commander lower strut fork bolt. Super stuck. tips? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
CommanderRandy
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commander lower strut fork bolt. Super stuck. tips?

Finally putting the lift on the 07 commander... got to the lower bolt on the strut fork (21mm one)... like 30 minutes into the job, and I've been there for several hours now. It literally seems like it's welded in there. I removed the nut. I'm assuming it's not also threaded into the fork itself, but I'm not sure at this point. It has soaked all day in PB blaster. I have drained the air compressor 7 or 9 times jacking on it with the impact gun trying to even get it to spin in there. I have hammered the tapered (nut) end to where It's flat to the threads, completely smashed it hammering on it so hard... gonna have to rework the end of it if I ever get it out. I have done all this with the A arm jacked up some to relieve any stress, and with the A arm free hanging to relieve any stress.... I don't know if it would be dumb to cut it... I don't want it stuck in there flush with the fork either. Help?


Previous Jeeps: 89 YJ, 92 YJ, 99 XJ, 98 XJ
Current Jeep: 07 XK Commander limited w/HEMI
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post #2 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
CommanderRandy
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I gave up and went to the other side... literally one tap with a hammer and it launched out of there. What the heck. The stuck one is still soaking in PB blaster.....

Previous Jeeps: 89 YJ, 92 YJ, 99 XJ, 98 XJ
Current Jeep: 07 XK Commander limited w/HEMI
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post #3 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 06:43 PM
Avs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderRandy View Post
Finally putting the lift on the 07 commander... got to the lower bolt on the strut fork (21mm one)... like 30 minutes into the job, and I've been there for several hours now. It literally seems like it's welded in there. I removed the nut. I'm assuming it's not also threaded into the fork itself, but I'm not sure at this point. It has soaked all day in PB blaster. I have drained the air compressor 7 or 9 times jacking on it with the impact gun trying to even get it to spin in there. I have hammered the tapered (nut) end to where It's flat to the threads, completely smashed it hammering on it so hard... gonna have to rework the end of it if I ever get it out. I have one all this with the A arm jacked up some to relieve any stress, and with the A arm free hanging to relieve any stress.... I don't know it it would be dumb to cut it... I don't want it stuck in there flush with the fork either. Help?


I spent an entire day trying to get the clevis bolt using impact, torch you named it to no avail. Wound up cutting off the bolt using a sawzall. Cobalt or diamond coated Diablo blade works very well. Go slow so you don’t damage the clevis fork. Should have done that in the beginning. The bolt did not get stuck on neither side of the clevis fork. I also put a new moog control arm in with bushings already pressed in. If you’re replacing the front coilovers, you’re most likely need to replace the bushings, ball joints anyways.
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post #4 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
CommanderRandy
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Originally Posted by Avs View Post
I spent an entire day trying to get the clevis bolt using impact, torch you named it to no avail. Wound up cutting off the bolt using a sawzall. Cobalt or diamond coated Diablo blade works very well. Go slow so you don’t damage the clevis fork. Should have done that in the beginning. The bolt did not get stuck on neither side of the clevis fork. I also put a new moog control arm in with bushings already pressed in. If you’re replacing the front coilovers, you’re most likely need to replace the bushings, ball joints anyways.

How do I get the stuck part out of the fork itself if I cut it? Or am I going to have to replace the fork at that point?

Previous Jeeps: 89 YJ, 92 YJ, 99 XJ, 98 XJ
Current Jeep: 07 XK Commander limited w/HEMI
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post #5 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 07:12 PM
KevInSoCal
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Just went through this with my 06 WK - I had a hard time with the passenger side. I finally got it off after I relieved the tension enough and tapped it through using small sledge hammer on a 3/8 socket extension. I would jack up the lower control arm, try turning the bolt until I found the point where it turned the easiest.

Unless you have a lot of noticeable rust going on, this job is all about alignment.

Are you replacing springs as well? Be prepared to install/remove the strut a couple of times to get the clevis fork properly aligned with the top strut mounting bracket so the bolt will slide through easily.
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post #6 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 07:37 PM
Avs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderRandy View Post
How do I get the stuck part out of the fork itself if I cut it? Or am I going to have to replace the fork at that point?


The hole on the clevis fork is a looser fit than the bushing on the control arm. No need to replace the clevis fork. Cut the bolt off (between fork and control arm) front and back. The bolt on mine truck was actually stuck on the control arm bushing and not the fork itself. Here’s the bolt after it was cut off.
Attached Thumbnails
3DCF27FD-8737-4A7C-9064-FB9D0B4EE840_1582339481019.jpg   F3716086-F182-4EB2-9430-A8C16F737F3C_1582339559699.jpg  
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post #7 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
CommanderRandy
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Copy that, OK. So maybe worst case new bushing and bolt. So stupid and frustrating! Especially after the other side came out with a little tap. I'm not convinced that mine is stuck in the bushing though... It feels like the head end is welded to the clevis fork. There's no independent movement there. I've been bashing it on the thread end to drive it out with the head of a 10lb sledge using 2 hands like a cave man. I feel like by now I would at least see movement between it and the fork, or damage to the bushing if it was stuck in there.



It's not seeming like an alignment thing. The fork itself is not attached to the strut at this point, I removed that upper clamp bolt and the fork has slid down on the strut from all the banging I'm doing on the bolt. So raising or lowering the control arm isn't changing the tension on it at all at this point.

Previous Jeeps: 89 YJ, 92 YJ, 99 XJ, 98 XJ
Current Jeep: 07 XK Commander limited w/HEMI
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post #8 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
CommanderRandy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevInSoCal View Post
Just went through this with my 06 WK - I had a hard time with the passenger side. I finally got it off after I relieved the tension enough and tapped it through using small sledge hammer on a 3/8 socket extension. I would jack up the lower control arm, try turning the bolt until I found the point where it turned the easiest.

Unless you have a lot of noticeable rust going on, this job is all about alignment.

Are you replacing springs as well? Be prepared to install/remove the strut a couple of times to get the clevis fork properly aligned with the top strut mounting bracket so the bolt will slide through easily.



There is no point where this bad boy is turning. It literally feels welded to the clevis fork. No rust either, I'm in a super dry climate. I dunno... And the clevis fork is no longer attached to the strut... it's just sliding up and down that lower part of the strut, so there's no tension change when I lift or drop the lower control arm. It's not pinched, it's just super stuck.



Not replacing springs... I'm installing the 2.25 Rocky Road Outfitters budget boost...spacers above the struts

Previous Jeeps: 89 YJ, 92 YJ, 99 XJ, 98 XJ
Current Jeep: 07 XK Commander limited w/HEMI
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post #9 of 29 Old 02-22-2020, 12:37 AM
rokrau
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I did this last weekend. Cut with a 4-1/2” angle grinder and thin disk. Be careful not to damage the clevis fork (it costs $525). Once out I had to drill the bolt out of the fork. 6mm then 10mm then I could finally hammer it out using a cheap impact socket extension and a 4lb hammer.
If you don’t waste time hammering on it for an hour (which we all seem to do) it takes about 45mins total.
The rubber bushings are the reason why, once it’s stuck, there is no way you can hammer this out.

Good luck.

--Roland, 2008 Grand Cherokee Overland, 3.0 CRD, EHM and TRD
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post #10 of 29 Old 02-22-2020, 03:44 AM
browningv308
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Mine practically fell off the lca when I did the lift but when putting everything back together it was a pain to line it all back up It took 2 jacks to get it lined up
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post #11 of 29 Old 02-22-2020, 10:23 AM
underscore
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If you have the clevis free from the strut I'd pull that out so you just have the clevis and LCA there. Then you'll be able to swing the clevis around and see if the bolt is stuck to the clevis or to the LCA bushing.

07 WK CRD//QDII//OME MD//MALONE 1.5//OMG WTF BBQ
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post #12 of 29 Old 02-22-2020, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underscore View Post
If you have the clevis free from the strut I'd pull that out so you just have the clevis and LCA there. Then you'll be able to swing the clevis around and see if the bolt is stuck to the clevis or to the LCA bushing.



This was a great idea but couldn't happen.. it was loose on the strut, but there's not enough play there to get it off of the bottom of the strut, even though it's sliding up and down on the strut...if that makes sense. I went with the sawzall...

Previous Jeeps: 89 YJ, 92 YJ, 99 XJ, 98 XJ
Current Jeep: 07 XK Commander limited w/HEMI
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post #13 of 29 Old 02-22-2020, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
CommanderRandy
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Originally Posted by rokrau View Post
...it takes about 45mins total.

Good luck.

You spelled "4 to 5 days" wrong .


I'm 1/3 of the way there. I cut it on both ends with the sawzall (flush with the bushing). There was nothing remotely fun about doing this.



So now the clevis fork is out of the jeep...one end of the bolt came right out of the clevis fork, but the end with the bolt head on it is "one" with the clevis fork. I have drilled and drilled and dulled all my drill bits of close-to-the-right size, and now the hardware store is closed. So the clevis fork is holding on to some of the bolt too. Only drilled on that thing for an hour or so... there was nothing remotely fun about that either.



Giving up on that for now because I need to buy stock in a drill bit company before I can continue wasting my life on that.



Meanwhile the bulk of the bolt is still welded into the middle of my bushing. The center sleeve of the bushing seems to have a seam in it, so I was hoping driving a flathead screwdriver into that seam from each side would maybe open it up enough to make it let go... did that, filled the gap with PB blaster a few times... C clamp and socket make-shift press, center punch and hammer, sledge, etc, etc. Can't imagine drilling all the way through that... what are my options here? Can I press that bushing out and a new one in in the driveway? Anyone done this?



Meanwhile, on my 10 minute breaks dealing with this one stupid bolt, I finished all three other corners of the jeep and they were as easy as they are supposed to be. I'm so over dealing with this flippin bolt.

Previous Jeeps: 89 YJ, 92 YJ, 99 XJ, 98 XJ
Current Jeep: 07 XK Commander limited w/HEMI
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post #14 of 29 Old 02-22-2020, 09:40 PM
jeeptorino68
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Yes just replace the bushing. The sleeve will likely be damaged from all the rust anyways...

Kyle
92 XJ 4.0 HO,AW4, NP242, 30" BFG AT, 1.75 spacer and ZJ coils, double cherokee leaf pack and 2 inch rough country shackles, 2.5 inch dnynomax exhaust, magnaflow cat, front hooks & rear hitch, gas skid, front skid, warn t-case skid, 99+ intake, bored TB

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post #15 of 29 Old 02-22-2020, 10:16 PM
underscore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderRandy View Post
This was a great idea but couldn't happen.. it was loose on the strut, but there's not enough play there to get it off of the bottom of the strut, even though it's sliding up and down on the strut...if that makes sense. I went with the sawzall...

Yeah I know what you mean. I've seen people on here say they've swapped the strut assembly without removing the clevis bolt but I couldn't see how it would work when I did my lift.

07 WK CRD//QDII//OME MD//MALONE 1.5//OMG WTF BBQ
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