Sway bar bushing nuts are gone! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Sway bar bushing nuts are gone!


New Member
November 19, 2014
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City, State
Reno, Nv
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 explorer sport
I went to replace the sway bar bushings on my stock 97 sport, and the threads disappeared on the cross member.
#1 )How can this be fixed.
#2 )How can I make my Xploder as bad ass as the stuff I've seen here?

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1. new/longer bolt w/nut.
2. search and read!

Threads disappeared? If the front sway bar bracket holes are stripped, try chasing the threads or re-tap one larger size.
The rear bracket bolts use extruded u-nuts that are replaceable or a regular or lock nut and washer can be used instead.


I think the only threads were on nuts welded to the inside of the cross member, apparently as it was being manufactured. The holes are .550" diameter, and the bolt has a .465" major diameter.
I can't reach the backside of the hole to replace the nut. The cross member is too thin to be threaded directly.
BTW, only 1 side is lost, so I can compare. But the effect is the same. It gets pretty wobbly, side to side, on the highway.

Alluvial, I'm moving your thread to the 2nd Gen forum for better exposure.
Is this on the front or rear sway bar?

Thanks for your help.
It's on the front.
I can't seem to get Flickr photos posted, so check out the link. (I cleaned up the area hoping to get it welded.)

Here she is parked above the tree line, over 11,000' near Yosemite.
Yes, that is a glacier to the left. I watched a guy ski down it on that day, July 4, 2012.

I'll be gone on a back country vacation for the rest of the month, but I'd appreciate any ideas.
Thanks again guys.


Any way of getting a Tee Nut in there?


I'd need washers on that, and a way to stop it from turning. My frame isn't that thick, and I can't even touch the backside of these holes with my finger, let alone with a wrench. Someone suggested a rivnut type fastener, but they don't come close to 12 MM.