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Posted: 6/22/2012 6:54:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/22/2012 7:21:05 AM EDT
I have personally had this happen to me multiple times, I ended up replacing my upper rear mounts with a product similiar to these: Bar Pin Eliminator Kit.  Haven't had a problem in years, well worth the money.  There are also install instructions on that website.

Zach
Link Posted: 6/22/2012 7:30:49 AM EDT
Quoted:
Vehicle has 167K miles or so and the shocks need replacing.

The process for replacement seems straight forward, but several people (and the instructions) have mentioned a 'gotcha' with the rear shocks.

Where the bolt at the top may break off?

If this has happened to you how did you handle it?  What tools were needed?

Thanks!


Yep, pretty common for the top bolts to break off. The 99 XJ I used to own had around 168k miles when I replaced the rear shocks. I ended up drilling out the old bolts (after they broke) and tapped some new threads. Was GTG after.

Link Posted: 6/22/2012 9:17:12 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/22/2012 9:18:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/22/2012 1:08:21 PM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Vehicle has 167K miles or so and the shocks need replacing.

The process for replacement seems straight forward, but several people (and the instructions) have mentioned a 'gotcha' with the rear shocks.

Where the bolt at the top may break off?

If this has happened to you how did you handle it?  What tools were needed?

Thanks!


Yep, pretty common for the top bolts to break off. The 99 XJ I used to own had around 168k miles when I replaced the rear shocks. I ended up drilling out the old bolts (after they broke) and tapped some new threads. Was GTG after.



I'm assuming those bolts are standard parts?  When picking up the shocks I can get them as well?

Then head to Home Depot for the proper tap.

Thanks!


I can't remember what tap size I used, but it was bigger than the stock bolts. Went down to the local hardware store and got all the bolts I needed there after I picked the shocks up at the auto parts store.IIRC, each shock has 2 bolts that bolt it to the upper mount.
Link Posted: 6/22/2012 1:11:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/22/2012 3:52:31 PM EDT
Forest, did you snap one?  Mine actually came out with an impact wrench, if yo don't have one, get one.  Invaluable for crap like this..

Drill it out oversized and use a bar pin eliminator (they are more or less universal) and no more problems.

ETA: OK, there is still time.  Buy a cordless impact wrench, correct size 6 pt socket, and a product called Kroil.  Best penetrating oil around...  Back it off, run it back in, oil it, run it out a bit more, run it back in, etc..  Repeat as often as necessary until the bolt comes out.

if it is really rusty, squirt a little bit of CLR on it.  Give it a few and rinse it off.  Break out the Kroil, and begin..

Good luck.

Ops
Link Posted: 6/22/2012 4:15:38 PM EDT
My Chicago rust belt '99 XJ needed shocks last year. After breaking off one of the bolts, i deliberately broke the rest with an impact gun set on tighten position. I then used a tapered punch and hammer to knock out the weld nuts and fished in 3/8" bolts from the top of the mounts using a piece of thin tie wire wound into the bolt threads. Bolt the shocks up with lock washers and nuts. It's pretty easy.
Link Posted: 6/23/2012 8:01:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/23/2012 8:12:15 PM EDT
I don't even bother trying to remove shock mount nuts until I spend at least two weeks giving them a squirt of Kroil each day.

I did see the absolute coolest little device a week ago that induces heat into only whatever you wrap the wire around, absolute coolest thing I've seen in a while and I need to get myself one if I can swing the price.
Link Posted: 6/24/2012 6:05:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/24/2012 6:32:10 PM EDT
I have had three XJ's and my friend had one.....all four of ours broke every single shock bolt under there. I just ran my '92 beater with no rear shocks. Seems like every bolt that was under that '92 broke off when I tried to do anything including a transfer case bolt.

I believe there are write ups on NAXJA or JeepForum.com or both that give great detail and pics on how to properly fix this.
Link Posted: 6/27/2012 10:16:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/27/2012 12:31:07 PM EDT
What you did is basically what I was trying to describe except that I dropped the bolts down from the top instead of putting the nut on top. I found that the weld nut on top of the "frame" was easy to remove with a tapered punch and a hammer.

I stuck a piece of thin tie wire through the hole, wrapped it into the threads of the bolt and pulled the bolt through the hole using the tie wire to guide it.

This is a very common problem with Jeep XJ's. I think dirt and muck lays on top of the frame and the nuts are prone to rust.
Link Posted: 6/27/2012 12:37:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/27/2012 12:55:17 PM EDT
I use an impact for everything I can. With a 3/8" impact and a long extension, reaching the bolts is easy and no wrench is needed. Just pull the trigger and the nuts tighten right up. I guess if the threads were bunged up, you could use a combo wrench on the bolt head the same way you used the wrench on the nut.
Link Posted: 6/27/2012 5:29:14 PM EDT
Good job, OP. This is one of the only things that sucks on XJ's. One of these days I will get another one, I want a '96 or newer. I miss all my old ones
Link Posted: 6/27/2012 7:09:10 PM EDT
OP, you really need a flat washer under the bolt head.
Link Posted: 6/27/2012 7:50:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/27/2012 7:52:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/28/2012 2:32:41 AM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
OP, you really need a flat washer under the bolt head.


I was wondering about that.  I had orginally planned on using a locking washer but I was so intent on finally finishing the project I had forgotten.

I plan on installing the front shocks saturday, I can climb under there and fix that bolt then.  It will be interesting to see if I can get the wrench on the nut.


Flat washer on bolthead side, splitlock washer on nut side.
Link Posted: 6/28/2012 2:50:53 AM EDT
RE: BPE install question...


Easy to remove the bar from the shock eye.  I simply put the eye with the pin over my vice.  I closed the vice jaws until they supported the shock eye and bushing, but did not touch the bar.  Grab hammer and drive out the pin.

The BPE kit should install easily.  I used a JKS BPE kit and the only "issue" was getting the roll pin holes to line up on the bar and block.  I used a c-clamp to slightly compress the bushing to get the holes to line up.  It'll take longer to pull the shocks than it will to install the kit.
Link Posted: 6/28/2012 7:58:30 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/28/2012 8:01:01 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/28/2012 10:00:41 AM EDT
I just replaced the rear spring packs on my 2000 XJ with a set of OME medium-duty.  I had done an add-a-leaf a couple years ago when I did the rest of the shocks/front springs, and last winter the u-bolts snapped, and the driver side pack started to shift/come apart.  If you go down the route of replacing the packs, we had a fight with the front and rear bolts on the eyes for the spring packs.  We ended up cutting the springs at the eye, then grinding off the eye, then cutting through the bushing.  Inside the bushing is the metal bushing that goes over the bolt - they had all rusted onto the bolt, so we couldn't back them out.  Heat, pounding, penetrating oil, heat, swearing, and we eventually got them out.  Ride difference was night and day, and was much better to drive when I loaded the Jeep up than with the add-a-leafs in my opinion.



Good job on your shock replacements though!  We had a lot of 'fun' with those rear top bolts - all of mine snapped, and we drilled/tapped for new bolts.


 
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 9:21:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 10:05:46 AM EDT
There's a couple easier ways to deal with the top shock stud on the front shocks.
1) Use that impact with a deep 6 point socket. Usually they will spin right off.
2) If you are going to throw the old shocks away, put a deep 6 point socket on the nut, add a long extension and bend the stud back and forth a few times. Usually the end of the shock rod will snap right off.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 10:25:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 11:34:05 AM EDT
"That would mean going out and buying another deep socked - I wasn't going to do that at that point. And it would not have worked on the drivers side as the shock sits below the brake resivoir. I couldn't get a standard socket/wrench in there - no way the impact will fit."



Watch for sales on socket sets or keep ann eye on Craigslist. As far as getting a socket on the shock stud, use a universal joint between the socket and extension and you can get right on the drivers' side. Wrenches are only for when nothing else will fit.
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