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Old 11-10-2009, 03:25 PM   #1
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What to do when a bolt won't screw in?

I changed the ball joint on my 4Runner, but now one of the four bolts holding it to the steering block won't screw back in. I screws for about one turn, gets really tight, then pops back out again. I don't want to force it in too hard and strip the threads, but I don't want to drive around with only three bolts holding my BJ on either. What should I do?
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:27 PM   #2
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Re-thread with a tap and di......
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:56 PM   #3
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It sounds like you may have already stripped the first thread or two.
I don't know your truck but can you see the other end of the bolt from the other side of the control arm? I mean if its open you can try running the bolt in from the other side to clean up the threads. I don't know if the bolt is long enough or if yours is configured like I am picturing.
If the bolt's first few threads are a little buggered up you can take it to a bench grinder and put a little bevel on the tip of the bolt just past the damage.

This is if you don't have access to a tap and die.
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:19 PM   #4
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I just bought a tap and die set this summer when I rebuilt the top of the engine. I don't know why I waited so long to buy a set, they really helped out a lot.

Try running a tap in the hole and see if that cleans up the threads, then run the bolt through a die to make sure the threads on it are clean also.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:15 AM   #5
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This is a problem, because I don't have a tap and die, and I'm not really in a position to buy one right now. I'll try threading the bolt through the top to straighten the threads, but I don't understand how they got fouled in the first place .
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:44 AM   #6
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Look closely at the threads on the bolt, see if they might be slightly damaged on the end. If so, try cleaning up with a file. And maybe try one of the other bolts in that hole, maybe one of them will go in easier. And make sure the hole is clean, might be some grit got inside it and is stopping the bolt. If you can find another bolt of the same size, try filing a long groove across the threads on one side and use that to clean out the threads inside the hole. I used this on my tie rod ends once where I had a tight fitting rod end on the left hand threaded size. Did not want to invest in a large left hand threaded tap, so I picked up a left hand bolt that fit and made a deep groove across the threads and then worked that in and out of the threaded hole a few times and it was as good as new.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:12 AM   #7
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When assembling things that have more than one bolt don't tighten any of the bolts or screw till all the bolts or screws are started. Look to make sure that the holes are lined up cause if they are slightly off issues can occur. If your lucky you haven't boogered the threads and going and backing the other bolts just enough to give a little play will give you what you need to start the last bolts. Then tighten them up to spec.

I'll have to remember the file trick, nice.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddpigg View Post
When assembling things that have more than one bolt don't tighten any of the bolts or screw till all the bolts or screws are started. Look to make sure that the holes are lined up cause if they are slightly off issues can occur. If your lucky you haven't boogered the threads and going and backing the other bolts just enough to give a little play will give you what you need to start the last bolts. Then tighten them up to spec.
That sounds like it might be the problem. I'll have a look as soon as I can.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddpigg View Post
When assembling things that have more than one bolt don't tighten any of the bolts or screw till all the bolts or screws are started. Look to make sure that the holes are lined up cause if they are slightly off issues can occur. If your lucky you haven't boogered the threads and going and backing the other bolts just enough to give a little play will give you what you need to start the last bolts. Then tighten them up to spec.

I'll have to remember the file trick, nice.
X3 this is always a biggie thread all bolts before tightening any of them then proceed to tighten and torque all bolts at the same time!!
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:23 PM   #10
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4x on getting everything started before even starting to tighten anything up snug.

i had this issue with the back inside bolt when i had my right front end apart this week in shop class while i was repacking my bearings and checking on stuff.

i was stumped when the rear inside lower ball joint nut wouldn't go in after i started the other 3 first, i tried smacking it with a hammer in case he one corner has somehow mis aligned. then I though i must have mucked up the hole to i chased it with a tap. went threw like a beaver on a hot dog(aka perfect) so then i checked the bolt seemed on maybe a slightly crushed thread touched it up with a file still wasn't working so then i hit the whole set up with a big sledge hammer a few times on each side again, tried prying it around with a huge pry bar.. nada..

SO THEN i took out the 3 bolts i had already started and tried one of the other bolts in the hole that didn't wanna work before first and bingo it all went together easily
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:23 PM
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