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Old 12-13-2009, 07:30 AM   #1
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Ever had this happen..........

I was in the process of replacing the rear shocks on my 98 TJ when one of the upper mounting bolts (passenger side)snapped off. What the hell do I do now? Should I bring it to the shop and let them fix it?

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Old 12-13-2009, 08:54 AM   #2
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Taking it to the shop should be a last-resort thing, since it will cost about 1 hour of labor, which would be more expensive than buying an easy-out kit (stud extractors) from Home Depot, Sears, or Lowe's.

They look like this:



Drill a hole in the stud, tap the easy-out into the hole, and turn with a socket or a wrench. If you have the t-adapter for it, by all means use it. If you have a propane or mapp gas torch, heat up the metal surrounding the snapped bolt and it will be easier to extract.

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Old 12-13-2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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I'll give it a try.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:18 AM   #4
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It's not an unusual problem.

You probably won't be able to get a drill up there unless you have a long drill extension - even then it's a PITA.

Look through the wheel well above the frame at that spot. You'll see the end of the broken bolt sticking through the bracket - on the inside of the frame. Use a long flat nosed Vice Grip to turn it on out up through the top. The first turn or 2 goes hard, but it'll almost fall out after that.

Sometimes you might need to loosen a couple body mounts on that side and lift the body up a little for better access.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:22 AM   #5
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Haven't had that on a wrangler yet but I have had it happen on a few others like s-10s and blazers but normally it is a nut that is welded over a hole in the frame and you can take a punch and knock that nut off easier that trying to drill and tap or easy out the broken one.Then all you have to do is drop a bolt through the hole and put a nut on it.If you can get to it I normally put a spot weld on the bolt at the top so you do not have to try to get a wrench in there to hold it.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:26 AM   #6
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There may be a nut welded on that bracket, but I think the hole through the bracket is just tapped. Either way, unscrew the broken piece UPWARDS.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:18 AM   #7
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It's not an unusual problem.

You probably won't be able to get a drill up there unless you have a long drill extension - even then it's a PITA.

Look through the wheel well above the frame at that spot. You'll see the end of the broken bolt sticking through the bracket - on the inside of the frame. Use a long flat nosed Vice Grip to turn it on out up through the top. The first turn or 2 goes hard, but it'll almost fall out after that.

Sometimes you might need to loosen a couple body mounts on that side and lift the body up a little for better access.
I don't think I would be able to get a drill up there either. I'll take a look later today to see if I can get a vice grip at it.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:54 AM   #8
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A long extension on the drill bit could probably reach it - if you can get a straight shot at it.

The Vise Grip method you go in from the wheelwell.

I've done it 3 or 4 times.

Since there isn't any pressure on the rest of the bolt it turns easy - after the broken burr starts in the thread. That's why the first turn or 2 is hard.

The real pain is when the bolt didn't break, it just got bent - happens if the bumpstops aren't set right or on droop it hits the open end of the shock too hard. That's why I use limit straps set just before the shock hits the end.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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I had it happen to me to. I drilled it out and used the easyout and was good to go. Just hard to get the drill in there depending on which one you broke.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:35 PM   #10
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A long extension on the drill bit could probably reach it - if you can get a straight shot at it.

The Vise Grip method you go in from the wheelwell.

I've done it 3 or 4 times.

Since there isn't any pressure on the rest of the bolt it turns easy - after the broken burr starts in the thread. That's why the first turn or 2 is hard.

The real pain is when the bolt didn't break, it just got bent - happens if the bumpstops aren't set right or on droop it hits the open end of the shock too hard. That's why I use limit straps set just before the shock hits the end.
I couldn't see the broken bolt between the frame and the body. I may have to use the drill method.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:36 PM   #11
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I had it happen to me to. I drilled it out and used the easyout and was good to go. Just hard to get the drill in there depending on which one you broke.
I broke the inboard side.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:11 AM   #12
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Any recomendations on type of drill bits ie, length, material, name brand, etc?
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:30 AM   #13
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Autozone and some hardware stores - or online - sell a "reverse drill bit." You run the drill backwards, counter clockwise - when the drill bit bites, often it'll unscrew the piece without using an easy out.

Use whatever size the easy out says to use.

I've haven't seen one yet that you couldn't look in from the wheelwell and see the top end of the bolt. If the body is too close to the frame at that point (your body bushings are shot/sagging) then put a jack under the body, not the frame or suspension, and lift the body up a little. You may have to loosen the body bolts a little to get the Vice Grips in.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:51 PM   #14
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I was able to see the bolt through the gap. It's going to be a tight fit. We shall see what happens...........

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