Rusted drop link bolts on a Fiat Panda Mk2…

The anti-roll bar drop links are very close to the ground on the Fiat Panda, which means after many years and miles – the salt and moisture often seizes them completely.

Normally, to remove them you’ll hold the nut in place using an Allen wrench or mole grips, and then turn the nut using a 17mm ring spanner.

However, terrible rusting has led to me going through my encyclopedia of different methods to remove them. In no particular order, these are…

  • Straightforward undoing with Allen key and spanner – resulted in rounding off a small amount of the nut with no movement
  • Blasting it with PlusGas and waiting a while before trying to undo it manually
  • Using an impact wrench and a 17mm socket on the nut
  • Using a 600mm breaker bar and socket on the nut and mole grips on the bolt
  • Heating the nut up using a blowtorch
  • Freezing the nut using Loctite freeze spray
  • A combination of heating followed by rapid cooling
  • Welding a new nut to the end of the bolt (not tried this time)
  • Mimicking the impact wrench effect by using a hammer and cold chisel
  • Using Irwin Bolt Grip fluted sockets on the nut
  • Drilling the bolt from the other side, using cobalt steel bits followed by Easy-Out type screw extractors
  • Drilling the bolt from the other side, using carbide tipped masonary drill bits.
  • Angle grinding the nut and bolt
  • Using a Dremel-type multitool with a reinforced cutting disc attachment on the nut

After a combination of several of the above, this was my prize in freeing the old drop links

 

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