Oh come ON, Jeep!

Eight ayem I had to be at S&L’s, leaving in time to be at D&L’s in time for corral and pellet stove cleaning at 8:30. I started the Jeep, put it in reverse, and was definitely dragging something through the dirt…

Oh, for god’s sake. I just got the Jeep working again.

I had no dreaming clue why the shock decided to part company with the Jeep, but I did know I was in a hurry. Situations like this are why, among all the other junk I haul around on my person every day…


…I always carry a hank of 550 cord.

I go do my chores, then when I’m back at the Lair I pull my poncho liner out of the kit in the back of the Jeep, lay it out under the rear, and go looking for what the shock absorber had objected to. Probably a bolt came loose? Why, after years? Don’t know.

But of course it couldn’t be that simple…


Broke the head off a mounting bolt, leaving the rest stuck in place. Best guess is I broke it off week before last when I was bashing around the wilderness trying to catch that ambulance. And of course I couldn’t get it out with locking pliers, which means I really don’t have any way to get it out.


My expensive aftermarket shock absorber was beaten to death, so I took it the rest of the way off.

I really thought I’d dodged a trip to the shop, but it looks like not.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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14 Responses to Oh come ON, Jeep!

  1. Wayne Dygert says:

    Somewhere between entropy and Murphy all our plans go to die

  2. Mark Matis says:

    How are you doing on 550 cord? Ready for another batch?

  3. Joel says:

    No thanks. Still have lots and lots of 550 cord. 😉

  4. Ben says:

    A left hand drill bit is your friend. (Cheap at Amazon). I will be surprised if you need to resort to an extractor.

  5. Robert says:

    Random thoughts after working a 14-hour shift without pay:

    1) All machines break. Repeatedly. It’s feature, not a bug.
    2) Joel has an enviable skill set. Go, Joel!
    3) The State Capitol of Wisconsin doesn’t have any machine shops/suppliers with LH drill bits (one guy I talked to didn’t know such a thing existed).
    4) Joel will prevail over the mindless Jeep.
    5) I should sleeping, not typing. And typing BEFORE the tequila nightcap.

  6. Terrapod says:

    Joel, not the end of the world, have done much more difficult repairs in the dirt before.

    Get some PB Blast and spray the offending sheared bolt from bottom and if possible from top. Let is soak a day or two, then get a drill and bit about 1/2 to 2/3 the diameter of bolt and drill up center as straight as possible. Then get an easy out and tap it into the hole, use wrench to gently work it out. Not that difficult. I prefer the kind of easy outs that have 4 bite surfaces and are not overly hard steel, they are square tapered in shape. The reverse spiral ones are very brittle and tend to snap off inconveniently if you are not 100% in line with the force on the wrench or “T” handle. I am probably telling you nothing you don’t know already, so don’t take offense, just a rambling old engineer here.

    My other favorite trick which is more expensive, is to have on hand a reverse flute set of drills, they drill out in reverse of normal spiral that goes Right Hand. More than once the heat and digging into the metal of the bolt actually backs it out handily with this option and I never use the extractors.

    Good luck and I hope the shock is re usable or weldable to repair.

  7. Mark Matis says:

    McMaster is your friend for unusual hardware:
    https://www.mcmaster.com/drill-bits/flute-direction~left-hand/

  8. Terrapod says:

    That shock is about to fail on the lower bushing too. Do you have a spare set handy?

    I have been using Gabriel brand which has been around since I was a wee un, meaning more than 70 years and they are relatively inexpensive.

    Lets see what is out there.

  9. Manfred says:

    If there’s room to get a deep socket on it, there’s room for a camming stud extractor. Can’t tell from the pic if there’s enough bolt protruding to give the stud extractor something to grab onto (one trick I’ve done in situations where I expect bolt head problems is put a short solid close-fitting spacer between the secured object and the surface. As long as stresses are applied only to the linear axis of the bolt and not in shear (where the spacer moves the stress point out increasing leverage in shear), when the bolt head rips off (or is too damaged to be used) it leaves a length of bolt shank exposed equal to the thickness of the spacer. Sometimes another quarter inch makes all the difference.)

    And, it’s beyond the Lair’s resources, but more than once I’ve tack-welded something (usually a length of 1/4″ to 1/2″ rod or another bolt) to a sheared bolt or stud and used that to get it out. In any case, start with several applications of good penetrating oil.

  10. Terrapod says:

    Set of shocks on the way

  11. anonymous says:

    I’m another lifelong Gabriel user on 4x4s, good lifespan and quality at a reasonable price.

  12. Terrapod says:

    Joel – managed to halt the shipment of standard shocks. Send me the dimensions of what you actually need or the lift of that Jeep in inches, can just add that to the standard part length. I am sure we can find what you need.

  13. Goober says:

    Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, loosens up a stuck bolt like a prodigious amount of heat. Drill it enough to put an EZ out in it, then Get your propane torch on it after an over night soak in PB blaster. Heat it until it starts to darken, then tap the EZout in and turn it out. Should come out super easy.

    I suppose that this is where I tell you that patience and calm are in order, but we both know ourselves well enough that it ain’t in the cards. I honestly think the odd epithet and thrown wrench really helps me in the shop.

To the stake with the heretic!