#1  
Old 04-25-2022, 05:22 AM
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Default Spring Pocket Bolts - 74 Firebird

So I'm wanting to R&R my leaf springs to fit new bushings and isolator pads. Everything has come off cleanly except for the 3 x spring pocket bolts on the drivers side. Every one of them is turning, but not undoing. I suspect the captured clips have broken loose and I don't see where I can get to the backside of them.

Any easy way to handle this, or am I faced with grinding the heads off the bolts? The one closest to the rear of the spring pocket is going to be a PITA to get at.

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  #2  
Old 04-25-2022, 06:26 AM
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The bolts do use captured clips. It's been a few years, but I had to grind the head off at least one of the bolts. Maybe someone can chime in here, but there might be an access point in the subframe through which you can wedge something into the back of the clip, but that isn't always feasible. I'd buy some new bolts and clips before I did anything drastic; I believe mine came from Summit Racing.

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  #3  
Old 05-12-2022, 03:55 PM
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Quick update - I finally got ONE side done;



All three of the spring pocket bolts spun - the captured 'nut' simply broke away from the clip. I had to grind the heads off the two most forward bolts but I could not reach the rearmost one. Fortunately I was able to tilt the socket enough that the nut stayed in position and I was then able to wind it out.

I needed to do some cleanup under the spring pocket as there was a lot of surface rust. I ended up ordering new hardware from our sponsor - spring pocket bolts, front eye bolts etc. The biggest time factor in the project was waiting for those parts to arrive from the US. The new spring pocket bolts and clips are a much better design.

Everything went pretty smoothly once I got the spring pocket out. The only other problem I had was getting the top shackle bolt back through the new frame bushings - there's not much room up there and that bolt is not a loose fit - even after sanding it smooth and lubing it.

Passenger's side next. I'm hoping I don't have the same problem with the spring pocket bolts but I'm guessing I will.

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Old 05-18-2022, 09:11 PM
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Passenger's side next. I'm hoping I don't have the same problem with the spring pocket bolts but I'm guessing I will.
Ha ha - not a chance. All 3 x bolts broke loose on the passengers side. I can get to the heads of the bolts at the front of the spring pocket, but there's no way I can get my angle grinder on the one that's at the rear. It's way up between the spring and the sill.

I've booked it in next week to have a local shop do it - they can deal with it.

For anyone else that ever runs into this, this is what the captured nuts look like and what they do when you try and unbolt them. Silliest design ever.

The RH bolt and clip in the picture is the new style that our sponsor supplies - much better design;


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Old 05-18-2022, 09:37 PM
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Yup been there. I had two that spun, but I was able to chisel the bolt heads off.

The bigger issue on my car was that the entire leaf pack on both the driver and passenger side was cracked in half. The leafs literally fell apart when I released the clamping load from the u bolts!!

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Old 05-19-2022, 12:22 PM
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Anti-seize is your friend!

.

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  #7  
Old 05-19-2022, 02:00 PM
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Anti-seize is your friend!
It might have been my friend if someone had used it on the assembly line 48 years ago

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Old 05-19-2022, 02:03 PM
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Yeah, but you just went thru the painful part, might as well never have to deal with that again!

I just got a couple anti-seize sticks, hope that will help not getting it EVERYWHERE whenever I pull that large bottle with a brush out!

.

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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
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1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
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Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #9  
Old 05-30-2022, 08:05 PM
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I've booked it in next week to have a local shop do it - they can deal with it.
They dealt with it, and it's done.

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Old 12-15-2022, 11:54 PM
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Heat can be you friend too.

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Old 12-16-2022, 01:44 AM
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Oxy acetylene cutting torch, or a plasma torch and burn the head off of the bolts, done in 2 minutes, been there, done that, dozens of times. Living in the rust belt, twisting wrenches for a living, necessitates a cutting torch. Having always had access to a cutting torch, makes working on old cars so much easier, and faster. For heating up rusty bolts to remove them, or severing them when they're too rusty to save. I can't fathom working on cars without one. My last major purchase for the garage was a plasma torch, having both now is the height of using heat for disassembly of rusted parts.

If you think you'll ever have to remove them again, the never seize is invaluable.

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  #12  
Old 12-16-2022, 11:36 AM
mgarblik mgarblik is offline
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Originally Posted by Sirrotica View Post
Oxy acetylene cutting torch, or a plasma torch and burn the head off of the bolts, done in 2 minutes, been there, done that, dozens of times. Living in the rust belt, twisting wrenches for a living, necessitates a cutting torch. Having always had access to a cutting torch, makes working on old cars so much easier, and faster. For heating up rusty bolts to remove them, or severing them when they're too rusty to save. I can't fathom working on cars without one. My last major purchase for the garage was a plasma torch, having both now is the height of using heat for disassembly of rusted parts.

If you think you'll ever have to remove them again, the never seize is invaluable.
Rusty, horrible, frozen fasteners are a way of life as mentioned above. I have worked on vehicles only 3-4 years old where cutting bolts off was the only option. That being said, my use of heat and a torch, especially for cutting is always my last choice. I am always so concerned and worried about catching the car on fire. You just have to be so very careful of oily, greasy parts. Rubber lines, undercoating, carpet and insulation, wire conduit. So much stuff that can ignite and get quickly out of hand and you may not have time to put it out quickly enough. I have personally seen 3 cars catch on fire to the point they were completely burned to the ground. The worst was a Buick GN that burned at a local dealership. The technician was seriously injured, and the dealer service area also suffered substantial damage. Be very careful using a torch. Often the only way to get these old cars apart.

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Old 12-17-2022, 09:08 AM
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Large sharpened chisel & hammer is the safest .

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Old 12-17-2022, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
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Anti-seize is your friend!

.
Yep! I'll often get a slightly longer Grade 8 bolt to get more threads through the nuts to. Sometimes esp the repop ones are barely long enough to get the full diameter of the bolt in the nut.

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