Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

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EightyFive
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Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by EightyFive »

Hey guys,

So today I decided to try and tackle a job I'd been putting off for ages which is changing my shock absorbers, springs and TCAs. First step was to remove the strut and TCA.

When I removed the inner TCA bolt and knocked it through, it became pinched and as you can see from the pic below there is no room for the bolt to move as it is pressing into the steering rack.

Image

I have since put a ratchet strap on the anti rollbar to take the tension which it has done, but I still can't move the TCA enough to wiggle the bolt out.

I also tried taking the nut off the inner balljoint but it's showing no signs of budging and the nut is starting to round. Any ideas on what to do about this? I'd imagine with the inner balljoint loose I'd be able to leverage the arm enough to get the inner bolt out.

]Image

Would be very grateful if you capri gurus can provide some insight on this as I'm at a bit of a loss at the mo!

Cheers.
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stevemarl
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by stevemarl »

As far as thhe steering rack goes, I know it`s a bit of a squeeze, but I`m sure the bolts can normally be removed without THAT much trouble. I assume you`ve tried moving the steering in case it`s hitting the inner joint or something. If you can get a grinder/thin cutting disc in the space, cut the exposed bolt off, tap the remains through. Otherwise , you can always just drop the rack slightly, only 4 bolts?
Re. the nut, if it`s that tight and rounding, if you don`t have a nut splitter (that will fit) drill into the side, progressively larger holes till you`ve cut through and released the tension. I have spare nuts if needed? God help you getting the tapered pin out though! ;)
Last edited by stevemarl on Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Peter-S
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by Peter-S »

I don't think you can get that bolt out without moving the rack. The ultimate solution is to put the bolt in from the other side although I believe the correct way is as you have it.
The other one as Steve suggests or try applying heat, cool it with some penetrating fluid and put some mole grips on it.
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stevemarl
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by stevemarl »

Peter-S wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:15 pm I believe the correct way is as you have it.
Yes, the manuals seem quite insistant about that - but I`ve never understood why? The arm moves up as much as it moves down so it can`t be there`s more torque in one direction. it just doesn`t make sense, certainly I`ve always done as you suggest & replaced from the back with no ill effects.
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pbar
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by pbar »

As said, either wiggle that bolt free if you can by wiggling everything that will wiggle! And if no joy, just cut it off and replace from the other side (better than messing around with steering rack I think, that could invite other issues).

For the nut, (as Steve suggests) google Nut Splitter. This is a great tool that you will re-use many times perhaps :) Or use any other method you can think of to hack it off.
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by Peter-S »

stevemarl wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:25 pm
Peter-S wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:15 pm I believe the correct way is as you have it.
Yes, the manuals seem quite insistant about that - but I`ve never understood why? The arm moves up as much as it moves down so it can`t be there`s more torque in one direction. it just doesn`t make sense, certainly I`ve always done as you suggest & replaced from the back with no ill effects.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who never saw the rational behind this!
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pbar
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by pbar »

The bolt could never work loose and come out, is the only benefit which I can imagine really.
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by Mc Tool »

I think the 1st thing to do is to get a GOOD ratchet tie down and pull the sway bar ends together and get that off . Removes the tension and is a bit safer ( nothing wakes you up quicker than getting smacked in the face by flying suspension components ).
Them nuts on the outer end of the tca are not that hard ( mild steel ) , so drill a few ⅛" holes ,not right thru to the threads and give it a bit of cold chisel. Use a big hammer as its easier and safer to give it a slow , well aimed whack with a bfh than to flail wildly with a small hammer.
A wedge is the go for the tapered joint ,coz we aint worried about the thread ( I use a steel wood splitting wedge .....mostly coz I have several 😁
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EightyFive
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by EightyFive »

Firstly appreciate all the responses, given me some good ideas. I will put them into practice this evening.

I think first port of call with the inner bolt is to get some vice grips on it and see if I can pull it down and out. If not just cut it and tap it through.

With the nut I'm going to try heat and penetrant first and see where that gets me. If not then drill the nut off as Steve/ McTool have suggested. Followed by a whack of the hammer/ ball joint splitter.

McTool I have already tensioned the anti-roll bar with a ratchet strap so I'm going to try leave that in situ for now. As with the steering rack I don't want to tempt fate and create more issues for myself.

Will let you know how I get on.
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pbar
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by pbar »

EightyFive wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:40 am ball joint splitter.

These type make for an incredibly easy and neat method. Also, they don't seem to damage the dust boot like some of the other methods. With an old car you will most likely have the suspension apart numerous times, collecting an army of tools and gadgets is extremely handy, as it is more than likely they will be used much more than once!

Good luck with it all. Please don't skimp on eye protection, hacking/removing stubborn nuts and parts can be a real hazard.

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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by pbar »

And here's the nut splitter device, used these numerous times, far easier than drilling out.

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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by Bug »

pbar wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:35 pm
EightyFive wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:40 am ball joint splitter.

These type make for an incredibly easy and neat method. Also, they don't seem to damage the dust boot like some of the other methods. With an old car you will most likely have the suspension apart numerous times, collecting an army of tools and gadgets is extremely handy, as it is more than likely they will be used much more than once!

Good luck with it all. Please don't skimp on eye protection, hacking/removing stubborn nuts and parts can be a real hazard.

Image
After using all the various tools I was shown a far simpler method.
Use a long bar to apply downwards force on the TCA.
Then use a large percussive adjuster (hammer if you will) and smack the side of the lug that the tapered joint tightens into. It creates just enough momentary distortion to loosen the taper and the TCA will fall away.
Honestly! Must have done it a hundred times and it never failed.
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by Supercharged Nat »

Have you tried turning the steering to full lock in the direction that moves the tie rod towrds the rack on that side? I seem to remember doing that to get the bolt in on mine a few months ago. It still rubs the gaitor though so mind you dont tear it!
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EightyFive
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by EightyFive »

Update: The strut is off!

To get the bolt out I turned the steering full lock in the opposite direction, with enough pulling and wiggling I was able to pull it out with a pair of grips.

The nut I tried heating and cooling a couple of times but no dice. Ended up drilling progressively larger holes in each side of the nut then tapped it round with a chisel. I was thinking it would snap the nut in half but started turning loose. I was able to screw it off the rest of the way doing this.

I used a ball joint splitter as pictured above to loosen the ball joint. I never thought i’d be satisfied to hear a loud bang when working on a car but satisfying it was!

Now for the other side!

Anyway thanks for all the help. Definitely saved a few days of head scratching!
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pbar
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by pbar »

Bug wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:08 pm After using all the various tools I was shown a far simpler method.
Use a long bar to apply downwards force on the TCA.
Then use a large percussive adjuster (hammer if you will) and smack the side of the lug that the tapered joint tightens into. It creates just enough momentary distortion to loosen the taper and the TCA will fall away.

Thank you Martin, great real world tip, I for one will hold it in my memory banks :)
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pbar
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Re: Stuck Inner TCA Bolt/ Balljoint Nut

Post by pbar »

EightyFive wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:13 pm Update: The strut is off!
Now for the other side!

Thanks for updating on how you went on, and succeeded :)
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