Mechanics

MERCURY COUGAR BUSHING PROBLEM

1997 Mercury Cougar • 130,000 miles

I am trying to replace the lower front passenger control arm, but I can't figure out how to get the tension strut off. It just turns with the ratchet as I try to loosen it. I am afraid I am going to break it if I try to keep going. Any advice, tricks, or something I am possible doing incorrectly?
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Cstaff25
November 13, 2012.




Hold it from spinning with a pipe wrench.


Caradiodoc
Nov 13, 2012.
I got it off with a crescent wrench. Unfortunately now I can't get the nut on the bolt that connects the damper and lower control arm off now. The shock just turns when I try to loosen the nut. I have lubricated, hammered, and tried going tighter first but nothing works.


Tiny
Cstaff25
Nov 13, 2012.
Can you post a photo of it and verbally point to the misbehaving part?


Caradiodoc
Nov 14, 2012.
Here you go.


Tiny
Cstaff25
Nov 14, 2012.
I'm sure you've tried the obvious, but can't you hold the head on the other side with another ratchet? Those nuts can become really tight from corrosion. If you use an impact on them they'll often snap the bolt, then you can beat it out with an air hammer. There is also usually room to sneak in there with a sawzall to cut the bolt out in three pieces. That's not much of a problem if you're replacing the ball joint / control arm. It is if you're just replacing the strut. That bolt often becomes rusted to the metal sleeve inside the bushing and no bionic air hammer will get them out. In fact, now that my memory is improving, you're probably wasting your time trying to get that nut off. Even if the bolt doesn't break, it is likely going to be rusted so tight it still won't come out.

Another option is to cut the bolt with an air cutoff tool. An angle grinder might work too. Either way be prepared for lots of smoke as you cut through the bushing.

When you put the new parts together, coat the bolt with anti-seize compound where it goes through the metal sleeve. Don't get any of that stuff on the threads. A little grease on the threads will prevent the nut from getting that tight next time. Also, when you bolt this stuff together, do not tighten the bolts yet. Install the wheel and set the car on the ground, bounce it a few times, then crawl underneath and tighten the two bolts. Tightening them with the suspension hanging down will lock the bushings in that orientation and put the rubber into a permanent twist when the car is sitting at its normal ride height. I suspect you don't want to be doing this job again anytime soon.


Caradiodoc
Nov 14, 2012.
Sorry, I wasn't specific enough - when I attempt to turn the nut, the whole damper/shock justs twists/rotates. It is not that the other side is moving. Thanks for all the other info though, unfortunately I am a poor college student and do not have any of those tools available to me.
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Tiny
Cstaff25
Nov 14, 2012.

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