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Old December 22nd, 2008, 10:53 PM   #1
98redwrangler
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Default Replacing rear shocks on a TJ

Just finished a Rough Country 4" install on the 98 TJ. Only issue was snapping off all 4 bolts that hold the top tab of each rear shock. Now the stubs are way up yonder. Anybody have a good suggestion on how to drill out the broken studs and tap new holes? Those things are waaaaaay up in there. I used a 12 " extension to even begin ratcheting them off. But, like with so much other stuff on this project, rust got the better of most of the factory bolts. That angle grinder was a really good investment! Or... should I just go to a shop and let them handle it?
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 12:14 AM   #2
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same thing happened to my xj I drilled it out and used self tapping bolts
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 03:47 AM   #3
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have a welder? weld a nut on the studs they come out 99% of the time. the welding breaks loose the stud and with a light impact come out with ease
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 05:24 AM   #4
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Don't have a welder but a long drill bit would be a start. Might just have to bunny hop it to a shop for today. Gotta wrap this project up!
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 09:18 AM   #5
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I have no idea what the underside of a TJ looks like, but on an XJ you can knock out the weld nut with an air hammer and then there is just enough room where you can thread a bolt back through the underside and get a wrench on it. Maybe it would work.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 10:25 AM   #6
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Yep, I'm going to try knocking the old bolts out or drilling them out. The catch is having enough room to get at them, it's really tight on the side with the tail pipe in the way. I don't know why they didn't use a paper-clip type threaded attachment like they did on another part. Then you could just snap it up in there and thread the new bolt through. I'll try something myself as Midas and Goodyear won't touch it. They suggested a frame shop but for that kind of money, I let the TJ sit for awhile. If I was radical, I might find a way to get at it topside of the tub, like from under the carpet.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 08:29 PM   #7
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Did a Google search and found this at WikiAnswers: A guy fixed broken off rear shock bolts on a Cherokee by pealing back the carpet inside and drilled out the broken bolts from underneath. Then he put a washer on a new bolt and stuck it back down from topside of the floor tub. Now you just install the shock and thread a nut from underneath. If it works for the TJ I'll post some pics.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 08:35 PM   #8
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sounds like that guy did a lot of unessecary work on the xj, like said before, a little bit of wire and a bolt and tape and you can fish a new bolt into the factory holes in that piece of tin jeep calls a rear cross member. but good luck anyway.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98redwrangler View Post
Did a Google search and found this at WikiAnswers: A guy fixed broken off rear shock bolts on a Cherokee by pealing back the carpet inside and drilled out the broken bolts from underneath. Then he put a washer on a new bolt and stuck it back down from topside of the floor tub. Now you just install the shock and thread a nut from underneath. If it works for the TJ I'll post some pics.
That is what we h ad to do on a TJ to get them up in that tight space. I just did mine. SOAKED the crap out of them then broke them free with the air ratchet and luckily did not have a problem and got them all out. Good luck..
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Old December 24th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98redwrangler View Post
Did a Google search and found this at WikiAnswers: A guy fixed broken off rear shock bolts on a Cherokee by pealing back the carpet inside and drilled out the broken bolts from underneath. Then he put a washer on a new bolt and stuck it back down from topside of the floor tub. Now you just install the shock and thread a nut from underneath. If it works for the TJ I'll post some pics.
Don't start cutting open your floor.

The "nuts" that the bolts go into are welded to the frame crossmember. They will break loose if you can get on the broken bolt with an air hammer (from underneath). Then you can drop a bolt with a washer on it down from the top side and either weld it in place or just spin a nut on it with an impact (while installing the shocks).

They break all the time, just like on the Cherokee, and really don't take that long to fix with the proper tools. If you still need it fixed I could do it on Friday if you want to bring it in.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 12:32 PM   #11
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I dropped my tank and cut off the welded on nuts, then just used new nuts and didn't weld them so if they break off again it is as easy as getting a new nut
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Old December 27th, 2008, 06:50 AM   #12
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Well, we didn't read the posts until Sat morning but we appreciate everyone's advice. For lack of tools and running out of time, went ahead and cut the tub right above the shock mounts. Yes, the nuts are welded and given only an angle grinder and Sawsall, removed a small square on each side of the tub. Much thinner than I had guessed. Anyway, it still took a lot to knock off the old welded nuts and put new bolts in but it did the trick. I folded the tub tin back down, filled with GreatStuff foam sealer and when it warms up, we'll tack weld new tin over the saw openings. Figure with carpet or neoprene liner, no one will ever look there again anyway and it's waterproof as well. Thanks to Jeeperz-Creeperz for the offer but with the weather and really bad bunny hop, we would never have made it to the shop. As it is, were still out $60 for the re-alignment cause I'm not sure I really got the new pitman arm and new tie rod in the right spot and still need to replace and set up the new cam adjuster bolts on lower control arms. Overall, very pleased with the project and my son learned a lot. The Rough Country 4 inch looks a lot higher than 4, the 33" MTZ's have a lot of room to travel and with the t-case spacers there is no driveline vibs. I expect the whole thing to sit a bit lower once we get the 4.0 in and put on heavy duty bumpers and winch and add the big spare tire. Thanks again to all. Next post will be about the 4.0L swap.
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