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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 01-29-2017, 09:32 PM   #1
hobbyist47
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Cross-threaded RTAB bracket bolt

While trying to realign my rtab bracket and start one of the bolts, I stupidly kept tightening when the bolt wasn't quite perfectly straight. I didn't go all THAT far, but far enough. The crazy thing (embarrassing thing) is that I did this to one bolt on each side. This was before I realized the silver bullet to getting that bracket aligned was to unbolt the shock and remove the spring.

I'm guessing my only options are using a tap and die to cut new threads or install helicoil or timeserts. Well, I've never used a tap and die set, or installed a helicoil or timesert, so I want to take the car to a garage. Do I absolutely need to tow the car, or will that bracket (on both sides) be OK for a couple miles with one of three bolts missing?

Thanks.
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Old 01-30-2017, 03:22 PM   #2
hobbyist47
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Nevermind, I rented a thread restore kit (thread chasers) from an auto parts store and was able to fix the threads. Took a lot of threading the tool in a couple turns, then backing it out and cleaning it, then back in for a couple more turns, and so on. Used gear oil as lube. Worked great, just took forever. Anyway, rtab replacement done!!

Here's the kit I used (needed an M12x1.5 tap)

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Last edited by hobbyist47; 01-30-2017 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 01-30-2017, 03:36 PM   #3
Chibo
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I had the same issue and took the same approach you did in 'fixing' it.

I really think that it should be Timeserted next time the bolt comes out, but I've been told there is a lack of material in this area. Apparently the 'real' way to fix it is to cut this section out and weld a replacement one in. Whether this is a reality, I don't know. I do know that I track my car and it does somewhat worry me.
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Last edited by Chibo; 01-30-2017 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 01-30-2017, 03:43 PM   #4
hobbyist47
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I was amazed at how easy it was to cross thread in the first place. That metal must be fairly soft. I am OK with the repair since it held the torque, but I suppose I should check it periodically. I don't track the car, so hopefully it will be OK...
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Old 02-04-2017, 12:42 PM   #5
Chibo
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So, in the course of reading on the internet I stumbled upon a cool blog and started going through all of his posts. I saw something comforting in this post:
http://www.eatsleeptinker.com/2015/0...-wreck-repair/

Quote:
The left control arm bushing had stripped the threads from the frame, so I ended up drilling it up a size and inserting a helicoil.
Guess we know there is enough material there now.
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Old 02-04-2017, 01:09 PM   #6
hobbyist47
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Wow, nice find. I just had my car aligned (was way out, BTW), and the tech had no issues with loosening and retightening the bolts, so I'm keeping fingers crossed that they will be OK. But good to know a helicoil is an option!
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:00 PM   #7
Chibo
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You're lucky . I just got under my car to do front swaybar bushings so I tried retorquing my FCAB bolts. All three torqued to spec other than the one that I chased with a tap, which was fairly under spec. I retorqued it and marked it to see if it moves, but I will try retorquing it in a week. I suspect I will be doing a writeup on TimeSerting a FCAB mount in the near future.
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