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With the weather finally warming up a bit, I decided to perform some Spring maintenance on the FJ. While prepping for a front and rear diff fluid change, I decided to just pull all my skids off so I could clean up some of the rust and possibly straighten them a bit. I was on the last of four bolts holding the mid skid when I discovered that I had managed to break loose one of the tack-welded nuts inside the front Toyota cross member (where the LCAs attach). I ended up having to cut the bolt to free the skid.



Since the cross member is completely enclosed, my new plan is to drill out the old nuts and replace them with weld-in bungs. I think this will really help strengthen the attachment points since it can be welded all the way around and is externally accessible. I might even upgrade to a larger bolt size in the process. The only downside that I can see is that my skids will sit ~1/16" lower due to the thickness of the bung lip.



Does anyone have any additional thoughts, comments or ideas on the easiest way to resolve this issue? Is there any real drawback to using a weld-in bung in this scenario?

TIA,

Jeff
 

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Sounds like a great idea. 1/16 isn`t anything. I may do this myself. I had a tack welded nut come loose in the rear cross member and I had to finagle with it for about an hour to get the new nut in. your idea would have been alot quicker.
 

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Just broke those 2 bolts off in the frame the other day, I was hoping my mechanic can weld a rod to the little bit of bolt sticking out and save the holes. If not I like your idea.
 

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That's an excellent idea. Another place this would work are the threaded holes on the frame rails for installing rock rails. Great suggestion Jeff. :clap::clap:
 

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Not sure they would work for rock rails so well. You want that plate on the rock wells to sit flush against the frame so you don't bend/break bolts the first time you use the rails as intended. You would either need to sink them flush into the frame, or have a counter-sink whole in the rock rail plate. With those two choices, i think I would prefer having them sunk into the frame.
 

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I'm with MrBigAxe on that. Those small welds would be carrying the entire weight of the FJ instead of spreading it to the frame. If you dropped the FJ on the slider it's much easier for your welds to break than it would be to pull a nut through the frame. Also, I'm not sure of the strength of the bung. If it's not grade 8 (or equivalent) or you can't verify how strong it is, I'd think twice about using it.

It may be a PITA to get a new nut in there but I think in this case, it's the strongest and best way to go.
 

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I had 3 slider bolts snap off in the frame this year. I drilled them out, then drill right through the fame to the other side, going to use long 5/16 grade 8 bolts with a nut.

The sliders will sit flush, plus be a stronger mount than the small M8 frame holes.
 

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This same thing happened when i took my FJ to the dealership to get the screaming idler pulleys replaced under warranty. They managed to break off the same weld nut in that cross member but of coarse didn't tell me about it. I discovered it the next time i went to remove the skid. I took it back to them for repair. The service manager himself came out, no kidding with a white shirt and tie and did the repair while i watched. Pretty clever repair.

He fished the broke off nut out of the cross member using a flexible magnet tip "snake". Then he drilled 4 equally spaced small holes around the perimeter of the hole in the cross member where the bolt would go thru. Using the same magnetic snake he worked the nut back into the cross member and lined it up with the hole, stuck a new bolt through and threaded it a few turns. Then while another guy held onto the bolt with vise grips (pulling down on it) he carefully feed the mig weld wire thru the drilled holes and re-welded the nut. The whole procedure took him less than 20 mins. I was quite impressed.
 

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Are you kidding me? Toyota used tac welded nuts in the frame? How cheap! Now I have to worry about the dealer messing up them up each and every time they do an oil change on my 2011 since you have to drop the skid for it. Wonderful.
 
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