Forward leaf spring nut/bolt fix.

Old 08-25-2016, 09:00 PM
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Cherokoolguy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: east coast
Posts: 116
Year: 1992
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L 6cyl
Default Forward leaf spring nut/bolt fix.

Recently I took it upon myself to install a 3 inch lift kit on my xj. While trying to remove the forward bolt with a breaker bar and a pipe, the nut welded on the other side of the bolt broke loose. Now you would think that it would be easy to access this bolt to fix the problem...... nope. Its inside a pocket on the side of the framerail and the only way to access it is to cut it open. So... I cut it open. Now there are a number of ways to cut this pocket and there are a number of things you can do to fix the problem and I am going to share the method I used.

-Hole saw. I cannot give an exact size because you need one big enough to allow a wrench to fit inside, but small enough to leave enough metal on the pocket to do its job.
-24/23mm combo wrench. The reason I listed two different sizes is because i had two different size bolts on mine (why I do not know) and your xj may be similar.
-Drill with good tourque. I used a concrete drill but if it spins fast and hard it should do the trick
-pilot bit for hole saw
-safety glasses. shards go everywhere
-gloves. I said everywhere
-brain. do I need to explain this

The bolt like I said is located in a pocket on the side of the frame rail. You will need to drill a pilot hole close to the lower edge towards the middle. once you do this, go ahead and drill the hole with the hole saw untill it goes all the way through (It wont hurt the frame but if you are worried read till the end).Look at the picture as a reference. This should give you access to the nut you need to remove using your wrench of choice. From here you can do a number of things. You can simply install a new bolt and nut without welding it back in place or you can weld it in so you will sleep better at night. You also have the choice of either leaving the hole open, welding the hole back shut if you are worried about the frame, or improvising. I used a small patch of aluminum to cover the holes and secured them with sheet metal screws and RTV so I could access the nuts in the future.
Now instead of drilling a hole in your frame you can also just cut a semicircle into the pocket using the hole saw, bend out the flap, and cut it off/reweld it. Regardless of which route you take it will solve your issue. and while you are in there take a look at your bolts and nuts. You could use the old bolts but chances are they are beat up and worn. Do yourself a favor and replace that sucker with a grade 8 bolt. 9/16 x 5 should do the trick but check yours just to be safe.

This is a poor picture but this is the pocket for the nut and I am pointing at where I drilled my pilot hole.

This is the finished product. I drilled just far enough to cut the pocket but not the frame.

Grade 8 bolts last long and look good!

If you have any questions comments or concerns let me know. If you want more pics give me a hollar. Hope this helps!
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