Lotus Elan

Removing bushings from lower A arms

PostPost by: tvacc » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:17 am

Hi all,

Well, I burned out the rubber and inner race. But the now how do I get out the outer shell?

I have tried scoring with a hacksaw blade as low as I dare to go. Tried chisels, punches.

Should i take it to a machine shop?

Any ideas welcome.
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:37 am

Suitable sized socket in a big vice, if you have one, or a press if you don't.
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PostPost by: PeterK » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:51 am

Broke my vice and an m10 bolt trying to get mine out.

Hacksaw blade (aimed at the middle of the joined tube) then chisel worked for me in the end. Took a serious amount of hitting, bending up the bit I had managed to start ripping, and repeating. IIRC, once I was about 1/3 of the way along the hacksaw line with the chisel, the remaining outer sleeve conceded defeat and fell out.

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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:50 pm

Two pieces of pipe the smaller diameter just less than the hole in the frame, so that it presses on the outer of the bush. The second with an inner diameter into which a new bush will easily slide. This will then press on the A frame. As mentioned above some deep socket spanners may suit the inner one.

Each pipe ideally longer than the width of a bush.

Two very thick washers or pieces of steel with an appropriate sized hole and a long piece 6 to 9 inches of threaded rod as fat as you can buy that will go through the inner pipe. Suitable nuts for the rod.


Put one nut on rod, slide on washer and outer pipe, poke through the recalcitrant bush, add inner pipe, second fat washer and a nut.

Screw the nuts towards each other and the inner pipe should pull the bush into the outer pipe.

To fit the new bush: Nut then washer then poke through A frame, then new bush, then washer then nut. Do it up until it is nearly in then undo nut, add the inner pipe, washer and nut, to pull it in the last tiny bit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Above is how you can do it by purchasing odds & ends. Many years ago, when my big lathe was working, I made a special puller for my own use. The really difficult & tedious bit was sawing off a suitable chunk of steel from a stock bar of steel 4" by 4", with a hand hacksaw. Thankfully I no longer remember how long that took me.

DSCN3351 (Medium).JPG and
Suspension bush puller, assembled.


DSCN3350 (Medium).JPG and
Suspension bush puller, extractor end of inner plug


DSCN3349 (Medium).JPG and
Suspension bush puller, insertor end of inner plug.
Last edited by billwill on Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: peterexpart » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:03 pm

Assuming you have a "Mans" Vice open it as far as it will go, place a 3/4" AF Socket on the pushing side and a 1 1/4" Socket on the receiving side, tighten Vice then warm the Eyelet with a blowlamp while applying more pressure to the Vice, simples !!!
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:37 pm

Here is the method I used. All parts sourced at Home Depot (could be Homebase if UK).

lotus-suspension-f42/removing-year-old-front-suspension-bushings-with-photos-t23684.html

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PostPost by: zog » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:38 pm

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PostPost by: [email protected] » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:15 pm

I've never burned those bushings out myself. I used to use sockets of the correct size as a receiver and pusher and in some cases need a propane torch to heat up the end of the arm. I did break a Chinese, Harbor Fraught type vise changing the bushings for a friends S4. I now have a real vise it worked fine changing the bushings (the originals from 1965 !) on my car. I did use my floor jack handle as a torque extension on the vice for extra push and since I've done these a bunch of times for friends I have a dedicated receiver and pusher tool.
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PostPost by: gearbox » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:03 am

I just did the same thing on my original 43 year old bushings. The OEM outer sleeve is so tight and thin, it was hard to get sockets the correct size and then try to line it up (all three parts) in a vise to press them out. I was by myself, so I just took my hand held air saw and sliced the sleeve from one side to another. I guess you can use a saw blade and do it be hand, but it will take a while. I didn't want to cut into the wishbone, so I sawed, inspected, and sawed some more. Hardest part was getting a slice that was even from side to side, near side cuts first, far side will cut once you have the goove in place, and angle the saw a bit, and the center cuts last. Once I got pretty much through the sleeve, I made another cut 90 degrees out in the same way. While the sleeve may not be fully cut through, it weakens it substaintially. I took a blunt chisel and placed it in the center of one of the grooves and tapped away, then moved to the other groove and did the same thing. Soon as you can see the sleeve move a bit, you are home free, you have broken the mechanical bond. Use a punch on the edge of the sleeve and tap away and it will just fall out. You don't need to pound the hell out of it, just tap it with a hammer. If still no joy, cut some more, most likely the center is still too thick as you can see the depth on the sides, but not in the middle. After the first one, it took me about 5 minutes to do each of the rest. Good luck, isn't working on these cars so much fun?
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PostPost by: tvacc » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:59 am

Hi all.

Well, I just gave up and took them to NAPA machine shop in the area. Cost me $150 to get all the bushings removed.

I do have another two issues I am facing at the moment. The one front bushing was seized on the mounting from the chassis. I did heat it very carefully and got the rubber soft enough to pull the outer sleeve off and now I have in the inner sleeve still there. I have started to put a slot in it to get it off but ran out of dremel cut off disks.

My other issue are the lotocones. The nut is so shallow and I just cannot get a grip to unscrew it. Now they seem fine but I did want to change them. Anyone have any ideas?
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:30 pm

I take it that you mean the bolts that secure the lotocones to the chassis and not the shock absorber shaft?

Mine is a coupe and I found it necessary to carefully take out the rear window then the parcel shelf, so that I could use good quality socket spanners on those bolts. From comments on this forum I gather that you may also need to use a socket spanner on multiple extension rods, upwards from underneath to hold or turn the other end of those bolts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Looking at the parts manual
http://www.rdent.com/manuals/index.html
It seems that when I did that myself, long ago, I have forgotten the details. I don't recall any thread on the lotacone's mount holes, but:

The parts manual seems to imply that the mount holes of the lotacone are threaded and held in by a bolt inserted from underneath. Difficult to do with the body on, except perhaps by a socket spanner on several extension rods.
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PostPost by: tvacc » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:00 pm

Yes, they are the lotocones to the chassis bolts. You do get them from under the car. I do have the entire rear suspension our, so they are easy to get to. Problem is that this is a 1966 Coupe, and they have benn on there for almost 50 years and the bolt heads are like 1/3 cut down for clearance. Not much bolt head to get a bite.

I have soaked them in pentrating oil, and still the shallow nature of the bolt heads makes it diffiult if not impossible to get enough of a bite on the bolt head to exert enough torque to move the bolt.
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:08 pm

I have often found that the lead-in taper of a socket prevents a good grip on a shallow head, and have ground ends of the sockets to remove the taper, so that the gripping parts are as long as possible.
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:14 pm

If the rubber of the cones is OK, you might just want to leave them. There is no guarantee that the rubber of new lotacones will be as good.

But else-wise as a last resort, if Roger's improved-socket grip trick does not work, AFTER you have obtained new special bolts and lotacones you could take out the parcel shelf and carefully drill out the bolts from above, perhaps.
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PostPost by: tvacc » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:16 pm

I do have the window and parcel shelf out already. Will look again when I get home from work.

Thanks
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