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Old 09-02-2016, 03:38 PM   #1
Baulde
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Member#: 220923
Join Date: Aug 2009
Post Dealing with coilover stuck/seized lower mounts

Figured I would throw this in here as there is some misc advice on dealing with these and this may help someone in the future.

I have some used BC coilovers that were put together without antiseize and the bottom mounts were horribly stuck. Currently working through them I have 3 of the 4 unstuck and will see how the 4th goes.

If you have a stuck set be patient going in with a hammer and vice will wreck things pretty quick.

Getting the lock rings unstuck, two struts the ring came of with the coilover wrench and a little persuasion. The other two required soaking in PB Blaster/Kroil/CRC Freeze off (I used all three over a few days)(Still no clear winner on that front)

Then the last two rings came off using a punch and working around the rings.

Now the lower mounts I was certain would not budge and putting the coilover body into the vice was a big negative for me as it would destroy the threads even if they came off easy.

Lower mounts were given PB Blaster liberally for 3-4 days.

And then I built a small jig(Photo below). I glued two pieces of 3/4" plywood together, cut two chucks and drilled a 2" hole in them. Then cut them in half so they could hold onto the coilover in the vice and not destroy them. This gave me 4 1.5" thick blocks with a half circle to clamp onto the coilover.

Once in the vice the lower mounts would still not budge with a rubber hammer, so out came the propane torch. I used propane as I did not want to overheat things with the oxy torch and if I am easy on the propane I can get away without destroying the paint.

Flame was directed at the lower mount near the flanges and away from the top of the strut to try and keep the jig from burning and keep the heat down on the bottom of the strut.

Three of the coilovers I was able to move with a rubber hammer slowly at first then they came loose. One is still stuck, but I will spend some more time soaking it, this time in Kroil, and then give it another heat cycle. On this last one I tightened the vice a little to hard and split one of the jigs and had to glue it together last night.

Ill update on this last one once I get it apart. Ill be taking it slow and will try a few heat cycles on it. Or if I get completely stuck and it wont come apart... I might need some more ideas.





Can even see on the last photo I was easy enough on the heat that the paper label is still in tact on the lower mount.
Once apart, will be cleaned up really well and have anti seize put on them to avoid this problem in the future.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:40 PM   #2
point78
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2008 Wrx, 6mt

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You can go old school.

ATF & acetone mix. 50:50
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:29 PM   #3
Baulde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by point78 View Post
You can go old school.

ATF & acetone mix. 50:50
I have used that mix as well, never found it to be anything spectacular. It seems each type can sometimes work better than others depending on the bolt. Too bad there is no empirical way that has been fully tested. I do know about the article by Machinists Workshop, but its way to small a sample size to actually prove anything. I figure you would need an old rusty plow and test each on 10 or more bolts at minimum. Even then would want to test on larger threads, different types of corrosion. There is nothing to me that has proven one being the best and I have and currently use all of the different fluids. Everything I have seen is someone says that it works for them... Might as well be a butt dyno to calculate hp.

Edit: The only thing that seems to work with incredible consistency is using heat be that propane or oxyacetylene(going red hot) gets things apart, but also will destroy paint and seals if they reside close by.
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Old 09-03-2016, 09:21 PM   #4
binny
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If it's still stuck you may have a dropped thread (spring collar) if that's the case you'll need to machine it off
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Old 09-05-2016, 02:59 AM   #5
Baulde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binny View Post
If it's still stuck you may have a dropped thread (spring collar) if that's the case you'll need to machine it off
Not sure what you mean by a dropped thread(Cross threaded?)

But this last stuck coil over was one I was replacing the lower mount on. And I did manage to get it off.

Another heat cycle did not move it, but on the 3rd it did budge, and then had to make the call that the lower mount would not survive this. So out came the air hammer. With a little heat and the air hammer on the lower mount flange it turned it, slowly. But it eventually came off. Air hammer has saved my butt on more than a few stuck parts. Before this piece it was used to knock out the large bolt on the bottom of the rear knuckle/hub assembly.

Cleaned it up and the new lower mount screws on easy with my fingers.

Now will have to clean the rest of these right up, back off the preloads and anti seize the crap outta them.
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Old 09-05-2016, 03:18 AM   #6
binny
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The thread can come off the collar (a section of the thread) which creates an internal locking ring so the only way to get it off is machining

You can tell if a thread is dropped you will be able to turn a bit one way then gets progressively harder and will do the same the other way as well
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