I went after it again last night. Figured it was the hottest day out in weeks, might as well work in the garage, right? lol
Anyways, a little recap. My father and I went after the drivers side first a while again, getting the LCA clevis bolt out took a whole weekend, and was generally a PITA. Yesterday, I decided to go after the passenger side first. Hoping that since we slathered the antiseeze on the driver side, that shouldn't take to long.
I got the nut off the bolt, and worked on getting the bolt out for some time. Things started to get a little round and out of shape, and I really had a crappy hammer I was dealing with. So, instead of screwing up the bolt/nut, I went a different route.
Disconnected the sway bar, and removed the Upper Control Arm (removing the UCA might not be necassary, but it sure makes it easier) from the Jeep. Installed spring compressors on the springs, and used my impact to tighten those down:
Like so. And with a little bit of coaxing:
(Make sure you support the bottom of the LCA with another jack or jack stand.)
Shot sans UCA:
Got the bolt that held in the strut to the clevis out with some PB and my impact. Once that was out, the clevis was still hanging onto the strut pretty good. I employed a trick I used when working on my mk4 Jetta. To open the clevis just a touch, use a 3/8"s to 1/4" socket adapter. Not that I need to show you guys, but like this:
It will fit in there, and then a 1/8th of a turn will open it right up. Then a little bit of pulling and the strut came out. VIOLA! Never had to take the LCA bolt out.
Back on the driver side, the bolt came out as expected, easily. Took out the strut assembly, disassembled and reassembled on my work bench. Turns out, I didn;t have the nut that holds the strut to the mounting plate on as tight as I thought. When I installed it, you could tell it wasn't tight. I have to go back in and pull everything and retighten that. Last night I finished at about 9pm, and didn't feel like doing it then.
So, in my experience, I would tell everyone A) There is not need to take out the bolt, and B) compress the spring while it is still in the Jeep. I wish I would have done it this way from the beginning.