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need advice for loosening shock bolts


NAXJA Forum User
slc utah
I'll be installing a 3" lift in a couple of days. I've been looking into the install and found that my 2 rear upper shock bolts are seriously rusted. I know if I force them, and they break, I'm pretty screwed. Any advice as to what I can do to prevent that from happening?
Spray them down with PB Blaster or any type of rust remover/penatrating oil for a couple of days.
Maybe a light touch of heat ?Try and use a good 6 pt socket and get it on straight.I wouldn,t use an impact wrench,but a long breaker bar and a slow pull so you can feel what is going on.
When you get them out use plenty of anti-sieze on the re install.
As Wayne mentioned, a 6 point socket and make sure you get on them straight. I had a hell of a time getting mine out but once I got lined up on them perfectly they came out easy.
I have actually found in impact wrench LESSENS the chance of breaking rusty bolts. My theory is that the shock of impact breaks up the rust particles that are bonding the threads.

I would use PB Blaster or the like, a six point impact socket, and a impact wrench to loosen them.
I concur PB Blaster is some really amazing stuff, everyone kept telling me it was awesome, but I still used the wd-40 i had sitting around till it was gone, then I went out and got a can of PB Blaster and it is awesome!!

I spray it on a couple of days before the install (every day till) then the day before the install tap it a bit with a hammer like it were a nail. I don't have an Impact wrench so this kind of loosens up the rust.

Good luck with the install hope everything goes alright. If you do bust one off, a local garage might be able to replace it for you. Some of those guys are amazing.

I snapped one bolt on the right shock replacing the stock shocks about 3 years ago. Of course, the other bolt snapped while driving to work that night and nobody I called would even attempt to remove it. I ended up taking it to the dealer who drilled it out and re-tapped it. Funny thing is, about 2 weeks later those bolts snapped when I hit a bump in the road that was about 2 inches high, at less than 35mph. This was after driving on the highway for a week! I took it back to the dealership and they fixed it for free. Later when I examined their work, they had drilled out the old bolt, and instead of retapping(they probably couldn't after the first repair) there is now a nut on the backside of the mount which the bolt goes into. It works, but it's a real PAIN to get that nut to hold still if you are trying to get the shocks off. If I had known about PB back then I would probably not have had to go through all this. FYI, GIBBS mega penetrant is also and excellent choice if its available. My friend used it to free up an old engine block that had been sitting in a barn for a decade or so. "There's always time for lubrication!"
PB Blaster is your best bet. Use a lot
On my first lift I broke one and had to drill it out from inside the trunk reallly not to difficult. Then just a few weeks ago I lifted the XJ again and broke all but the one I replaced last time and yes I was trying to be gentle one even turned a little before it snapped. I drilled them out as well re-tapped the holes put in BPE's. I used Grade 8 bolts this time definatly overkill but I figured they would be harder to break.
Good luck
On old rusty bolts, use penetrating oil as these fine gentlemen suggest.

Also as you remove the bolts, turn them back and forth alot. Only try to gain a little bit with each in and out turn. This boring process will thoroughly grind up the rust in the threads.

One of the things that breaks bolts is the heat generated inside of it when it flexes. Keep the socket straight, use a T-handle if you can. Remember the less you strain it, the stronger it stays.

If you DO break it off, have a shop weld a big nasty nut onto the stump. Not only will this give you something to turn the bolt with, the heat will sometimes help release it. Try to remove it IMMEDIATELY after the weld is applied, while it is still hot. (but not GLOWING hot)

Good luck....
Thanks guys. I bought PB 2 days ago and have been soaking all the bolts that need to be removed. I'll be using an impact wrench, but I'll be careful.
hey redrockphil, let me know how it goes. I am doing my shocks soon as well, and have been soaking them with PB for the past few days.

PB was a life saver when I installed my lift a few weeks back :)
I would agree with AZ Jeff on the impact gun for removal of the shock bolts. I recently changed the shocks in my 93 and the only bolt that broke was also the only one I tried to remove by hand. The impact seemed to be easier on the bolt and harder on the rust.