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Thread: HELP! Broke off Bolt that holds Negative Battery cable

  1. #51
    Senior Member 82DMC12's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Olathe, KS

    Posts:    877

    My VIN:    11596

    Posting to this super-old thread only because I searched for it and referred to it while dealing with basically the same problem as OP. I had a bit different solution.

    For me, I had the trailing arm off already, and I was trying to remove the support bracket so I could replace all that hardware in there during a suspension restoration. For me, I had a ratchet on the bolt head and found the nut towards the front of the car very hard to get a wrench onto (I already had the other two bolts/nuts on the driver side removed as well as the rear passenger side bolt and nut). For the other three bolts, I was able to remove the nut first, then turn out the screw from the outside. For this stubborn one, I figured I'd try using a socket on the bolt head and see how many turns I could get before the nut started to spin. Well it wasn't many and the bolt head snapped right off. I pulled the other T/A hardware out and was left with a nearly inaccessible nut and the remaining shank - both froze in the frame (which is threaded, by the way, and NOT a hollow tube). I tried many different types of wrenches - ratcheting, 6 point, 12 point, open end, stubby, even a crows foot and I couldn't get the nut to turn. I was, however, able to get a nut onto the shank sticking out but that wasn't helping. I decided to try to grab the shank with vice grips while trying to turn the nut, and that didn't work either. MAP gas, no help. Soaked in acetone+ATF...... Finally I was able to move the nut by putting a stubby 13mm box end through the hole from the T/A side, at an angle, then attach another wrench to the open end of the stubby to increase the leverage. The nut was now moving along with the shank. Unfortunately the shank was too long to unscrew out the transmission side because it hits the frame. Eventually I gave up and screwed the nut and shank back in, and very carefully cut the shank off with my angle grinder flush with the T/A mounting point, then that left me with a short enough piece to unscrew from the transmission side. Crisis averted.

    This consumed an entire evening for me but it's one way to fix this same problem if you can get the trailing arm out of the way and increase the access. Hope it helps the next person!
    VIN 11596 Jan 1982 build - owned since Nov. 2000!

    Photography and Backpacking is life.

    Was Fargo, ND
    Now Olathe, KS

  2. #52
    Senior Member Henrik's Avatar
    Join Date:  Sep 2011

    Location:  Parker, TX

    Posts:    706

    My VIN:    #1283

    Club(s):   (SCDC) (DCUK)

    Well nice! Didn't expect a happy ending as I started reading. Glad it worked out.
    VR6 engine (367 rwhp/377 ftlb); Type T4 turbo; A/R=0.70/0.68; Air-to-air intercooler, Megasquirt MS3 Pro, Manual tranny w/ HD output shaft; Remote mounted oil filter.
    Adjustable dampers and ride height springs from QA1/DriveStainless; SS triangulated LCA brackets, boxed in LCAs, PU bushings, ventilated front brake rotors - all from DMCEU; UCAs with -3 deg camber from Reid Performance; 15" rear rims x 4
    http://deloreanvr6conversion.blogspot.com

  3. #53
    Senior Member 82DMC12's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Olathe, KS

    Posts:    877

    My VIN:    11596

    I'm actually going to add another detail here for clarity - so future readers, you can thank me later ;-)

    My car's trailing arm bracket was attached to the frame with a bolt long enough to screw through the threaded, welded-on nut on the inside of the frame AND it had a nyloc nut on the threads sticking out past that welded nut. The nyloc nut MUST come off first or else you WILL snap the bolt head off. Interesting to note that the parts manual does not show these additional nyloc nuts in the parts diagram. In addition, when I ordered new bolts from DMCMW, they sent bolts that are not long enough to add the mystery nyloc nuts, but assured me it wasn't really necessary as long as I have split washers on the bolt. So, I hope I never have to deal with this nightmare again. There is also a torque value for these bolts listed in the bulletins book.
    VIN 11596 Jan 1982 build - owned since Nov. 2000!

    Photography and Backpacking is life.

    Was Fargo, ND
    Now Olathe, KS

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