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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Control Arm Bushing Change - Cut Bolt/sleeve?

'07 Cobalt. Control arm rear bushing is shot. Bolt is not coming.

I've tried my full quiver of tools - PB Blaster soak, impact wrench, long breaker bar. No joy. I can continue these for a while, but at some point, I'll have to go to plan B. Options would be (1) get an acetylene setup ($$$); (2) get a bigger breaker and hope nothing bad happens; or (3) cut the bolt/sleeve at the top and bottom of the bushing, break off the nut cage on top of the frame member, and replace with a bolt & nut.

Q: If anyone has tried (3), would you recommend going that route? How hard was it to get the cage off? Did you drop the sub-frame? Anything else from your experience?

Thanks
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 01:20 PM
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I heated my sleeve up with my blow torch and then locked vice grips on and sound the bolt out. This still resulted in the cage nut up top letting go. If I did it again I would order the proper bolt from GM and I'd cut the old one. Then I'd break the cage off the nut and pop the nut out and get the remnants of the bolt out of it.

BTW the nut is just a tapped rectangular piece of steel. The passenger nut is easy to reach from below however the driver's side was a bitch. Think it took a 1" wrench as well.

I own a hoist so not sure how this would be on the ground.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 02:08 PM
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On an older Cobalt all is going to be seized. Best way is to cut the control arm and install a new lower control arm. Then you can heat the bolt and unscrew it. You definitely need a hoist for this job. I did both my 08 and 10 on the ground because they weren't seized but my 07 no way they would budge.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 03:20 PM
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I had an 06 with the same issue. I ended up cutting the driver side bolt out and using a vice grips to get the remnants out. The cage broke free long before this during my other attempts to get the bolt out. On the driver side, I ended up having to remove some of the metal in front of the cage nut as well, but then everything came out and I was able to replace it. On the passenger side, I said to hell with it and paid a local mechanics shop 150$ to replace it. They ended up doing the same thing, cutting the bolt and replacing it. That was not a great job, and I didn't have a lift, which made it so much worse. I lubricated the hell out of the new bolt, but sold the car in January and don't have to worry about it anymore.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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How did you get the cage off after the nut broke free? How much a PITA was that?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 12:30 AM
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If I remember right, the cage was just a weak thin band of metal crossing in a t shape over the nut. I was surprised on how cheap it was. It shouldn't be much of an issue at all. I don't remember having any difficulty with it.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 09:31 AM
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I did with no hoist. Just high on the jack stands.
Tie up your rad/AC with a strap and drop the subframe. The engine will hang from top mounts.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaverG5GT View Post
I did with no hoist. Just high on the jack stands.
Tie up your rad/AC with a strap and drop the subframe. The engine will hang from top mounts.
Isn't the subframe held in by four bolts, two of which are the rear control arm bushing bolts? If they are seized, the subframe wouldn't drop. I suppose it would if you cut the rears and removed the remainder of the control arm bushing sleeve, but at that point, you could just install another bolt and nut into the new bushing instead of dropping the subframe. I guess it depends on how badly seized the bushing is onto the bolt.
https://www.yourcobalt.com/forums/pro...onsider-3.html
This is a link to the thread I started when I did my control arms. Half way down the page is a picture of what the cage over the captive nut looks like. It is a square piece of thin metal that was tackwelded in three places. Came off pretty easy.

Last edited by dakotarayne; 03-14-2017 at 12:23 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 11:35 PM
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It sucks on the ground lol
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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[OP] Done, both sides. For the record:
- I cut the bolt/sleeve, above and below the bushing, as close as I could to the frame bracket surfaces. I should have done that right from the start.

- I had to cut the nut cages off - they didn't just pop off. I reached in with a hacksaw blade to cut the front and back sides free from the frame surface. It was still welded on the side behind the nut, but I was now able to pry/wiggle it, and break that free.

- I was able to reach the passenger's side cage from under the car. The driver's side was much more obstructed - I couldn't see a way to even touch it from below. So, I removed the steering rack and the control arm bushing clamps. That let me reach the cage and nut from the wheel well. I haven't read anyone saying to do that, so I might be missing something; but, that's how it seemed.

- To remove the bushings, I cut the rubber out with a coping saw, and then used a hacksaw to (carefully) cut the outer metal ring. After that, it just popped out.

- I was able to press the bushings in, just using the (new) frame bolt, some pipe (2" on the bushing), and a couple of heavy-ish plates. It didn't go easily, but I've read that you need a 20-ton press, and I didn't.

- I got new bolts from Chevy. Matching all-metal lock nuts at Amazon,
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