What to do if you break frame to body bolts in frame off resto

Discussion in 'Chassis restoration' started by 72 skylark custom, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    Going to pull the frame out from under my 72 skylark fairly soon, and the bolts that go through the body bushings seem to be rusty (as they would be because of the car being older lol) my dad would be helping me and he is hesitant about doing this because he is concerned about breaking those bolts trying to get them off. If one or more should break in removal, how should we go about getting the other half ofthe bolt out or re-tapping the holes to fix this problem?
  2. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    I'd be concerned as well. If they don't break, the nut starts to spin inside the body. You'll have to hole saw through the floor in that case and drill them out.
  3. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    What precautions could we take in order to try and avoid them breaking or the nut breaking loose amd spinning and then cutting a hole in the floor? What would we retap the nut with if we have to drill it out
  4. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    You could maybe drill a small hole over each mount (enough for a WD-40 straw) and start soaking them. Use PB Blaster. Like anything else, hope for the best and expect the worst

    Why are you pulling the chassis?
  5. Chi-Town67

    Chi-Town67 Gold Level Contributor

    Yeah, just went through that same procedure on my buddies '67 GTO. He was soaking them for a couple of months prior to attempting to unscrew them. Drilled tiny holes in all the inaccessible spots like Jason said and we STILL wound up breaking 3 of them off. This on a car that hasn't seen a winter since 1972 and has been garage kept its entire life. Oh well, the bodyman will have fun repairing the broken bolts.
  6. DasRottweiler

    DasRottweiler -BuickAddict-

    I'm pretty sure you'll break the cage the square nut sits in before you break a bolt.
    There are 6 bolt/nut combos you will have to drill a small hole and PBBlast(or equivalent, players choice). 2 by the doors, 2 in the trunk pan and possibly the rear 2 behind the bumper. The others are accessible. I broke 2 cages and had to resort to a 2" holesaw for access to those cage nuts. Then I pinned them with a crowbar and spun them out.
    Good luck.....Jim/Rott
  7. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    I am pulling the chassis to clean and paint it as well as put stainless brake and fuel lines, and change the body bushings as they are rotted and cracking. Would there be a possibility of heating the bolt with a torch and trying that in addition to kroil or wd 40?
  8. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    You would have to heat the nut, not the bolt.
  9. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

  10. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Heat, in general, will help.

    I had a half dozen break off in my 58 when I did it...some were not accessible from the top side, even with drilling holes. I had to cut 3 sides of a square around the broken mount and bend down the brace to repair/replace the caged nuts.
  11. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    If your going to separate the two big parts, might as well grit your teeth and go for it.
    It will be easy enough to repair the cage nuts and weld up all the drill/cuts, as that will be the smallest jobs ahead of you in a frame off.
  12. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    Thanks 12lives i will read that article. So regardless, i have to drill a hole at somepoint on top of those mounts to try and lubricate them. Thanks guys what about the mounts up by the firewall?
    Do i have to drill a hole for those?
  13. DasRottweiler

    DasRottweiler -BuickAddict-

    Nope , you should be able to get to them, hood up, hanging over fender or jack it, block it, jackstand it (whatever it takes to stay alive) and reach them from underneath. Soak them for days, weeks, give em a shot o 'juice whenever ya stroll by.
    Drill 1/8 holes, like Jason (ostrich avatar or is it an emu?) said above, just nuff for the lubricant straw on the side of the can.

    When I first bought my car ,5 years ago, I debated about doing a frame off restomod. Then I said to myself "Self, if those asshats from Fast n Loud can do it, why it should be right in my wheelhouse. " 5 years later , I'm driving it. Brand new old car. Stay organized and dive in. Do as much of the work as you are able to to keep costs down or it will get outta hand financially. GL-JIM
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  14. Prairie Piston

    Prairie Piston Well-Known Member

    I broke a couple at the firewall and one at the back. Was able to heat the remaining stud cherry hot and weld a nut on the remaining couple of threads. Worked like a charm. The one under the trunk I cut the floor and bent back the metal. Simple weld back into place after the broken bolt was removed. The nut threads were fine just the exposed Bolt was corroded
  15. copperheadgs1

    copperheadgs1 copperheadgs1

    Man my GSX that spent its life in California bolts came off so easy. I hate rust.
  16. BrianTrick

    BrianTrick Brian Trick

    The ones under the door area usually break,and the ones along the rear tail usually rip the nut out of the cage. That is if the bolt doesn’t come out nicely.
  17. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    I wish this car didnt have any rust so the bolts would hopefully come out easy haha, once we get the bolts out how could we be able to lift the body high enough because we do not have a lift and would we be able to set the body on jackstands?
  18. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    I agree with all above. If a bolt starts to turn and then stops don't force it. Turn it back the other way and rock it back and forth ( loosen and tighten). Every time it will go a little further until it starts to turn. Soak it for at least a week with Kroil before you try it.
  19. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    The easiest way IMO, is to use two engine hoists. Attach a chain to the to the top of the firewall. Use the holes the fender uses. On the back, jack up the back of the body and slide a 4x4 between the frame and the trunk floor. Pop out the two plugs in the trunk floor and attach chain to the 4x4 through the holes and attach the hoist. Once you get it high enough, slide the frame out with a couple of floor jacks. I'd position the hoists on one side so you can side the frame out the other. Then you can make a support dolly for the frame from some wood and casters and lower the chassis on to that so you can wheel it around. The more you can remove out of the body to lighten it, the better.

    Jim, its an assault Ostrich :D
  20. gsfred

    gsfred Founders Club Member

    I use an air rachet on a lower torque so that it hopefully loosens the bolt rather than snapping it off.

Share This Page