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Discussion Starter #1
Changing struts on the Taurus. Replacing the pinch bolt (new) and got nearly all the way through, perhaps a 1/4 inch left to go when the bolt broke. I was in shock for a minute or two trying to figure what ought to be done. But, as I think about this I realize that the bolt is all the way through. The piece that broke off is the top inch that is not threaded.

My initial thought was that I need to go to a shop and have them drill out the broken section, tap it, and replace the bolt. (I think that would be relatively easy) But, this care has 150,000 miles on it and I am very unlikely to ever replace the struts again.

Do I really need to drill out that bolt as the threaded section is pretty much where it should be doing what it is supposed to do? Everything feels secure. Maybe I should just forget about it.

Opinions. Am I missing anything?
 

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It sounds like the new bolt broke on the installation? That sounds odd. Is that correct?

In any event, I would not let it remain broken for long. I have driven on the old broken bolt for a week or less but I eventually drilled it out and replaced it. Since it is broken off it is not clamping the strut in the knuckle as intended by design.

You can drill it out from the threaded end. If you destroy the threads so what.... Just replace it with a nut and bolt of an appropriate length. No need to tap it or fuss about drilling it perfectly. Just get it out.

If you can, use a plated grade 8 nut and bolt bolt from your hardward or autoparts store. You don't need metric in this scenario. You can go a little bit under the metric size. i.e. if it was a 10mm use a 3/8 bolt. If 12mm use a 7/16 bolt. Grade 8 bolts are stronger (less apt to strip or break) and more corrosion resistant in general. Don't use black oxide finished hardware as they corrode very easily.

You may never, as you assume, but some day you may want to take it off again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, broke on installation.

I am not up to drilling it out. I would have to get someone to do it.

The chances of replacing this new strut are slim for me and this car. Why not drill it out then if that eventuality occurred? What is the worst case scenario?

Your bolt idea is a good one, perhaps I should have done that in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is it necessary?

Back to my original question. Do I really need to drill that bolt out, or can I just drive with the broken bolt?
 

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This illustrates the need to make sure the knuckle threads are clean and free of corrosion/crud before reinstalling new bolts. I like to run a tap through the threads before new bolt install, and use neverseize on the new bolt.

Yes, you need to remove the broken bolt.
 

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The bolt may be all the way through, but seems to me the side where the bolt is inserted isn't threaded - if that's the case, the head of the bolt is what tightens the pinch fitting once it bottoms out. So - no bolt head, no really tight fitting. I'd drill out the broken bolt and replace it with a nut and bolt as suggested.
 

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Just to be clear,on my earlier comment of driving with a broke pinch bolt. My bolt broke on removal. I did not have the time or the drill bits to drill it out so I was sorta forced to drive on it.

I still had the original strut in the knuckle and did not pry open on the clamping force. At the time it seemed to be clamped in there pretty well. Also I had 150k on the car and there was rust helping things stay pressed together.

Since you just installed a new strut the clamping force has already been released and it will move around.

If you are forced to drive to the local harware store just take it easy but I would not drive on it. I know this is not what you want to hear but sometimes the truth is liberating.

This is does not apply to your case any longer but for others doing this job: In addition to what Dan has said about chasing the treads with a tap you should also try to clean any rust from the thru hole side of the knuckle. I recall a tech telling me that sometimes they break from rust build up on the knuckle thu hole and bolt shank. He removes them with a helper holding a torch to the knuckle heating up both the threaded and thru hole side. He uses an impact gun on the bolt while the heat is still being applied. He says he has good luck with that method.
 
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JimRS
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