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Removing Rusted Body Bolts


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In January, 1963, my uncle was working as a mechanic at a Studebaker dealership in Broohhaven, Long Island, NY, when a new Avanti, 63R2159, was delivered. Two years later in 1965, my uncle bought that Avanti from the original owner and enjoyed the car until he passed away in 2008. I bought the car in 2009 from my cousin. I have finally started the full restoration and I am at the point of removing the body bolts and lifting the body off the frame. Everything from the body has been removed and is just a fiberglass shell. The chassis has some rust damage but is repairable. The body bolts that screw into the hog troughs are not moving and I broke the head off of one already. Being that the bolt threads are not accessible, has anyone come up with a way to get these out? Should I cut small holes in the hog trough to apply penetrating oil to the threads? Can I use heat without damaging the fiberglass? Luckily, the hog troughs are solid with no visable outside rust. All the other body bolts with exposed threads I have loosened so they will not be a problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Ken

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Hi Ken .I removed  the 17 bolt's holding the body to the chassis..this past summer..I to am removing my body off my chassis..on r 4103...yes I used liquid wrench..an wd40. I turned the bolts a tiny bite off.. then Titan back an forth 500 time's..yes 500 time.( I counted.). back an forth about 1/32.of an inch at a time. So not to brake.the bolts off into the hog troughs.keeping the bolts well lubricated..will I did the job. The ten bolts that are in the hog troughs are the toughest.ones to do..I thought that the bolts have been there 57. Years.. I needed to take my time getting them off.. most all the bolts are going to need replacing..but that did not break.. that's just how I did it..

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Penetrating oils do help, however, with the number of possibly 'frozen' bolts you'll be dealing with, there's nothing like a bit of applied heat.....I'd invest in a small oxy/acetylne welding, cutting, heating outfit.......Ed

PS....you really should have a 'spotter' standing by with a hose or fire extinguisher while doing this!:o

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You can access the torque box bolts from the top by removing the sill plate and rubber mat and drilling a few 1.5-2.0" holes in the fiberglass.  Use Kroil or PB Blaster on them from the top.    Worth a try and beats hell out of drilling them out from underneath.   Returning the sill plates and rubber conceals everything you've done. 

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using a 50/50 mix of atf and acetone will work much better than any commercially available solution that i ever used, based on over 65 years of being a professional mechanic. 

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17 hours ago, arkus said:

using a 50/50 mix of atf and acetone will work much better than any commercially available solution that i ever used, based on over 65 years of being a professional mechanic. 

Seconded by a 45 year professional mechanic.

Good luck,

Jim Wood

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Consider an induction heater as an option to torch heat. They are available from multiple tool sources. Combined with ATF/acetone mix, you have the best chance at success.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Ken, I'm pulling 63R-2158 apart right now.... lots of rusted bolts!  I'm replacing the hog troughs though so not as worried about the bolts breaking.

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The hog troughs are accessible from the very rear over the top of the frame. They may also have drain holes in them at front and back. I got into mine with a boroscope and found a dead bird and various and sundry other things that the squirrels brought in. I would think that if you don't want to drill your body panels you can get creative and find a way to use a scope and a very long nozzle to spray the bolt threads in the troughs. Might take a bit of contorting to get things aligned or just fire a bunch of lube at high pressure and coat it all but the point being when you get it apart cleanup will be easy. Good luck.

 

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