Radius Arm Disaster - Advice Needed On Best Way Forward

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Radius Arm Disaster - Advice Needed On Best Way Forward

Post  humph on Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:59 pm

need some advice from those of you more experienced in these things than I.

Background: It's MOT time and whilst giving the car a once over I noticed play in both radius arms 😢I got a couple of astronomical quotes for the job and researched it thoroughly. I decided to have a go myself, as I'm trying to do everything myself at the moment (you've got to learn somehow). I'm going to Minispares tomorrow so wanted to get the two radius arms off so I could exchange them when I picked up the reconditioned ones.

So Far: I've spent the last two weeks giving all the bolts a daily soaking in plus gas, and before starting today I decided to use some Normfest super crack (I'd heard this couldn't fail to free seized bolts). So I set about removing the rear drums and backplates, no problem. Undid the inner and outer mounting bolts, got these too. Eventually got around to the dreaded bracket mounting bolts, so with everything crossed I set about having a go at them. I did as others had advised, and gave them a quick tightening nip in an attempt to break the rust bond. Then gently I tried undoing them one by one......and one by one they all sheared!!!! :evil:Well I say all, all but one. The remaining one broke the welds on the captive nut so is now spinning freely, but doing nowt.

So I am now left with:
Plus points - 2 radius arms off the car for exchange tomorrow.

Negative points - 7 sheared bolts stuck in the subframe. 1 freely spinning bolt that will need to be cut off to free the mounting bracket.

So where now? As far as I can tell I have three options:

1) With the subframe on the car - Drill out the seized bolts and weld in new captive nuts.
2) With the subframe off the car - Drill out the seized bolts and weld in new captive nuts.
3) Remove the subframe and replace with a new none genuine one. The genuine ones are way out of my budget at the moment.

Before you answer please take note that the lock up has no power so drilling and welding insitu will need the car moving to somewhere that has (more cost!). I'm very afraid based on the fact that none of this looks as though it's been apart in years that removing the subframe will just end up with me shearing off the subframe bolts, or screwing the captive nuts, leading to bigger headaches. Which do you guys think is the best option?

Has anyone got a foolproof way of getting the rear subby off without mullering the bolts in the heal board? Obviously I'm now very sceptical of the weeks of penetrating oil method Laughing.

Best laid plans and all that. I do wonder sometimes if these little cars are worth the heartache, but can't imagine being without one.

I would be grateful for any advice that will help. Cheers guys.

humph

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Re: Radius Arm Disaster - Advice Needed On Best Way Forward

Post  Red Riley on Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:10 am

Well, I wouldn't even attempt to remove the subbie unless you're prepared for more sheared off mounting bolts and captive nuts, requiring further heartaches and the possibility of needing the heelboard replaced. Ewww, I may not sleep tonight for the nightmares. Not having power is going to be a problem, as my only idea would be to attempt to get at least some of the sheared bolts out so that you can put the rebuilt arms on temporarily to roll it to a repair shop. I'm afraid my best suggestion is to have it pushed onto a trailer and get it to a specialist. Not a happy prospect. So gutted for you.Sad 

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Re: Radius Arm Disaster - Advice Needed On Best Way Forward

Post  geoff-d on Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:09 am

Power is not a problem hire a generator or buy 1 if you are going to be working at the lockup again. Drill out and repair threads . I wouldn't remove subrame without a welder to fix the heal board. I have fixed loads of mini's and only ever had 1 that unbolted and went back together ok and that car had stainless steal bolts
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Re: Radius Arm Disaster - Advice Needed On Best Way Forward

Post  humph on Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:21 pm

I hired a generator but only because the four rear bolts mounting the subframe had been mullered by someone in the past and I needed to drill the tops of the bolts off.  The subframe came off no problem, and fingers crossed will go back on ok soon enough.  Really didn't trust repairing all 8 of the radius arm bolts without the subby off.  If I was repairing the odd one I'd have been fine, but all of them meant I wanted to remove the subby and put the captive nuts back properly so no risk of pull out.

I agree on the buy a genny statement Geoff, but spending time working with gennies attracts unwanted attention and increases the chances of break ins, worst still been approached by ne'r do wells wanting to take the genny off me whilst working alone. The hunt is on for a unit with power.

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