Help with removing broken mounting bolt for front grill

CJocho

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
CHICAGO
State
Il
#1
All,

While I was dissassembing my Scrambler I managed to sheer off a couple of bolt heads. It appears rust-lock and inpatience on behalf got the better of me. Fast forward several months and here I am starting to prep parts for bodywork. I've come to the point where I need to remove the broken bolt from the bottom of the grill. Am I right to believe that the nut inside the grill should be welded to the inside of the hole? If so, it appears that the weld holding the nut in place has failed. As a result, I'm left with this sheered bolt and nut floating inside the cavity of the grill. As far as I can tell my only recourse is to cut out a square piece (drawn in blue), remove the bolt and nut, re-weld the nut in position, and then re-weld the piece I previously cut out into position. This seems like a lot of work for such a small piece. Any suggestions on a better way to do this would be much appreciated.
 

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Rosco1974

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
West Haven
State
UT
#2
Nope. Thats about right. I would open it up further than drawn though to repair/replace the nut place assembly.
Grill 06.jpg
 

mhinchliffe

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
W-S
State
NC
#4
Rosco's got it right if you can't heat and extract it. Get you some "Kroil" spray it on there and let it work overnight. In my experience you'll come out the next day and the bolt will have removed itself, it's that good!
 

CJocho

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
CHICAGO
State
Il
#5
I heated the bolt last night and it appears (from a visual inspection) to have broken the rust bond from the bolt. The problem is that the nut is free floating in the cavity. Because of that, any movement of the bolt results in the nut turning as well. As far as I can tell I have no point of leverage to hold the nut in place while I torque on the bolt with vice grips. I'll revisit it tonight and see what I can do.

Maybe I can just tack weld the nut in place from the outside. Thoughts?
 

walkerhoundvm

Typical Know-it-all
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#6
Can you move it such that you can get a flat head screwdriver in there to keep it from spinning while you thread out the bolt?
 

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Maple Hts.
State
Oh
#7
Can you cut the rear side of the grill (opposite side that Rosco cut). Cut the rear part of the carriage (which allows the nut to have some space to move, for adjusting the grill). Cut the bolt flush with the outside (bottom) of the grill and pull the nut out where you cut. If you can remove the rest of bolt you may be able to put the nut back in. Then take some metal and recreate the carriage so that the nut has some adjustment, but can't spin. Then weld the piece that you cut back on. You mentioned about tack welding, so I know you have a welder (didn't know that when I checked earlier today).
 

John N

Addicted....Ex-SOA VP
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rockville
State
VA
#8
If you’re careful, you can bend the front part up a bit and remove the nut and plate, fix it and put it back. Then bend the front back down.
 

CJocho

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
CHICAGO
State
Il
#9
Great suggestion walkerhoundmv. I did exactly as you had suggested and I was able to pin the nut to the side with a screwdriver while I used a vice grip to turn the bolt. I had the bolt out in about 5 minutes.

John N, I did try to gently bend the front piece upwards. You are right, it does have some give. Unfortunately, the piece I'm working with has been ravaged by rust so it did not hold up too well with the gentle pry I gave it.

Once I got the bolt out I gave the grill a healthy shake. Look at how much rust came out of it. I'm going to have to really suck out and blow out all the rust in there before I spray some kind of rust converter.

As for the loose nut. Any problem with just tacking it so it is centered to the hole? Or should I get in there and afix the nut in place as was originally done frok the factory? Also, Jammer1, I don't have a welder just yet. Taking a welding class next month and treating myself to a welder then. :woot:
 

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CJ7Pilot

18436572
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Yuba City
State
CA
#10
I think the nut is supposed to float a little bit, to allow for grille alignment... I wouldn't suggest welding it in place.
 

walkerhoundvm

Typical Know-it-all
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#11
I think the nut is supposed to float a little bit, to allow for grille alignment... I wouldn't suggest welding it in place.
Yup. I've been sanding all my parts to bare metal this week and that's exactly the case for that nut.
 

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Maple Hts.
State
Oh
#12
Cjpilot's correct. You can mount it in place but the front clip can be off (not straight with the tub). You could play around with grinding the body mount bushings if you have to. When I put the tub and front clip on, I put the tub on and center it on the frame by measuring pass and drivers side at the rear of tub and front section of tub. I then take mason line (like kite line) and tape to rear of tub at tail gate. Run the line along the side of tub (standing in front of jeep). When you bring the line against the side of tub I then pull the fender (front clip) so it's flush with the line. Next do on the pass side. What ever distance the line is from touching the pass fender is how much off it is. Split the difference and tighten the grill down. That's why you need the movement in the grill mount.
 

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Maple Hts.
State
Oh
#13
If you have a friend with a welder, he could repair the carriage (so the nut moves, but can't turn). Then you would have a working grill.
 

Kim Dawson

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Molalla
State
Or
#14
The front of the cover that covers the nut & cage is rusted and in need of repair, so cut it off, repair the cage (nut slides in from the front), and weld some new metal onto the cover.
 

don87401

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Farmington
State
NM
#15
I had one like that I made a square plate to sit in there and drilled and taped a hole for the bolt, the square plate catches when you tighten it. I checked my pictures and I don't have one of it.
 

sevensandeights

sevensandeights
SOA Member
City
Mckean
State
PA
#16
Just to be clear, the OEM nut is nothing more than square piece of 3/8" or 1/2" thick flat stock that is tapped in the center for whatever size the bolt is. This square nut is inside a square cage that is slightly larger. This allows the "captured nut" to move around for alignment purposes but not spin. The cage is a light guage sheet metal and rusts away much quicker than the nut and therefore allows the nut to spin, especially if the nut is rusted to the bolt. All CJ body mounts use this captured nut design.

One easy way to fix the grill mount is to cut another piece of flat stock and tap to match the bolt. Use a much larger piece of flat stock then OEM and make it slightly smaller than the grill mount cover - making the cover act as the cage. This way you just have to bend back the front edge of the cover enough to get the old captured nut assembly out and new much larger piece of tapped flst stock in. No need to weld anything. Use some antisieze on re-assembly and hope you never have to mess with it again!

If you want to rebuild to OEM specs, Classic Industries has the captured nut assemblies although they aren't listed as a separate item in the catalog.
 

CJocho

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
CHICAGO
State
Il
#17
Just to be clear, the OEM nut is nothing more than square piece of 3/8" or 1/2" thick flat stock that is tapped in the center for whatever size the bolt is. This square nut is inside a square cage that is slightly larger. This allows the "captured nut" to move around for alignment purposes but not spin. The cage is a light guage sheet metal and rusts away much quicker than the nut and therefore allows the nut to spin, especially if the nut is rusted to the bolt. All CJ body mounts use this captured nut design.

One easy way to fix the grill mount is to cut another piece of flat stock and tap to match the bolt. Use a much larger piece of flat stock then OEM and make it slightly smaller than the grill mount cover - making the cover act as the cage. This way you just have to bend back the front edge of the cover enough to get the old captured nut assembly out and new much larger piece of tapped flst stock in. No need to weld anything. Use some antisieze on re-assembly and hope you never have to mess with it again!

If you want to rebuild to OEM specs, Classic Industries has the captured nut assemblies although they aren't listed as a separate item in the catalog.
That's a brilliant idea. I'll make sure to document it and add photos to the thread when I get around to it next month.
 
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