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Old 09-06-2013, 02:57 PM   #1
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Rear Upper Shock Bolts

I will be taking a torch to all four to try and expand them enough to crack the rust and help free them.

Please say a prayer for me and my TJ that we do not break off any heads. This is my DD and I am so screwed if this happens. But the old shocks are completely dead. They do pretty much nothing, the bushings are rotted out and they rattle around loose. The rear end is like riding on a buckboard. So I have to try...

If I break one of these bolt heads off I will be shooting my TJ in the (engine) head. The viewing will be on Monday with funeral to follow. Cold beer will be served.


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Old 09-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
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Just soak them with pb blaster for a week and you will be fine. I wouldn't bother doing it with heat. You might blow yourself up.

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Old 09-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
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If the shocks in the jeep are currently useless/dead , i would do what i did. I used a cutting saw i believe it called a recipricating saw, i cut the shock out of the way, then drilled out the ones that didnt want to come out. I remember this night mare haha! Easily fixed but a pain in the butt
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:03 PM   #4
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Use a lot of pb blaster. When I put my lift on I broke all of the bolts for the rear shocks... Took about 8 hours over 2 days to drill them out... Good luck though. If you can wait a few days for the pb blaster to loosen them up.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:09 PM   #5
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I advise spraying PB blaster repeatedly for at least a week before attempting to remove bolts. In addition, heat would help but fuel tank is close by.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:14 PM   #6
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PB Blaster two or three times a day for over a week. No love. I know heat works. And several here have recommended it to break really bad rust. I am talking about the kind that has eaten through a lot of the exposed threads. Bad rust. I want to buy all new hardware, but I just found out that our dealership no longer has access to all the fasteners. He suggested I go to a local bolt and screw shop that they deal with. They are cool. I have bought from them before. So if I can get it, all new hardware is on the way. But if not I am afraid to break these old ones. It is my DD, so I guess I have to wait for some time.

While heat *will* work, I am afraid of the gas tank. If doing this with a torch yields results with no explosions nine out of ten times, I will be that tenth time...
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
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The PB blaster worked great for me too. Just be sure and use it on the top of the bolt (between the frame and the tub) so it can soak down into the threads.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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Have fun with this headache sucks.... Just did mine about two months ago. I tried the cutting but had little luck getting in at the right angle. I ended up bending up the shock at close to 90* so the piston would not move.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #9
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X infinity on soaking with PB blaster multiple days ahead. I just went through this and broke one of the bolts on the rears a couple of weeks ago. Thank God I had a 1" BL and could access the nuts. My neighbor and I spent a good hour swinging away with a 3# sledge and crowbar and knocked the nut off. I thought of heat, but was too scared to do it that close to the gas tank. Don't blow yourself up. Good luck my friend.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:14 PM   #10
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This one is worth the extra soak time. All four of my bolts were rusted to hell. Two weeks of hitting the top where the nut is and down below on the threads with pb and they all broke free. You definitely do not want to snap one of those bolts, especially if this is a daily driver. It's a bear of a spot to have to drill bolts out. If they do break, you may just want to turn your torch loose on your gas tank. Good luck.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:19 PM   #11
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I would use Kroil instead... PB works OK, but no where near as good as Kroil.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:40 PM   #12
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Great responses so far, guys. Thanks!

RE:Kroil

Can you get it at NAPA, O'Reilly or AutoZone? That is all we have in my small town...
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Holton345 View Post
Great responses so far, guys. Thanks!

RE:Kroil

Can you get it at NAPA, O'Reilly or AutoZone? That is all we have in my small town...
Don't think so. I always get mine at an industrial hardware store. I'm pretty sure gun stores have it too.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:55 PM   #14
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Use a 50/50 mixture of ATF and acetone.
You'll never use Pb blaster again. I can't say the same for kroil, never used it.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:55 PM   #15
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Okay, so nearly TWO YEARS LATER and the Kroil and PB have been useless. No one seems to believe what I am saying about how badly these are rusted in. They have physically bonded with the weld nuts.

I sprayed these every few days for close to a year. Two came out, two snapped off. I have been afraid to use my acetylene torch so close to the gas tank. Because of this I had to resurrect an old Volvo (400,000+ miles on the odo!) and drive it since this thread was originally posted. The jeep has been parked, and this is the major hold up in my build. I cannot get past this point.

I need to know how much heat I can use and for how long when working near the gas tank like this. It is half full and I have no way to fill it completely, which increases the risk, of course.

It is parked in my back yard and I have no way to get it out save under its own power. Therefore, I will be torching these two bolt stubs.

There is no one who can come over and burn them out with a welder, and that would be just as risky, I think. I have no friends in this town as I moved here recently. No wheeling or mechanic buddies. All my friends are cubicle drones who are not into wrenching at all.

After nearly two years I am SICK OF THIS! They are coming out even if I have to blow the damned TJ up to do it! I just hope I do not have to post a follow-up from a hospital room!

Any advice at all?
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Old 06-25-2015, 03:18 PM   #16
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Wade, ill try my best to give some advice that i found when doing my lift in the fall.

torch would be the last thing i would want to do, but thats my personal belief.

1: cut the damn shock - you are not keeping the old stock one so cut it as close to the top as you can to give yourself some room to work with.

2: Try and remove just the bolt that is in the middle of the jeep, and only LOSEN the bolt that is closest to the rail. If you can do that you "should" be able to slide the old shock out and the new one in.

3: if that doesnt work, and you snap the bolt remove all the body mounts and fuel neck screws and jack that body up!! get enough clearance and cut the welded nut and replace with just a nut.
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Old 06-25-2015, 03:33 PM   #17
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Shocks have been gone for about two years, now. In "loosening" the two bolts the heads came off. The stems are bonded to the weld nuts but the cores are still solid steel.

As I said in the previous post, the heads snapped off (after months of using Kroil daily) and then soaked in Kroil for about another year. Penetrating oils are useless in this case, as I said. Jacking up the tub is not an option at all for me. Nor is dropping the tank.

I need information regarding heat near the tank. That is what I was really asking about. All other options have been exhausted over the past two years of screwing with this. I have not driven my jeep in two years! I need to heat these up until the bond breaks and I can get some Kroil down into the threads. The bond is too complete for Kroil to work, as evidenced by the two years of soaking. There is no longer any sort of differentiation (and physical gap) between the weld nut and the bolt stump. They are one piece of metal until I can break them apart. Heat is the best option by far, but I am worried about the gat tank. Can't drip it either.

Just need info on using heat near the tank. Thanks, though. I read and considered every word you wrote.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:02 PM   #18
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Okay, so nearly TWO YEARS LATER and the Kroil and PB have been useless. No one seems to believe what I am saying about how badly these are rusted in. They have physically bonded with the weld nuts.

I sprayed these every few days for close to a year. Two came out, two snapped off. I have been afraid to use my acetylene torch so close to the gas tank. Because of this I had to resurrect an old Volvo (400,000+ miles on the odo!) and drive it since this thread was originally posted. The jeep has been parked, and this is the major hold up in my build. I cannot get past this point.

I need to know how much heat I can use and for how long when working near the gas tank like this. It is half full and I have no way to fill it completely, which increases the risk, of course.

It is parked in my back yard and I have no way to get it out save under its own power. Therefore, I will be torching these two bolt stubs.

There is no one who can come over and burn them out with a welder, and that would be just as risky, I think. I have no friends in this town as I moved here recently. No wheeling or mechanic buddies. All my friends are cubicle drones who are not into wrenching at all.

After nearly two years I am SICK OF THIS! They are coming out even if I have to blow the damned TJ up to do it! I just hope I do not have to post a follow-up from a hospital room!

Any advice at all?
I would suggest that you remove the fuel tank before you start with a torch. That will also give you some more room to work.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:22 PM   #19
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I would not let my jeep sit for two years. I would drop the tank and torch the bolts off. You said that dropping the tank was not an option. I don't believe you have any options left.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:24 PM   #20
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Why can you not drop the tank? Doesnt take long and isnt hard to do. Just curious...
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:33 PM   #21
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Just can't. I am not asking about that. I am asking for information regarding using heat near the tank. Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:18 PM   #22
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Don't point the torch at the tank any more than you need to, and you don't need a flame like a moon rocket taking off. 3psi acetylene and 25-30psi oxygen through a small brazing tip should be fine. If you have something heavy and non-flammable or flame resistant, like a large piece of leather or heavy canvas, use that to shield the tank where you're working.

Heat often works, but it's not magic. There's a good chance you may end up having to use one of the other methods already mentioned. But it looks like you've got nothing to lose after this long.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:39 PM   #23
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Yep.

I have only a B tank of acetylene - no oxy mix. I have some fireproof "millboard" that I use on my bench with I solder on musical instruments (part-time home business for the past 15 years). I will tack that up to the tank skid using Heat Fence.

I have a fairly large tip that allows me to braze, albeit with a lot of wasted gas since no oxy tank to mix in. Works great, brazes beautifully. I think that temp range will work well enough, but it will take me some time to heat it up. THAT is what I am worried about. However, I had not thought of slapping that fireproof millboard up there. It is a 1 foot square, about a half inch thick and should help a lot.

Dropping the tank is not possible right now because I have no money to replace the stuff that will have to be destroyed to get it out. Once I am on better financial footing I will drop the tank and replace the skid, pump, lines (esp EVAP) and all new hardware after chasing the threads to clean them up.

This TJ was submerged in the Mississippi River flood of 2011 for about two weeks, and none of the sheet metal in the tub or body panels were affected, nor the frame nor any other parts, but ALL the undercarriage fasteners were quickly and severely rusted due to the corrosive chemical in the water. The frame had been painted inside and out, the tub and body panels still have all their primer and paint. Only the fasteners were bare metal, and they are all cemented in place. Almost all have been busted out cleanly, with a lot of effort. I have these two broken-off stubs of upper, rear shock bolts and the frame-side rear track bar bolt left to get loose. I have a good plan for the track bar, so that is just a matter of me getting to it. The issue is the stubs in the frame. I plan on a body lift for a tummy tuck in the future. I *really* wish I had that installed right now!

Thanks again for the ideas and assistance. I will try the millboard to keep heat off the tank skid/cover. I think once I have it glowing it will sufficiently crack the rust enough to *finally* get some Kroil down in there. Once I can get the penetrant in the threads I am sure they will break free. I have to grab them from above with vise-grips, so that is part of the problem. I do not want to try and drill them out as the severity of the rust has already broken most of my easyouts and reverse bits. I was lucky in that all of them still managed to come out. I am worried about access if I lose this very last of resorts. So heat until the rust cracks, then Kroil (for like the 200th time) and some air chiseling to speed the cracking of the rust. Then - finally - success?

I am glad you suggested the idea of masking off the tank from the flame. I have this millboard and it works great, yet had never once thought to stick it up beneath the TJ because it is not an automotive product.

THANKS!
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:42 PM   #24
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Heat is a terrible idea. your going to have to cut them off, if there really rusted solid. Again acetylene touch & plastic fuel tank is a horrible idea.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:45 PM   #25
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Also, if you do heat it up, don't put kroil on them, get em out while there still hot!
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:01 AM   #26
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The board "might" help but gas fumes don't care about a board. I wouldn't use heat with the tank in myself but if you do, use a fan in to move the fumes that may be around or at least it might dilute them more.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:59 AM   #27
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I ordered the 2 cans of Kroil direct from the manuf. I just went through this myself, used copious amounts of Kroil and pb blaster, and eventually a torch to loosen the upper shock bolts.

I bought new hardware at the local Ace Hardware (all stainless steel) and lots of anti-sieze compound. Once I get finished installing the rest of the lift and tighten everything down fully, I'll be dousing the under-carriage with Amsoil Metal Protectant.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:13 AM   #28
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If you peel away the wheel well liner, you can kind of get to the tops of those bolts. I had one that just refused to let go, the others put up a good fight. Soak them on top and bottom, and sneak an air hammer or air chisel in there to vibrate the holy hell out of them. Worked like a charm for me. I recently dropped my tank to replace my skid. The front left bolt is the only one that fought me, but for hours. I too contemplated a torch or even a grinder, but I couldn't bring myself to introduce flame/spark near an empty fuel tank. Once it goes, that's it. You don't get a chance to react. Not a risk worth taking for a stubborn bolt.
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:01 PM   #29
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Ryan, my liners have been out for a year now, as I took them off when it went up on jack stands.

I have Kroiled the crap of of them I have gone after the upper bits with a super-tight visegrip and an air chisel.

I think heat is the only thing left. I used heat before but chickened out before it got dull red.

Lindel, describe exactly how you used your torch. Did you have to get the weld nut glowing?

I have a product I use when I braze, called Heat Fence. It is a clay heat sink that works really well. I intend to slather it all over the frame member where the weld nut is so that most of the heat does not travel along the steel toward the tank. I will put it all over the side of the tank skid and then will put the non-asbestos millboard over it. I sound get very little heat near the tank this way.

Heat Fence is a great product. I had just never thought of using it in this manner.
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:41 PM   #30
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Didn't realize just how deep you were into this thing!
Regarding the torch use, here's my 02˘. The real danger is not heat conducted across frame steel. There's enough mass there to dissipate that heat, you could get the weld nut red hot and rest your hand on the frame 8" away without burn.
The danger with gasoline is the vapor, which is constant. Flash point of pump gas is -50F, so even on the coldest arctic winter day, it poses serious risk. Ignition temperature is less than 500F, I believe mapp gas torch tip temperature hovers around 3000F. The less fuel you have in the tank, the more vapor there is. The more you jostle the vehicle, the more vapor is created. Blah blah blah, it's dangerous, blah blah.
I'd rather come help you drop the tank than hear that you done blowed yourself up!

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