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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so, I'm trying to install some side steps on my 98 TJ. I'm concerned about getting the body mount bolts loose in order to mount the steps. Any suggestions? I'm told I need to really saturate the body mount bolts with lots of penetrating oil before trying to loosen them as they have a tendency to break. Looking at the bolts, I don't really see a way to "saturate" them with anything! How do I get the penetrating oil to actually reach the bolts? I don't really see a way to get at them to do that? I betcha somebody has run into this dilemma before and can offer some advice! Thank you! :pullinghair:
 

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a quality penetrating oil, like kroil, will seep into the smallest of crevices and work its way in.

that being said, the body mount bolts are of decent size and take a good amount of force to snap
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
this sucks

well, I tried....but I failed! 2 of the body mount bolts snapped...Apparently it's going to cost me a shit ton to fix now!
 

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Apparently it's going to cost me a shit ton to fix now!
What? Remove the broken bolts and replace them with new (hardened) nuts and bolts. I can understand your frustration but it''s not going to cost a "$hit ton".
 

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Which two snapped? I snapped 3 during my body lift. Two of them I had to drill/cut holes into the tub or body to reach the welded nut on the inside and remove the stud/nut and replace. Total pain the ass, but doable with some patients. Living in PA, this was inevitable. The bolt under the RAD was sheered before I even owned the Jeep. It’s still not fixed years later. The other two I did fix by drilling holes in the tub. Those didn’t snap, but just kept spinning due to the welded nut breaking inside the tub.

You may be able to drill out the bolts, re-tap and replace if the nuts inside don’t break free. I would cut access holes in the body, remove broke studs, replace, install lift, and paint any cutting i did. You could try to get a locking pliers on the stud if there is any bite available first, but I’m guessing the nut might snap too.Cheaper than a mechanic and not all that hard, just annoying.
Yay simple jeep jobs that turn into 2 day projects!!

A quality electric impact gun cut my Pennsylvania bolt snapping problems in half (pun intended) for future reference. Life saver.
 

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Codyshoots - Good insight. That's a little more involved than I envisioned but certainly doable. He should be able to tackle that. I'll be removing mine this winter for a BL but I doubt anything will snap. I have a host of air tools, breaker bars, and PB to work with and no real rust to speak of.
 

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Here is a little trick...using a breaker bar and tighten each bolt slightly before trying to loosen.

Power tools are great, but you cannot feel if the bolt is starting to give.
 
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I have a 97. It’s been around its share of dirt, mud and salt water. When I put on my rails, the bolts came right out with a 1/2” impact wrench.
Exact same experience. I didn't even pre-soak them. You're less prone to busting a bolt using an impact wrench too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the input! I appreciate it. It was the front and rear on the passenger side that broke. I talked to a guy near me who worked on Jeeps for 30 years, and he tells me if I'm lucky, the nuts broke loose and I can just drill a hole down through the tub to get at the nuts, take the broke stuff out of the way, and weld a new piece of metal in and install the new nuts/bolts and I should be all set. If not, he says I gotta get the old nuts out of the way, and go from there. He also says he wouldn't worry too much about the 2 broken bolts anyway....but that doesn't solve my problem with getting the steps mounted! While I'm not planning any heavy sort of off roading, I'd just as soon fix it the best possible way so I don't have to worry about it. I'll be taking my 8 year old grand daughter out in this thing, and I want her to be safe! I'll be picking up an impact wrench soon so if I run into any other issues, I'll (hopefully) have the proper tool for the job.
 

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I recommend drilling a 1/8" hole in the side of the body mount or the floor above the mount and inserting the straw from a can of your favorite penetrating oil. Give each bolt a squirt twice a day for a week prior to beginning the job.
Google "Compare Penetrating Oils" or search UTUBE for the best penetrating oil to use. I did and was surprised at which brand won.

I agree with Baloo TJ as far as using a breaker bar instead of a impact wrench. Especially for experienced mechanics that should be able to tell when a bolt is about to break.
Tighten the bolt with good pressure, give a squirt of penetrating oil and then loosen with the breaker bar until it gets questionable. Give another shot of oil and tighten. Give another shot of oil and loosen past the last point you stopped. More oil, tighten, then more oil and loosen. Keep at it until the bolt moves easily. Then use your impact wrench.

Be sure to reassemble with Anti-Seize.

Too late for Ugly Troll, this time, but good to know for the next time.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to everyone for your input. Today, I took it over to my buddy and we replaced the broken bolts. He looked over the situation and said using the body mount bolts was a stupid way to do it anyway. So, we made up brackets out of 4x4 steel tubing, welded them to the frame, and then installed the steps. Came out great, and the steps are extra sturdy! Down the road I go! (with MUCH easier access in and out of my Jeep! :)
 

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For future reference when I mounted my side steps at the body mount bolts they would not budge. I saturated with penetrating oil broke the heads off of two bolts but the bolt was still there. Got out my small torch heated the frame put vice grips on the bolts and they came out with ease. Heat is the way to go.
 

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Correction on the previous post that was not my body mount bolts those were skid plate bolts did I broke and heated. Body mount bolts you May melt the bushing if you're not careful.
 
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