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  1. #1
    Silver Member dhagood's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    124
    Location
    ramah, co
    Tractor
    john deere 1070

    Default absolutely pointless rant

    my personal vehicle these days is a 1995 nissan pathfinder that was originally bought with 135000 miles or so for my then high-school aged children (the kids, now 26 and 24, drive far better cars than i do). my wife and i have been traipsing around the area southeast of denver for retirement property. after driving off of and then back onto the gravel road that fronts the property we will purchase in two weeks, the right front wheel started making a nasty clunking sound. i drove home, put the car up on jackstands, and started poking around. i almost immediately found a washer from where the front upper a-arm bolts to the frame. shims are added and subtracted to this area to align the front end.

    it looked to me on a very cursory examination that the rubber bushings that keep rearwords tension on the lower a-arm had shrunken and then torn, removing the proper tension and and allowing the frame-mounted upper a-arm to flex and spit the shims out. i ordered the appropriate parts, and twiddled my thumbs waiting for the parts to show up. 10 days or so later, i further disassembled the front suspension and discovered that the tension rods themselves were badly worn and rusted where the rods when through the rubber bushings. oh snap i said, ordered additional parts, and waited another 10 days or so. i crammed the new tension rods, rubber bushings, and spacers in where they needed to be, and smiled in anticipation of getting the pathfinder back on the road. on the drivers side, i decided that since i would have to have the car aligned anyway, i would remove all the alignment shims from both sides and have the alignment guy start from scratch. i backed off the two bolts, removed the shims, and tightened the bolts back up.

    on the passenger side, which is the side making the ugly noise, the rear bolt tightened up but required a lot of effort. the front bolt also required a lot of effort, and tightened and tightened and... the bolt wasn't moving. i backed it out quite a bit, and the threads were badly rolled. oh my, sez i. darn, blast, and things of that general nature. it was kinda of late, so i quit working on the car and spent the evening sniveling to myself. as everybody knows, all things being equal, if you screw up the threads on a bolt, you are also screwing up the threads on the nut. only this nut was welded inside a boxed frame.

    the next day i backed the rear bolt out and looked at the threads. kinda rolled, but most likely saveable by re-tapping the threads. the front bolt was worse, and the threads might be to far gone to re-tap. i'll try, but we'll just have to see. i had decided the previous evening that i would put a time-sert into the welded nut, if possible, if the threads could not be saved. one thing i needed to know is whether or not there was enough depth to the nut to allow the insert to properly seat. so i looked into the hole in the frame rail to see how deep the nut was. i noticed a bright metal score in the inside frame rail, as if the bolt had bottomed out. ummm... so i looked in the rear hole and there was a similar mark there. i looked at the bolts in my hand, and the marking on the heads matched nicely. i went back to the driver's side, but those bolts had no markings on the head. i removed one of the driver's side bolts, and this is what i saw:

    -photo-48-jpg

    so running in the bolts to properly snug them down would cause them to bottom against the other side of the boxed frame. the bolts were obviously replacements, and somebody had goofed. wonderful. so off i went to the hardware store to try and get some shorter replacements. and what did i find when i tried to figure out what size the replacement bolts were? why, i found that some absolute moron had run two over-length sae bolts into my metric vehicle. one of these bolts was stripped out. if the other bolt had failed, i could have had the right front wheel wobble about with the upper a-arm no longer secured to the vehicle.

    this happened the last time the vehicle had been aligned, and that was years ago. 3 years? 4? i don't even remember who i had do the alignment. i paid somebody my hard-earned money to do a sloppy, careless, dangerous job of repairing my vehicle. my wife has driven this vehicle. my daughter had driven this vehicle, as had my son. how can someone possibly believe that this was appropriate? i just don't get it.

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,820
    Location
    Lee, IL
    Tractor
    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: absolutely pointless rant

    you're right, that is quite a rant!

    The only comment I will make is when dealing with threaded holes that are screwed up, it is far better to use thread "restoring" taps if possible. They form the threads back into shape instead of cutting more metal and therefore making weak threads weaker.

    I had a Ford Contour at one point and there were a lot of places with nuts captured in a boxed area. These nuts had tabs welded on them to keep them from turning so you could tighten them. They were a PIA to get started sometimes and were really a PIA when the tabs broke off from rust and you could not loosen the bolt. It may however be something for you to look at of you have a spot where you could get one in.

  3. #3
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,261
    Location
    Central Texas, Jarrell
    Tractor
    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: absolutely pointless rant

    stuff like this is why I do everything possible that I can do myself...but alignment isn't one of them.

    On a similar note, about 15 years ago I had a local mechanic who lived at the end of my road work on my tractor...required removal of the hood,, other stuff. He was a "good ol boy" and i figured I'd use him since I could drive the tractor to him instead of having to trailer it 40 miles to dealer. Being local and knowing me he would surely be honest and do a good job, right! A while after I got it back, I noticed that some bolts were missing..just stuff holding sheet metal on...just carelessness...I bought more bolts and put them back. After a while, radiator developed a leak...I inserted stop leak, worked for a while but leaked again. Sold tractor to friend 10 years ago, it needed some engine work which he did. He has fought the leak which got slowly worse and more difficult to fix.

    Couple of weeks ago, he was working on it...discovered that radiator bolts were missing and allowing movement of radiator, leading to flexing and subsequent cracks/leaks. I am sure that that fellow left the bolts out. The fellow got paid for sloppy job and it is not clear yet if the problems that resulted in have yet all surfaced. But, the sloppy job was unseen at least long enough to get it out of the shop.

    Sure, we get it...it takes longer to do a job right, put bolts back in tight spaces, find the right length and thread bolt, etc....doing so requires personal pride in workmanship...this is not possible to measure accurately by most people, and can only be done by meticulous inspection after the job is done which would require complete dissassembly for verification. In the old days when people lived in a "small town" all their life, a poor job got discussed in the coffee shop and reputations were made, good or bad. Nowadays, people move, shops open and close, management changes...very hard to get an accurate assessment of work quality.

    Net...I feel your pain!
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Mar 2010
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    1,735
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    CT235

    Default Re: absolutely pointless rant

    Yup, a 300 ftlb impact gun will drive a lag bolt into a machine thread if you wanted it to.... It's amazing how many times I have seen tire shops cross thread a lug nut and just continue to blast them on until the parts are welded together. Too bad for the next sap that has to work on it.
    Tim.

  5. #5
    Silver Member dhagood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    124
    Location
    ramah, co
    Tractor
    john deere 1070

    Default Re: absolutely pointless rant

    i tried to use a 14mm time-sert to repair the stripped out threads in the frame and botched it by cleverly breaking the tap such that the end of the tap is stuck in frame. i called around asking if it was possible/what it might cost to cut the damaged section out and reweld it. that particular area of the frame is pretty complicated and is further complicated by having the shock tower welded in that area. i'm not sure that a safe repair is even possible; if it is possible i'm not sure if doing the repair would be worth the cost.

    i might end up scrapping the vehicle.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Oct 2003
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    3,214
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    the Steernbos (Holland)
    Tractor
    Zetor 3011, Zetor 5718

    Default Re: absolutely pointless rant

    taps are pretty hard, i usually try to hammer them loose. either to pieces, or loosening it so i can turn it out with pointbeaked pliers.
    Have you thought of using popnuts ? you dont really need the pliers that go with them, you can tighten them with a bolt and hold them with a pipe wrench to get them to pop untill they hold into the frame.
    ...Or drill a hole through the frame and put a threaded rod all the way through.
    Free scrap is a good investment !!!
    “The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency” · Aldous Huxley
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  7. #7
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    7,184
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: absolutely pointless rant

    Quote Originally Posted by texasjohn View Post
    . In the old days when people lived in a "small town" all their life, a poor job got discussed in the coffee shop and reputations were made, good or bad. Nowadays, people move, shops open and close, management changes...very hard to get an accurate assessment of work quality.
    Here in Bismarck, it is still the local coffee shop that all the old farmers and contractors hang out in the morning to gossip about the community and their work. NOT MUCH changed in 100 years except the coffee shop got moved to a new location and new building.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    790
    Location
    Maine

    Default Re: absolutely pointless rant

    these work fairly well on broken taps, though they aren't a guaranteed solution. they're also kind of pricey to purpose buy for one repair, though as a long term tool purchase, they are handy to have around. also make sure to use a good cutting fluid when tapping the threads. i use relton rapid tap, because i can get it locally.

    Tap Extractors for Machine Screw, Hand, Pipe & STI Taps | Walton

    Relton Corporation - Cutting Fluids

  9. #9
    Gold Member lutt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    463
    Location
    Pocahontas, Arkansas
    Tractor
    Kubota ZG 22, John Deere 4200 4wd/ 420 loader, 4 wd,08 polaris 700 ranger crew

    Default Re: absolutely pointless rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fowler View Post
    Here in Bismarck, it is still the local coffee shop that all the old farmers and contractors hang out in the morning to gossip about the community and their work. NOT MUCH changed in 100 years except the coffee shop got moved to a new location and new building.
    Gary,up here at Pocahontas, it was the sale barn cafe, the new sale barn is about where the old one was, and the cafe in new now,I think that built it around the cafe. LUTT

  10. #10
    Silver Member dhagood's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    124
    Location
    ramah, co
    Tractor
    john deere 1070

    Default Re: absolutely pointless rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Renze View Post
    taps are pretty hard, i usually try to hammer them loose. either to pieces, or loosening it so i can turn it out with pointbeaked pliers.
    Have you thought of using popnuts ? you dont really need the pliers that go with them, you can tighten them with a bolt and hold them with a pipe wrench to get them to pop untill they hold into the frame.
    ...Or drill a hole through the frame and put a threaded rod all the way through.
    rivnuts were a possibility, but i couldn't find anybody that made a rivnut for a M14-1.5 bolt. also, where the problem stands now is that the hole in the frame has been over-drilled to accept the M14 time-sert.

    i have a mobile welder coming by tomorrow to look at the problem. my current thinking is that i will have him weld the oversize hole closed (ie, fill the hole with weld bead all the way through the existing nut), and then drill and tap.

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