Monday, June 10, 2013

I Jinxed Myself

The other day, when I typed “schedules are made to be broken,” I really didn’t think it would go as far making every task on the list a big pain in the butt. I knew suspension disassembly would be difficult, and it’s proving that and more. Friday evening I spent a few hours in the garage working on the passenger side and couldn’t finish much more than removing the shock, breaking loose the balljoints, and removing the coil spring. The issue that held me up after that was removing the big bolt retaining the lower control arm. It took the leverage of the torque wrench to break free the nut, but that was as far as I would get that night. Beating and banging on the end of the bolt wouldn’t budge it. The impact wrench would spin the bolt in the inner sleeve of the arm’s bushing, but it would not come out.

It wasn’t until last evening that I could get back out to the garage. A few more spins of the bolt followed by some aggressive whacks with the sledgehammer and the bolt finally moved. A few minutes and a few whacks later the bolt was out and the control arm was free. The futility of trying to remove components from the crossmember was heightened by the struggle to loosen the two nuts holding the upper control arm in place. Finally, I got it through my thick skull that the crossmember would have to removed.

First, however, I broke loose the balljoints on the driver’s side and removed that side’s coil spring. It is safer to remove the spring when the crossmember is still attached to the car to keep it immovable while lowering the control arm to free the spring – lots of energy in a car’s compressed coil spring.

Next, I said a prayer and proceeded to spin out the first two bolts on the right side – that was too easy. With the jack supporting the crossmember, I engaged the 9/16ths 6-point socket over the third bolt and pressed the impact wrench’s trigger. I was immediately rewarded with spinning of the socket, but NO spinning of the bolt - it’s points were rounded. Crap! Moving to the driver’s side, the first bolt did the same thing, but the last two spun right out. In baseball, batting .666 is phenomenal. In automotive disassembly nothing less than 1.000 is allowed.

That seemed to be a good time to quit, clean the grease from hands, arms and face, and pop open a Yuengling’s Black and Tan.

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