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Discussion Starter #1
While recently doing some suspension work on my Gen 3 I noticed that my fron sway bar bushing straps were not properly bolted to the crossmember ... or more accurately the support cromen. From the schematic at parts.subaru.com, this would be item 20107. The bushing straps are supposed to mount through the cromen to the crossmember; one side of the strap bolts through to a welded nut, and the other side has a nut that attaches to a welded bolt; the welded bolts are gone from both sides. The bushing straps were tucked under the cromen. It looks like at some point a mechanic removed the nuts to remove the bar, and possibly torqued them to death instead of being patient with blaster, fire and hammering. I think I see the remains of the bolt crushed up between the cromen and the crossmember. I have not yet removed the sway bars to more fully inspect.

I'm now trying to figure out if I can salvage this. I can't tell if the bolts are replaceable (such as by using a bolt stud) or if they were welded.

If you happen to have a crossmember out of a car I would really appreciate any detailed pics you could send. I'm hoping that bolt is replaceable, and that if i drive a pin up to drive the old gunk out I can drop in a new one. At worst hopefully I can drill and weld a nut in - I would have to have to replace a whole crossmember because of two bolts.

And before you say it .. Yes I know I can just remove the sway bar but I would prefer not to :)
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
I am pretty sure they a rivet stud ( ?? ) pressed or riveted in. I might even have a picture around. If you knocked or drilled out what's left. you could put a bolt in with a backing nut, it's accessible from the back side for a box wrench.
 

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2005 Outback Ltd 5MT
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This has been discussed before, but I have yet to see a proven solution.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/19285-front-swaybar-bushing-bracket.html#/topics/19285

I snapped the same bolt by overtightening (using a 1/2” socket wrench with 3/8 adapter.... dumb) on my wife’s 3.0R two years ago. Because that part of the strap/bracket fits under the cromen, it has stayed stable and hasn’t “walked” on the swaybar like the guy in the linked thread. However, I endeavor to fix this correctly at some point, so this thread interests me. It seems tight in there to sneak a new nut or bolt and a box wrench above the crossmember but it may be possible.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
You can definitely get a box wrench on the nut to hold it while tightening a bolt. I know because my 2006, both of the front weld nuts are stripped and I have to run longer bolts with a backing nut on top of the weld nuts. And they are buried further into the cromen
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
Yep. Almost in plain sight.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am pretty sure they a rivet stud ( ?? ) pressed or riveted in. I might even have a picture around. If you knocked or drilled out what's left. you could put a bolt in with a backing nut, it's accessible from the back side for a box wrench.
Thank you traildog; I was hoping this was the case. I was thinking that even if it was a welded bolt I could potentially drill and clean it and then use a free floating nut and bolt. However I couldn't get good visibility into it and wasn't sure. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH the Subaru schematics do NOT show this bolt on the crossmember, and I couldn't find detailed enough pics of crossmembers online; I had to go back under the car and study it to realize the bolt was originally from the crossmember and not the support cromen. If you do happen to walk by one that's out of a car and wouldn't mind taking a quick pic of the top side for me I'd really appreciate it, but it's not urgent, I can probably work a phone camera in there or perhaps use a mirror with the camera. I'm just trying to avoid an unnecessary tear down just to observe it and figure out a plan.

Or maybe this would be good justification for an inspection scope ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yep. Almost in plain sight.

AWESOME ! Thanks a ton for the pic TrailDog. It definitely looks like that could be punched out with a pin (especially if it's all rusted enough to have crumbled apart in the first place). Looks like just enough room to work a dremel grinding wheel in there (with the extension flex hose) to get rid of any rust build up and bring it back to a flat surface.

thanks man, that pic is worth a thousand words and this is one of those problems that doesn't seem to have "well documented fixes" online. Great ! I was afraid I would have to replace the crossmember if I wanted to replace it properly.

Now the big mystery is who broke the bolts and decided to just hide the work in the first place ...
 
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