Steering Stabilizer Bolt Problem - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
fundabug
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Steering Stabilizer Bolt Problem

I've got a 2004 TJ and I'm in the process of slowly re-doing everything on the front end because it's all worn and loose. I can only do one thing at a time as I am a family man and extra $$$$ is hard to come by these days. I need to replace at least one of the hub/bearing assemblies, tie rod, shocks, springs, etc. etc. I thought I would start with the easy cheap stuff like brake pads, rotors, and steering stabilizer. I removed the castle nut and cotter pin from the old stabilizer bolt where it attached to the tie rod. As best as I can tell it's just held in by friction once the nut is removed. I used a cheap jaw arm puller set to remove it. Didn't budge, as a matter of fact, it broke my cheap pullers. So I soaked it down with PB Blaster and drove to town and bought a better set of pullers. Cranked down so hard that the pullers eventually slipped off, but the bolt didn't budge. I soaked it with more PB Blaster and let it sit overnight and the next day went and borrowed an even beefier set of pullers from work. I cranked down on that thing until I couldn't crank no more....Bolt didn't move a millimeter. I tried to remove the top of the bolt and figured I could just slide the old stabilizer off and put the new one on the old bolt, but I couldn't find a nut or anything holding it together on that end. So, am I missing a step here or do I have an unusually stubborn bolt?




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post #2 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 10:16 AM
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Those can be a pain. Hit the side of the drag link near the hole, with hammer while you use a puller, or pusher in this case. I have taken a air hammer to them. Leave the nut on about half way, that way it makes a cup to stick the air hammer nub into. Destroys the bolt and nut but most new dampeners come with new hardware.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
fundabug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepsr4me View Post
Those can be a pain. Hit the side of the drag link near the hole, with hammer while you use a puller, or pusher in this case. I have taken a air hammer to them. Leave the nut on about half way, that way it makes a cup to stick the air hammer nub into. Destroys the bolt and nut but most new dampeners come with new hardware.
Part of my problem is the fact that my Jeep is my daily driver during the week, so whatever I destroy on Saturday has to be back in working order by Monday morning. I've got an air hammer, but I was afraid to get too aggressive and really damage something expensive and hard to find. I live 15 miles outside a really small country town, so sometimes I have to order the parts I need and it can take several days for them to come in, so I cant destroy anything I can't replace during the weekend. One of the few downsides to living out in the sticks.



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post #4 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 11:09 AM
geiman
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Usually a few good whacks with a BFH will do the trick. Make sure you're hitting the draglink and not anything else; just the draglink right where the pin/bolt goes through. I spent literally 2 hours trying to get the dumb thing apart, but I was hitting everything except for the draglink. Two good hits with that and it popped right out. YMMV though.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 11:52 AM
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Mine came off with just a few whacks from a good ole' hammer.

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post #6 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 12:15 PM
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When I replaced my SS I had the same issue, so I removed the bolt at the frame side, and the pin on the rod end fell right out.
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I removed the nut and bolt on the frame end first, thinking that might make it a little easier....nope. Beat the stuck bolt with a hammer for an hour...didn't budge. Also used some C-clamps and a piece of steel to try and push it out, but that didn't work either. Bent the steel and stripped the threads on one of the C-clamps. The SS is not bad as far as I can tell, I'm just replacing everything on the front end and thought I might as well change that too. I've even considered cutting the bolt off on each side of the rod and drilling out the stuck bolt. I've had to drill out broke bolts before, it sucks, but it does the job. There's no threads in the hole, so there's not much I can screw up.....I guess.



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post #8 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 02:31 PM
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Its a tapered bolt so assuming it was tight it will get wedged in there real good. Personally I like a pitman arm puller for that bolt. Always taken maybe 30 seconds at most with one of those.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 02:33 PM
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You need to hit the drag link right where the tapered bolt goes through with a hammer, a couple good whacks and it will come right out. I usually use an air hammer with a blunt tip because it's a little faster.

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post #10 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
Its a tapered bolt so assuming it was tight it will get wedged in there real good. Personally I like a pitman arm puller for that bolt. Always taken maybe 30 seconds at most with one of those.
I've considered a pitman arm puller, but I don't own one and it seemed like it was a bit more tool than I should need. The jaw arm pullers I used were similar to a pitman puller, but not near as big. That may be exactly what I need! Like I said, I had beat my pin/bolt with a hammer until my hands were cramping up, but nothing. I'm wondering if my first attempt with the cheap pullers got that bolt wedged in there a little cockeyed.



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post #11 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 02:45 PM
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If you're actually hitting the pin/bolt and not that draglink that's your problem. It won't come out by hitting the pin, but hit the draglink and it should pop right out.
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post #12 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geiman View Post
If you're actually hitting the pin/bolt and not that draglink that's your problem. It won't come out by hitting the pin, but hit the draglink and it should pop right out.
Oh...I think I get it now. You're right, I've been focusing all my frustration on trying to back the bolt out. I'm gonna try again when I get home. Thanks guys, I'll let you know how it goes.



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post #13 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 03:27 PM
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It is possible to hit the end of the pin enough times that it will eventually come out. However, you can mushroom the bolt and then you'll need to cut off the mushroomed portion to get it completely out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geiman View Post
If you're actually hitting the pin/bolt and not that draglink that's your problem. It won't come out by hitting the pin, but hit the draglink and it should pop right out.


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post #14 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bige2533 View Post
It is possible to hit the end of the pin enough times that it will eventually come out. However, you can mushroom the bolt and then you'll need to cut off the mushroomed portion to get it completely out.
I beat the crap out of mine for an hour at least, but I kept the castle nut on it a couple of turns so I didn't end up with more than one problem. If I can bust it loose, I'm ready to swap. I never hit the drag link to loosen it up....just didn't occur to me. I'm gonna try that one when I get home....If I can get a few minutes to myself and not have to be super family funtime throw the kids in the air for hours playing on the living room floor hyper never allowed to relax dad! Just kidding (if wife sees this) kids are awesome!



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post #15 of 15 Old 10-05-2011, 04:57 PM
canyon
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go out and buy a cheap pickle fork. I had the exact same problem with my ss. I did all of the things suggested above and it still didn't work. Jammed the pickle fork between the top of the link arm and the ss joint. Pound on the end of the pickle fork and it will eventually come off.
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