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Discussion Starter #1
I absolutely cannot unscrew the top ring nut on the upper A-arm. I figured these would be the easiest to remove. I've not even touched the other three ring nuts.

Both suspensions are off the car. I've removed the castellated nuts and popped the ends of the ball joints off one of the suspensions.

I've cleaned what threads there are on the top ring. Laying it flat I've squirted in PBB Blaster several times a day for a week.

I've been heating all around the screw for the last 45 minutes with a propane torch and can't budge it. I'm using a 16" Crescent wrench with the A-arm in a vice. I weigh 157 and can literally hang from the end of the wrench and nothing moves. I've banged a three pound hammer on the end of the wrench. Nothing. I had a handy 8' length of PVC pipe, put it over the wrench, and it still won't move. Actually the A-arm bends slightly when I do this but goes back to its original shape. Pretty sure.

I've also tried the old stand-by and attempted to tighten it to break the bond of whatever is holding it on.

And, yes, I keep heating it over and over, etc.

If anyone has come up with a safe - as in no damage to the parts - way to remove these, I'd be more than happy to pay them/you for removing all four. I'll strip the other A-arms and mark each before shipping. I'll make it worth your time. Please don't take the attitude of, "How hard can it be?", if you've never successfully removed the parts in question.

Can I assume you've made the tool for the lower ball joint by taking a very strong, long, piece of steel. drilled two holes the size of the two holes on the lower piece, and welded in two short strong rods to line up with the two holes?

Has anyone broken the A-arm when trying to remove these parts?

And, yes, this should be in the Suspension Forum.
 

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Biba, are you using a Mapp gas torch? You need to get the parts uber hot, and Mapp gets far hotter than the cigarette lighter propane variety...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What has concerned me is that I know the ring-nuts are hollow and wondered if they would start warping and Really be impossible to get off if they got to hot.

I absolutely cannot fathom why these are such a problem. Even if the interior grease has hardened to some degree, it's better than rust.

Is it a situation that once the initial bond is broken, they then screw off with no problem? If so, what was used to get them so tight? It's not that the threads are up against their end - if that makes sense.

I bloody hate fine threads. If there is a burr in one of the threads, it then becomes a pain to remove or install. When removing the bolts from the lower spring pan (one at a time and installing long threaded rods), the pans ****ed so all of the bolts needed to be run through a die. I'm quite sure it is a conspiracy amongst the fine threads to literally stick together.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After googling mapp units, I remember I had a set-up which I purchased more than several decades ago. It is a BenzOmatic duel set-up of small oxygen and propane tanks. Both hook ups go to a torch which lights with an acetylene type 'striker'.

The regulators are on the connections to the two bottles. The word Mapp is mentioned. It produces flame temperatures up to 5300 degrees F. There are pictures of pre-heat cutting flame; brazing/welding flame; soldering/heat treatment flame.

In my book this comes under the name of being a tool of Mass Destruction. "Fire up the sawzall, the lady's in labor."

Okay a bit rude, but I do not like taking a major part to the nth degree of destruction to remove a **** hollow 'nut'.

Do not tell me that using that much heat on a forging isn't going to greatly weaken it's grain structure. Hardly an expert, but I've spent a fair amount of time around forging shops who make parts for, among various items, landing gear for military aircraft.

I know, no one, I assume, has ever had their A-arm ball joint ends break off after installing new ball joints.
 

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I by no means an expert here but why not "Simply" get a small circular saw & just cut the devil off? Something like a Dremel Tool of sorts.

LOL, Russ
 

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Biba,
Sounds like you are using the right technique, but you did not mention that you removed the wire snap clip before attempting to disassemble. If you look closely at the threaded cap that you are trying to remove there is a wire cir clip there that prevents this piece from backing off during normal use. Find the end of clip, pry outward and upward, and it should release. The threaded cap should now be removable. Good luck.

Vern in Oregon
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The snap-ring was the first thing I removed after cleaning the A-arm. The white blob is WiteOut and is not holding it from moving. I applied it with the naive idea that I could see when the ring-nut moved. The threads showing are pristine.

I'd very much like to know when you've heated the end up 'enough' to break the ring-nut free. Cheery red? I was told that when the grease starts running out. Yesterday the grease ran out all over the place after heating it with the propane for a very long time.

Again I ask, was the nut originally installed with an incredible amount of foot pounds and once free, turns easily (assuming the threads are all in good shape)?

I applied heat around the nut but little directly on it, again, since it is hollow.
 

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Biba what you've described is the way I've always loosened them, one side in the vice, a large shifting spanner of railway proportions on the top of the nut (once the locking ring was removed) and another length of schedule water pipe on the end of the shifting spanner. Dad heats the end with a Mapp gas torch & I apply steady leverage.

I've never failed to shift one - another trick is to drill 4 holes in a length of flat bar & bolt the swivel joints to it to replicate it mounted on the car & effectively close the triangle - that should stop it from flexing open.

& Yes, grease running out is definitely hot enough !! you want to avoid cherry red and pulling on the wrench together as you will definitely deform the arm, by all means heat cherry red & let it cool again - what works for seized vintage axle kingpins is gently up to cherry red & dunk into a drum of old oil, the quenching draws the oil deep into the axle eye.

I'd try freezing it overnight (wrapped in a bag so Beloved doesn't catch you - I'm not a complete amateur at this) and then heating up just the outer ring portion trying not to heat the cup too much - if you wrap it in newspaper & bring it to your shop in a cooler box with ice packs it'll stay cold - the idea is to go to extremes with temperatures to shrink one and expand the other.

Have you had a go at the other A arm yet ??.......... Otherwise you may be better off to source two new A arms ??

Like I said, I've never failed to shift one & I have a rather thick piece of flat bar with 2 threaded holes in it which takes 2 bolts protruding through the bar & you can adjust these to seat into the holes in the bottom cup on the lower A Arm.

We're about the same weight, so a 3 foot length of schedule tube onto my wrench & gentle but steadily increasing pressure works for me.

Ciao
Greig
 

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Intuitive thinking tells me the ball joints were intended to be service while the suspension is on the car. This solves the unwieldy nature of stabilizing the whole A-arm to remove the end caps and not getting enough grip on them to turn them. You lose a tremendous amount of mechanical advantage when you try to do it on the bench. Moreover, the two flats should give you enough grip to turn them on the top one and two pin holes on the bottom one without heat. If they were intended to be so tight there would be hex caps on them.

Heat to cherry red sounds ok for fasteners on an exhaust but I would expect dire consequences on forged and hardened critical suspension parts. The balls and seats are a special steel alloy and the balls have a copper coating that would be compromised in my opinion. I've never had a problem working on this stuff while on the car. (just what you want to hear!)

Also, if the pin of the lock ring is broken off in the groove, which is possible as the ring is brittle, you would be SOL and no amount of force will overcome it without drilling it out which seems very daunting.

If given the difficulty you're having, Impact tools can make childs play out of the most difficult situations.. end caps on master cylinders are another example. U.
 

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Uncle that's a brilliant thought - Biba how long is the little tail on that locking ring ?? if it's broken off inside that little hole it'll require enough force to wipe out all the threads on the cap & in the A arm to remove the cap. Try drilling down that little hole - slowly & carefully will do it.

Master cylinder caps - a whole new barrel of laughs, I have a chunk of thick angle iron welded onto a 1 ton box trailer, my trusty railway sized shifting spanner, Mapp gas & that 3' length of schedule pipe.....never failed me yet, although the last one was really stubborn... came loose with a bang after bending the angle iron a tad.

Ciao
Greig
 

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Master cylinder end caps come off in one nano-second with an impact gun. If you don't have one , the local gas station will take it off for a cigarette in exchange and the cap is off before he exhales.. I don't even think of busting my arse on these. Putting them back on is the reverse method.

Drilling out the pin will be a real pisser as it is harder than the base metal around it and will drift.

Uncle isn't very brilliant.. many times misunderstood.. but has been there done that= experience. As always, making uncles out of nephews.

BIBA, how much do I charge you?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I wrote this yesterday afternoon, but apparently forgot to hit send.)

Now that that little chore has been taken care of...I have lots more questions.

I see no way to remove the upper socket except by trying to tap it out through the grease zerk hole. The white arrow points to a very slight discoloring. I can't feel any low area.

I plan on reusing it if for no other reason than there is a spring behind it which would get mutilated. The ball joint is the new one.

The upper was in pretty good shape but the lower one is very loose. Is it possible to press out the upper socket on it?

Regarding the grub-screw: The notch in the lower socket is just wide enough for the tapered end. The only way to screw it In would be to notch - about an inch - the tool (long socket?) you're using to press the socket out. And then, do we know if the grub-screw's threads go all the way through the opening? Got that?

Does anyone have a good tool for the lower ring-nut that they would loan for about a month? I should have it back sooner, but in case I run into problems, I'd like to hang on to it for awhile.

I'll pay you for the hassle of packing and sending/postage + a fair amount for the tool loan.

*********

Are there new bushings available for the upper and lower mounting units (black arrow)? If not, does anyone make new ones to fit?
 

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The lower one you can probably get off by making a tool from steel bar flat stock stock and screwing two correctly sized bolts through it locking in place with nuts... or a pipe wrench.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
divotandtralee, that's the tool I want to borrow. I should be, but I'm not set-up to do fairly precision drilling, nor do I have a handy place where I can find steel flat bars and very hard steel rods, then weld them in. This would be by far my preference.

I'm a big believer that if someone has a seldom used tool that they made or happened to have an original Alfa tool for special situations - why not at least partially get a return on your efforts and/or expenses.

I'm certainly not looking for free, just trying to save myself from killing a day to make the tool. Plus, my thinking is if someone successfully used the tool themselves, then I'd be using a known solution.
 

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Biba:
Do not have any solutions for your problems, however, if you look for small quantities of steels of any type I would suggest Mc Master Carr, they have a warehouse in LA and a very good web site. Enrique.
 

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divotandtralee, that's the tool I want to borrow. I should be, but I'm not set-up to do fairly precision drilling, nor do I have a handy place where I can find steel flat bars and very hard steel rods, then weld them in. This would be by far my preference.

I'm a big believer that if someone has a seldom used tool that they made or happened to have an original Alfa tool for special situations - why not at least partially get a return on your efforts and/or expenses.

I'm certainly not looking for free, just trying to save myself from killing a day to make the tool. Plus, my thinking is if someone successfully used the tool themselves, then I'd be using a known solution.
I don't have the tool....I use a POW mentality when working on old cars.. making due with what is available. As you can see from the diagram, you shouldn't need a 5 foot extension to turn it. A leg off your oak stool will probably substitute for the lever or a common angle iron or a tomato stake..It takes some ingenuity to solve problems. Got to put your noodle to work. I doubt the farmer working on his 2CV in France or the Vermont farmer on his Model T had a tool shed full of "factory" tools. Even the astronauts on Apollo 13 had to resort to duct tape to survive.....Uncle
 

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