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Sway bar bracket bolt stripped How to fix?

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Chris-1997, January 7, 2018.

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  1. Chris-1997

    Chris-1997 New Member

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    I am currently laying on the floor frustrated on how such a simple job turned into a harder one so I was replacing the sway bar bushings and when I started to tighten the first bolt it somehow got stripped and now it won't go in but 1/4 of the way anyone know how to fix this the hole may be stripped to but I'm not sure also I put in the other 3 bolts just fine so anyone know how to fix this?
    Edit: hole is stripped also
    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: January 7, 2018
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  3. Terkins

    Terkins Member

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    (My $0.02...)
    I don't suppose this bolt is highly-hardened steel? Perhaps a set of tap & dies from Harbor Freight would restore the threads on both the bolt and the target hole. Since you only stripped them part-way, there's still valid threads left to grab if you can remove the damaged threads without further damaging the deeper, undamaged ones. I don't know what the chances are of chasing a tap into the target hole and managing to synchronize (the tap) with the undamaged threads once you get past the damaged threads??? [I guess it depends on whether-or-not you're feeling "lucky"?]

    Either way, if you can cut away the damaged (portion of) threads, and manage to engage the remaining undamaged threads, simply "snugging" this bolt tight without torquing it to spec would seem "enough" to (simply) maintain a sway bar position--especially with the adjoining bolt(s) being undamaged (and torqued)?
     
  4. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    I'd try to clean up the damaged threads with my Dremel tool using a thin cutting disk. The bolt doesn't look that bad to me.
     
  5. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    There are several options. If the hole's threads are damaged you could drill out the hole and use a new bolt and add a nut on the back (IF you can get to the back with a wrench to hold the nut while tightening it), or use a tap to try to correct the threads, but I'd wait on that and focus on the bolt first.

    If you have a small file with a V-edge to it, file along the thread grooves to correct them. If you have a grinder you could grind away the damaged area or grind off the whole end of the bolt (or hacksaw it, either way with a hardware store nut on it so after cutting the end of the bolt off, you can unscrew the nut to finish the end of the bolt), because it looks like it's longer than really needed, but if you cut or grind it off do be sure you have enough threads remaining to make good purchase so it's secure.

    You could just buy a new bolt at the hardware store. You could put a die on the old bolt to correct it.

    One thing you can do to check the hole threads is take one of the other bolts back out and see if it'll thread into that hole.

    If you buy a hardware store bolt or nut, get the hardened version of that Hex Flange bolt and/or nut if possible.
     
    Last edited: January 7, 2018
  6. Chris-1997

    Chris-1997 New Member

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    I was going to drill it out and rethread it but the metal wasn't solid and I could tell that if I would have rethreaded it it would have been really thin and brittle metal so I grabbed a Nut and bolt and was thankfully able to reach behind and tighten the nut down to 30ft pounds and put quite a bit of red loctite and it seams very strong but I will check it over the course of the next few days to make sure it holds your a life saver i honestly would have never thought of using a nut and bolt.
     
  7. alohamonte

    alohamonte Active Member

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    Buy a new bushing kit for that side, like $8
     






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