Bolt for Stabilizer bar broke in the frame - how d

JC1

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Oshawa, Ontario Canada
I have a 98 Toyota Sienna and I've been replacing parts in the front suspension to stop a knocking noise. Last weekend I removed the stabilizer bar to replace the bushings (it was hard to see if they were bad). The two nuts on the drivers side were no problem. When I got to the passenger side one of the nuts snapped off, leaving the bolt in the frame. Trust me I was not happy. This bolt sits in between the frame and the inner tie rod boot. There is about 1.5 inches of clearance in between the two parts. I know people use EZ outs or drill out the broken fastener. The problem here is that there is absolutely no way to get a normal drill into that location. Maybe a right angled drill if I remove the inner tie rod would work? Or would the frame have to removed from the body to properly access this bolt? Since I was in a pinch I reinstalled the one bolt and I've been driving the van around town. Yesterday I had a look at it and the bracket has now bent up since it's only got the bolt fastened on one side. You can see the pictures. Does anybody have a similar experience? Any advice is appreciated. Here are some pictures of the setup. http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n...810_133931.jpg http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n...810_133924.jpg http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n...810_133918.jpg http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n...810_133936.jpg Regards, JC.
 
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I broke the same bolt in my '99. As you know there isn't a lot of room to drill it out, what I ended up doing is using an angle drill to drill a new hole all the way through the subframe and then used a long bolt to clamp it down. The only way you will drill out the broken bolt is by dropping the subframe. FWIW that was about 200,000 miles ago and it's still working fine.
 
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By the way, there are a lot of things that will cause knocking noises on that suspension. Steering rack bushings, stabilizer bar links, worn ball joints, strut mounts and/or the struts themselves, and worn tie rod ends. The stabilizer bar links are #1 in my experience, followed by inner tie rod ends and worn ball joints.
 

JC1

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Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: kschachn
By the way, there are a lot of things that will cause knocking noises on that suspension. Steering rack bushings, stabilizer bar links, worn ball joints, strut mounts and/or the struts themselves, and worn tie rod ends. The stabilizer bar links are #1 in my experience, followed by inner tie rod ends and worn ball joints.
Yes I agree. I've changed the stabilizer bar links and ball joints as well as the struts. I also replaced the lower control arm bushings. I didn't replace those plastic strut mount pieces, since the ones I bought were not OEM and they didn't fit, so I reused the orginal ones. Regards, JC.
 
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I just ran out to look and the nut is on the top. IIRC the reason I used an angle drill and drilled it from the top was probably because I did try to drill the broken bolt out at first, but the angle is bad and it missed. So I just continued to drill and used the long bolt instead. If you drill from the bottom up I'm not sure how you could be certain you drill in the right place.
 
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25,956
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
That's not good but not horrible either. Get the tools you need first, An angle drill with a good set of bits, a sharp center punch and a correct size tap with tap wrench. Even though its a metric stud (probably 8mm) i like to use SAE drills as there a larger spread of incremental sizes, more on that later. Take the nut that's good and go to somewhere like Ace Hardware and try it on bolts and note the size and thread pitch, then buy a short stud, washer and nut, Remove the CV axle, bushing and bushing clamp. You must have access to do this job properly. I would clean that whole area with brake cleaner and get a good light in there. Now the fun begins. Use the center punch to make the center of the broken stud, this is one of the two most critical steps of the job, the closer you are to center the better it will go. Look at it carefully before you hit with the hammer. Use a very thin drill bit, put some oil on the broken stud and drill where you punched it, drill as straight as possible and run the drill at a low speed. It will take time to get through it, drill a little more oil and keep going, you will end up with a small diameter hole right through the middle of the bolt. This is second critical part. If you did this good your almost home free. Use the next size bit and drill again, it will go much faster this time. Keep the bit lubed and run it slow, it will follow the path of the hole. Keep enlarging the hole one size at a time the same way. This is why i use SAE bits, there are lots of small increments unlike metric which are half mm steps. You will get to the point the stud is gone but the threads are still there, stop drilling. and try to run the tap through (use oil). It should feel like its cutting with some resistance. If it gets too tight or binds drill one size more and try again. Once the tap has gone through put some blue loctite on the stud threads and start putting it Back together. If you bugger it up get a helicoil set from AA, AZ, etc. It sounds complicated but its not really, i just covered everything you need to do. Edit: The drill you linked to will be fine.
 
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Yes i own a set of these and some from Greenfield and Snap-On, they do work good but this is not my first choice of tool in a case like this. The stud is rotted in there and probably isn't moving no matter what you do to it. Any extractor can break the thinner the easier it is. It can be a nightmare if its in the hole. You need to drill a hole to use these anyway so thats most of the battle over. These work good if the bolt broke going in or in weird situations like old Triumph engine Saab head bolts.
 

JC1

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Thanks Trav, That's the Inner tie rod and not the CV joint. I don't have the special tool to remove the inner tie rod. I think I'll have enough room when I remove the outer tie rod's ball joint to lift the inner tie rod up and to the right with a bungee cord. I might have to cut down the length of some of the drill bits to get enough clearance when they are in the right angled drill. I will tackling this today. Wish me luck. Regards, JC.
 
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I don't think you will extract that bolt, at least not in my opinion. The rusty bit is what is extended past the nut on the inside of the frame, if you are lucky it will rotate inward while drilling and drop into the subframe. This is one instance where I would not try and use a left-hand drill while drilling. The angle on that whole job is bad, both for drilling and viewing. It is very hard to center punch the broken bolt and then try and drill accurately. Just saying.
 
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25,956
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: kschachn
It is very hard to center punch the broken bolt and then try and drill accurately. Just saying.
It is but it can be done if your patient. Center punching it is the key. I make my own center punches out of broken straight punches sharpened to a point on the bench grinder, they work great and give a nice deep indent in the broken part.
 
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Top of Virginia
You can probably disconnect the outer tie rod end from the knuckle and turn the steering wheel all the way in the same direction as the repair, and move the entire link forward enough to make the repair feasible. If this is on the passenger side of the vehicle, disconnect the outer tie rod end from that knuckle and turn the steering wheel all the way to the right. It'll pull that link inward towards the center of the vehicle. You can then probably swing it forward to create additional room. Trav gave some great advice on how to remove the old bolt here and re-tap without enlarging the hole.
 

JC1

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Oshawa, Ontario Canada
I got it repaired. However it wasn't pretty. I ended up drilling from the bottom of the frame. As you can guess it's almost impossible to try and drill out a bolt from the bottom. I do admit this is a hack job. The first hole I drilled was too far over for the bracket to fit. I ended up drilling a second hole a bit closer to the other hole in an attempt to squeeze the bracket (but that won't work with the rubber bushing). I ended up removing a chunk of the metal next to the broken bolt and then used a chisel and 5 lb sledge hammer to remove that bolt. That was the only way to make it fit. I ended up using a large plate washer on the bottom and a lock washer with blue threadlocked on the top to keep it in place. Here are some more pics. Hole in the bottom of the frame. http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n287/charkinson/Stabilizer%20bar%20fix/IMG_20140811_130958.jpg First hole drilled at the top (drilled from the bottom up (since I didn't remove the inner tie rod http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n287/charkinson/Stabilizer%20bar%20fix/IMG_20140811_130939.jpg Opening after using the chisel to get that bolt out. http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n287/charkinson/Stabilizer%20bar%20fix/IMG_20140811_142119.jpg Bolt from the bottom http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n287/charkinson/Stabilizer%20bar%20fix/IMG_20140811_144239.jpg Final repair - (the white stuff is lithium grease) http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n287/charkinson/Stabilizer%20bar%20fix/IMG_20140811_144228.jpg Thanks everyone for your input. Length of the bolt was 3 1/2 inches. Regards, JC.
 
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