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Old 03-28-2010, 12:02 AM   #1
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Default Please answer 2 stupid questions for this frustrated guy...

I've been busting on crap all day and getting nowhere.

Q1: Are the bolts that retain the strut to the steering knuckle grooved, so that they dont turn, and hence you bust the retaining nuts off and hammer the bolts back out, or are they threaded, or neither?

I can't get mine to move at all. Through hammer, 500 ft/lb impact wrench, nothing will budge those bolts. I've saturated them in PB blaster all day, and still nothing either way.

The main reason I need them out is to get my bearing out. Which is question 2.

Q2: How the F are you supposed to get that top bolt of the front wheel bearing/hub out? I've used every combination of wrench, socket, crows foot, swivel, wobbler, extension, broken 2 13 mm sockets, busted the ratcheting mechanics on my ratchet gear wrench, and the Service manual makes it look so easy. You can't get anything in there without A, taking the axle completely out, or B, removing the entire strut so you can pivot the thing down to where you can get to the thing. The other 2 came out without a problem at all. Now this one is about to the point of being rounded off.

I'm just so peeved, and I'm not any better off than where I started more than 5 hours ago, because of this one stupid bolt. I'm about ready to cut the whole control arm off and buy everything new. I'm not new to working on cars, I've had my share of having to torch stuff out, or use a cutting wheel. But to be held up by one simple bolt makes me wanna torch the whole thing. Which is why I'll never work on cars for a living.

Course it doesn't help that its 30 degrees outside, my propane heater ran out of gas, and its dark, and I keep loosing tools in the mud pit that is my driveway.

Anyone wanna help a guy out here before I loose my mind?
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:35 AM   #2
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ok.....the bolts are serated so yes you have to bust the nuts off and then hammer the bolts out of the knuckle to strut. i believe that it is actually possible to get the hub bolts all out without removing the knuckle bolts or anything. but since your at roundoff stage maybe you should just take the knuckle to strut bolts out, flop the knuckle down and take the axle out of the bearing itself. that should leave you enough room to take out the close to rounded bolt without many problems.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:02 AM   #3
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Can you post pictures of what your trying to do? I'm not sure if I follow what your saying. There are 3 bolts holding the hub to the assembly. Turn the hub to line up the hole and put a socket threw. Use PB blaster to loosen the rust. And a torch to heat it if needed. If the head is rounded, then you may need to drill the head and use a large EZ out.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info in the strut bolts. Yeah, I'm at that point that I think I'm going to have to take it all apart or risk rounding it off completely.

Dan, I think we are talking about different parts must be. The front hubs on the 2000+ have 3 bolts that go from the back of the knuckle through to the front, where they bolt up to the hub/bearing assembly. You have to work around the axle and outer CV joint behind the knuckle to get them out. The bottom 2 are easy to get to, the CV joint isn't in the way at all with a short extension. The top one though, is recessed in there, to the point where you can't get a wrench on it, and putting a socket on it makes it stick out too far to get a ratchet on it, because the outer CV is now in the way. You just can't get a good solid grip on the thing, which is why I keep rounding it off. I've slept on it, and thinking about it with a clear(er) head (I still have a massive head cold), an offset wrench could get it out of there. A regular wrench just wont sit flat on the bolt head, because the flange on the back side of the knuckle is in the way.

So I think I'm going to have to pull the struts (got my FE5 strut assemblies almost built, 1 done, 1 to go, ) so I might as well go that route and put those in while I'm at it. But I think in the future, an offset wrench would be able to get that out. Like the ones for a distributor where the bolts are under the head, and the only way to get to them is with a specialty wrench like that. Guess its time to add to my tool collection and buy a set. I've just never had a situation in all my years working on cars that I needed any offset wrenches. Now, I guess I do.

Its nice they used a bunch of aluminum up front to save weight, but then you have steel bolting it all together. Steel+ Aluminum = really hard to bust apart after stuff has been together for 116,000 miles! I think I'm gonna need a sledge to get those bolts pounded out. The hammer I have isn't enough, and I'm no weakling, I've been a drummer for 22 years. I even put the impact on them to try and break the bond. But those strut bolts just don't wanna come out!

Next in line of Jason'* "Oh crap, now I gotta fix that?" repairs... new front fenders... lol. (man, I hope not!)
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:07 AM   #5
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OK, I get it now, I did one of those about a month ago. Turn the axle nut out to the end of the axle so it'* flush. Then hit it with a hammer, this will push the axle back and should give you enough room to get a socket on it. Getting the hub out of the assemble is a bit more work. I had to do a lot of heating
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:01 PM   #6
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I already tried that. The axle kept springing back, and I'm afraid I'll damage the CV joints doing that. They aren't meant to take impacts in that direction.

Again, at this point, I'm gonna have to pull everything apart to get a straight on shot with my impact on a low setting, anything else is going to just round it off. I may have to sacrifice a smaller 12pt socket and hammer it on, or just grind the head off and snap the rest out.

I have the FSM, and was also wondering why they suggested a specialty puller to get them out. Considering your statement, I guess I know why. Glad I have a hub puller in my arsenal of "Bought it, used it once, and it has stayed in the case ever since" specialty tools. Got that around the time I discovered the axle nut was 2mm bigger than any spindle nut socket I currently had, too. That stopped my repair dead right there for a hour long road trip to the nearest auto parts store...

Thats why I hate working on new projects. I get it apart, only to realize I need something, and have to trek for an hour to go get something. Its a pain! And yeah, I'm way out in the boonies. 20 miles to the nearest McDonalds or Walmart sucks. I should count myself lucky to have a gas station here... lol.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:43 AM   #7
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Dan.. please post the axle removal procedure. It'* basically the same for 00+ as well.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:07 AM   #8
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Thanks for your help guys. This site is great!
I know I don't have a Bonnie, but most people with a LeSabre just take it to a garage and don't get quite so involved with their cars as I do. So thankfully the cars are similar enough, and you guys are a wealth of knowledge here.

As I posted in someone elses thread, I got em both done.
Ended up being the pass side bearing going out that was making the noise I was getting, which was my original gut reaction.

Some jobs on a car are tough, some are easy. This one wasn't too bad, save for working outside in the bad weather with my allergies and a head cold in the rain.

The hub puller I got was a lifesaver. I never would have gotten the driver side hub out without it. Like I said in the other post, that hub was in there so bad that the hub puller ripped the thing in half, and I hammered the back half out of the knuckle.

Having the FSM is great for some things, but people that have hands on experience with a job like this are a lot more helpful. Hence the question about the strut bolts.

I ended up taking my struts out anyway, since I had my FE5 spec strut/springs built and ready to go in. Made the job a ton easier.

Thinking back over it, if I had a medium extension bar, that might have gotten me past the CV boot to get that top bolt out. Its just that every combination I had, was either too big around and forced going at the bolt off an angle, which caused it to round off, or put my impact too far back against the frame to use it. A medium 3/8"* extension back to a 3/8 to 1/2 coupler probably would have done it. But all I had was a short 3", or a long 10", neither of which got me where I wanted.

I still have yet to take it for a test run, it was dark and I was soaked from the rain last night to take her out. I did take a test run when I got the pass side bearing and FE5 strut in though, and the noise was gone. Kinda weird having one new FE5 strut and one very worn FE1 strut in the front end..lol.

But, in the end, I have two new hub/bearings in, all 4 corners are now at FE5 spec, (just gotta do the sway bars now), so it was a productive weekend!
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