After I installed my 2.25 budget boost I noticed driveline vibrations. So I wanted to lower my transfer case. When I tried removing the 6 bolts holding the skid plate up, only one came out. The other 5 loosened slightly and spun without lowering. When I attempted to tighten them up they kept spinning.
To remove the 5 spinning bolts I needed a 2 foot pry bar and an impact wrench. I put a floor jack under the skid plate, leaving an inch gap between the jack and the skid plate. Working from one side at a time, I inserted the pry bar between the frame rail and the skid plate. As I asserted downward pressure I was able to loosen the bolts. Each bolt would loosen about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch at a time. I would move from one bolt to the next until I had the 3 on each side removed. Once both sides where removed, I jacked the skid plate back into position and supported the transmission with a floor jack. From there I removed the 4 nuts holding the transmission mount and removed the skid.
Here is what the frame rail with the old nutserts looks like. On my 97 they are tack welded at the front and rear of each nutsert.
To remove the old nutserts I used a grinder, a drill with a 9/16 drill bit and an air chisel. The hole in the frame rail is 5/8. I did not want to make the hole any bigger. I used a 9/16 bit and drilled through the existing hole. From there I used a grinder to remove the tack welds. Once they were removed I used an air chisel to pop out the nutsert. This was a little overkill. I probable could have used a hammer and a screwdriver. Once the old nutserts where removed, the holes in the frame were untouched. I used a grinder with an 80 grit sanding wheel to grind the rust off of the frame rail.
It’s a good idea to prime and paint the frame now.
To install the new nutserts I used the tool pictured below. Thanks to Mrblaine who took the time to call me on the phone and explain how to make the tool.
You can use a 5/8 nut instead of the drilled out 9/16 nut, I used the drilled out 9/16 because it fit better over the star lock washer. I felt the drilled out 9/16 nut gave the star washer more bite than with the 5/8 nut.
The nut and the star lock washer prevent the nutsert from spinning. You hold the wrench steady and tighten the bolt. The wrench and nut stay stationary. As you tighten the bolt it creates force on the nut and the lock washer. That force allows the lock washer to dig into the nutsert, holding it stationary. By holding the nut steady it holds the nutsert steady. The nut, lock washer and nutsert act as one moving part and the bolt is the other. The two upper washers work sort of like a bearing between the two seperate parts of the tool.
If you have a welder I would recommend tack welding the nutserts in place. ( I did this after I installed them) If you don’t I would recommend putting red loctite around the outside of the nutsert sleeve where it will meet the frame when you insert it into the hole. Once the loctite dries it will help to keep the nutsert from spinning in the future.
Once you insert the tool and nutsert into the frame, its time for a little work out. My arms were screaming by the time I had the fourth one installed.
Holding the nut on the tool steady, tighten the bolt. I used an 18” ½ drive ratchet. It gets tough quickly until the nutsert starts to collapse. Once it starts collapsing, it becomes easier until it meets the frame. Tighten the nutsert firmly into place. (80ft lbs)
Once you think its installed, tap on the nutsert with a hammer and retighten them. ***Use a new lock washer for every 2 nutserts installed. The washer becomes flat and doesn't provide the bite needed to prevent the nutsert from spinning.***
****Newer wranglers use 12mm bolts and nutserts. You will have to make adjustments for your application.****
There have been issues getting the OEM nutserts. You can get a quality replacement set of Nutserts and Bolts from Mr. Blaine.
Order your set here: http://shop.blackmagicbrakes.com/Nutsert-Replacement-Kit_c79.htm
Quality Kit at about half of the price of the OEM .
P.S. You can read this entire thread, but all the information you need is in this post. If you think that putting a bolt through your frame is a good idea, you are wrong! If you think you can find a cheaper nutsert from anyone else other than the dealer that is as good as OEM, you are wrong! Do it right and do it once!