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Old 04-09-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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Question Broken upper shock bolts

Ok, so I'm thinkin I will finish installing my lift this weekend.......wrong! Out of the 4 upper shock bolts in the rear, I broke 3 heads off. Since the nut that the bolts screw into is welded to the body of the jeep, this causes a big problem. This is my plan, please let me know of anything better. I was going to (A) try drilling out the old bolt and tapping a new, slightly bigger, hole in the nut and thread a slightly bigger bolt through. And if that didn't work, (B) I would try getting a longer bolt and screw it into a nut that I would put on top of the existing welded nut. The problem with option B is that once the new shock is in place, I don't think I can reach up to put a new nut on top of the existing nut. I began drilling out one of the old bolts but didn't feel comfortable following through, so I decided to finish the rest of the lift, then drive it across the street to the mechanic and have him (an expert) drill out the old bolts instead of me. I was hoping to save some dough by istalling the lift myself, but looks like I will have to shell out a hundred or so just to have the stupid old bolts drilled out. Anyone have any other options for me? Thanks.

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Old 04-09-2007, 11:25 AM   #2
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Hello... i hav a 98 so the bolts are prob different but i also snapped the upper bolt on the rear shock. The thing rattled like it was its job... but i jus let it go for a lil while. Something else went wrong with the jeep a few weeks after that left the jeep stranded on the side of the road. I had a mechanic fix the bolt while it was in the shop. It cost me a little over $200. I reccomend sucking it up and tryin it urself like u said u wanted to! Even tho its a MAJOR MAJOR PITA to get to the bolt im sure u would like to save the money... I feel ur pain, Goodluck getting it fixed!

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Old 04-09-2007, 11:45 AM   #3
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I also busted some bolts off while wheelin a few times and I just drilled them and used an easy out to get the old bolts out of there. The one I did have to then re-tap it as I had hosed the threads while getting the broken bolt out.

It's definitely not the best design aspect of the Jeep suspension.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:58 AM   #4
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RUBICONVICT, the same thing happened to me 4 days ago while installing a BB. Both driverside and the inner pass side snapped flush with the frame. It took about 3 hrs but I drilled and tapped 2 and broke the nut off the top of one. Its a really weird angle to drill out and I wasted 5 bits in the process. It takes time and a lot of elbow grease but it turned out pretty good. The one with the nut that I broke off of the frame on top was easy, so I tried to break the other 2 but they wouldnt budge. Good Luck. Must be somthin with 02 TJs.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:38 AM   #5
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Hope you got my pm. I had no luck drilling....its such an odd angle we just kept breaking bits and made very little progress. If you have some very sharp, very very strong bits....you might have more luck.

I just left it all in place and welded some studs up there. Spent like 5 bucks on bolts and nuts....and just cut the heads off the bolts and used them as studs. Not the prettiest job in the world, but its super strong.

So instead of paying a shop to drill them out.....might be cheaper just to pay a shop to weld in some studs.

Also try some air tools to knock the welds off the nuts. If you can get those welds free....the nut and broke bolt will just come right out. Another method is to use a dremel with a cutting wheel on it. Stick it up in the little rectangular hole inthe middle....and try to cut the nut off from the top....or at least cut into it enough to weaken it so it might break offf easier. When I was playing with mine....If you can reach through the wheel well...pull it back or just remove it....I was able to reach in and get a wrench in there. So if you do get the nuts off....you should be able to get a wrench in there to tighten new ones up.

Worse case scenario is you cut a small hole in your trunk pan......just big enough to fit a socket thru in order to hold the new nut while you tighten it up. If you have to....you can cut the hole a little bigger so you can get some sort of tool in to remove the old nut too. Cut round holes and you can either seal them with a grommet plug....or put on some alumimun to cover it. This of course would be last resort since no one likes cutting up their Jeep. But at least it would give you some more drain holes!

Good luck.


P.S. I'll try to get some pics of mine with the welded studs and put them on here today. Common enough problem, might help someone someday.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:55 AM   #6
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Ok, thanks.....I think I may try the dremel if I can reach in to get a new nut tightened. Since I can only work on it on the weekends, hopefully it will be finished on Saturday. I will get some pics up when its finished. Thanks again for the help!
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:25 PM   #7
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not just 02

Sorry, that is not just an 02 model thing. while installing my lift for my 97 I snapped 3 bolt heads and stripped one head. what I ended up doing was to drill them out, I was at my dad machine shop and he had a few carbite bits that got most of the way through the first one the broke, but once you get so far the outer casing of the bolt is heat hardend so it is like ten times harder then the rest of the bolt. I finilly got a titanium tipped bit after it and it really took some elbow grease to get through. the best way to keep your angle is if you bit is long enough (mine was about 13 in long) is to rest the drill on the shock mount of the axel and that puts you at almost the perfect angle and just push like hell!!! Then just tapp it out, just dont break the tapp in the hole (did that worked for an hour just tring to get it out). you just have to keep working at it and eventully you will get it fixed.

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