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Old 17-03-2004   #1
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problem removing tracking control arms

I need to replace both tracking control arms (TCA) on the front suspension- worn ball joints. But I'm having trouble removing one of the fixing nuts.

The clamp around the TCA's rear mounting bush has 3 fixings - 2 large bolts, both sides of the clamp, that go into welded nuts in the footwell (easy to remove!) and one smaller nut on the inner side of the clamp. I can untighten this nut a little, but because the bolt head is hidden between the crossmember and the bodywork I can't get the nut off - I can't get a spanner on the bolt head!! I thought maybe you could get access to the bolt from the footwell, but no!

The haynes manual offers no help "remove the clamp". simple!
It looks like I need to remove the crossmember, hire a crane to take the weight of the engine..$$... or just split the nut off the bolt and assume it wasn't that important, because I'll have the same problem trying to tighten a new nut back on.

Desperate for tips...
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Old 18-03-2004   #2
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As it is a small nut attach a socket to a cordless drill and and then spin the bolt at an angle keep going until it comes out.
OR if there is space, then cut it with a hacksaw / angle grinder. It plays no-real structal job, so you can live without it.
Been there done that job, got the t-shirt
:D

Cheers

Matt Endean
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Old 18-03-2004   #3
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i dont quite understand what you are trying to do, are you removing the track rod {tie rod}? see the online hayhes manual page 105, if you are you are removing the wrong bit.

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Old 18-03-2004   #4
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Dave, haven't got the manual to hand at the mo. but if you look up 'tracking control arm' in the index you'll find it in the suspension section. Its a wish bone looking thing that connects via a ball joint to the bottom of the hub carrier. I'll take up Matt's solution.
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Old 19-03-2004   #5
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I find it eadier to undo the little nut first. If the large nuts are tight the head of the small bolt should be held in place against the crossmember, thus allowing you to take the nut off without the whole bolt turning. You can also wedge a small gap above the crossmember which just about allows you to get a spanner on the top of the bolt. Failing that, take Matt's advice and cut it off.
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Old 20-03-2004   #6
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Take the little nut off first, it will be rusted, usually a little heat with a blowlamp helps but do be careful!!!
Also I use 'wall drive' sockets and spanners these grip the flat of the nut so there is less chance of rounding the rusted corners off.
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Old 02-04-2004   #7
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Cut the nuts off in the end. What was the point of them anyway??
Used a draper "expert" ball joint remover too. What a craply designed bit of kit. It worked okay on one joint, but on the second I had to take most of the CTA off with an angle grinder to get access for the joint remover.
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