Dodged $700 repair bill for sheared shock mounting bolts
Been replacing shocks on the '03 2WD 4.7L Ram of mine and the last change resulted in a sheared mounting bolt on the front left (driver's side). No issues even with getting the truck inspected last year. I don't drive it much but still put on an occasional mile or two to haul some stuff in the back.
This year, a tire shop my wife and I have been going to for tires did the inspection and said the truck wouldn't pass inspection because of only one bolt is holding the shock to the truck on the lower rocker arm.
I asked if the inspection had a block that said 'two bolts per shock mount' but they wouldn't enter into a debate. They said the bolt was welded onto the lower rocker arm (A frame) assembly and will require replacment. Parts and labor for the operation would be just over $700.
I tried to explain that I would get my own estimates but they wanted to make sure I understood that the parts available were limited to a new rocker arm.
So I dived into the 'Net and some forums here, there, and everywhere. Findings:
Bolts are friction-throated studs, only bead welded to secure the bolt during assembly plant integration. To replace the bolts, one only needs to use a hammer and punch, drive the sheared bolt out, and replace with a Grade 8 bolt. If you can't find the friction model, maintain some monitoring to keep a locknut and/or lock washer secure.
Total cost? 2 hours in my local military facility auto hobby bay and $5.
With the 3rd gen Rams getting into the age of rust and corrosion, shearing will be a common occurance. Don't be that person paying for a new rocker arm. Punch the old bolt and be free to bounce those tires for many more miles.
Great info! Glad to hear you "Dodged" a "bullet". Damn I'm so punny.
lol knowledge is power :)
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