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1975 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I have a reluctant top arm bolt (the cross-thru fixing in the engine compartment) on my '75 Spider Veloce which refuses to slide out despite the nut coming off easily, the bolt rotates independently of the arm, and the arm freely moves. On the other side of the car it slid out first time...

So, before I go and buy an electric saw to cut the bolt either side of the arm within its housing, does anyone know of a trick that I'm missing? Two weeks of liberal use of penetrating oil, twisting and turning and banging it with a mallet have all been to no avail. Suspecting it has mated with the metal bush insert on the top arm, and does not want to be separated from it...

I hate cutting things off...so all pointers welcome.

Regards
Mark
 

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Not sure what part you are referring to. Got a picture?
 

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Got it. Do you have brass hammer to hit it with so as not to damage the bolt? More impact than a rubber mallet.
Maybe even leave the nut on loosely while doing that.
Maybe adding a little heat while hitting it
 

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does anyone know of a trick that I'm missing?
I don't think you're missing any trick. The fact that the bolt rotates - but won't come out - suggests that the bushing may have come apart with the bolt fused to the inner sleeve. So the inner sleeve is rotating against the rubber but preventing the bolt from sliding out.

You can try oil & heat, but it will be tough to get them to penetrate all the way to the bolt-sleeve interface. I think pantera928's suggestion of putting the nut back on part way and whacking it with a hammer is as good an approach as any.
 

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1975 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got it. Do you have brass hammer to hit it with so as not to damage the bolt? More impact than a rubber mallet.
Maybe even leave the nut on loosely while doing that.
Maybe adding a little heat while hitting it
Thank you - no I don't have a brass hammer. Will go and get one... Suspect I will remove the a few ancillaries to give me more room to hit it harder...
 

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1975 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't think you're missing any trick. The fact that the bolt rotates - but won't come out - suggests that the bushing may have come apart with the bolt fused to the inner sleeve. So the inner sleeve is rotating against the rubber but preventing the bolt from sliding out.

You can try oil & heat, but it will be tough to get them to penetrate all the way to the bolt-sleeve interface. I think pantera928's suggestion of putting the nut back on part way and whacking it with a hammer is as good an approach as any.
Thank you. I definitely believe in the bolt/bush fusing scenario, but will live in hope that I can free it. Holding everything else up in the meantime.
 

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1988 Spider Quadrifoglio
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Try tapping in metal shims on the fore and aft faces of the arm, both above and below the arm. This should get rid of some of the compliance in the rubber bushing and the sheet metal and make the hammer blows more effective.
If that's doesn't work, try something like this: Orion Motor Tech 22Pcs Universal Ball Joint Service Kit, Ball-Joint Press U-Joint Puller Removal Separator, Upper & Lower Control Arm Bushing Tool, Ball Joint & Tie Rod Tools - Amazon Canada Maybe you can rent a set. Obviously leave the shims in for this so you don't pinch the mount inwards.
 

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Protect the area and heat the bolt red hot with a torch. Keep a water squirt bottle and fire extinguisher handy. The rubber will smoke profusely. Before you start beating on the bolt, screw on a thread chaser, or non-nylock nut, to clean the threads after, if needed. Replacement bolts are easy, if it is ruined. Upon assembly, liberally coat the bolt with Never Seize, for the next guy! And, as with all rubber suspension bushings like this, they MUST be indexed to ride height before tightening the fastener!
 
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1988 Spider Quadrifoglio
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If you heat the bolt, don't go past a "dull red" if you intend on reusing it. This is a heat treated bolt, you don't want to anneal it.
1695822

You will significantly soften the bolt if you go past 700 C/ 1300 F
 

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1975 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Try tapping in metal shims on the fore and aft faces of the arm, both above and below the arm. This should get rid of some of the compliance in the rubber bushing and the sheet metal and make the hammer blows more effective.
If that's doesn't work, try something like this: Orion Motor Tech 22Pcs Universal Ball Joint Service Kit, Ball-Joint Press U-Joint Puller Removal Separator, Upper & Lower Control Arm Bushing Tool, Ball Joint & Tie Rod Tools - Amazon Canada Maybe you can rent a set. Obviously leave the shims in for this so you don't pinch the mount inwards.
The shims idea sounds a good one. Thank you. Eliminating the rubber compliance is a stel forward
 

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1975 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you heat the bolt, don't go past a "dull red" if you intend on reusing it. This is a heat treated bolt, you don't want to anneal it.
View attachment 1695822
You will significantly soften the bolt if you go past 700 C/ 1300 F
Thanks for this. Have not gone down this route as I don’t (yet) have a torch, although this may soon change….
 

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1975 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Protect the area and heat the bolt red hot with a torch. Keep a water squirt bottle and fire extinguisher handy. The rubber will smoke profusely. Before you start beating on the bolt, screw on a thread chaser, or non-nylock nut, to clean the threads after, if needed. Replacement bolts are easy, if it is ruined. Upon assembly, liberally coat the bolt with Never Seize, for the next guy! And, as with all rubber suspension bushings like this, they MUST be indexed to ride height before tightening the fastener!
Thanks Andy. ‘The next guy’ will likely be my son when I an gone…so I better plan for that!
Protect the area and heat the bolt red hot with a torch. Keep a water squirt bottle and fire extinguisher handy. The rubber will smoke profusely. Before you start beating on the bolt, screw on a thread chaser, or non-nylock nut, to clean the threads after, if needed. Replacement bolts are easy, if it is ruined. Upon assembly, liberally coat the bolt with Never Seize, for the next guy! And, as with all rubber suspension bushings like this, they MUST be indexed to ride height before tightening the fastener!
Thanks Andy. That’s a decent line of attack… torch acquisition may be 24 hrs away
 

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thing is if the bolt has seized with the inner metal sleeve of the bush, and that inner sleeve has departed company from the rubber (it really sounds like it has, as you say the bolt just turns freely), then you are really only whacking against something that is just floating loosly about. I suppose the inner sleeve will eventually wedge itself against the frame and the you would have something to whack against.....?
Motor vehicle Font Line Handwriting Automotive exterior
(whenever you are whacking any bolt, put the nut back on flush with the end of the threads to protect them)

You might have to sawzall it off, left and right of the arm, from inside the fender..........if there is room to do so
If you are replacing the arm you won't have to be too careful, if not then you will, so as not to slice into the arm.
 

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@spiderserie4, In my experience, the smooth shank of the bolt seizes to the inner sleeve of the rubber bushing and will not easily slide out. The first paragraph of the first post says that the bolt freely turns. This would indicate that the rubber has completely torn and the inner sleeve is turning inside the bushing. I have always had good luck heating and beating. I would heat according the the advice in post #10, both the thread side and the head side of the bolt. Then commence to beating with a BFH. If you can get the edge of a pry bar behind the head of the bolt and the chassis, to help pry, and hammer, at the same time, that would help. You may have to touch-up the paint on the chassis after. If only they used a little Never Seize from the factory, or by the previous service guy, you would be done by now.
 
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Thanks for this. Have not gone down this route as I don’t (yet) have a torch, although this may soon change….
If you overheat it, you can just get another one
 
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1975 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@spiderserie4, In my experience, the smooth shank of the bolt seizes to the inner sleeve of the rubber bushing and will not easily slide out. The first paragraph of the first post says that the bolt freely turns. This would indicate that the rubber has completely torn and the inner sleeve is turning inside the bushing. I have always had good luck heating and beating. I would heat according the the advice in post #10, both the thread side and the head side of the bolt. Then commence to beating with a BFH. If you can get the edge of a pry bar behind the head of the bolt and the chassis, to help pry, and hammer, at the same time, that would help. You may have to touch-up the paint on the chassis after. If only they used a little Never Seize from the factory, or by the previous service guy, you would be done by now.
Thank you. I agree, the rubber insert has probably torn - glad to know the BFH remains an essential tool! Hoping the heat treatment works...
 

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1975 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would have someone work the upper arm up and down while you whamp on the end of the screw. No need to run out and buy and expensive tool. Place a blunt ended punch or old screw driver on the end of the screw. Hit the head of the screw driver or punch with your hammer as your helper moves the arm up and down.
I have just advised my wife that she will be needed as an assistant! I have managed to operate the arm while turning the bolt to try and free it, but there is no doubt that being able to hit it properly may help...
 

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1975 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thing is if the bolt has seized with the inner metal sleeve of the bush, and that inner sleeve has departed company from the rubber (it really sounds like it has, as you say the bolt just turns freely), then you are really only whacking against something that is just floating loosly about. I suppose the inner sleeve will eventually wedge itself against the frame and the you would have something to whack against.....?
View attachment 1695873
(whenever you are whacking any bolt, put the nut back on flush with the end of the threads to protect them)

You might have to sawzall it off, left and right of the arm, from inside the fender..........if there is room to do so
If you are replacing the arm you won't have to be too careful, if not then you will, so as not to slice into the arm.
Yes I am replacing the arm. Trying to attempt a full suspension rebuild.
 
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