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Discussion Starter #1
I started doing my suspension rebuild tonight and only ran into 2 problems (so far). The pinch bolt at the bottom of the strut assy is on TIGHT. I tried everything I could think of aside from a breaker bar with an 18mm socket because I can't find my 18mm socket in a 1/2" drive:( And to boot, that damn inner ball joint (the one behind the tie rod) is practically inaccessible. I read a DIY on here that the guy was able to get an open ended wrench on there but I don't know how in hell you're supposed to get any leverage on it from the bottom. Maybe like a 2' extender and a universal joint to get it from the top? Anyone have any tips? I'm only on the front driver side right now. Hopefully the rest goes a little smoother.
 

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You've probably figured this out by now. There is so substitution for a bigger hammer, or breaker bar. You may have to go out and purchase what you cannot find. You have an 18mm in 3/8? Use an adapter.

On the inner ball joints, the nut is hard to get to, On the passenger side I used a large open end wrench (has enough leverage), but then it's 1/16 turn, flip over the wrench, 1/16 turn, repeat about 100 times and the nut is off. On the passenger side I was able to reach from the top with a socket wrench and 2 long extensions. If the shaft of the ball joint starts spinning, some upwards pressure from a floor jack will stop it.

Also recommend getting the $19 Harbor Freight ball joint tool for the outer ball joint. A lot easer than pounding on a pickle fork!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks KB. I just got the inner ball joint nut off. Used an 15" extention, a 4" extention, a swivel joint and a 21mm socket. Came right off with a little coaxing. Now I have a bigger problem...I broke the damn pinch bolt off at the bottom of the strut on the driver side. After searching, looks like I'm not the only one whose done this. I just got through drilling with a 3/16 bit, but I'm stuck as to where to go from here. I'll have to get my vise grips from work tomorrow and try to turn the other end after I heat it up. I guess if all else fails, drill the mother out completely and use a through bolt with a nut on the end. Is this a safe alternative?
 

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If you not done already, soak it in PB Blaster or liquid wrench, and let it soak overnight. If you've already drilled a hole in it the next logical step is to try an ez-out. You may want to heat it up a little before you try, but not a lot as you can weaken the aluminum.

Just be warned if the ez-out break off inside the bolt it's hardened and very difficult to drill. They should be available at any auto parts store

Here is a video showing using an ez-out/stud extractor with a similar issue as yours:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX7vK3d3l7M&feature=related

I would not recommend using a different method than the factory design of securing the shock. It probably would work fine, but....
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I was thinking the same thing, but I'm afraid it will break off inside the bolt and really put a damper on things. I have about 1/2" of bolt sticking out the other side. The side that had the head on it sheared off completely. I soaked it generously with some PB and the earliest I'd be able to try again will be tomorrow afternoon, plenty of time for that stuff to soak in. I was thinking about putting some channellocks (very tightly) on the end sticking out and heat it with a torch for a few mins. Then try turning it. Sound like a good idea or would you try something different? Would having a 3/16" hole drilled all the way through it help or hinder things? And I know what you mean about the factory design of the shock. It sounds like it should work ok, but I'd rather have it together the same way it rolled off the assembly line for peace of mind.
 

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I was thinking the same thing, but I'm afraid it will break off inside the bolt and really put a damper on things. I have about 1/2" of bolt sticking out the other side. The side that had the head on it sheared off completely. I soaked it generously with some PB and the earliest I'd be able to try again will be tomorrow afternoon, plenty of time for that stuff to soak in. I was thinking about putting some channellocks (very tightly) on the end sticking out and heat it with a torch for a few mins. Then try turning it. Sound like a good idea or would you try something different? Would having a 3/16" hole drilled all the way through it help or hinder things? And I know what you mean about the factory design of the shock. It sounds like it should work ok, but I'd rather have it together the same way it rolled off the assembly line for peace of mind.
Well you're in unchartered territory so you need to figure it out as you go. Don't think drilling the hole in the bolt changes anything. Sounds like you have the plan but I would first heat it up a little, then try the channel locks. If that does not work go for the stud extractor.

Good luck!
 
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