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Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 27 Jan 2017, 01:03 pm
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Wink Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

I had to remove the steering knuckles to replace the wheel bearings on one of the 2002 Pt Cruisers I have been slowly bringing up to par. While I have it apart I noticed the passenger side ball joint boot is toast and the rear control arm bushing is burnt toast. I am a bit concerned about the inaccessible hidden captive nut for the rear control arm bolt. My replacement control arms are on the way to me and I thought I would do both sides. Just thought I would survey the forum to see how successful getting this bolt out has been without the captive nut spinning. The job looks to be relatively easy(knock on wood) but the possibility of that nut spinning has me concerned. After all I do live in the salt belt but the frame and suspension on this particular car looks clean for this part of the country. I did see a couple of videos where the floorboards had to have surgery performed to get in there. I'm hoping I don't have to go that route. Poor design there Chrysler!

Last edited by Imakenocents; 30 Jan 2017 at 09:58 am.
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Old 27 Jan 2017, 01:15 pm
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Default Re: Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

Down south in Texas, I had no problem getting the bolt out. Used a Ingersoll Rand 1/2" impact. My Cruiser had 93,000 clean, rust free miles at the time. From what I have read in the forum, the northern cars may cause some grief. I'm sure someone who has done this and had issues will comment directly.
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Old 27 Jan 2017, 01:22 pm
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Default Re: Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

somebody mentioned drilling a small hole and spraying the bolt with penetrating oil a few days before attempting bolt removal. i think that would be an excellent idea.

the nut didn't spin on mine but we did torch the arm and use heat until an impact would turn it. i was told this was less likely than a breaker bar to rip the nut off....which seems plausible as my buddy that owns the shop is is 6'4", 400lbs - mine: control arm fun. WEE!
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Old 27 Jan 2017, 02:11 pm
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Default Re: Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

I didn't have any problem loosening the bolts on mine either. Torquing them to 180 ft.lbs is the problem. My torque wrench only goes to 150. I used a cheater bar and turned them another 1/4 turn. All's been fine so far and that was several months ago. Use a cheater bar to loosen them too, unless you have a compressor and air impact sockets. Then, it should be easy.
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Old 27 Jan 2017, 02:22 pm
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Default Re: Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

I hate to respond because there are some really ratted out PT cruisers. The LCAs we (shop)and I have changed have not seen really bad rust and as always before the removal of the fasteners in most area like the chassis parts it is a common practice to spray the fasteners with a silicone spray or WD-40 letting them soak for a few minutes before doing any work to them.
In states or area's that the weather is more "car kind" so to say these, LCAs are easy and by the book to R&R.
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Old 27 Jan 2017, 03:41 pm
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Default Re: Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

When I replaced the lower control arms on my PT, like the others who were successful, I used an impact wrench and the car lived most of its life in San Diego so there was no road salt exposure. I had hear of and seen on Youtube the horror stories of spun nuts and having to cut a hole in the floor to get to it. I actually bought an angle grinder in anticipation of doing this. Earlier generation PT's had templates to cut the floor, later PT's have a guide stamped into the floor sheet metal where to cut (what were they thinking?).

I have a feeling the bolt is fastened with red Locktite or gets easily rusted into the bolt. Look at my thread at what I found when I removed the bolt:
Replaced Lower Control Arms (first timer)

I'm pretty sure you'll have better success with an impact wrench than a breaker bar. A slowly increasing torque will have a higher chance of shearing something off than a jarring impact.
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Old 27 Jan 2017, 05:38 pm
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Default Re: Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

Weighing in from Pennsylvania, a long time salt use, and now they use some sort of spray salt slime, state. I'm the original owner of an an '01 Cruiser that was always used in all weather.

I replace both original control arms last spring. No impact tools here, so I used a breaker bar. I probably applied penetrating oil where I could a few days before the job (can't remember exactly). Didn't encounter any problems.

Hope that reassures, good luck.
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Old 27 Jan 2017, 07:31 pm
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Default Re: Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

The impact wrench was the best tool I've purchased in a long time. No air compressor here so I bought a Milwaukee electric impact wrench and it has been great especially in removing lug nuts. Now taking tires of to rotate them or get to suspension parts is a breeze. When I use it to put lug nuts back on, I only "blip" it and finish up the job with a torque wrench. 90% of the use is for loosening only and for that it has done a great job.

Glad you were able to remove the bolt without spinning the nut using a breaker bar.
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Old 27 Jan 2017, 07:55 pm
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Wink Re: Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

Thanks everybody for your input and experiences. I do have impact tools I use for situations like this but I still may drill a couple of holes in the floor pans up front and shoot the top of the threads and nut with CRC freeze off or PB Blaster or some other slick em up formula of choice. If I knew for certain the impact would spin it right out I wouldn't but hey that's cars and the Midwest. That engineer responsible for this design is still laughing as we toil along.
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Old 27 Jan 2017, 08:04 pm
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Default Re: Captive nut on lower control arm rear bolt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakenocents View Post
Thanks everybody for your input and experiences. I do have impact tools I use for situations like this but I still may drill a couple of holes in the floor pans up front and shoot the top of the threads and nut with CRC freeze off or PB Blaster or some other slick em up formula of choice. If I knew for certain the impact would spin it right out I wouldn't but hey that's cars and the Midwest. That engineer responsible for this design is still laughing as we toil along.
Along with the engineer that designed the cam sensor and coil pack to have the same connectors, and that both sets of wires can reach each component, they're all at a bar having a few rounds
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