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Snapped Class IV Hitch Bolt?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by daveg, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. daveg

    daveg

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    The weather has been too cold around here to get much done on my new LC, but yesterday I started. Truck has factory hitch which is rusted pretty good. Figured I'd take it off, wire brush it repaint it and put it back on:doh: eaiser said than done. Pretreated all six bolts each day for a couple of days with pb blaster. Got 5 of them off(needed breaker on ratchet till they were almost out):eek: . Well driver's side bolt furthest in got stuck and snapped the threaded part in the frame, just spun round and round. Had to cut bolt off or drag hitch behind me.:D I'm kind of at a loss on how to remove the bolt and piece it's frozen to being that it's enclosed in the frame. Tied it off with zip tie to keep it from going into frame. Also if I can get it out somehow, how to reattach hitch without threaded insert in frame. On the upside I did transfer the speakers over from my old LC to this one with no problems.:D
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2007
  2. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island

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    I guess I'm confused... what's on the inside of the frame holding it in there?
     
  3. daveg

    daveg

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    Guessing it's a nut tack welded in the frame, the others came out of what looks like threaded holes.
     
  4. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island

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    oh, and the nut broke free too, on the inside of the frame you are saying?
     
  5. daveg

    daveg

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    Yup. Tough spot.
     
  6. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island

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    How about vice grips on the bolt, then drill the bolt out hollow so that most of the core is gone. Collapse the remaining shell of the bolt in on itself and remove it. Turn the nut on it's side and make a cut (dremel may work, I don't know how the hell you are going to cut the nut honestly) on two edges to split it in half, remove nut.


    I dunno, thats probably where I would start... I've never been in that situation before though.
     
  7. daveg

    daveg

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    That dosen't sound too bad, could get rid of the bolt that way. Nut would be tough though. Still trying to think ahead on what to replace it with. What if i cut a small square out on the inside of the frame to remove nut, this would also give me access to insert a new one?
     
  8. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island

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    Can you weld? If so, Just weld a bit of steel up there, drill a hole and use a tap to create threads.

    If not... hrm... find someone who can?
     
  9. daveg

    daveg

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    No, my welding days ended with high school metal shop.:) But could get someone to if I had too. Looking a pic and realized that maybe the 2 holes next to that one may be threaded also could drill new hole in hitch and use one of them, have to check it out tomorrow.
     
  10. daveg

    daveg

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    Nah. Not threaded. Wish the warm weather would get here so I could poke around this thing a little better.
     
  11. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island

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    Maybe get the old bolt/nut out and take it to some place that works on hitches?

    If you are towing some pretty heavy loads you don't want to be changing the geometry and distribution of forces too much, there is potential to muck stuff up and put yourself in danger.


    Then again, you've only had me for an opinion so far in this thread, and that 'aint worth much! I'll let some others chime in, see what they say ;p

    -----Nate
     
  12. ScottsHZJ80

    ScottsHZJ80 SILVER Star

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    Why not just poke the broken bit into the frame, then park the car facing up hill, or put the front wheels up on ramps, and tap the frame rail lightly with a small hammer until the broken bit falls out the end of the rail?

    Once you have done that just tack a nut onto the end of some welding wire and stuff it up the end of the frame rail. You'll probably have to remove the bumper cover on that side (I'm assumming yours is an 80 not an LX), so you can see what you are doing up the frane rail. Once in place just bolt it up again, and away you go.

    Hope this helps:beer:
     
  13. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    yes, there are a bunch of nuts that are welded inside the frame.

    there is probably a hole on top of the frame that's aligned with that one. See if you can run something through that to deal with the nut. Or if you really can't get it apart, remove it through the top or glue or tie it somehow so it doesn't rattle. You could then run a long bolt through the entire frame or better insert a new nut to be used through the lower hole?
     
  14. daveg

    daveg

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    All great ideas guys. Amazing how much simpler things seem when getting imput from several different people. Didn't know the end of the framerail was open, seems like the way to go for removal.
     
  15. shanegtr

    shanegtr

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    Thats what I'd do. But I would use an arc welder(rod should be able to reach inside the chassis to the nut) to try and tack the nut in place
     
  16. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

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    feel your pain. after 45 minutes on one bolt i took it to a metal shop and paid to have them drilled out and retapped, but I didn't have a welded nut break free, I just had 3 bolts rusted in there.

    I think a much better idea is to take it to a welder now and have him reweld the nut in place right now. right now you have the thing perfectly positioned and it will be a major pita to do that again;) hopefully all that heat from welding will allow you to extract the rest of the bolt. i would also get all your holes retapped.

    i don't know that the back end of the frame rail is open. Iirc it's blocked off by the cross member. If the welder can't get access, I would think the best thing structurally is for him to remove the rear cross member to get access to the nut and then reweld it afterwards.

    also, use antiseize when you put new bolts in there. good luck
     
  17. Grench

    Grench SILVER Star

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    I busted one of those bolts taking my factory hitch off before putting on the Slee rear bumper.

    Lots of Pb Blaster, wait a day, then put 20" channel locks on it and turned it back and forth a dozen times or more before it loosened up. Sometimes you have to tighten a bolt a touch with the lube on it in order to loosen it.

    I've found that the big key to taking rusted parts apart in one piece is patience. Spray it, work it back and forth, spray it, repeat.

    When I pulled the t-case skid to change the fluid I must have turned those bolts back and forth a hundred times.

    Back off on using the breaker bar unless your intention is to break stuff. Come out a half turn, go back a half turn. Out 3/4 turn, back a half turn, out 3/4, back half.

    It works and stuff doesn't break as much. The job takes twice as long as it feels like it should, but it beats the hell out of drilling & re-tapping holes.

    YMMV
     
  18. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island

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    My best success with stuff like this (granted I don't live in an area with rust problems) is to use plenty of penetrating lube well in advance (and often) leading up to the removal. I use my pneumatic impact wrench, starting as low as possible and working my way up. If I get past 1/2 on the impact I use a bit of heat and try the impact again.
     
  19. ScottsHZJ80

    ScottsHZJ80 SILVER Star

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    The end of the rail is only partially blocked by the cross member.

    This photo shows the ends of the metal straps used to position the plates inside the rail to mount a swing out spare wheel carrier that mounts over the existing bumper. This is how I know the ends are open.

    If you have that sort of problem with things rusting, it may be worth squirting some cavity wax up the frame rails while you are at it? Just my $0.02??
    rear.jpg
     
  20. harper68

    harper68

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    Rusted Nut

    Not really related to the busted nut but I have used this penetrating oil called Kroil. This stuff outperforms any penetrating oil I have ever used It seems to be only available direct through the manuf. Used to use it in a tool repair shop pretty good stuff. Available at KanoLabs.com and no I have no affiliaton with them just knows it works.