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#4384823 - 04/21/17 06:38 AM 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 451
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
Help! The pinch bolt that secures the ball joint was seized in solidly. The nut came off fine, but after rounding off the head, and beating up the other side, I just couldn't budge the bolt.

I figured I could remove the entire steering knuckle, with the ball joint (and LCA) attached, and might have better luck with better access, but had trouble with that too.

Got the lock nut off with a 32 mm socket, but was unable to drive the spliced end of the drive shaft out through the hole in the knuckle/wheel bearing assembly. GRRR!

Then I used my grinder to cut off the ball joint shaft so at least the rest of the LCA isn't hanging on like a dead albatross.

With improved access I used the grinder to cut the pinch bolt in half through the slot. Tbe nut half came out easily, but the bolt head end seems to be welded in or something. I'm hoping a machine shop can help, although that's contingent on getting the entire assembly off the car.

I suppose I can try to remove the entire driver's side drive shaft (w/ the CV joint) at the transmission, and take the whole thing into a machine shop.

Do any of you veterans have any suggestions?

Thanks much in advance!!!

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#4384829 - 04/21/17 06:45 AM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Number_35]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 16528
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Do you have a picture of this carnage?
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#4384841 - 04/21/17 07:08 AM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Trav]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 5354
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Trav
Do you have a picture of this carnage?


What he said....
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#4384860 - 04/21/17 07:48 AM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Trav]
pandus13 Offline


Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 2183
Loc: Chicago,IL,USA
Originally Posted By: Trav
Do you have a picture of this carnage?

OP, /Number_35

I would go by what Trav has to says: he is a veteran high standards tech/mech and he has dealt with rust effects before.

P.S. my mazda5 is a 2013, but id do not have your rust effects yet, so sorry of no helping....
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#4384923 - 04/21/17 09:08 AM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Number_35]
Reddy45 Online   confused


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 1955
Loc: USA
Heat. Lots and lots of heat.

You can use a torch, but I have a Wagner "paint heat gun" and it will get anything hot enough to extract a seized fastener.
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#4385473 - 04/21/17 08:10 PM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: pandus13]
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 451
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
Originally Posted By: pandus13
Originally Posted By: Trav
Do you have a picture of this carnage?

OP, /Number_35

I would go by what Trav has to says: he is a veteran high standards tech/mech and he has dealt with rust effects before.

P.S. my mazda5 is a 2013, but id do not have your rust effects yet, so sorry of no helping....
Pandus, indeed, I was particularly hoping Trav would comment!

Trav, no pictures of the carnage (an appropriate term unfortunately) but poking around the 'net I do have a couple of other ideas.

1. I've installed a plastic jar sideways onto the hub, with the mouth towards the bearing/spline. It's (hopefully) going to seal well, due to the blue Permatex gasket-maker installed around the lip. Once that's dry, I'll fill the jar with Kroil (through a hole in the side of the jar that's facing upwards). The jar is tied to the knuckle with zip ties, and supported from below with wood. I'll fill it in an hour or so, and let it sit overnight.

2. I'm tied up tomorrow morning, but in the afternoon I'll remove the jar, and install a clawfoot hub-puller. (It's sort of funny, I woke up in the night last night thinking that rather than a simple two-arm puller, it would be neat if someone made something that actually fit over the wheel studs and had a threaded female centre that would accommodate a beefy threaded rod that could be twisted to apply a lot of force against the shaft and then beaten upon with a hammer. Found one linked off one of the many on-line discussions about this problem.)

When we bought the vehicle four years ago, I took apart various fittings and applied anti-seize. Sure wish I'd thought of the axle spline - knuckle interface!!! Oh well, lesson learned! (Pandus, consider doing this on your 5 now - could save you a lot of grief later!)

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#4385523 - 04/21/17 09:14 PM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Number_35]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 16528
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Whatever puller you use put it under pressure and leave it for a hour then see if you can get another turn on it and leave it again, sometimes time and pressure will break it free.
See if you can rent one like this.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/OTC-7208A-Front-Hub-Installer-and-Puller-/381936765026

http://www.ebay.com/itm/OTC-Front-Hub-Installer-Puller-Set-6298-/151242987115

I put the nut on the axle shaft an few turn and put the puller/pusher spindle through it to add a stability and protect the threads, replace the nut after which you should do anyway unless its uses a cotter pin.
On stuck bolts that wont come out and the nut is off I spin them with an impact gun after shooting them with penetrating oil and if they still don't cooperate heat it up and hit them with an air hammer.
Do not try and heat the hub it will just melt the wheel bearing grease, you will never get the splines hot enough anyway as they are inside the wheel bearing inner race.

I just did one on a 22 year old car that has lived in the rust belt its whole life and managed to get it apart with a little persuasion, with only hand tools I think I would have been worse than screwed.


Personally I wouldn't tackle this sort of work without a good assortment of pullers, smoke wrench and air tools, you can end up with a seriously broken car and no way to repair it. Sometimes blood sweat and tears and a BFH isn't enough.
Do you have larger compressor? Air tools?
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#4385551 - 04/21/17 09:56 PM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Trav]
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 451
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
Trav, the pullers you linked are exactly what I plan to try to get hold of tomorrow.

Thanks for the advice, will keep you all posted.

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#4386006 - 04/22/17 01:55 PM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Number_35]
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 451
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
OK, so the Permatex had not set as of last night, so I didn't add the Kroil until this morning. It's now been 6 - 7 hours. I'm very tempted to pull the jar off and try the puller, but don't want to until the Kroil has had enough time to work. (It takes quite a while to set up the jar with the Kroil in it, due to the time it takes for the Permatex blue to set, so I'll lose a lot of time by removing the jar unnecessarily.)

So on to my questions:

Is six or so hours enough for the penetrating oil to do its thing, or should I be leaving it at least 12 or 24 or 48 hours?

It's fairly cold here today - not much above freezing, with a fair bit of fresh snow. I figure the efficacy of the penetrating oil will be slow compared to a warmer day. Would it be worth it to heat the penetrating oil in the jar? (What I would do is wrap a 50 W battery blanket around it.)

Thanks guys, please keep the feedback coming!

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#4386017 - 04/22/17 02:04 PM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Number_35]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 16528
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Seeing as you have the time invested in this jar thing I would let it sit 24 hrs, you can warm it too, it might help.
_________________________
ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.

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#4386091 - 04/22/17 03:06 PM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Number_35]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 31708
Loc: ME
I'll add that those claw pullers are cast metal and will break sooner than you think. Crank them down then hammer the actual part to set some vibrations in, then try another little turn on the puller.

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#4386093 - 04/22/17 03:07 PM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Trav]
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 451
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
Originally Posted By: Trav
Seeing as you have the time invested in this jar thing I would let it sit 24 hrs, you can warm it too, it might help.
I've got a 200 W magnetic oil pan heater on the hub now. Should help things along. Good advice, I'll leave it until tomorrow.

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#4387088 - 04/23/17 06:45 PM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Number_35]
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 451
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
Success! Left things to soak overnight, went to church this morning, and started working on the van after lunch. I had these optimistic (and unrealistic) expectations that the knuckle would just slide off the splined shaft.

I removed my penetrating oil adapter, installed the puller, and hit it with the impact gun. Nothing! Let it sit for awhile and hit it again. No joy. (Remember that I couldn't pound on the shaft of the tool with a sledge hammer because I'd cut the ball joint shaft off, so there was no way to hold the knuckle firmly enough for a hammer blow to do any good.)

So then, out of other ideas, I used the grinder to clean up the mushroomed edges of the end of the shaft, so I could reinstall the lock nut. Got the lock nut on, and tightened it with the impact gun. Then removed it, reinstalled the puller, and zapped that with the impact gun. After a number of cycles back and forth over 15 minutes or so, the shaft started to be pushed back into the knuckle by the shaft of the tool. Once it started to go, it went quickly.

So the biggie was removing the knuckle, but there was still the ball joint shaft captured in the knuckle, and the broken half of the pinch bolt. I used the grinder to cut much of way through the ball joint shaft, and then drove it out easily. That left the pinch bolt. Because half of it was already removed, I was able to use the vacant hole left by the one half as a guide. Dropped in an ancient bolt of the right diameter, seated the knuckle on a 2-by-4, and whacked on the bolt until it drove out the broken section. That took a number of really good hits.

I would have been able to put it back together this afternoon save for wanting to do it absolutely right - I need a rare M10 x 1.25 die for three of the large bolts. I don't know if this is just a Mazda thing, but they seem to consistently use finer pitches than my tap & set include.

Anyway, I'll try to find the correct tap tomorrow, and will pick up a replacement pinch bolt. Once it's back together, I'll try to post the photos I've been taking as the job has progressed.

Then at some point I'll try to work up the courage to do the other side! crazy

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#4387103 - 04/23/17 07:02 PM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Number_35]
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 451
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
One more issue - the old LCA had a weighted puck with flanges, bolted to the top side. The FSM calls it a dynamic damper (DD). I presume it's some sort of anti-resonance device.

Per the FSM, the DD is to be transferred over to the new LCA.

The old LCA had nuts welded to the inside of the top surface to accommodate the bolts for the DD. The new LCA (which is a dealer part) does not have the nuts but does have the top holes. The alternatives are to drill through to the bottom and attached the DD with a nut and longer bolt passing right through, or just to leave the DD off. I presume the DD was considered unnecessary at some point.

Any suspension designers out there?

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#4387880 - 04/24/17 05:18 PM Re: 2009 Mazda 5 - trouble removing lower control arm [Re: Number_35]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 16528
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
These are also common on some OE exhaust systems, they are usually not fitted to aftermarket replacements. Most of the time it make no difference at all other times its slight but livable, I suspect this may be the same with this.
I would not drill another hole in the bottom of the control arm but it may be possible to use a rivet nut in the hole that is there with no nut installed if you want to install the damper. What size bolt is on this damper?
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