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2008 LL Bean 3.0R, 2009 Forester 2.5 X LTD
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Recently I replaced the worn bushings on my OEM front sway bar, 2008 Outback 3.0R LL Bean. I also replaced the SB endlinks. Rust. Rust. Rust. A few of the end-link bolts had to be cut off.

Well for those of you familiar with this job, you know that the bushing is held in place by two brackets per side. One u-shaped bracket holds the bushing and a larger bracket sits on one tab of the u-shaped bracket. 4 bolts and 1 nut to a stud on the frame.

That 1 nut, well a couple of turns on the ratchet and *snap*! Rusted thing broke right off. All other bolts came out fine with elbow grease. Well I put everything back together, I think I'll be OK, because that larger, hefty bracket firmly sits on top of the u-shaped bracket. U-shaped bracket cannot move laterally as well (by remnants of stud).

Question: Should I just leave it? Car drives fine (better actually), and no sign of trouble when I re-inspected. Or should I drill the stud, or somehow bang out the stud, and put in a nut and bolt. I may just keep an eye on it until the Spring.

I'm sure the dealer would have had the same issue. It did not take much torque to snap it. I wonder what they would have done?

BTW, dealer wanted $200 for bushings, $300 for end links PER AXLE. I always enquire at the dealer (for a chuckle) and to "bank" the "savings" with my wife. "Honey, see how much I saved!" $1000 for about $130 worth of parts and about 1 hour of my labor. And I have no lift!
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Post a picture. If it looks rigid and there's other bolts holding it in place it should be fine.

Okay now for a long winded lesson on fastener removal. Ready class? Get ready to fall asleep!

***Do not use a screw extractor, those things suck and if they shear off, which they do all the time, they are unbelievably difficult to remove. They're like concrete...very strong but extremely brittle and break with impact easily. If you have any the best advice I can give is throw them away. Anything that comes out with a screw extractor isn't stuck that bad and will come out with other methods easily.

Rusty fasteners are like an art form. I live in a rust prone area and have to deal with this all the time, I've done everything I'm about to outline many times. There are a few easy ways to remove rusty nut:

1. grind or cut it off with a dremel, similar type tool, chase the threads with a die and you're golden with a new nut.
2. torch. heat the nut very quickly so that it is HOT and the stud is not - it'll back right off.
3. weld a good nut on top of the old nut so you've got good metal to work with.

***you may even be able to do that with the existing stud stuck in your car - place a nut over top of the stud and fill the inside of the nut with weld to the stud so you can then use a ratchet on the nut.

If you drill it out the best thing to use is high quailty left handed drill bits. eventually the left-handed "unscrewing" action of the drill can pull the remaining stud out. start with a small bit...then move to a larger one. it's a pain but it works.

In the future soak nuts/bolts with high quality penetrant like PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench, or industrial strength YIELD (which you can't typically buy at a store and it's $20 a can but good stuff). Soak it and wrap it in a rag if you can and let it set overnight if you have the time to plan ahead. If not, still hit it.

Somtimes it helps to turn in the direction of tighten first...a very, very small increment just a few degrees to break the rust, particularly on nuts because as soon as you start to back them off they encounter the remaining rusty exposed threads.

Work the nut/bolt back and forth a few degrees, and work it out.

When you start gaining any ground or hitting resistance....stop at some point and go get a drink or work on something else. As soon as resistance happens heat is generated immediately (you can rub your hands together and they get hot in seconds). the same thing happens to the nut/bolt metal...give them time to cool down. the heat expands the metal (working against you) and compromises the material properties.
 
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