1996 Ford Ranger radius arm bushing repair. HELP!

Okay, my friend and I are putting on radius arm bushings for a 1996 Ranger 4X4. This truck has been a nightmare. We’ve gotten off the hubs, springs and shocks and are trying to get to the end of the radius arms for the bushings so we can put this devil wagon back together.

No matter what we did, we couldn’t pull the arms forward enough to get the inner bushing off the arm and the bolts holding the arm are rust-welded bears. So we ground out the two rivets on the frame panel holding the arms and thought we were home free because all that was left was two bolts on either side. We broke 'em and tried to unscrew them but we don’t seem to be getting any progress. They turn but they don’t seem to be able ‘bite’ any threads. They don’t seem to be stripped or anything but they don’t want to let go and don’t have a nut on the other side-just what seems to be a washer or metal holding ring. We REALLY don’t want to grind or drill these damn bolts and victory is so near we can taste it.

Does anybody know anything about why these damn bolts might not come out? There seems to be washers or something behind the frame (although we’re going by touch.)

I found another forum describing basically what we’re doing but no one seemed to have any trouble with those damn bolts–only the rivets. Here’s a link: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=287596

The forum has pictures of the bolts I’m talking about, directly above the radius arm. I would copy them but they’re copy protected for some reason.

Anyone who has any clue what we’re doing wrong, feel free to speak up. This truck is killing us.

They may have had these on them

And they have rotted away. You may have to get a cutting torch and torch off the bolt heads and then punch them through.


The picture subtitled “Here’s how you might go about getting a socket on both ends of those GRADE 8’s.” shows maybe enough room to get a vise-grip on the turning “washers” (which I suspect are threaded pieces that were tack-welded to the frame. Ford never intended this bracket to be removed.) Douse with penetrant first.

Do you think it would be easier to cut them and tap them out?

If you can get a hacksaw or grinder on the heads, sure. I don’t think you’ll have anything to tap (thread). Maybe just use some more bolts and nuts (like you will for the rivets).

Thanks. I was afraid it was coming down to grinding or cutting. Damn this truck.