Tearing into the front suspension

I have been really slacking off on the Jeepster since winter kicked in.

There are two reasons.  First I like working on cars but not when it is cold.  Second the car has actually been running well.  We have been using the car to run around town and have probably put 300-400 miles on it.

But the days are warming up and the car rides like hell.  So after work today I decided to see how many rusty bolts I could break.  The right number is zero but I don’t like the look of these nuts at all.

To maximize my odds I hit every nut with a propane torch.  This got a little interesting when I set some of the rubber bushings on fire.  Once the nuts cooled down I hit them all with penetrating oil.  Then I got out my trusty impact wrench.

Success!  I started with the shock because it was easy to get to and if the shock studs break off I am really, really screwed.  But the nuts came right off.  In fact the studs are in pretty good shape.  The shock on the other hand is a basket case.  It has almost no resistance.

I used this screw jack to support the axle and take the weight off the spring.  You can see I have the nut off the sway bar link.  Then I attacked the spring plate nuts.

Boom goes the dynamite!  The spring came right out.  The ends of all the bolts and nuts were rusted all to hell but whoever put this together last lubricated the threads and everything came apart nicely.  Replacing the eye bushing in the end of the spring is going to be interesting but for now I will take the win.

The last real challenge were the sway bar mounts.  They bolt into nuts welded into the frame and there is no access to the ends of the bolts to try and clean them up.  So I put the impact wrench on and pulled the trigger.  The bolts came hard but they came out.  Notice how nice the mounting hole for the front spring shackle looks.  That is much better than I expected.

There is going to be a massive rust-removal party in my near future.  I am trying to decide if I should take the other spring off or just do one side at a time to keep the axle from moving anywhere.  But for now it started to storm and I was hungry so I knocked off for the night.

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