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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:30 pm
Posts: 87
Year and Trim: 1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE
I tried to remove my severely rusted control arms from my 97 Bonneville SE, but couldn't remove the 2 bolts (front & back) in each control arm after removing their nuts. The bolts were frozen rusted to their bushing sleeves, which prevented me from removing them. So, I tried using a Sawzall to cut off the bolts but the blades were destroyed by the stronger steel of the bolts. But my grinder cut right through them, no problem.

Now, where can I get new SAE 8.8 grade (or higher) bolts and nuts for my 97 Bonneville SE? I can't seem to find them anywhere. They're 4" long with about a 18mm hex head, however, the diameter next to the bolt head is 5/8" and the end of the bolt is 1/2" diam. This is weird that the bolt diameter seems to change somewhere inside the bushing sleeve!

Also, I'm having a problem finding used control arms (left & right) that can be shipped to me, although I have found some that I'd need to remove by myself, Arrgghh!

I'd appreciate some help on this soon, even if the bolts & nuts aren't new.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:30 pm
Posts: 87
Year and Trim: 1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE
I found and ordered a Rear Left Control Arm from A-1 Auto Recyclers, Kirtland, NM 1-505-325-1994, for only $45 +$25 S/H.
They arrived in about a week and were RUST FREE, and even included the bushings and ball joint, which were in perfect condition!
Needless to say, they saved me a lot of work, time and $$$ because I didn't need to replace the bushings or ball joint.

Later, I needed to replace the Rear Right Control Arm, due to an accident, so I ordered it from A-1 Auto Recyclers again, but this time they charged me $40 for shipping, due to the shipping increase due to Covid-19 somehow. But it was well worth it because it arrived with the bushings and ball joint intact. However, the ball joint didn't move smoothly, so I borrowed a ball-joint press from Autozone and replaced it for cheap money.

Load leveling the rear suspension was a bitch, when I first jacked up the rear at the center with a floor jack, then moved jack stands under the control arms, the wheels didn't move outwards to simulate normal spring extension. They were too far extended.

So, I started from scratch by lowering the car to the floor, still on its wheels, bouncing the rear end up and down a few times until it rested at the proper height, then jacked up each side under its control arm and placed a car ramp under each wheel. Then I bounced it up and down again to ensure that the springs settled at a normal spring extension (I could tell by the gap between the top of the wheel and the fender), then tightened the control arm pivot nuts to 85 ft-lbs and their bolts to 134 ft-lbs.

Then I jacked up each control arm again and removed the ramps.

Not fun, but it worked!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:19 pm 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 11:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia
Year and Trim: 95 SLE
Southwest cars/parts are just a different category all together..

For the rear, it sounds like you were fighting the tires after letting it back down, which makes sense but doesn't make it suck any less.

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