Lower Control arm replacement. Trouble removing them.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by mypriuscious, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Not a flawed design. It's the high salt environment that you are operating in. And, it's also the RoHS environmental rules. Prior to the adoption of RoHS, cadmium and hexa-chromium high rust resistance plating was allowed to be used in bolts. Now, most bolts are zinc plated and have less long term rust resistance. Once the anodic zinc is gone, the components rust together at their mating surfaces. Rustproofing can displace moisture from water vapor to delay the electrolytic displacement of the zinc.
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I read about owner's high mileage woes, then go out to the garage and get the jump on it with our low miles cream puff, guilty as charged. But:

    1. I don't a have a torque wrench that goes past 150 ft/lb, yet....

    2. If it's not broke? I'll probably never need to extract the lower control arm from ours, and the Repair Manual instruction makes me nervous, when the last steps recommend lowering the car to the floor to settle the components, and then a front end alignment. For something that's not a problem to begin with? And might already be seized.

    Still, I might shoot some liquid film in there. That's non-destructive compromise that might help, another 5~10 years down the road.

    I'd argue regardless of the current regs, if a main bolt and nut rusts up to the point that destruction is the only method it can be removed, that is a fail. Road salt is a fact-of-life in a lot of North America, they should contend with it at the design stage. They don't seem to though.
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    If only that was possible: taking another look, confirmed: that nut is COMPLETELY boxed in, inaccessible, as far as I can see.

    That might be the only way, if you want to go there...
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Very likely best approach is to not touch these until it's necessary. Which for most will be never. Hopefully.

    Repair Manual says to just snug the bolts, lower the car to the floor, bounce the front end a few time, and then torque the bolts. This necessitates some sort of access pit, or ramps. And then it recommends a front end alignment.

    It's too bad that the nuts are inaccessible, "entombed" in the cross-member. But I'd be very reluctant to pull those bolts, as a work-around to get some lube on them. When everything's currently just fine.
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Here's alignment info, and associated "zero point calibration". Alignment check is recommended after the control arm replacment:
     
  6. mypriuscious

    mypriuscious Member

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    Thank you for reminding me. I have a lifetime alignment through Tires Plus. And it's on the books now that I have my car back.
     
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I wonder if Tires Plus can handle something like that, the zero point calibration? Also, I think camber adjustment (if required) involves alternate bolts, with reduced diameter shanks, special Toyota parts...

    What about that install the two main lower control arm bolts finger tight, lower the car to the ground, bounce it a few times, and then torque the bolts? Did it go like that?
     
  8. mypriuscious

    mypriuscious Member

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    I hope so, they do have a 40k dollar alignment rack.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Print out the two pdf's maybe, from #45. The zero calibration thing in particular, that's not gonna be helped by the 40K machinery.
     
  10. mypriuscious

    mypriuscious Member

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    I do see what you are saying now, as I googled it and an informative youtube video explained it to me. And I will bring it up with them before they do it. But, it hasn't ever been a problem for me before. Though, I'm not sure how I would've been made aware that this problem existed though.
     
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