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Front End Removal - Dec 23, 2005

I wasn’t able to get all I wanted done today. First half of the day was Christmas shopping, getting more fire wood, etc. I was able to get the front end off but, I ran into a snag. The Centerline rims that I have on the panel have locking nuts. It’s been years since I’ve looked for the special socket that removes them and guess what….I couldn’t find it. I tried to tap a socket onto one of the lugs hoping it would grab enough to get it going…not. I made a couple of attempts at putting my vise grips on a lug and taping it with a hammer to break it loose…not.

Not wanting to waste a lot of time, I left them on and remove the bolts holding the springs to the frame. Then, I rolled the whole shooting match out of the way. I’ll fight the lug nut battle another day. If anyone has any tips on removing the lug nuts, PLEASE PM ME with your ideas. I’ve got a feeling it’s really going to bite trying to get them off.

I began removing the shock mounts from the frame and the rear spring mounts. Taking a cut off wheel in the grinder to them worked great. Talk about stink! Old grease from year gone by with a little heat produces a truly wonderful smell. A quick hit with the air hammer point made the rivets holding the front shock mount come right out. The rear spring mount was a different story…

After cutting the rivets off, I noticed that the outside top edges of the mount had two separate inch long welds to the frame. I started cutting at them but wasn’t able to get the mount loose before it was time to start cleaning up the driveway. What caught me as funny was the spring mount on the passenger’s side did not have those same welds…just the rivets holding them into place. I couldn’t see any sign of repair that would have caused someone to put the welds in place. The welds themselves were clean (under the grease of course) like they could have been done at the factory. Perhaps there’s additional stress on the driver’s side that would have made them do it at the factory? Beats the snot out of me. Makes my job harder though…

If you click on the pictures and then click the little "expand" box in the lower right hand corner, I think you should be able to see the mounts and the welds I'm talking about. If anyone knows that this was or wasn't a standard, shoot me a message. I'm just curious.

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