how the %*$# do i get the strut arm off LCA?!

Lima Tango

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
242
Following the truckdigest how to as I am replacing my stock front shocks to bilstein hds. I am to the point where I am trying to use a tie rod wedge tool to remove the strut mounting arm from the lower control arm. Nut is off, but I can't for the life of me get this arm off the bolt/bushing. The strut arm moves when I pry on it, but the bolt moves out too - it looks like the bushing is pulling out too or something. There is a big metal head to the bolt on the backside, and it is about 1/4" away from the LCA and I can see the rubber through the gap, when I move the strut arm out the bolt head moves towards the LCA. My tie rod wedge isn't wide enough to fit over the bushing - it fits over the bolt just fine but not over the bushing, which is all that is visible between the strut arm and the LCA. Because of that, it can't go down far enough to actually drive the arm off. Unfortunately, thats the only wedge i have and the nearest store is 20 miles away and i would have to walk it.

So what do I do - tried pb blaster to no avail. Don't want to destroy the bushing cause I can't have the truck non-op long enough to get new bushings. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
I used a pickle fork and a 3lb sledge. I bent the tab you already started to bend but pushed it back afterwards. You need to beat it in there until it gets wedged then beat it some more.....it will eventually pop.
 

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gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
I believe Roadie used one of these with success.
 

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Regulator

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,496
Use the pickle fork as a wedge like suggested. Then thread the nut back on a few turns so not to fowl up the threads. Now give a few good smacks with a sledge on the nut and the vibration will free it.

P8250122.jpg
 

Hypnotoad

Member
Dec 5, 2011
1,584
This is a good investment if you're going to work on our trucks. I use a pitman arm puller too. It also works for removing tie rod ends.
 

Lima Tango

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
242
I wish oh wish I had those tools. Looks like I will be putting it back together to drive to the store. I have the pickle fork but its too narrow to fit over the metal sleeve thing that's pulling out between the strut arm and the LCA.
 

Hypnotoad

Member
Dec 5, 2011
1,584
Pitman arm pullers can be had for less than $10.

I forgot, you can also use it on the lower ball joints.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
gmcman said:
I believe Roadie used one of these with success.

me too.

used one from Harbor Freight, seemed like it was about to bust, then bang, it popped loose.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
are you working in the auto hobby shop? I bet they have a tool you can use.
 

Lima Tango

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
242
meerschm said:
are you working in the auto hobby shop? I bet they have a tool you can use.

Unfortunately they're closed Sunday so doing this at home without the access to specialty tools.
 

Regulator

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,496
Refer back to post 6. Even if you don't have a pickle fork, you can do it the same way, you just need something in there to act as a wedge to prevent the flexing. This method has served me fine at least 30 times on 10 or more different trucks. :thumbsup:
 

Lima Tango

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
242
thanks for the advice, gents. I managed to talk someone into stopping by the oreilly then delivering me a rented pittman puller which worked like a charm in 2 minutes. Yet another example of how the right/proper quality tool is always worth the investment. Going to have to order one to have in the toolbox.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
I've stopped using the Pittman arm puller first and trying another tactic I read about on Trailvoy. Whack the bottom of the yoke mount from below, perpendicular to the tapered bolt. I take mine off often enough that they pop off in 2-3 whacks with a 3 pound hand sledge. Grease the pin when you put it together to aid this process.

The hex recess is almost useless, but could help you hold the bolt from turning in the rubber isolator when you start the nut.
 

anthonyl79

Member
Jul 15, 2012
127
Colorado
the roadie said:
I've stopped using the Pittman arm puller first and trying another tactic I read about on Trailvoy. Whack the bottom of the yoke mount from below, perpendicular to the tapered bolt. I take mine off often enough that they pop off in 2-3 whacks with a 3 pound hand sledge. Grease the pin when you put it together to aid this process.

The hex recess is almost useless, but could help you hold the bolt from turning in the rubber isolator when you start the nut.

I did what Roadie suggested in this thread and worked AWESOME. I have never used a pickle fork on anything. The only time I use the pitman are puller is on pitman arms. Also do not buy a harbor freight puller. Seen people get hurt using those. Just my :twocents:
 

Hypnotoad

Member
Dec 5, 2011
1,584
the roadie said:
I've stopped using the Pittman arm puller first and trying another tactic I read about on Trailvoy. Whack the bottom of the yoke mount from below, perpendicular to the tapered bolt. I take mine off often enough that they pop off in 2-3 whacks with a 3 pound hand sledge. Grease the pin when you put it together to aid this process.

The hex recess is almost useless, but could help you hold the bolt from turning in the rubber isolator when you start the nut.

I'm just curious what your reason is?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Hypnotoad said:
I'm just curious what your reason is?
Might not have reposted it here, but on Trailvoy I mentioned I replaced my lower control arms in order to get new lower ball joints AND strut bushings at the same time for an acceptable price. The Mevotech LCA assemblies had a design flaw in the bushing area and there was no longer enough distance to get the pittman arm puller in there. Faster than grinding down the puller's end parts was trying the BFH trick, and it worked. I was shocked - now I'm a convert. I'll post a pic soon.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,344
Ottawa, ON
And this trick also works for balljoints and tie rods that have tapered studs, especially when you don't want to damage the boot. I've been using this trick for 20 years. Works every time.
 

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