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Discussion Starter #1
Today was my second try at installing the rc 2" lift. Managed to get the spacer on but while trying to get the strut back into that clamp the cv joint came undone. After a long attempt of trying to get it back in place we realized we had to take the boot off to line it up. Turns out it was way out of whack as we were trying to pound it into place. Even with the boot off it would not go back in. I'm guessing I messed something up. Ordered a new front axle shaft for that side($70) but to get that replaced I have to somehow get that dang bottom strut bolt out. Tried for a few hours beating on it and spraying it. Even heated it up as a last resort. Still can't get it out. Not sure if this is just a rant or not, but most of the threads on this are archived. Any other last ditch ideas to getting that bolt out or a way to replace that whole axle without needing too? Any help would be great. If not thanks for listening to my rant.
-Matt
 

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I've heard of a lot of people having problems getting that lower strut bolt off. I don't know why there's a problem, you should be able to remove it with a 1/2" impact gun. After you take the load off the strut that is. If you're not taking the load off the strut, you will have a hard time removing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yep we had the strut jacked up to take the pressure off of the bolt. Still a no go. But we did end up getting the cv joint back in. And here's where I could really use some advice. We couldn't get the stock clamp to go back on the boot tight enough. So we used a hose clamp to keep the boot on. It seems to be working but should I get one of those universal boot clamps? Also since I removed the strut should I get a front end alignment done? All of this and still no lift :(
 

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To take the pressure off the bolt, you should let it droop, not jack it up. I loosen the top 4 bolts, disco the sway bar and upper ball joint to let it hang. When the top bolts are loose and sloppy, there's no tension. :)
If the hose clamp is working and not hitting anything, I'd just leave it.
If you didn't move the lower arm, I wouldn't worry about an alignment.
 

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What happens is over time the lower control arm clevis bolt gets rusted and basically forms a weld the the inner sleeve of the bushing. Which results in not being able to get the bolt out. You could either cut it out and replace both the bolt and bushing or buy a new lower control arm and a new bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the reply. I heard it was easier to just buy a new control arm than go through the pain of replacing the bushings. Honestly I'm hoping to never have to take it off. Next time I try to install the lift I'm just disconnecting everything I can find around the strut to make it easy. My brother said the only way that bolt was coming out is to heat it up but I didn't want to ruin the bushing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So today I attempted the install again with the help of some friends with a nice collection of tools. We spent over an hour again trying to get that damn lower control arm bolt out.. didn't even come close. I'm pretty sure some form of witchcraft is needed to accomplish that task. So we tried plan B and took out the upper control arm. Got the spacer on.. and sure enough we were short about 1/2 an inch to be able to get it back it. It baffles me that this "simple budget lift" is so hard to get on.. Or i'm just that incompetent. I don't feel like replacing the lower control arm just to get a 2 inch lift on when I could just put that money toward a better lift. So as of today I'm giving up until the day comes and I can afford a 4 inch lift. Unless anyone has successfully put this lift on near Albany NY and would like some beer in exchange for some help. :)
 

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Also since I removed the strut should I get a front end alignment done?
No, the Commander's front suspension is upper/lower control arm, a.k.a. double wishbone, the alignment of the wheel is controlled and adjusted by upper/lower control arms, steering knuckle and the bushings/ball joints in between them and the body. The spring over shock (that is big enough and looks like it, is often called a strut) just bolts to the controlt arm to provide spring force and dampening, it doesn't effect alignment (provided the ride height is the same, i.e. you didn't put in a block or taller spring).

Macpherson Strut Suspensions, where the upper control arm is replaced by a strut, the strut does control alignment, and removing/disconnecting it will require an alignment. The term strut sometimes confuses people thinking it requires an alignment to replace it.

But, if you change ride height, it will extend the suspension and have components sitting at different angles than they were normally sitting, that could effect alignment, and it is best to have an alignment done. It also varies from vehicle to vehicle, some maintain alignment through the whole range of motion of the suspension, most do NOT, and are designed to change camber, caster, toe as the suspension moves up and down, meaning raising the vehicle's ride height "can" change the alignment.

My brother said the only way that bolt was coming out is to heat it up but I didn't want to ruin the bushing.
If you're careful, it won't ruin the bushing, but it is a risk. Impact often breaks corrosion free, as well as spraying penetrating oil in there and let it soak in overnight, pounding on the ends of the bolt with a hammer can help (you may have already tried that). But judging from posts I've seen of people that had to cut the bolts out, its a good possibility it may never come out without destroying the bushing as well.

So we tried plan B and took out the upper control arm.
Now you'll need to do an alignment.

...near Albany NY...
The likely reason this bolt is seized so bad, you're square in the salt belt, its probably corrosion from winter road salt.
 

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I know it has a welded tab on it but does it turn?
If you can get a long enough pry bar behind the tab and bolt head have someone put pressure on it while you swing a 5lb mallet at it! Or if you have a heavy duty c-clamp and a socket big enough to fit over the bolt head (and tab) use that to put pressure and wack the clamp!
 

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Agree with previous post... get a long enough pipe and put pressure on the bolt with the welded piece and turn till you can get it all the way around... then you can bang the bolt out with a hammer.

Did you end up using an 1/2" impact wrench? Mine was basically welded together and between the impact wrench and the pipe I was able to get it out.

Worst case you can always use a dremmel and dremmel the welded piece off and bolt head and beat it out.

If it doesn't move you need to hit it harder :) or use a bigger hammer.
 
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