock lower nut off but the bolt won't budge. Beat it with a hammer or is there some way to load/unload the shock so the bolt will come out? Part has not been replaced in the 100,000 miles that I've owned the car, which now has 163,000 on it.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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I just did mine two weeks ago. Have you soaked it with PB blaster or similar penetrating fluid for a few hours? Both of my lower shock bolts came out pretty good, but I put penetrating fluid on everything a few days before I started the job.
 

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My trick was to use my jack to push up on the lower ball joint to take the weight off of that bolt and then use a hammer to knock it out.
 

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Hello All,

So I'm trying to change the front lower control arms on my 95 T-bird and I'm following the Ford Service Manual. Wheel is off, LCA is loose from the spindle, strut nut is off, I got the shock lower nut off but the bolt won't budge. Beat it with a hammer or is there some way to load/unload the shock so the bolt will come out? Part has not been replaced in the 100,000 miles that I've owned the car, which now has 163,000 on it.

Thanks,
Jim
I just changed mine in the summer and my car had 120K on it, i ended up just cutting the head of the bolt off with a dremel tool and knocking it out the other side.. then i went and bought me a grade 10 bolt and put it back together, now remember when you get to removing the camber adjustment bolt it has a CONCENTRIC WASHER you have to line up the bolt and washer perfectly for the bolt to come out or else you'll damage the threads like i did and end up buying a $20 bolt lol. the bolt and washer are shaped like a "D" hope that helps!
 

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The load isn't the issue with the bolt not coming out. Sometimes they rust to the sleeve inside the control arm, and depending how bad it is, you may not be able to get it off at all. I've usually had pretty good luck with them, but there have been a couple that I had to cut out with a sawzall, and then one that I was only replacing the shock, not the LCA, so after cutting it out, I had to drill out what was left of the bolt so I wouldn't have to buy a new arm. Best bet is soak it down with PB blaster and hope for the best, but worst case you may need to just cut it out and replace the bolt.
 

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Got to Love southern cars.:zbeer:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey thanks for all the good advice. I didn't think to put some PB blaster on it until this morning, shoulda done it last night. I'll let it percolate a while and try it again. If it it's still uncooperative I'll pull out the ole dremel. Thanks!
 

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It is nice
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I think if I remember when you unbolt and swing the uca ball joint upward it relieves pressure. Then if bolt turns just turn and pull or hammer out same time.
 

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PostWhore, The AFDB is on a lil tight.
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what is a grade 10 bolt?

I have grade 8s holding my UCAs on from home depot. They are pretty strong.
 

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I had to put a wrench on mine and turn it all the way out from the head of the bolt.

A grade 10.9 is a hardened metric bolt... they're common in suspension parts. I believe they're stronger than grade 8.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
After plenty of PB Blaster, prying, wrenching, and beating on it for days with the big hammer, I finally got the lower shock bolt out of the LCA sleeve. I was thinking of putting it off till the weekend but was inspired by all the comments to work some more on it tonight. Thanks for all the good advice. What about a new bolt and nut, is the stealership going to gouge me or should I just go to local mega hardware store? Thanks.
 

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The hardware store I work at (Ace) carries grade 8 and grade 10.9 bolts, so a similar hardware store should have what you need if the dealership wants to rip you off.
 

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I usually get my bolts at O'Reilly. They carry a good supply of automotive grade bolts. Home Depot and Lowes have home building grade bolts.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Alternatively (if you can wait) you can get a replacement bolt/nut kit from RockAuto. It's part AK68, usually runs under $10.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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One kit is one bolt and one nut.
 

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what is a grade 10 bolt?

I have grade 8s holding my UCAs on from home depot. They are pretty strong.
A grade 8.8 ASME bolt is the same as a metric 10.9; A metric grade 8 is weaker than stock.

This assumes neither comes from China. :)

I'd look and see which you have; if it's a standard thread bolt with the right marks, it's probably ok.

Here's a link on markings and strengths:

http://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-information/materials-and-grades/bolt-grade-chart.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My local parts store does not carry hardware so I picked up a pair of Grade 8 at Lowes. They did not have metric the right size so I got SAE. They fit the LCA but not the shock! So I just went to the dealer and ordered them. Will take a couple more days but that's all I need to bolt it all together and get it back on the road.
 
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