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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've "completed" my '02 Sedan rear strut & spring job, but I have problems and I'm in trouble and I need help.

First, I sheared off a swaybar U-bracket bolt. No big deal for now, I thought, but now I can't get the mount on the other side side bolted back in because the bracket is now sitting lower than the bolt hole. So my swaybar is only connected at the endlinks. How bad is this?

Second, and worse, the ******** who replaced my springs a couple months back sheared a pinch bolt and supposedly drilled it out successfully. They also replaced the pinch bolts with a 19mm bolt (the original is 18mm) with the numbers "10 9" on top. In tightening one of the bolts back up with a torque wrench to 60 ft lb, the bolt started spinning, probably somewhere around 50 ft lb. I backed out the bolt and found the last 3-4 revolutions of threads on the bolt had been stripped out. It appears to me that in "successfully" drilling out the original pinch bolt, they f-ed up the female threads in the spindle. My local parts store can't get the bolt in until Tuesday and even then I don't know that a new bolt is going to make a difference. I have no idea we've been driving this car screwed up.

So, the pinch bolt is not "pinching" properly because I can't torque it down all the way, but it's in place. As I understand it, this means that the rear corner of the car is essentially resting on that bolt. There is a gap of around 1-2 mm between the pinching part of the spindle and the strut tab.

I need to take the car in to a shop to have them deal with my sway bar brackets and look at the spindle threads for the pinch bolt but I need to determine whether I'm going to rip the strut tab off that strut as soon as I let the car down off the jack or drive it. Or am i just screwed and in need of a tow out of my garage?

Thanks all for your help.
 

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I've "completed" my '02 Sedan rear strut & spring job, but I have problems and I'm in trouble and I need help.

First, I sheared off a swaybar U-bracket bolt. No big deal for now, I thought, but now I can't get the mount on the other side side bolted back in because the bracket is now sitting lower than the bolt hole. So my swaybar is only connected at the endlinks. How bad is this?

Second, and worse, the ******** who replaced my springs a couple backs sheared a pinch bolt and supposedly drilled it out successfully. They also replaced the pinch bolts with a 19mm bolt (the original is 18mm) with the numbers "10 9" on top. In tightening one of the bolts back up with a torque wrench to 60 ft lb, the bolt started spinning, probably somewhere around 50 ft lb. I backed out the bolt and found the last 3-4 revolutions of threads on the bolt had been stripped out. It appears to me that in "successfully" drilling out the original pinch bolt, they f-ed up the female threads in the spindle.

So, the pinch bolt is not "pinching" properly because I can't torque it down all the way, but it's in place at least. As I understand it, this means that the rear corner of the car is essentially resting on that bolt. There is a gap of around 1-2 mm between the pinching part of the spindle and the strut tab.

I need to take the car in to a shop to have them deal with my sway bar brackets and look at the spindle threads for the pinch bolt but I need to determine whether I'm going to rip the strut tab off that strut as soon as I let the car down off the jack or drive it. Or am i just screwed and in need of a tow out of my garage?

Thanks all for your help.
Steve...
I don't think the vehicle would be safe to drive right now due to the risk of snapping your rear endlinks. What about getting one of those e-z out drill bits that will remove the remainder of the threads stuck in the body?

What about drilling out the threads and remainder of the bolt on the spindle, and using some grade 8 bolts and nuts to secure it? Seems to be what people recommend doing on here. Not sure your vehicle would be safe enough to drive, probably best to tow it (hopefully you or a friend have AAA) if you don't want to tackle the job yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the bolt and nut idea is a good call. I don't have the experience for this, unfortunately.

I tend to agree about snapping the endlinks. We'll see...

My wife my have AAA through her parents. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Well quick update just for shiggles. I chanced it and let the car down off the jack and bounced it up and down with my bodyweight and nothing broke. As it turns out, on the ground, the swaybar brackets lined up so I secured the side without the broken bolt, and I'm going to limp it to the shop tonight while I have an easy ride and--assuming I make it--hopefully they can deal with this tomorrow in an hour or so. Thanks Nick.
 

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I am having the same problem, broken pinch bolt in the left rear knuckle and sway bar bolts will not line up on either side. Don't really care for this pinch bolt setup. I think the bolt and nut is a good idea, I will probably do that if I cannot get a mechanic to take my screwup ( cant get front left pinch bolt removed also). I have driven my car a mile or so with the rear sway bar bolts not all the way in but it makes alot of noise. Not sure what to tell you about the sway bar because i have bolts in it, just not all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I am having the same problem, broken pinch bolt in the left rear knuckle and sway bar bolts will not line up on either side. Don't really care for this pinch bolt setup. I think the bolt and nut is a good idea, I will probably do that if I cannot get a mechanic to take my screwup ( cant get front left pinch bolt removed also). I have driven my car a mile or so with the rear sway bar bolts not all the way in but it makes alot of noise. Not sure what to tell you about the sway bar because i have bolts in it, just not all the way.
I got the swaybar mounts to line up by letting the car down off the jack. You can slide under the rear of the car to tighten those bolts even when the car is down off the jack. But there is still some major resistance against the bolt because of the shape of the bracket and that it doesn't want to mate tightly to the car without serious torque. So, yeah, pain in the ass. Unfortunately I can't help you with the bolt removal. All I know is, the last shop I took it to got it out with a drill and, allegedly, a couple busted cobalt bits.

Drill out the strut mount completely and put a 7/16 x 2.5 inch bolt in there with a nut.
I already brought it to the shop but can you mention how to drill out the threads? In particular, what is the correct drill bit type for this? And is a 7/16" bit the correct size for the drilling?
 

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Yes, you could go a 1/64" up in size to make it easier to R&R the bolt,
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Only if the pinch bolt is broke off in there.
Nah, I'd just need to drill out the threads. But the only bits I have (not that it's a great excuse) are a cheap set of Black & Decker wood bits. And nothing close to 7/16". I am so far from a materials expert it's not even funny. Guess I'll go do some Google-ing on the matter. Appreciate the advice.
 

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The knuckle is cast iron. Steel bits will drill that out very quickly. Like said before, buy some grade 8 bolts and use the nuts and bolts setup and you will be good to go. Cheapest place to find bolts is some industrial fastner supply place (fastnal is one).
 

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Grade 8 SAE bolts have 5 marks on the head. If you are using metric then it will have a 10.9 stamped on the head. I can get them at the farm/hardware stores around here cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks guys. I'm still waiting on a call from the shop and I'll see what they say. If it's going to be expensive I'll probably try to take care of this myself. You guys are great. Thanks again.
 

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sway bar bolts

I just tried to get the bolts in when the car was sitting on the ground today. You are right, major resistance. I was afraid of breaking that bolt also. mechanic will take care of my mess on wed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I just tried to get the bolts in when the car was sitting on the ground today. You are right, major resistance. I was afraid of breaking that bolt also. mechanic will take care of my mess on wed.
Yeah, even on the ground, it seems you have to put some real torque into them. I don't "think" the resistance is due to corrosion as much as it is that the swaybar brackets are just really beefy and don't like to bend up to meet the bolt hole (this is also why I suspect they would be relatively easy to remove once you break them off, though I didn't get to try). It might also be an issue with how the endlinks and bushings were reinstalled. Still, the one I broke occurred when I was removing it rather than reinstalling it.

I guess if your mechanic is gonna take care of it, great. Otherwise, if you're at all concerned about the integrity of the bolt I would definitely recommend just getting new bolts. In case you're interested, here's some stuff worth reading up on if you're new to bolt science...

Bolt grades and markings: Bolt Depot - Bolt Grade Markings and Strength Chart

Tutorial to determine measurements of bolts: How to Measure Bolt Size | eHow.com

Portal to lots of bolt measurement stuff: Bolt Depot - Fastener Measurement Information

Specifics on bolt diameter: Bolt Depot - Measuring Fastener Diameter

Specifics on bolt lengths: Bolt Depot - Measuring Fastener Length

Peruse those and you'll be an expert. Evidently you can buy grade 8 bolts very cheaply at shops like Tractor Supply (I'm told in bulk at ~$5/lb) and hardware stores.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Well, one more update... Shop did exactly what you guys said: drilled the pinch bolt hole out and added a longer bolt with a nut. They did this for the $40 diagnostic fee so I suppose that's fair.

Unfortunately, my relative carelessness in removing the swaybar mount bolt is costing more, to the tune of another $150. They alledge they can't drill it out without potentially getting into even more money than that (and they say they tried and it isn't working), so what they're going to do is cut a hole next to that area, knock out the bolt, and put in a new bolt and use a nut on the bolt through the hole they cut. Seems like more work than drilling and not worth $150 if you ask me, but I don't have tools to do cutting so it is what it is. Sure wish I knew if it was really that hard to drill these out. I can buy a new drill and a whole set of cobalt bits for that price.
 

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sway bar bolt

Well, one more update... Shop did exactly what you guys said: drilled the pinch bolt hole out and added a longer bolt with a nut. They did this for the $40 diagnostic fee so I suppose that's fair.

Unfortunately, my relative carelessness in removing the swaybar mount bolt is costing more, to the tune of another $150. They alledge they can't drill it out without potentially getting into even more money than that (and they say they tried and it isn't working), so what they're going to do is cut a hole next to that area, knock out the bolt, and put in a new bolt and use a nut on the bolt through the hole they cut. Seems like more work than drilling and not worth $150 if you ask me, but I don't have tools to do cutting so it is what it is. Sure wish I knew if it was really that hard to drill these out. I can buy a new drill and a whole set of cobalt bits for that price.
Yikes! sounds like alot of work for that bolt. Guess I am lucky with the broken pinch bolt. Wish you luck. Thanks for the links, very interesting.
 
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