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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I removed my stock brace to install a new Hotchkis cross brace in preparation for future larger exhaust. When removing my stock brace I found that 5 out of the 6 bolts were stripped out and a previous owner had the brace installed with bolts up inside the frame. These were a pain in the A** to remove to say the least and I am hoping to install the new brace "correctly" without having to get a bolt up inside the frame, nearly impossible to get a wrench up inside there to hold the bolt......

The stock application had nuts welded up inside the frame for the bolt to screw into, these are either broken loose, missing or stripped....

Have other ran into this same issue?

What did you do to fix the issue?

I was thinking about drilling and tapping the frame to install larger bolts. Would this work?

What size tap and bolts did you use?

Thanks for your thoughts and help,

Jerry
 

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The frame alone, won't give you much material to tap. Is their welded nuts or caged nuts, like on a leaf spring ? If there is welded nuts, you can drill and tap them. You may have to enlarge the holes in your cross brace.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The frame alone, won't give you much material to tap. Is their welded nuts or caged nuts, like on a leaf spring ? If there is welded nuts, you can drill and tap them. You may have to enlarge the holes in your cross brace.
They are welded nuts and some are missing, It looks like the welds broke, I had to cut the head off one bolt to get it out. Unfortunately I don't think a cage nut will work, I tried using the same cage nuts that came with my new leaf springs but they are not long enough to reach the holes.

I can try to drill and tap the ramining bolts that are still welded in place, i have a feeling they will break once I drill into them, worth a shot I guess.

Any other ideas?

Thanks,

Jerry
 

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I had one stripped out, I got lucky and just got away with tapping it out the next size up. I have seen where new nuts were welded in also.
 

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I taped all of mine to a larger size and used some old flexplate bolts. These were the right length (short) and had a large low profile head.

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for all the responses and suggestions. I decide to use a Tap and dye set to tap out to the next size, 7/16's grade-8 1" inch bolt with washer. 5 of the 6 bolts tapped without issue, as I stated before one nut had broken loose so for this one I just used a 7/16's bolt with a lock nut, not too bad putting it back in since it was a standard nut and not the one that was originally welded inside the body.

Thanks again, we are back in business.

Jerry
 
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