Has anyone else had this problem with their sub frame bolts? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:57 PM
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Has anyone else had this problem with their sub frame bolts?

It's been awhile since I been here. I recently started working on my Firebird again. I made some progress in the last few weeks. Today I decided it was time to align my sub frame.

I had the frame hanging loosely since last week. I read online about how the factory used pins to align the frame so I decided to do the same. I got myself a 5/8 bolt and sanded it down by hand with 220 grit till it fit through the alignment holes. I lined the frame up and it seemed all was well.

I proceeded to tighten my bolts and then got out my torque wrench to torque them to 100 ft pounds according to my new bushing kit instructions. When I got to my last bolt, the rear frame bolt that bolts to the cross member under the drivers seat. I noticed the bolt kept turning and turning. I realized the moveable plate inside the cross member that the bolt bolts into was turning with the bolt.

I spent about 2 hours trying to keep it from spinning. The only thing I can think of now is to cut a hole into my newly welded floor pan to get access to it. I really don't want to especially since the floors are already painted and sprayed with undercoating. I was hoping someone could give me some advice.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:24 PM
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Somewhat common on Nova/Camaro/Firebird. The caged nut breaks loose. I usually open up a hole inside the car, above the nut. Repair it then close up the access hole.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBCRMAN@aol.com View Post
Somewhat common on Nova/Camaro/Firebird. The caged nut breaks loose. I usually open up a hole inside the car, above the nut. Repair it then close up the access hole.
I figured I would have to do that, it just sucks since I painted the floors and now I gotta cut and re-weld.

Can you give me some tips on how I can reinforce the nut housing to be stronger? I would hate to have this happen again if I ever needed to remove the bolts for any reason.

This problem also happened on the sub frame bolt that bolts into the torque box area on the drivers side as well. Luckily I was able to wedge a screw driver into it, keeping it from turning from the torque box opening.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusthater89 View Post
I figured I would have to do that, it just sucks since I painted the floors and now I gotta cut and re-weld.

Can you give me some tips on how I can reinforce the nut housing to be stronger? I would hate to have this happen again if I ever needed to remove the bolts for any reason.

This problem also happened on the sub frame bolt that bolts into the torque box area on the drivers side as well. Luckily I was able to wedge a screw driver into it, keeping it from turning from the torque box opening.
Once you get in there and fix it, put anti-seize paste on the nut plate and bolt, and remove all the other bolts and anti-seize them as well, and there will be no problem if you ever need to get them out again.

Basically, once you are to this point on a resto, don't bolt anything back on without anti-seize paste on the threads.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ericnova72 View Post
Once you get in there and fix it, put anti-seize paste on the nut plate and bolt, and remove all the other bolts and anti-seize them as well, and there will be no problem if you ever need to get them out again.

Basically, once you are to this point on a resto, don't bolt anything back on without anti-seize paste on the threads.
Thanks for the advice. I will keep that in mind.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:28 PM
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If you use a 3/4 to 1" hole saw directly over the cage nut, You can probably use the screw driver trick to get it tight. Then get a rubber/plastic hole plug to go in the hole and forget it. No one will ever see it unless they remove the carpet. No big deal to not weld it up, unless you are building a race car. Coat the raw edge of the hole with paint or the anti-seize to prevent rust.
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Old 06-08-2014, 12:16 AM
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I did the cut Saturday morning. I used a hammer and punch to knock the tab down that was bent upwards. Every time I tried to turn the bolt the tab would just bend back out again. Eventually the tab was so damaged from me hitting it with a punch that I just got out my arc welder and used it to build up a nice thick layer of metal which you can see from the picture. I then used an air hammer with a punch attachment to shape it. After I did that I had no more problems with the nut.
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