OT for home repair -- Urgent -- How to remove rear lower control arm, Toyota?

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Respond as soon as possible please. Car up on stands right now. I want to take it down by 11PM at latest.
Besides front end damage, that I've repaired, the rear forward right lower control arm, on my 2000 Solara convertible is bent.
I have the replacement part, but the bolt near the center (of the two bolts) is in something that looks like a soup bowl. The kind that is flat in the center and then curves up near the edges and curves down again at the very edge. Maybe it's meant to be a washer.
So I can't get an end wrench or a box wrench on it.
And I can't get a socket wrench on it, not a torque wrench or even a 3/8" plain ratchet or breaker bar, because there isn't enough room between the bolt and what might be the floor pan for the rear seat. I would bend that up and out of the way but there is a screw head in the very spot that needs bending. Maybe I should push it up anyhow????
How should I get this bolt off???
(The nut is fixed in place, and I don't have a cutting torch. )
BTW, so far, all the videos are for front control arms
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wrote:

http://www.justanswer.com/car/
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http://parts.bernarditoyota.com/parts/2000/Toyota/Solara/SE?siteid !6017&vehicleidi676&diagram…13645
Describe what you are doing using the numbers on the diagram. I am guessing you're replacing control arm #8 and #11 is the problem part? There's not enough detail in these drawings of the fasteners. You'll neeed to provide photos.
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micky wrote:

Sounds like you need a set of through hole sockets. Those are shallow compared to normal sockets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw-ihOjjF1o

These are ok for those once a year use items. http://www.harborfreight.com/21-pc-sae-metric-go-thru-socket-set-67974.html
--
Steve W.

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On 10/17/2014 1:57 PM, micky wrote:

Maybe you can put the jacks and stands in different place, to let the nut and bolt down.
Alternatively, you may need to use a hole saw and cut some metal from above, and make your own hole. So you can get at the nut from above.
I changed a fuel pump on my Blazer one time, saw through the back floor.
No real experience with this, just guessing.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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wrote:

BTW, when I realized I couldn't get the bolt off, I tried hammering on it with a mini-sledge, in order to bend it back straight. I could easily hit the right spot and it would have worked if only it had bent. I gave it a lot of good whacks. Then I tried a full size sledge, at least 4 times as heavy, maybe 6, but I couldn't swing it as well.

To cut away part of the soup bowl. But see below the problem that might leave.

And I couldn't find any text instructions on this repair either.

Plus iiuc no space is used by the ratchet handle, right? I've seen these, I think, but it never occurred to me to use it here. Yet it might just work. And 19MM is included in the set.
I'm going to go get them tomorrow or Sunday. Maybe I should call to see if they're in stock. The webpage doesn't say. Maybe I should print out the webpage to get the sale price (22 from 32).

Exactly. If I use them so much that they break, I'll know if it's worth buying a quality version, or not.

..... After my initial enthusiasm, possible reality is setting in. I reread the shop manual, and it could go either way.
The FSM says, just to remove the the forward lateral control arm, to first:
Disconnect the O2 sensor on the center exhaust pipe. Disconnect both ends of the center exhaust pipe, and remove it. Disconnect both ends of the strut rods (trailing control arms) on both sides of the car (although possibly one could only disconnect one end and let it dangle). Disconnect both ends of the rear control arms (which they call the No. 2 lower Suspension arms.) although here too maybe I could just disconnect it from the center plate. Remove the stabilizer bar brackets on both sides (though here they say nothing about disconnecting the bar from the knuckles, which sort of implies that above the arms have to be fully removed.) Support the suspension member with a floor jack. (The susp. member is a thick plate or a sandwich in the middle of the car that the control arms and stabilizer bar attach to. Remove the suspension member (4 nuts, 2 bolts, and 8 stoppers!) Lower the suspension member.
Only then can one remove the forward control arm.
Acc. to them. (You can see why I didn't want to do all that.)
But I've learned that shop manuals often make things harder than they should be. (1) One GM car I had, the FSM said to use a press to remove and replace lug bolts, but the guy at Atlantic Wheel and Rim told me no one does that. They remove it with a drift and a hammer, and the install it by putting on a lug nut and tightening it! And I did that and it took only a few minutes and worked fine. 2) And it said to remove the rear half axle (RWD, '67 Pontiac Cataline) one should use an axle puller. Well my bearing started rumbling when I was 2 hours from home, and even at home I didn't have an axle puller, but I unbolted it and it came out like a hot knife through butter. I pulled no harder than if it were lying on a hardwood floor. 3) And one guy on the web yesterday was led by Toyota manuals or webpages to think he had to remove the steering wheel and the air bag to change the bushings on a front contorl arm. In reality he only had to loosen a couple bolts and move the rack a little bit.)
OTOH, the drawing shows the bolt that attaches the center end of the control arm I need to replace, shows it to be quite long, meaning maybe that even if the wrench above loosens it, I won't be able to back it out far enough to remove it. (Don't worry, I'm going to try anyhow, but what I think will happen is that I will break the wrench. I know I'll need a cheater bar, but I may also have to hit it with a mini-sledge.)
Now I suspect that the soup bowl that surrounds the head of the bolt is there precisely so no one will try to remove the bolt before he lowers the suspension member in the middle below the obstacle that is now preventing me from using a simple 1/2" or 1" socket wrench.
And this certainly accounts for why the dealer wants $210 labor. Now what is strange is that Firestone is so cheap, only 1.1 hours and $121 labor. Can even a good mechanic really disconnect all those things above, replace the control arm, and then connect them all again in 66 minutes? I guess I'm still thinking of hand tules, but an air wrench makes things go a lot faster.
So if I can't do this with the wrench above, I could go to Firestone, but they will insist on buying the part from Toyota. Even if I bought it from Toyota 2 days earlier and had the receipt for it, they said they wouldn't use my part. So they certainly won't use the junk yard part. I'm going to ask them, If I sign away the warranty on the rear end, will they do it then? What if I buy the 170 dollar lifetime wheel alignment too? This control arm is as good as new and they should all be able to see that.
Or I'll try to find an independant shop that won't have such strict rules, and will let me sign away the warranty on the rear.
Or I could go to Toyota, who want $158 for the part and $210 for labor. Same decision I had before, except I'll have wasted $50 on a part I'll never use. But no more than 50.
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"micky" wrote:

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?pageId 00c15280092983
3 arms... One runs front-to-back. Two run side-to-side. If it's the front of the two side-to-side arms (#1), then as the page above shows, you need to remove everything else, then drop the "suspension member", the subframe thing in the middle that all the side-to-side arms connect to. Have fun. :)
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:53:54 +0000 (UTC), Brent

What a clever idea, and thanks for finding this page for me.

Not a bad guess. But no. I'm replacing #2, which this page (and probably Toyota in general) calls the Ft. (Front) Lateral Arm**. It goes from close to the center of the car to the wheel knuckle. It's the bolt near the center which is the problem, part #4. Which screws into #25, the suspension cross member.
**Some places call this the "forward" arm, which I think is a better choice than front, since it's in the rear. There is, as you know and as the picture shows, also a rear arm. *Lateral* arm is not a bad choice of words, given its position from middle to side, but the same rod is often called the locating arm and the control arm. So then it would be the forward rear control arm.
BTW, part #8 is called the trailing arm, even though Toyota just calls it the strut rod. I'm not sure why it's called "trailing" since it's in front of the axle, but maybe when the axle goes down, it follows. Same thing when the axle goes up. So it's trailing. Maybe.
I found a good page that didn't say how to take this off, and the author wasn't talking esp. about Toyota, but he did go into the use of the trailing arm for suspension. It said the pro's were that it was cheap to make, and didn't handle too badly, but the cons were that it took a lot of space away from the trunk (does it really?), and it didn't handle that well either, esp. iirc on curves. One wouldn't want this style on a performance car he said.

I should have taken pictures, but I may be trying again tomorrow or Sunday. (I sort of gave up today and put the car on the ground about 4PM)
Please read my reply to Steve, to see different aspects of the problem.
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:58:31 -0700, "Sanity Clause"

I think it's a heat shield for some part of the exhaust system.**

This is loading now. I looked and couldn't find something like this. Thanks. (I have to remember how good Autozone is on instructions. )

That's right.

I don't want to do all that. :-( Every bolt will be stuck The way they say to do it, there will be 18 of them, plus 4 more rusty ones if I have to remove the center exhaust pipe, and I bet I do. (Yep, it's in the webpage you just gave me.) Plus I'll have to replace the gasket at each end of the pipe. I wonder if the pro's really do all that. If so, it makes $121 or 210 (Firestone or Toyota), labor only, look rather like a bargain.
There's so much to do, so many parts to put back in the right spot,I don't want to take it to any but the most organized, clean shop, where I'll feel some confidence they'll get it right.
**I have the shop manual, and it shows three areas of swelling in the pipe from the engine to the tail pipe, but even in the exhaust system section (2 pages) none are labeled. I figure the last one is the muffler and the one before that is the cat. conveter (though I thought those were wider and flat, but I guess they don't have to be.)
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:34:45 -0400, Stormin Mormon

I"m still ignorant and curious about what it is that the bolt will back into if I pull it out. I'll try to figure it out tomorrow.
Plumbing supply store, 10AM.
Finish paper pattern for convertible rear window 11:30 AM. Transfer paper pattern to make plastic pattern. (What do you call the material that all those signs strapped to tellephone poles and on wires stuck in the ground are made of? By people who have no respect for public property. They start off as white, two layers with parallel ribs of the same material every eighth of an inch. Test plastic pattern in the window opening. Trim it to fit better. Think about transferring plastic pattern to lexan sheet.
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In a pinch, these can be made from cheap normal sockets on a bench grinder. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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Scott Dorsey wrote:

Somewhat. The ones I have are about the same thickness as a common socket with no ratchet. They are real handy for tight spots.
I figured they were a gimmick. 'Till I bought a set....
--
Steve W.

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On 10/18/2014 1:03 PM, Scott Dorsey wrote:

He said box and open end didn't work.
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wrote:

If the nut is "fixed in place" perhaps you don't need a wrench at all - just crank the bolt out. If the nut DOES turn, you need an offset box wrench. Harbor freight Pittsburgh - item#32042 gets you a full set 6-22 mm for about $15.
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:53:54 +0000 (UTC), Brent

I'll bet it's 9 and 10. You use a socket on 9 and 10 is kept from turning by it's design.
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wrote:

It is the "lateral arm - front"

OK - you NEED an offset box wrench

It is "trailing" because it trails from the pivot, connecting the "axle" behind the suspension pivot - so "trailing arm" is technically correct.

The big advantage is extremely low unsprung weight.- which makes for a good ride - and depending on design it can produce a VERY low roll center - which makes for good cornering handling. The big drawback is it is so light it bends easily when abused - which is also a strong point because IT bends before the chassis or unibody (generally, if you are lucky)

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wrote:

By jove, they are right. That bolt is about 4 or 5 inches long and you only have about an inch and a half of space to get it out before you hit what - the floor?? The only way to get it out without dropping the crossmember would be to make a hole in the floor, lined up with the bolt, to extract the bolt through - which would allow you in with a socket and extention to remove the bolt.
You are stuck.

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On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:34:45 -0400, Stormin Mormon

It's not a nut he has to reach or remove. It is a long bolt. No clearance to get a socket on means NO WAY to get the bolt out - except drop the crossmember or cut a hole in the body where it interferes. Cut a nice hole with a hole saw and you can get a rubber plug to fit it to close it up when you are done.
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wrote:

Looking at the picture on the link above, the GAS TANK is in the way on the left side, and the exhaust heat sheild AND the gas tank are in the way on the right side. You are "screwed". In a PINCH you could possibly cut the head off the bolt, remove the bolt from the back (nut) side and reinstall a new bolt the way it would have made sense in the first place - but I suspect the spare tire well gets in the way there. Removing the gas tank is another alternative way to get the bolt out. I think paying someone $200 would be a bargain for you at this point.
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On 18 Oct 2014 13:03:09 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

If the goal is to get through the hole, but what i livk about thes is that they barely thicker than a normal socket is long. I bought a set this monring. Thanks Steve. (The web page says regularly 32, but at the store, they were marked the same as the web, 22. I didn't need to print the webpage, which is good since i couldn't get my printer to work.) I think I will likely ruin the ratchet, but they say they have a lifetime guarantee. It was one thing to guarantee Craftsman and probably Snap-On, etc. But what I can't help thinking is that this is junk?
As the bolt comes out, the wrench will be pushed up (that is, forwards). The bolt head is too big to go through the hole, but at that point I think I'll be able to use a regular open end wrench**.
But I think I won't be able to loosen the bolt without a cheater bar, and I'll break the ratchet when I use a cheater bar. And if not, the bolt will be too long to come out (although in the dealer parts department computer exploded view for another part I needed, the picture of the bolt was much longer than the bolt was). I've started thinking I don't have to remove all those control arms, just the 4 bolts and 2 nuts and 8 stops holding that center plate on, and it might fall enough to get this bolt out. But that too seems like a lot of work with a chance of success at maybe 1/3.
**I also keep forgetting that somewhere I acquired a couple metric box ratchets, less than a half inch thick everywhere, that don't use a separate ratchet. It's built into the wrench, and the hole is the same size as the bolt head. I have to check if I have this size.
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