Front end rebuild... the beginning to the final chapter
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Thread: Front end rebuild... the beginning to the final chapter

  1. #1
    Life Long Opeler Thom71GT's Avatar
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    TalkingLowering the front today

    Rick (benncojr) and I will be lowering the front of my GT today. I'll be doing a photo documentary of how we do it and will let you all know how easy/hard/fun/frustrating it is. Wish us luck.
    Thom - Ich liebe mein GT

    I've had my 71 GT since I was 3 when my father brought it home, and I'll have it till the day I die!!!!

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    Life Long Opeler Thom71GT's Avatar
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    HELP!!! Getting the front spring out

    Hi There. We have followowed allmost all of the steps and we are having a problem with the last set of bolts to get out. See Thumbnail.

    We took the nuts off, but it says you need to remove the bolts. Any tips or tricks on how to do that?
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    Thom - Ich liebe mein GT

    I've had my 71 GT since I was 3 when my father brought it home, and I'll have it till the day I die!!!!

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    Take the bolt out of the lower control arm and let the spring pressure work for you. Have you got the spring eye bolts out yet?




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    Life Long Opeler Thom71GT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobody
    Take the bolt out of the lower control arm and let the spring pressure work for you. Have you got the spring eye bolts out yet?

    Yes, I have ALL of the bolts out except for the two on each side that run vertical. It aint budging.
    Thom - Ich liebe mein GT

    I've had my 71 GT since I was 3 when my father brought it home, and I'll have it till the day I die!!!!

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    Ok seperate the lower control arm from the spindle assembly and put the spring eye bolt back in that side. Then Jack up the center of the car to allow the spring tension to be on the perch area. From there do the three Ps Penatrating oil, Pounding and Prayer. Be safe and remember potential energy is the worst.




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    Life Long Opeler Thom71GT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobody
    Ok seperate the lower control arm from the spindle assembly and put the spring eye bolt back in that side. Then Jack up the center of the car to allow the spring tension to be on the perch area. From there do the three Ps Penatrating oil, Pounding and Prayer. Be safe and remember potential energy is the worst.

    I did the three Ps on the drivers side and got them out. Still being evil on the pass side. Ive S O A K E D the heck out of it with wd-40 and penetrating oil. I actully got the bushings out of that side on the lower A arms and have the drivers side of the spring jacked up to put some pressure DOWN on the Passengers side. With luck and time, that little bit of rust in those bolts will break loose.
    Thom - Ich liebe mein GT

    I've had my 71 GT since I was 3 when my father brought it home, and I'll have it till the day I die!!!!

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    If you have the drivers side loose then it puts an odd load on the passnger side bolts. They need to come out at one time. Try putting some pressure back on the drivers side.




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    Life Long Opeler Thom71GT's Avatar
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    After getting the drivers side out we then jacked the spring up on BOTH sides to relieve pressure on the the problem area. We've saturated those bolts with liquid wrench and then hammered in a pickle fork to try and pry it.

    See Pic.

    I don't know what else to try. The drivers side came out with a good soaking but the pass side has been soaking more. I guess its just more rusted. I am assumming that once I get this puppy out, that Ill be good to go and the spring should juts slide right out??? Please say yes.
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    Last edited by Thom71GT; 06-18-2005 at 06:51 PM.
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    Thom - Ich liebe mein GT

    I've had my 71 GT since I was 3 when my father brought it home, and I'll have it till the day I die!!!!

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    Thom, Rick, maybe you could put the nuts back on the bolts, just to cover the threads and smack the nuts up, with a hammer and punch. Sometimes it helps to vibe the rusted pieces to help break things loose. Maybe, just be sure not to ding up the threads on the bolts. Just a suggestion.




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    Life Long Opeler Thom71GT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namba209
    Thom, Rick, maybe you could put the nuts back on the bolts, just to cover the threads and smack the nuts up, with a hammer and punch. Sometimes it helps to vibe the rusted pieces to help break things loose. Maybe, just be sure not to ding up the threads on the bolts. Just a suggestion.
    Eughh!! good suggestion. Even though we banged the hell out of them with a 3 pound sledge. Ill soak em and smash em.
    Thom - Ich liebe mein GT

    I've had my 71 GT since I was 3 when my father brought it home, and I'll have it till the day I die!!!!

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    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    First, only post GT Model questions (not technical stuff) in the GT Forum.

    Next, post stuff like this in the "3A - Front Suspension" Forum.

    Last, this is exactly the biggest problem I had with my front suspension re-build. Those darn bolts were corroded in tight! They seem to get corroded into the spring perch holes and the cross member holes. And since they are so corroded into the perch, they resist being driven up and through both the perch and the cross member. I used a torch to burn the head of the bolt off above the cross member, or a chisel might work (although they are hardened bolts, so good luck!). Then the perches will just drop off, and you can drive the remaining bolt out of the perch. This was one of the reasons I removed my suspension clip as an assembly to re-build it, as it is MUCH easier (and I believe safer, which is a bit contentious) to get at the various seized bolts when you can turn the clip over on a bench to work on it.

    You will have to replace the bolts of course (I used Grade 12.9 socket head cap screws. And the OEM nuts are supposed to be replaced each time they are removed, as they are special jam nuts. But if you get new bolts, ask at the fastener shop if they have GR. 10.9 or 12.9 locking nuts as well. If not, Gil sells the OEM locking nuts (which I believe are GR 10.9).

    HTH
    Last edited by kwilford; 06-19-2005 at 02:03 AM.
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT

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    Pending Member benncojr's Avatar
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    Thom,
    I was talking (typing) with Baz and he suggested that you heat up the bolts with the propan (make them real hot) then hit them with water to cool them off fast. The fast cooling will make the rust between the bolt and the hole break down and loosen up.

    You will have to clean off the oil before firing up the propan but that might work.

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    Old Opeler GTJIM's Avatar
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    Believe Me Now!

    ...and people did not believe me when I said I used NITRIC ACID to remove the rust on my last.....
    "Bolt from HELL!"
    GTJim
    Opel Owner since last Century!

    Copyright © 2000-2009
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    I had the same joys on the same side putting my lowered spring in. One other thing to try is actually turning the bolt from the top to help break it loose. I do remember using an extra wrench for leverage and most of my vocabulary to tell those bolts my opinion of them.




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    Old Opeler GTJIM's Avatar
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    Carefully!

    Quote Originally Posted by benncojr
    Jim,
    when you told me that I thought you were kidding. But, I did suggest it at one point in time.

    How did you do it??

    (Boy, am I sore today...that 3 pound sledge gives you a workout).
    Fortunately my front suspension was out of the car - but it still took three days to get it apart!
    I heated the stubborn bolt and dripped the 60% Nitric Acid on to the rust filled gap around it in the end. I still had to drill the bolt half way down into the hole and use a stepped drift, made from a turned down high tensile allen head cap screw, to POUNDthe unprintable illegitimate wee darling of a bolt out!
    A 3lb sledge - being a bit delicate aren't we??
    GTJim
    Opel Owner since last Century!

    Copyright © 2000-2009
    J D Henry
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    Life Long Opeler Thom71GT's Avatar
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    Ive pretty much used up all my vocabulary and I think I even made up some new ones. I think that first and foremost this morning, Ill heat them up and cool them off real fast. Then blast it with some more oil and try to turn them from the top and rig up some kind of breaker bar on the end of the wrench to get more torque out of it. As the day goes, Ill post my successes an/or failures. Wish me luck and thanks to all of you for your suggestions.

    P.S. Where the heck did you get acid at?
    Thom - Ich liebe mein GT

    I've had my 71 GT since I was 3 when my father brought it home, and I'll have it till the day I die!!!!

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    Old Opeler GTJIM's Avatar
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    Heh! Heh!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom71GT
    P.S. Where the heck did you get acid at?
    I work in a Marine Engineering facility and we use the stong Nitric Acid to "passivate" the stainless steel - ie: remove all iron impurities from its surface to retard rusting in salt water. You may be able to get some from a well equiped pharmacy or local school science lab ..... I will leave the "story" you tell to get it up to you!

    Just remember that it is highly corrosive and even the vapours will tear the lining off your lungs! Gloves, Glasses AND breathing apparatus are MANDATORY!!

    I guess you could try Battery Acid (Sulphuric Acid) - just use a hydrometer - battery tester - to transport a few drops to your front suspension. Flush with copious quantities of water to dilute the acid and wash it away after it has done its job ...... !
    GTJim
    Opel Owner since last Century!

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    Those bolts caused me severe grief when we first took Speedway GT apart, too. I resorted to cutting the heads off like Keith suggests, only I used a die grinder, as torch happy as I tend to be I would rather not be torching in that area. Once the A-arm was removed I was able to push one bolt out in the press but had to drill out three others. For re-assembly I used WAY longer 3/8 grade 8 bolts (with anti-seize of course). The longer bolts really aid in getting it all lined up when working against the spring pressure, we have to go in there now and then to play with spring rates and are now practiced enough to be able to change the spring in about an hour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTJIM

    I guess you could try Battery Acid (Sulphuric Acid) - just use a hydrometer - battery tester - to transport a few drops to your front suspension. Flush with copious quantities of water to dilute the acid and wash it away after it has done its job ...... !
    #

    jim battery acid is to dilute to be any use but some car electrical workshops have neat acid and you may get some there

    plus thom now has a new idea
    An Eagle may fly high but a Weasel doesnt get sucked into a jet engine.

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    Have Opel, Will Travel oldopelguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTJIM
    I guess you could try Battery Acid (Sulphuric Acid) - just use a hydrometer - battery tester - to transport a few drops to your front suspension.

    If you're thinking acid, and you've decided this won't happen 'til next weekend at this point, I'd recommend starting out with Coca-Cola first myself. It's a lot less expensive, easier to get, and the phospheric acid in it will dissolve a 16 penny nail or a t-bone steak in less than a month. Won't be quite as quick, but if you've got a little time that might not be a bad thing.

    Now a little soap box speach, since I'm typing and it's to the point. If you plan on keeping the GT for a while, like Thom does, I very highly recommend while you've got the parts apart you spend an hour with some POR-15 or similar product to preserve the parts now rather than later. Also, when the bolts go back in, use copious ammounts of anti-sieze for the bolts and Teflon-based grease for any moving/slideing parts (easiest to get at marine shops as it is used a lot for outdrives).
    Lastly, if you've done all this, the anti-sieze, the fighting, the cursing, and such, and you don't want to ever do it again, there is one more thing I would recommend you do at least once a year: turn the bolts. What I mean is jack up the side, remove the wheel, then loosen the nuts on those two bolts, one at a time, and rotate the bolt itself 1/2 turn or so with a wrench, then tighten the nut back up and move to the next one. While you're on each side, turn the big top one going through the upper control arm bushings too. You won't affect the alignment settings, it won't take a long time, but it insures that the bolts won't be rusted in place. Anyone who's done this work will tell you how much easier that will make things the next time.

    And now, back to Thom's bolts, the candle trick would be my next move, if you're hoping to finish up this weekend, followed by some Coke if it's going to need to set for the week. Good luck!
    Lots of Opels, for a long time.

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