"Gently pry out on inner fender body panel to access forward facing bolt"

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
This bolt is the only thing slowing me down on Upper Control Arm replacement. Front bolt is out, tire is off, ABS unclipped, pinch bolt out .......

Pry out with what? How, exactly? Where?
Should I loosen anything else?

I just don't get it.

Other than this, it ought to be pretty easy ....

Anybody have a little more clear instruction out there?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
When the factory put the uca on, the body was not yet installed. The designers should have seen the impossibility of later maintenance but they failed.

So when you back the bolts out of the uca, they hit sheet metal. Just bend or cut the fender sheet metal out of the way as required. Be aggressive. You have my permission.
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
Thanks for the permission to be aggressive! Back when we all used to wrench on our motorcycles, they used to call me "Ape Shit" since I'd break/over-torque about anything in my quest to get it "fixed." If I am more cautious now it's due to the total value of vehicular parts destroyed in the past.

I can't even seem to get the sheet metal out of the way to start to loosen the durn thing, let alone get it backed out. The wrench doesn't seem to fit well even.

I'd rather not cut the sheet metal if I can avoid it. I'd have to run for a new recip saw blade, though that can be done.

What do you suppose I can safely use as a fulcrum if I am trying to bend / push the metal out of the way?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
I started by using the bolt head itself as a fulcrum. Then decided the sheet metal was too stiff and started cutting. You might be able to build up or fabricate a fulcrum from angle iron, unistrut, or 4X4s. Now for me everything is trivial to work on including spark plug #6 after a body lift. I recommend it to everybody. :thumbsup:
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
Solved it!

Didn't even need to move and/or cut anything (on the right side so far, anyway).

Partly I was using the wrong tool. Ran down to AAP for a 21mm ratcheting combination wrench. I was trying to get the socket in there, just wasn't working. Combination got the bolt out.

Not quite sure just yet how I'm going to get it torqued properly without cutting / bending, but I'm halfway there.

Is it just me, or does it seem to bend IN easier than it bends OUT?

And the ABS connector on the UCA itself ... haven't gotten that off yet, either.
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
... and another thing

the manual says to tighten the UCA mounting bolts to full torque first, but when I tightened them up, it was hard to move the UCA enough to get the ball joint in.

So, I loosened the mounting bolts enough to free the UCA, and installed the ball joint ...

does it **matter** where the UCA is when it gets tightened up? it seems to roughly stay put when it gets tightenened
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
So the right side is put back together.

Looks like I was correct when I guessed the right side would be easier, with no sheet metal nonsense.

On the left side, I made a permanent mark in the sheet metal on the back bolt, but it came out.

On the front bolt, it looks like there is a second sheet welded on to the first fender sheet. THAT'S the one that doesn't want to move.

Roadie, is that the one you cut?
 

ghenny440

Member
Dec 14, 2011
368
I did my UCA's all 4 ball joints and outer tierod ends all in the same day about 1 month ago, i grabbed the front part of the fender lip with a good pair of channel lock pliers and bent them in towards the wheel, and when removing the bolt fully the bottom of my battery tray which is plastic has a small rib i removed an "L" shaped portion of with an air body saw, came right out after that, and everything went back in pretty smooth to, all in all it took about 7-8 hours total
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
the roadie said:
That's the one I cut.

Thanks for your input, Roadie.

I gotta tell you, I was a little skeptical about taking the reciprocating saw to a vehicle I was still hoping to drive around. Or maybe a better word is squeamish. Or both. That was definitely necessary, though.

And ghenny440, it's interesting, I took out the battery, but removing the tray started to piss me off when those last three bolts wouldn't come out nicely, so I skipped it ... and I was thinking about it and I don't know that the battery tray needs to come out. I wonder what you think about how useful that part was.

Plus, on the other side, I took out the air cleaner and washer reservoir (which the manual doesn't suggest) and that made it a lot easier for me.

The driver's side was definitely tougher, and I wasn't able to get the torque wrench on the UCA bolts on that side at all ... maybe if I had taken out the battery tray I could have gotten the front one, I don't know, but the back one I don't know I'd have managed to torque in any case. I pulled about what I figured 110 ft-lbs would be with the combination wrench.

I'm impressed you got UCAs and ball joints all around done in 8 hours. I think I spent 8 hours on just the UCAs ... well I watched some football and grilled dinner in there, with a run to the parts store, too, but it filled up most of my Sunday, that's for sure.

Those bushings were pretty shot. Dry, cracked. I don't know that I could really tell the difference on the test drive, but I'd like to think I'm that subtle and perceptive that I could.

Oh, and I never got those ABS clips out of the old UCAs. I called AAP and they only sold them as part of the sensor kit at 60-odd bucks or so. I ended up using a black zip-tie instead. That'll have to work for now.
 

ghenny440

Member
Dec 14, 2011
368
Well i didnt "remove" the whole tray i just cut a small portion of the "GUSSET" on the leg of the battery tray off, when i get off work i will snap a pic and upload it to better explain what i meant
 

Dillyo82

Member
Aug 17, 2012
80
Had to cut the inner fender as well on the Driver's side. Only did the the one side though. I cut into the metal and plastic fender liner above the Front UCA Bolt about 1/4" maybe more and then bent towards the wheel with Channel Locks. Used the Combination Ratchet Wrench, which was really worth the $16 I payed for it...just for this job too.
 

Dillyo82

Member
Aug 17, 2012
80
I also got the clip out of the UCA with a small pry bar, a flat head and an Awl. Got to the point where I didn't care if it ripped and then it popped out. I was amazed how strong the plastic was. It took about 10-15min of fiddling, until I really started prying at it.
 

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