I am rebuilding the front suspension on my 1970 GTO. (bushings, new springs, tie rods, etc) I am having trouble getting the driver's side upper control arm off the frame bolts. The steering shaft is preventing me from getting enough travel to clear the end of the frame bolts.
I haven't been able to pop the frame bolts out of the splined from holes.
Any guidance out there.
Yes. You need an air chisel with a blunt tip. They'll buzz right out with no damage, but you need to be careful. You can leave the nut on the end to protect the threads. When you reinstall, be sure to get it started in the splines before you pull it back in.
And, I've done it this way too, when I can't get to the bolt tip with the drift/point: Take a prybar and put pressure on the bolt tip by prying against the exhaust manifold. You want to pre-load the bolt. Then, from the wheel side, you can give a quick zap with the air chisel with the drift bit to the bolt HEAD or the frame next to the bolt head, and the bolt will come right out. It works every time and won't damage anything, but you need a bit of finesse. Good luck.
1. According to the shop manual, one is supposed to use an ordinary nut to reseat the splined bolt, as opposed to the lock nut. Why is this, what is the difference between an ordinary nut and a lock nut?
2. Can the control arm be removed by unfastening the steering shaft from the gear box and either moving it aside or removing (instead of knocking out the bolts)? I ask because I am also considering removing the gear box to replace input shaft seal.
The lock nut is an interference fit and not easy to turn. The splines on the bolt are fine and easily damaged. Much easier to pull the bolts back in with regular nuts. A lock nut will tend to grab and twist the bolt, which is a bad thing. I cheat when I do them:
when the arm is back in position, I start the bolt, push the shaft against the frame, put a shim-pack or washers on the outside of the shaft, and pull the bolt back in using the washers/shims as a spacer, so I don't have to turn the nut forever to pulll the bolt back in place. And yes, you can remove the arm if you pull the column. Sometimes the exhaust manifold will hang you up, sometimes not. Many ways to skin the cat...
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