Rear Bumper / Gas Tank / Fender Flares RUSTED BOLTS= pisNmeoff! - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 08-01-2011, 09:57 AM   #1
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Rear Bumper / Gas Tank / Fender Flares RUSTED BOLTS= pisNmeoff!

Putting a new rear bumper w/ tire carrier on the TJ. After lots of drilling & fighting rusted bolts to get the old bumper / recovery hook off CAN'T REACH THE INNER BUMPER HOLES that I drilled.

So, now I decide that I'll have to drop the rear of the gas tank to get to the innermost bolts to mount this sucker! 2 of the 4 rear gas tank nuts come off after soaking in PB Blaster for 48 hours. But 1 comes half off & the bolt is no longer seated in the frame. So it just spins and spins and spins. It must be a lag bolt with a square flange below the head to keep it from spinning once installed in the frame. The other nut... same friggin problem. I thought that once the tank dropped enough, the weight of the tank would help it seat back in the frame... NO FREAKIN WAY! What a fool to think that gravity would help a brother out.

I'm about at the end of my patience with this @#()$*@#&()&@#! Between the bumper being half on & not being able to put the fender flares on because those stupid threaded studs just spin in the freakin sheet metal... I'm about to take a can of gas to the whole Jeep and throw a match.

WTF am I suppose to do to get all these freakin rusted POS bolts out? The only way to reach the top of the ones that hold the back of the gas tank in is to remove the tub. F-that!

This is the worst part of living in the freakin moron-belt of the universe... let's put salt on the roads in the winter so idiots who don't know how to drive in snow have half a chance!

As you can tell... I've lost my patience with this. Any suggestions on getting these freaking rusted POS out / off the Jeep is appreciated!

It's not just a Jeep, it's an amusement park on wheels!
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:06 PM   #2
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All these views and no suggestions? I find it hard to believe that nobody else ever had these same issues when working on their Jeep.

Do I need a BFH?

For the fenders, I could always cut the bolts, drill out the studs & then install the new flares with rivets. But the problem is that once the rivets are in there, you can't get them out.

It's not just a Jeep, it's an amusement park on wheels!
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:40 PM   #3
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What kind of rear bumper/tire carrier and fender flares did you get? I know they aren't the most popular on here, but years ago I put on a Smittybuilt rear bumper and tire carrier and bushwhacker fender flares. I've read reviews of people complaining about dropping the gas tank to install the rear bumper, but I didn't have to. I have a 4" suspension lift, no body lift. Not sure if that matters. It's been a while, but I could get a wrench back there somehow.
As far as the fender flares I remember them being a PITA. If your good and pissed still, nows the time to do it. I just took pliers and ripped out the BS that was holding the stock ones in place. It will bend the metal a little bit, but it goes back with a ball pein hammer. I live in the rust belt too, so I touched the holes up with a little paint. The new flairs came with new hardware, and you might want to get some new "Christmas Tree" auto fastener things at the auto parts store to put your inner fender back in. It has to come out to put in the new flairs. I remember pulling on the old flair to pop the rusty fasteners out, they weren't in the greatest shape when I was done.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:47 PM   #4
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Not much help with the bumper bolts, but you could use a fish wire to put them into the frame holes that you drilled... Once you get the bolts pulled into the frame, you slowly unwind the wire until you can thread the nut down and keep the bolt seated.

Pull the inner fender liner for the rear fenders, and you'll be able to get to the flare bolts with relative ease. I used channel locks to hold the back of the riv-nuts and was able to get the screws out that way. As always, PB Blaster or Kroil will be your friend there too. Once the liner is off though, you can cut off the fasteners from the back if you decide you really need too.
2000 4.0l Sport, Auto, some mods done - planning more
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:52 AM   #5
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Thanks Wheel2Work.

Just for a visual for what I'm dealing with for the rear bumper, look at the back of your TJ from underneath. Now, at the center of the vehicle from left to right, try to put you hand and reach inside the frame. There's no room. If you drop the rear of the gas tank, you'll have enough clearance to reach in there. But 2 of the gas tank nuts are rusted to the bolts.

The frozen bolts on the side of the Jeep are on the front fender where I can't get to the back of them.

After rethinking this, I most likely will have to:
  • Cut & drill out the fender bolts and replace with pop rivets.

Rear bumper:
  • Buy 4 new bolts & nuts
  • Cut off of rusted gas tank bolts
  • drop the tank
  • install the new hardware
It's not just a Jeep, it's an amusement park on wheels!
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