Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

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Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby madbilly » Tue 21.02.2023, 14:04

Hi all,

I'm replacing the springs and dampers, mainly because the rear dampers were very tired. We managed to replace the rear ones yesterday though we did have to drill off one of the top spring cup fixing nuts. Unfortunately, that wrecked all our drill bits! Now the front ones all seem to be seized, and because they're hidden under the bodywork through those holes (which normally have the grommets in them) it will be like keyhole surgery to drill them off - doable, but will be a pain for 6 nuts, but without suitable bits won't be possible at all. I can only get a 1/4" drive socket in there, not a 1/2" one (and I'm sure an impact driver socket won't fit either), and unfortunately we don't have any 3/8" ones here at my Dad's (obviously, I could go and buy some). I don't mind wrecking the studs in the top spring cup because I've got replacement cups.

So, has anyone had this problem and found a wonderfully efficient way to do it?

Cheers :)
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby Tuga2112 » Tue 21.02.2023, 14:23

If it was me. i would just take the following 3 steps.

1 - remove clam shell.


2 - buy a serious impact driver
https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/kielder ... nm-impact/

3 - if it doesnt want to come out, it will shear off. either way. you can have both sides completely sorted in a afternoon. 100% guaranteed.

while the clam shell is out, you can also access other stuff easier.


or...
you can try to take the lazy approach and ultimately find out removing the clam shell would have been a quicker solution

im surprised a deep impact socket doesnt fit in the holes ?
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby madbilly » Tue 21.02.2023, 15:12

I wondered how long it would take for someone to suggest removing the clamshell. Right now, that's not an option, so call me lazy.

The bolts are not directly under the holes, so the extra girth of an impact socket probably means I can't get it in. In any case, a standard 1/4" drive socket doesn't fit in the hole. I'm going back out now to try more penetrating fluid and a hard tap with a hammer and chisel.

If I had freezer fluid I would try that.
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby Tuga2112 » Tue 21.02.2023, 15:39

madbilly wrote:I wondered how long it would take for someone to suggest removing the clamshell. Right now, that's not an option, so call me lazy.

The bolts are not directly under the holes, so the extra girth of an impact socket probably means I can't get it in. In any case, a standard 1/4" drive socket doesn't fit in the hole. I'm going back out now to try more penetrating fluid and a hard tap with a hammer and chisel.

If I had freezer fluid I would try that.


after all the work i done in the elan, the main lesson i learned is that trying to take shorcuts usually ends up being more frustrating than the long winded approach.
also the more you take out, the better you get to see whats there and tackle issues before they occur.
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby dapinky » Tue 21.02.2023, 19:06

Billy,

The nuts are not done up too tightly, but often require a bit of a sharp pull on the ratchet to break the seal - I see it that you have 3 viable options:-

(1) remove the clamshell and use a 13mm spanner
(2) get a garage to do it
(3) get hold of a deep 13mm 3/8" drive socket and ratchet

Option 3 is the sensible one, the items are cheap enough to buy, or try to borrow one from a friend/neighbour?
Dave

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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby madbilly » Tue 21.02.2023, 19:36

Tuga2112 wrote:after all the work i done in the elan, the main lesson i learned is that trying to take shorcuts usually ends up being more frustrating than the long winded approach.
also the more you take out, the better you get to see whats there and tackle issues before they occur.

Yes, after 12 years I've learnt that too. I also learnt not to start a job I don't have the time to finish before the car next has to move. In this case I unfortunately can't leave the car in pieces, it has to be back together by midday tomorrow.

If I have to leave this job and come back to it another time I'll definitely look into removing the clamshell next time, I just worry about an even worse rusty nut-fest...

dapinky wrote:Billy,

The nuts are not done up too tightly, but often require a bit of a sharp pull on the ratchet to break the seal - I see it that you have 3 viable options:-

(1) remove the clamshell and use a 13mm spanner
(2) get a garage to do it
(3) get hold of a deep 13mm 3/8" drive socket and ratchet

Option 3 is the sensible one, the items are cheap enough to buy, or try to borrow one from a friend/neighbour?

Hi Dave,

Yep, you've pretty much summed it up and option 3 is my preferred one. I did have a little more luck this afternoon after I cobbled together a few extenders and adaptors I could find around my Dad's garage and managed to get 2 out of 3 on each side to come off. Unfortunately with remaining two the nut is stuck on a spinning stud, just like I had on one of the rear ones. So, we might be looking at a drilling job (with better drill bits this time) or leaving the job for next time I can come up and plan to take the clamshell off, do the suspension replacement and get the clamshell back on so the car can be moved back out of the way before I have to leave. I can also bring all the right tools up with me next time, now that I know what my Dad's not got.

To give even more background, I want to get these new springs and dampers on the car whilst it's at my Dad's because he's got more space to work on a car (though it can't be left in pieces for weeks on end) and my garage is a tight fit (when I can even get the car into it). The car is drivable, and I could drive it back down to my house, but I can't get it in my garage at the moment. I've got one of those puzzles where one piece has to move before another one can.

Cheers both :)
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby dapinky » Tue 21.02.2023, 20:21

Billy,

As far as a 'spinning stud' goes, it isn't something I've ever encountered. Have you tried putting the wheel on, dropping it to the ground and trying to undo the nut? My thought being that the weight of the car will force the rubber doughnut upwards and may clamp the stud still enough to break the seal on the nut????

Of course, if you're already on the ground when trying, or you've tried it, then it won't help!
Dave

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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby Tuga2112 » Tue 21.02.2023, 20:52

i just tested in my car. and mine are 14mm
but a non-impact deep 1/2'' socket fits.

i was finding it very confusing why the hell were you using a 1/4'' for that size nuts. i never touch anything bigger than 10mm with 1/4'' drive
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby Simon_P » Tue 21.02.2023, 22:44

Buy a decent 1/4" extension and socket it gives extra clearance on the hole. must be full a hex socket
Try hitting it hard to break the "seal" between the nut and the stud.
If the wheels aren't on the ground jack under the wishbone to unload the platform.
Try doing up the nut to break the seal
If all of that fails just do the nut up to shear it off (I'm assuming you've already buggered it up trying to undo it!).
a well aimed cold chisel and a big hammer...
Ah I see it is rotating...

No need to remove Top shell...

You'll like this!

Remove the spring and damper leaving the platform in situ... then drill the head off the stud from underneath where there is plenty of access!
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby dapinky » Wed 22.02.2023, 16:34

Simon_P wrote:You'll like this!

Remove the spring and damper leaving the platform in situ... then drill the head off the stud from underneath where there is plenty of access!


You know what - I didn't think of that one, but if the 'sensible' methods fail, then it is far better than removing the clamshell - I like it!
Dave

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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby madbilly » Wed 22.02.2023, 18:02

Tuga2112 wrote:i just tested in my car. and mine are 14mm
but a non-impact deep 1/2'' socket fits.

i was finding it very confusing why the hell were you using a 1/4'' for that size nuts. i never touch anything bigger than 10mm with 1/4'' drive

Are you offering to let me borrow your sockets?! ;)

I thought I explained but maybe not - the 1/2" drive sockets I had to hand didn't fit through the holes. Mine is a 1990 model, maybe later models had bigger holes? We didn't have any 3/8" drive sockets to hand, so had to use a 1/4" drive socket instead. Normally I'd agree, I wouldn't use 1/4" for anything I can get a larger drive socket on.

Simon_P wrote:You'll like this!

Remove the spring and damper leaving the platform in situ... then drill the head off the stud from underneath where there is plenty of access!

Hi Simon,
Great suggestion! This is probably going to be what I end up doing, if I don't have any joy with any other method next time I get chance to work on it.

dapinky wrote:Billy,

As far as a 'spinning stud' goes, it isn't something I've ever encountered. Have you tried putting the wheel on, dropping it to the ground and trying to undo the nut? My thought being that the weight of the car will force the rubber doughnut upwards and may clamp the stud still enough to break the seal on the nut????

Of course, if you're already on the ground when trying, or you've tried it, then it won't help!

Good suggestion Dave, I'll try this next time before Simon's suggestion.

Cheers all :)
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby Tuga2112 » Sat 25.02.2023, 20:29

madbilly wrote:Are you offering to let me borrow your sockets?! ;)


that wouldnt bother me at all. but you would need to have your car in Durham somehow :lol:

mine is a 91 SE and the others are also 91 Se's or 92 NA but all of them have the same size hole.
i believe you that they dont align. after all, if your clam shell is installed out of alignment then the holes wouldnt align with the turret nuts.

im afraid i dont have any helpfull suggestions left. I Have never taken out the coils on the elan (although i aready paid for the replacement, their not arrived yet)
i certainly hope i dont need to remove the shell to do mine. but that will be a story for another day.
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby madbilly » Mon 27.02.2023, 11:23

Hi Tuga,
The question isn't alignment, it's that the socket root (that the 1/2" drive plugs into) is too wide, our sockets obviously have more meat on them than yours do (doesn't mean they're better quality though, just meatier). The head of the socket fits through fine, but doesn't reach the nuts.
Cheers :)
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby Tuga2112 » Tue 28.02.2023, 09:52

madbilly wrote: it's that the socket root (that the 1/2" drive plugs into) is too wide, our sockets obviously have more meat on them than yours

for reference, my 1/2 deep impact sockets wont fit, its the non-impact ones that fit.
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Re: Seized front damper/spring cup top fixing nuts

Postby madbilly » Mon 24.04.2023, 20:58

Hi all,
In the end we drilled them out. Took a while, but with a good strong drill bit it was possible.
Cheers :)
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