Jeep Commander Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've read online the horror stories about them, people in non-salt states claim they have no issues... but no one seems to show the process of "cutting it out", "heating/torching", "sawzall"...

I'm in the middle of a 2.5 lift and got driverside done with no issues, but passenger side bottom bolt will not budge. The nut is loose and comes off, but bolt is seized in sleeve. I've used an entire can of PB, 6 hours of prying, hammering, cussing, sledgehammer, you name it.

Going to buy an air hammer tonight and try that...

So anyone know a good write up on how to get the seized bolt out, and not just a basic one saying "hit with hammer, it will eventually come out"

Thanks in advance!:alf:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Just a thought... would I be able to just use spring compressors to drop the top of the strut down enough to install the spacers, then slide back in, this way I don't need to worry about the bottom bolt at all?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
Last I heard there are NO strut yokes in the parts system, the part that attaches to the bottom of the strut and straddles the driveshaft and the LCA bolt goes through. So if you damage that strut yoke you may have to wait 6 months to get a new one.

I live on the edge of the Salt Belt in Maryland, we get a week or two a year of snow here and they salt the roads. My LCA bolts were rusted in and could NOT be pounded out with a hammer, but I did get them out by doing this:

I put a wrench (21m or 22mm?) on the head of the LCA Bolt and turned it back and forth as far as it could go without damaging the anti-rotation tab on it. Then pounded on it with a sledge, and got it to move a 1/2", sprayed in some more PB blaster, then twisted it again back forth with a wrench, repeated the pounding, PB blaster and twisting with a wrench again, to move it out 1/2" at a time.

It took a lot of torque to turn the bolt at first, but it loosened up more and more as things progressed.

Twisting the bolt head with a wrench will break up the corrosion enough to free it up just enough to hammer it out 1/4"-1/2" at a time, the PB blaster will penetrate more and more.

When I put it back together, I slathered Anti-Seize all over the bolt to prevent it from seizing again.

Considering how much more mild my corrosion conditions are compared to some of the bigger salt states, this may NOT work for all Commanders/Grand Cherokees with rusted/seized LCA bolts. Some you may NOT be able to turn the LCA bolt head at all with a wrench, try a strong air impact hammer, try banging on one end of the bolt with a hammer while you use the air impact wrench to twist it, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
Just a thought... would I be able to just use spring compressors to drop the top of the strut down enough to install the spacers, then slide back in, this way I don't need to worry about the bottom bolt at all?
That and removing the upper control arm completely, I "think" works. Disconnecting the Sway Bar end links is necessary, its in the FSM, even if you do it by the book, that is why it is in the book. You will see, disconnecting the sway bar end links on both sides will let the lower control arm drop another 4".

But, try my solution of turning the bolt with a wrench to break free some of the corrosion and going back and hitting it with a hammer first. It worked for me and I got the LCA bolt out completely without damaging anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Used a pickle fork on UCA, ball joint is loosened, End link bolts are out and disconnected, I've tried another jack under the LCA to raise, lower in various positions to relieve pressure, add pressure, hammered front and back, tried spinning the bolt head side with tab on it, socket just pops off
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
If you haven't rounded off the corners of the bolt head, a box end wrench will apply the force more directly and prevent it from popping off the bolt head as easily. I think I hit the wrench with a sledge at first to break it free in rotation, after that it can be done by hand.

The UCA should be disconnected from the steering knuckle completely, letting the LCA to drop without resistance from the UCA, as well, it will provide the room to remove the entire strut cartridge.

Raising and lowering the LCA with a Jack, while I can see that helping in removing a bolt that was already broke free, your's is seized directly to the inner bushing sleeve, the pressure from the weight of LCA doesn't amount to a hill of beans against the force to break the bolt free of the corrosion seizing. It was a worth a try, but I think after trying its just wasting time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
If you haven't rounded off the corners of the bolt head, a box end wrench will apply the force more directly and prevent it from popping off the bolt head as easily. I think I hit the wrench with a sledge at first to break it free in rotation, after that it can be done by hand.

The UCA should be disconnected from the steering knuckle completely, letting the LCA to drop without resistance from the UCA, as well, it will provide the room to remove the entire strut cartridge.

Raising and lowering the LCA with a Jack, while I can see that helping in removing a bolt that was already broke free, your's is seized directly to the inner bushing sleeve, the pressure from the weight of LCA doesn't amount to a hill of beans against the force to break the bolt free of the corrosion seizing. It was a worth a try, but I think after trying its just wasting time.

Another night of cussing, hammering, PB, air hammer, impacting, heating with torch, and all I got was the ear on the bolt broken off, but the bolt barely spins now inside the rubber...

Tonight I am thinking it's sawzall time to at least get the fork off and pull the strut, not sure how to get the bushing out but I guess I'll figure it out when I get to that point... wanting to feel like I accomplished at least something after 3 nights until 1 am in the garage..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
Arbor press, like most bushings. If you don't have access to one, or one of the Big C-Clamp type bushing/ball joint tools..... .....once you've got the LCA separated from the strut, you can remove the LCA completely. Buy a new bushing and bolt, take it to a machine shop and they should be able to replace the bushing for you.

Check the availability of fork/yoke the bolt goes through. Last I heard they were on back-order for months, you break that trying to cut off the bolt, you may find you're waiting months before you can get a new one to put it all back together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I ended up cutting mine out with a sawzall. But yes you can get the spacers in without removing the LCA bolt if you have room to drop everything to it's max and use spring compressors to get it back in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Just as an update I finally finished my install this weekend, took most of all week to get it finished..

The bolt I was having issues with I found out from the Mopar dealer is a lower clevis fork bolt, and it was seized in the metal sleeve. Luckily had a fellow Jeep group member with great torch skills and cut the bolt, then used a snap on hammer drill to get the bushing out.

Once that garbage was all out, I had to get a new bolt and bushing. The bolt was from local Dodge/Jeep dealership for about 10 bucks, 2 bucks for bolt. And the bushing I got from Advance Auto Parts, it was MOOG brand.

Cleaned up everything, used a giant socket and dead blow to install the bushing into the LCA, greased and put anti seize on new bolt, reinstalled everything and was good to go..

NOW MY STORY ON THE BACK!

Didn't go smooth here either.. broke off a lower shock mount bolt, luckily it was easy to get out with a Craftsman bolt removal socket set my father in law had. After that, getting the stuff out like springs, unhooking endlinks was all pretty easy and straight forward..

The tricky part for some people I'm sure will be the bolts that hold the bump stop cup onto the frame. Mine were rusty and the passenger side slightly rounded off. I managed to get them off with no MAJOR issues, but they required a breaker bar (4 ft pipe) to bust loose. Reinstalling was easy since I had new bolts with the kit. (DON'T OVER TIGHTEN! Snug and walk away)

I'm glad to be typing still after this next part and hopefully someone reading this will take note..

Reinstalled coil spring with spacers in on passenger side, moved on and did the same thing on driverside.. however putting the coil back in was impossible without spring compressors.. We tried using a pry bar to compress the spring and slide into place but slipped and spring popped out, and along with the pry bar and my Father in laws weight, crushed my hand into the rotor.

After examining why we didn't have much downward travel, we saw the upper control arm on the drivers side was hitting the gas tank! Easy fix was to just unhook the UCA, but then we noticed the brake line wasn't long enough for that much stretching to get the coil back in, so removed the caliper from rotor, pushed everything down, installed coil, re-installed the caliper, hooked UCA back on, endlinks, lower shock bolt (coated with anti-seize), and was done FINALLY..

Rides like a log truck now with the stock wheels, but I am planning on some Crager 4.5 backspace wheels and 31s in a week or two.

Thanks all for the help and tips... now onto other headaches, haha.:alf:
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top