Car repair woes


Original poster
Jan 29, 2012
A buddy of mine with a Ford Freestar needed a bunch of front end work done - CV half shaft, tie rod and lower control arm (integrated ball joint, over 200.00 for the whole arm when the only thing wrong was the 20.00 ball joint!)

So, being friendly and having a day off, I told him we could do the repairs at my place, haven't done the CV axle before, but that seemed pretty straightforward. We dug in, got the tie rod off, no problem, popped the lower ball joint out, not to bad either. The CV axle popped right out, I was most nervous about that and it was probably the easiest part of the repair!

Of course, nothing could go that easily. The LCA bolts were ridiculous! I used penetrating oil several times, and figured I'd start on the hardest to get at bolt. I could only get it to turn maybe a 1/4 of a turn at time, and this with my breaker bar. Going was slow, but steady, and about halfway through this FIRST bolt of 4, I heard a very sickening snap - the nut was welded inside the frame rail, and it snapped off. Of course it's a boxed frame and no way to get at it.

Luckily, I've got a good shop nearby and they were fine with using the part he'd bought and fixing us up. They had to cut a hole in the frame, reattach the nut and weld it back. As soon as I heard the snap I new it was out of my league!

We still saved him 4-500.00 doing most of it ourselves, just would have preferred not having the complication!


Aug 26, 2012
good for you for being friendly, and congrats on finding a cooperative shop.

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