Sway bar link allen nut stripped

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by ilya980, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. ilya980

    ilya980 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    11
    3
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One


    I was trying to remove the lower nut of the sway bar link on the passenger side and rounded off the 6mm hex in the center. Are there any options at this point except cutting the lower bolt with an oscillating tool and replacing the bar link?

    Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    4,564
    1,786
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I'm not seeing the stripped 6mm hex in this pic? You sure you have the right pic? Or are you saying the hex / allen key broke off in it?

    There's a bunch of techniques to do this but I've not worked on this part of the car yet and can't see it clearly... Welding some metal into the hex socket is one way?

    Another thing I saw on Tik Tok that I want to try is heating the nut up with a torch and then using candle wax to penetrate the thread and unbolting before the wax cools off.

    Penetrating oil of course is what most will use. But still no clear on what you mean with "6mm hex in the center"
     
  3. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    1,231
    473
    0
    Location:
    NY
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    I've never seen what's under the boot so I'm not sure this works on the prius sway link.
    You're probably gonna need a new one anyway so get that squared away and if you don't want to cut you can grab what's under the boot with vise grips. If the vise grips hold turn the nut back and forth to clean the rest of the threads as you remove the nut. Next time clean the stud threads completely before trying to remove the nut.
    Or a nut splitter for $9 at https://www.tractorsupply.com/?cm_sp=Header_Nav-_-Links-_-Logo
     
    #3 vvillovv, Nov 17, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  4. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    883
    558
    0
    Location:
    Lancaster Co PA
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    as far as the pic is concerned? looks like maybe it happened long time ago?

    I'd say go with what you mentioned and just remove what you can and replace w new.
     
  5. ilya980

    ilya980 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    11
    3
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    The pic is new. Here are both sides. Driver side was relatively easy. On the passenger side the 6 mm allen key spun inside and rounded the key in the bolt. I shouldn't have said it is stripped. It is rounded. So, 6 mm allen wrench spins freely inside and does not grip, but 1/4'' allen still does not fit. The hole in the center of the bolt is almost round.

    Is it safe to heat this nut with a propane torch? Will it damage the rubber boot behind the sway bar? How do I remove it with the heat? Try to heat the nut more than the bolt so the nut expands and then use impact wrench? The nut spins easily (by hand). The problem is that the bolt spins too. I tried the impact without heating, but the bolt just keeps spinning. I soaked it in liquid wrench penetrating oil too.

    There is a round cap on the bolt right behind the sway bar (see on the driver side pic). The problem is it is very thin and sits mostly inside the sway bar. I tried to grab it with vise grips, but had no luck. I can only grab it with tips of needle nose pliers at an angle, but can't get enough grip. I've seen some links have a hex on the back, but this is OEM and round.

    I don't have a welding machine. Interesting ideas with candle wax and a nut splitter.

    Anyone used Powerbuilt allen sockets for rounded bolts for this?
     

    Attached Files:

  6. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    1,231
    473
    0
    Location:
    NY
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    If you watch some youtubes about how the pros remove wheel locks without a key they may give you some ideas about how to jam something into the rounded off hex socket to hold it while you spin the nut the rest of the way off.
    Heat doesn't really work to well on links, the heated grease under the boot heats up and the ball spins faster than when it normal temp. You might get lucky though.

    You can get better nut crackers than the pair Tractor Supply sells but most are at least twice what Tractor Supply wants. Some will cut both sides of the nut. If you use the nut splitter right it's possible to peal the nut of the stud without buggering the stud threads.

    Not sure where the problem is on the links stud if you can turn the nut by hand put can't get the nut off the stud. Im guessing but I'll keep my guesses to myself until you indicate whats going on with it.
     
  7. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    8,509
    3,903
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    That will happen if you are using a crappy harbor freight type quality tool.
    Have to use a name brand like craftsman.
    I would have hit that with some Pb blaster let it sit for a few days.

    Looks like you have significant rust under there.
    Go to Home Depot and buy some spray cans of grease called CSP SPRAY
    made by PB BLASTER but does not stink.
    Spray the crap out of all the suspension parts that move and bolt heads it will mitigate the rust a little.
    Get under the back of the car check the springs they are known to break when severely rusted hose that down too.

    CSP spray is a great product use it on the front hood latch and all the doir and hatch hinges spray it in the keyhole of the front drivers side door and gently work that lock back and forth.
    Many a Prius owner found that locked rusted and could not get in the car when the 12 volt battery died.
    Front hood latch will fail too and can’t get in the engine compartment.
     
    ilya980 and vvillovv like this.
  8. ilya980

    ilya980 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    11
    3
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One
    I am replacing steering rack. Need to lower the cross-member. So, need to disconnect bar links. Driver side was ok. Passenger side nut started going, but then the center key rounded. Will try soaking it in CSP spray.

    Is it a good idea to heat it with propane torch? Will I destroy the rubber boot?

    The car is only 6.5 years old, but with a lot of miles and a lot of rust (Massachusetts).
     
  9. ttou68

    ttou68 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2017
    180
    126
    0
    Location:
    40509
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    I have good results by soaking it down with PB, and use a high power impact wrench to unbolt it.. good luck!

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  10. ilya980

    ilya980 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    11
    3
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One
    Here is my experience with it:
    Soaked it in PB Blaster, Liquid wrench, and CRC freeze off. Used about 1/4 of a large can of PB Blaster and almost 1/2 can of freeze off over a few days. Tried heating with propane torch. The impact I have is CB 550 ft lbs. Tried many times. Tried tapping with hammer. Tried jamming a 1/4'' hex into the center. Nothing worked. Used oscillating tool with carbide tipped blade to cut the nut along the bolt on 2 opposite sides. Bent the corner of the blade while hitting the sway bar. After making 2 cuts was able to take the nut off, still with some effort, tapping it back and forth and spraying a lot of oil. Saved the sway bar link, need a new nut.
     
    edthefox5 likes this.
  11. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    8,509
    3,903
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Wow that exactly what I would have used I dig the freeze spray trick that works.
    Really good job there.
     
  12. NewHybridOwner

    NewHybridOwner Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2018
    477
    225
    0
    Location:
    W. Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    But how will you stop the bolt/stud from turning when you are tightening the new nut?
     
  13. ilya980

    ilya980 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    11
    3
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One
    I'll try with an impact. The bolt has some resistance because of grease in the joint. I also can cool that joint with crc freeze off right before tightening. The spec is not that high, only 55 ft lbs. I should be able to torque it reasonably well with an impact that can do up to 440 ft lbs. I could probably set an impact lower than this. I also might be able to hold it with my hex 1/4'' slug or behind with needle nose pliers just enough to get to that torque.
     
    #13 ilya980, Nov 23, 2020 at 10:07 PM
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020 at 10:28 PM
  14. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    1,231
    473
    0
    Location:
    NY
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    If you have the sway link out, you could try making a straight cut (slot for a large flat screwdriver) across the stripped hex hole. It's kinda iffy though cause of the hollow hex hole making it a weak slot.
     
  15. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    3,784
    3,715
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    If a 1/4" key is too big, try grinding one down a hair. Not like that's a rare size.
     
Loading...