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Replacing Seized Rear Toe Control Arms

Posted by wret, Nov 14, 2005

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  1. wret

    wret Proven Member

    2,931
    68
    Joined Jul 3, 2003
    Bel Air, Maryland
    If you live in the north, or wherever salt is used on the roads in winter, sooner or later your mechanic will tell you that your rear toe cannot be adjusted because the bolts are seized. When the bolts become rust-welded inside the bushings, you will not have much luck blasting it with your favorite release agent (PB Blaster, et al). Looking at the bushing from under the car, you will notice a lot of rust. Drenching this part of the bushing will not help. The problem is on the inside where the bolt passes through and it's not likely that you can get any spray lube in there. You will not be able to remove and replace just the bolt. The entire control arm assembly will need to be replaced.

    Fear not. The arms are not expensive, currently less than $30 from the mail order parts dealers. You should be able to get both arm assemblies shipped to your door for about $80. Removing the old arms can be an ordeal. The bolts are hardened steel and the mounting point is recessed so it is difficult or impossible to get at with an angle grinder. With a little patience, and a bunch of blades, it is possible to cut through the bushing and bolt with a reciprocating saw. If you make the cut in the right spot, you can get the arm out with a single cut. Otherwise it may take two or three. Either way, you should be able to replace both arms in 2-3 hours.

    Parts List and Materials for GS-T Check for different part numbers for AWD and non-turbo.
    • MR162571 LINK,RR SUSP ASSIST,LH
    • MR162572 LINK,RR SUSP ASSIST,RH
    • MR911314 CAM BOLT (special order)
    • MR130510 NUT,RR SUSP ASSIST LINK
    • MB911283 PLATE,RR SUSP ASSIST LI
    • Heavy Grease

    Tools
    • Jack and Stands
    • Socket Wrench – Two if you have them. 17mm sockets and extensions.
    • Breaker bar
    • Hammer (or other tool to separate the ball joint)
    • Reciprocating Saw with a pack of heavy metal blades. I found the shorter blades to be a little easier.
    • Cutting oil
    • Small pipe wrench- The wrench I used is an 8" but it's not the length that is important. You will need one with narrow jaws; ½ inch.
    • Safety glasses.

    Procedure
    1. Raise the rear of the vehicle and support with stands. Raise it high enough to give you room to maneuver a two-foot breaker bar, if possible.
    2. Remove the rear wheels.
    3. Remove the nut and cam washer from the toe control arm.
    4. Cut through the bushing and bolt of the toe control arm between the frame and control arm end, but as close to the arm as possible. Stop every minute or so or whenever you see smoke and spray the blade and cut with lubricant. It may help to cut part way through from one side, and then hit it from the other side. You may be able to snap the bolt off with the breaker bar without having to cut completely through it.
    5. After cutting all the way through, the cut piece of bushing may still be stuck onto the end of the bolt. Grasp the cut portion of the bushing with a pipe wrench and turn the bolt. You should be able to turn the bushing until it and the bolt head separate and fall free. If you can't separate them, you will need to make another cut close to the frame to remove the section of bushing.
    6. Remove the nut on the ball joint end of the arm and separate the joint.
    7. Remove the control arm.
    8. Install new arm with well greased bolt.
    9. Repeat steps 1-8 for other side.

    Ron Tew
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2014
  2. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

    7,746
    673
    Joined Jun 7, 2003
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Note the above part numbers are for FWD. For AWD: use MR162573 for left toe arm, MR162574 for right toe arm, MB911315 for cam bolt (nut and plate are the same). [Note: The FWD cam bolt is part number MB911314 (not MR911314) and then is not a special order.] Here is what the cam bolt (AWD but FWD looks similiar), plate, and nut look like: http://www.dsmtuners.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=164745&d=1391734832.

    I used 6" 14TPI Blu-Mol bi-metal with cobalt recip saw blades (Home Depot) which worked great. Only used 3 and didn't even need cutting oil. Everything worked just like this article said except after cutting I had to heat the cut bushing sleeve red hot with a Mapp gas/O2 torch to free it from the bolt and frame (I didn't have a pipe wrench small enough to fit and a vise grip long nose pliers did nothing). But heating it causes the rubber bushing to light on fire which is a smoky stinky mess, so try without heating first (cut and pry). Don't worry about destroying the rubber bushing since you'll have to replace the toe arm anyway to get the new bushing and sleeve (it comes with these on it). Very well done article which I highly recommend!

    Here is another entire thread with pics that show other ways and problems people have had getting this rusted bolt out: http://www.dsmtuners.com/forums/dri...rear-sub-frame-bolt-seized.html#post153391245
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014

    3K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    14.200 @ 95.000 · 2G DSM
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