Are broken shock bolts a big issue?


Dcook65

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Ok, so I was planning to replace shocks. After reading some posts about breaking bolts, I an a little scared. Is this really a huge problem?
 

CodaMan

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Yes! but spend a couple days soaking them in Kroil or Liquid Wrench to mitigate the possibilities.
 
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Chris

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Depends on what the underside of your TJ looks like.

Here in the PNW where we don't salt the roads, I've easily been able to get the shock bolts out of all of my TJs without issue at all. However, if you're in a rust belt area and have a lot of rust on the underside of your TJ, then yes, it's going to be a son-of-a-bitch in most cases.

Soak them in Kroil for days, repeatedly.

If you drop the gas tank, it makes them easy as hell to get out ;)
 
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Dcook65

Dcook65

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Depends on what the underside of your TJ looks like.

Here in the PNW where we don't salt the roads, I've easily been able to get the shock bolts out of all of my TJs without issue at all. However, if you're in a rust belt area and have a lot of rust on the underside of your TJ, then yes, it's going to be a son-of-a-bitch in most cases.

Soak them in Kroil for days, repeatedly.

If you drop the gas tank, it makes them easy as hell to get out ;)
I live in north GA. Salt not an issue here, so hopefully I won’t have a problem. Dropping gas tank is a whole nother can of worms, I fear.
 

toximus

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If the rear bottoms or fronts break just replace the bolts with grade 8 or class 10.9. If the rear tops break they're a bit more of a pain. Let us know if that happens and we can walk you through it.
 

tworley

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Soak them in Kroil for days, repeatedly.

If you drop the gas tank, it makes them easy as hell to get out ;)
X2.

I soaked mine twice a day for a week. And rust isnt even an issue here in CO. They backed right out. The gas tank is pretty easy to remove. Only 7 bolts to remove, an electrical plug (careful not to break it), and a couple of hoses.
 
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When I replaced my back shocks the first bolt I tried snapped immediately. Like the others said, I soaked them in oil overnight, I used the tube attachment on the can to get between the body and frame to spray the top of the bolts, and still snapped. WHAT DID HELP on the rest was small wiggly back and forth movements, first tighten less then 1/4 turn, and loosen the same, repeat non-stop until you feel no more resistance. The other 3 bolts came out fine this way even though they were super rusty.
Also, I left the snapped bolt in place, didn't bother removing it. I rotated the shock mount a tiny bit and drilled and tapped a new hole, been working fine since last June.
 

Chris

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I live in north GA. Salt not an issue here, so hopefully I won’t have a problem. Dropping gas tank is a whole nother can of worms, I fear.
Actually, removing the fuel tank is quite easy if you have another person to help you.
 

joelachr

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I put Kroil on mine and still snapped off both uppers at the rear shock I started on. Maybe I didn't apply it liberally enough. I ended up paying a shop to extract the broken bolts and finish the job. I was using a long breaker bar and wouldn't recommend that approach. As was stated already, if they're not coming out easily, try alternating tighten and loosen directions to hopefully free them up. I now have an electric impact. I don't know if it would've made a difference with the shocks but it certainly worked well on the rusty stabilizer fasteners last weekend.
 

freedom_in_4low

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The gas tank is pretty easy to remove. Only 7 bolts to remove, an electrical plug (careful not to break it), and a couple of hoses.

just try to plan your shock replacement around NOT having a full tank of gas :D

I got my LJ from Ohio, and it was only 5 years old with 55000 miles on it when I broke the shock bolts off. I wish I remembered the details of how I got the nuts off but I know it involved a Dremel, and I didn't drop the tank or lift the body. It's possible I cut access holes in the tub floor but I don't remember doing that.

My TJ has been all over the US and I've had trouble with fasteners before, so I've been soaking my shock bolts in ATF/Acetone for a week in hopes that they come out when I go to flip them this weekend.
 
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Tigger09

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I was able to cut the welded nut out with a dremel and replace the hardware by removing the fender liners. I spent more time worrying about them than I did fixing them after they snapped.
 

03coloradowrangler

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my wrangler came from colorado, every bolt and fitting so far has been rust free. 3 of the 4 upper rear shock bolts came out ok, loosened and tightened them a bit and loosened some more, basically working them back and forth while removing to clear the threads with some kroil. the last bolt was partially frozen, looks like the tip broke off and siezed in place from the previous owner it came out of the nut but was still able to be threaded back in enough to torque in place.
i wire brushed off the bolts and added antisieze to them for re-installation.
 
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freedom_in_4low

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You guys... It's a friggin Christmas miracle... All four of my upper shock bolts came out without issue. They looked rusty as hell, I'd never had them out before and I've been dreading taking them out.

I'm officially a believer in ATF/acetone as a penetrating lubricant. This is probably the first undercarriage work I've done on my TJ where every single fastener came out without trouble. Don't even want to think about how much time I've wasted on PB blaster in the last 20 years. And honestly, acetone smells better anyway :D
 

0IIIII0

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just try to plan your shock replacement around NOT having a full tank of gas :D

I got my LJ from Ohio, and it was only 5 years old with 55000 miles on it when I broke the shock bolts off. I wish I remembered the details of how I got the nuts off but I know it involved a Dremel, and I didn't drop the tank or lift the body. It's possible I cut access holes in the tub floor but I don't remember doing that.

My TJ has been all over the US and I've had trouble with fasteners before, so I've been soaking my shock bolts in ATF/Acetone for a week in hopes that they come out when I go to flip them this weekend.
And I thought I was the only one. Thanks for the painful memory. I think I broke 8 of the 12 shock bolts. I also had to use that Dremel to cut one of the front shocks out because the nut would free spin and I couldn’t get a wrench on the bottom to hold it in place. What a nightmare. But hey, those fox shocks suuure do ride and look good.
 

freedom_in_4low

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I also had to use that Dremel to cut one of the front shocks out because the nut would free spin and I couldn’t get a wrench on the bottom to hold it
Oh yeah.... That too. I did most of the work at a buddy's shop and he helped with the front shocks. His tool of choice was a torch.