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Old 03-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #1
VictorOfHavoc
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Unhappy subframe bolt crossthreaded...HELP!

So I was installing the subframe bushing inserts from whiteline for my 2010 wrx sedan, when i noticed the bolts felt way too difficult going in. My grandfather went down there and used the old school method of "lets just keep on tightening it" so he used a breaker bar when i wasn't looking.

Now, the 14x1.5 bolt is slightly crossthreaded. I can't find this bolt, nor a die, nor a tap anywhere around here. I'm at my parent's place in Albertville, Al and apparently no one here has ever heard of metric sizes. Someone even asked me if a meter was "about one and a half foot."

Does anyone have any suggestions at all? This week is my spring break from school and I need to go home by Monday, which is also a shame since I live off campus in Macon, Ga.

Is it safe to try and align the subframe and bolt the two front and one rear right bolt, hopefully properly , and drive ever so carefully? I just need to get past about 230 miles to get it to the subaru dealership in Macon where I'm sure they can get that bolt and put it in.

In my mind it does not sound safe at all, but I wasn't planing on even reaching boost, nor driving faster than 55 the whole way. All highway. Any thoughts, anyone?
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #2
Nlc5491
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You can try installing the other 3 and then go to a hardware store and look for a bolt or a stack of washers to get it to tighten the bolt. Or use a thread file on the bolt. Subframe bolts are always a little rough going in an out. Use anti seize on the others. I always use an impact gun.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
VictorOfHavoc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nlc5491 View Post
You can try installing the other 3 and then go to a hardware store and look for a bolt or a stack of washers to get it to tighten the bolt. Or use a thread file on the bolt. Subframe bolts are always a little rough going in an out. Use anti seize on the others. I always use an impact gun.
I sprayed some pb blaster in there to try and tighten it up. Where do you think I should put the worst bolt if i use washers to stack it?

I had the bolt tightened as far as i could get it by hand with a ratchet and it still had about an inch to go...it took effort with the breaker bar for about 20 turns to get it off. That doesn't sound normal does it?

I wish I had an impact drill but school takes most of my money and my dad has no tools whatsoever. He's not exactly handy...
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:00 PM   #4
Bikelok
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Are you sure it's a 14x1.5 bolt and not a 14x1.25.
You need to chase it out with a proper tap and get a new bolt.
Be CAREFUL and put it together as best you can till you can get to civilization, then find some real parts and tools.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:52 AM   #5
VictorOfHavoc
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according to the tic install thread on iwti it's a 1.5. What makes you say 1.25? I don't think I can tell the difference by looking at it without a comparison bolt around.

My father was nice enough to let me borrow his car while mine is still back in the middle of nowhere up on jackstands.

Any idea where I can get these bolts other than subaru? I'm pretty sure they're going to have to order them and they might not be in by this coming weekend :/
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:43 PM   #6
Bikelok
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I'm not that familiar with your model year, but a good majority of Subaru's use 1.25 thread pitch on most of their bolts.
Double check is all I'm saying.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:33 PM   #7
VictorOfHavoc
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I found the bolt on subaru genuine parts. It just gives the length and doesn't give the thread. I'm gonna order a few and see how it goes.

I liked tic's write up for how to do this job, but they didn't make reinstalling the subframe very clear. Do you think I should make an add on to that to show the reinstall more clearly? I figure it might help some people avoid my mistakes.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
Bru1212
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You really should not be this worried about one bolt. Does the subframe stay up? If yes just drive it home and fix when you can, no need stay out of boost. I wouldn't toss it around every turn you see as hard as you can though.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:40 PM   #9
VictorOfHavoc
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okay, so i got a tap kit and all new bolts...got three bolts in and one is just not working properly. I used washers to get it into place and now I'm taking it to my buddy, who works at Subaru. He says it should be a simple job for him with the proper tools. Luckily I have this connection. I'll repost again when the problem is completely solved

Also, in case anyone reads this after stripping his/her bolts, Do not under ANY circumstances try and tighten it down if it's not going in smoothly. Get the whole subframe up aligned and then push it up again with the jack. Don't be afraid to jerk it around a bit! After that make sure that the hole you're going into and the subframe arm are not angled against each other, meaning make sure the bolt won't need to bend! (this is where I fell into a crucial mistake). I'll take some pictures later to help and toss them up...
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:19 PM   #10
Phil_Dunphy
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First of all, there were about 10 "That's what she said"s in this thread, just saying...

But in all seriousness, this SAME THING happened to me, but on my wife's FR-S. I thought I'd be a good husband and order her a fun/cheap mod (Whiteline as well) as she is semi interested in that stuff, but not enough to do any of them. Followed directions to a T, and just like you ONE EFFING BOLT would not thread properly. We spent 2.5 hours just trying to get it lined up, used a floor jack to take pressure off other side, etc. NOTHING. The difference is, with this one bolt not going in, the subframe was not right in that car..it was off, so luckily I too had a connection and had it towed for free to Toyota and had them get it on a lift, order new bolt, and fix it.

I have no idea why simply dropping the subframe a few inches carefully according to directions causes it to get thrown ALL off whack in Subaru products, but it does. I would suggest to anyone reading this to skip this set of bushings. I love Whiteline and would give them any free marketing I could, but the nature of Subframe bushings=not enough reward for how much risk there is IMO.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:26 PM   #11
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There is stress on the subframe from driving the car. If you push the car hard, it tends to twist it just a little bit. It's a pain in the ass, but if you have access to 2 floor jacks and a bottle jack with some pieces of 4x4, jack the subframe up to touch the car and then insert the bottle jack and wood between the two rear subframe arms and push them gently apart until you can get the holes to line up perfectly. The ticket is to run a tap through the holes BEFORE you try to put the bolts back in and use a LOT of anti seize to put them back in. If you can't turn the bolt fairly easily, then do NOT force it or you'll run into the problems listed above.

The other option is to purchase new bolts ahead of time and turn them into studs by cutting the head off of the bolt, threading the cut off end and using a nylock nut and grade 8 thick washer on the end. We have done that with our racecars for years to avoid this type of problem. Measure the bolts, go to McMaster/Carr, and order bolts that are about 1" longer. When you cut them, make sure you have a good quality threading die and gently (take your time) thread down the end of the bolt about 1 1/2" (or take them to a machine shop and have them thread them for you for a couple of bucks), then use some blue boltlocker on the end that goes in and thread the studs into the hole until they bottom out. The boltlocker will hold them in place. Wrestle your subframe back up using the two floor jacks and install the nylock nuts and washers.

If you ever need to take it back off, it's simple to do from that point forward and you'll never have the bolt issue again. Studs are always stronger than bolts because of the opposing thread forces.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:28 PM   #12
VictorOfHavoc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmp6889928 View Post
There is stress on the subframe from driving the car. If you push the car hard, it tends to twist it just a little bit. It's a pain in the ass, but if you have access to 2 floor jacks and a bottle jack with some pieces of 4x4, jack the subframe up to touch the car and then insert the bottle jack and wood between the two rear subframe arms and push them gently apart until you can get the holes to line up perfectly. The ticket is to run a tap through the holes BEFORE you try to put the bolts back in and use a LOT of anti seize to put them back in. If you can't turn the bolt fairly easily, then do NOT force it or you'll run into the problems listed above.

The other option is to purchase new bolts ahead of time and turn them into studs by cutting the head off of the bolt, threading the cut off end and using a nylock nut and grade 8 thick washer on the end. We have done that with our racecars for years to avoid this type of problem. Measure the bolts, go to McMaster/Carr, and order bolts that are about 1" longer. When you cut them, make sure you have a good quality threading die and gently (take your time) thread down the end of the bolt about 1 1/2" (or take them to a machine shop and have them thread them for you for a couple of bucks), then use some blue boltlocker on the end that goes in and thread the studs into the hole until they bottom out. The boltlocker will hold them in place. Wrestle your subframe back up using the two floor jacks and install the nylock nuts and washers.

If you ever need to take it back off, it's simple to do from that point forward and you'll never have the bolt issue again. Studs are always stronger than bolts because of the opposing thread forces.
That's actually quite genius. move from it being a female end to a male end that can be changed out easily. I like it. Whenever I have to **** with the subframe again, then I will definitely be doing that, but at the moment my buddy who works for subaru said he'd retap and put in a bolt for me since he has the necessary tap and I don't.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #13
VictorOfHavoc
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Just an update for anyone that might stumble upon this.

My friend, who works at subaru, zipped out the bolt and zipped it back in with an impact after he dropped the whole subframe and aligned everything. According to him it went in with no issues and he felt it snag for a second but then it went in fine. Apparently the older the car, the less you should consider doing this yourself by the standard methods. A car more than 2 years old will cause some problems just because of age.

Also, he mentioned that turning the bolts into studs is a very bad idea as it destroys the natural integrity of the part. Speaking from a physics standpoint it makes perfect sense that it would destroy the integrity since instead of having all of those threads holding it up you would have a washer and a nut.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:18 PM   #14
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You're digging a little too deep, some people run without a subframe and older subies didn't even come with one. If you made it into a stud... who cares.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2gnt2wrx View Post
You're digging a little too deep, some people run without a subframe and older subies didn't even come with one. If you made it into a stud... who cares.
Stop talking.

This has nothing to do with older subarus. He's talking about the rear subframe, not the front subframe.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorOfHavoc View Post

Also, he mentioned that turning the bolts into studs is a very bad idea as it destroys the natural integrity of the part. Speaking from a physics standpoint it makes perfect sense that it would destroy the integrity since instead of having all of those threads holding it up you would have a washer and a nut.
You still have all the threads holding it in, the stud threads into the hole just like a bolt would. Only instead of a fixed flanged head, you have a washer and a nut. It's really not stronger or weaker either way, provided you use the same grade/class hardware.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:48 PM   #17
VictorOfHavoc
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Originally Posted by gsrcrxsi View Post
You still have all the threads holding it in, the stud threads into the hole just like a bolt would. Only instead of a fixed flanged head, you have a washer and a nut. It's really not stronger or weaker either way, provided you use the same grade/class hardware.
That would be fine provided the smaller amount of thread holds the nut/washer at the same pressure levels. I doubt it would be very easy to find hardware equivalent enough for the task. I won't say impossible, but from my experience just looking for this bolt in local places, it wouldn't be easy. I agree with you, but for my purposes with the subframe and for most I don't think the aforementioned idea would be best. :-)
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