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Fixing Broken Upper Shock Bolts on an XJ

Author: CoreyXJ
A common thing with Jeep Cherokee's, and any vehicle with bolts on the underneath of the chassis, is bolts snapping off like twigs. Its a pain in the butt and an extreme damper on the otherwise good day you may have been having. When you have a studded bolt (no nut on the backside for you to put your grubby paws on) they often times rust and get seized up really bad. SO when you go to take them out you will probably break most of them... SUX! This is to show how you can fix the problem with a few specialty tools available at any hardware store.
XJ shock mount
First thing to do is remove the old shock (obviously) and drill out your old bolt holes. If you broke just the head off then hit the bolt with a center punch so your drill bit will stay centered. You may want to start small and work your way up to a bigger size. I drilled them out to 3/8" with a titanium bit.

After you have drilled out the 4 shock holes you must put some threads back on so its time to bust out the "tap and dye." I used a 3/8" drill bit so a 3/8" tap must be used as well.

Start slowly and forcefully because if the dye gets going crooked or sideways, the bolt will be crooked and sideways too!
start slowly
After it bites in and goes straight then hammer down on it but go slowly and try to keep it from wobbling. Once it gets through, back it out the same way.
back out the dye
Now you have a perfectly made bolt hole. Clean off the shavings and maybe take a wire brush to it just to clean it off.

Re-install the new shock with your new "better than factory" bolts which will hopefully last you must longer and be easier to remove later on.
reinstall the shock
One quick note - You can take some rubber cement and coat the threads of the bolts before you install them. This acts as a cushion sort of like the nylon nuts, it also prevents water from getting into the threads. Its really like Lock-Tite but with out the strength. It just makes things easier when you go to take the bolts out in the future.

Hope this taught somebody something - Now lets go run some stuff over........ CoreyXJ!

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