LCA bushing, broke captive nut- help!


#1

Hello all,
I recently attempted an LCA bushing replacement on my Subaru Outback. Each bushing is held in by a nut on the lca and two bolts on the body. When I was putting one of the bolts back in, it cross threaded and the captive nut broke loose.
The nut is in a completely inaccessible hollow part of the body. I cut the bolt (which was just spinning), tapped the body for a larger bolt, and put a new bolt in.
Just to clarify, this is the rear bushing on the front control arm.
The car has been driven as is and seems fine. My question is, will having one of the two bolts attaching the bushing to the car just threaded into the sheet metal cause problems? If so, I’m considering a few solutions:

  1. Use a rivnut- problem is, I can’t find a 5/8 in. rivnut which is the size of the new bolt I put in.
  2. Cut an access point and put in a new nut.
    For what it’s worth, the friends helping me thought my current solution would hold up fine.
    Thanks!

#2

I wouldn’t trust threads in just sheet metal to hold anything on my suspension. Time for plan 1. or 2.

  1. What about finding a replacement bolt and Rivnut that match?
  2. Sounds better, but how hard is this to do? How much damage to the body?

#3

Have you tried pulling up the carpet and seeing if there is an access panel in the floor pan to access this nut? I had a similar problem on a Ford Taurus once and there was a panel.


#4

You can’t leave it just in the sheet metal.

I don’t know the specifics on the Subarus, but I do know this is a known problem on some of Dodge’s passenger cars. The remedy is to make and then patch an access hole through the front floor of the car. I’d suggest hitting up some Subaru boards for people who have had this exact problem - I’m betting you’re not alone.


#5

On the Outback forums everyone just suggested cutting through the bottom and putting in a new nut.
I may just cut my losses and take it to the dealer. I am so stressed out, I got in way over my head with this.It should have been an easy job.
Thanks all for the replies.


#6

Sounds like a good plan. A rivnut might not be able to handle the stress, anyway.


#7

The dealer will probably do exactly what the Outback forum people said to do.


#8

If you cut a small slot in the box section you can insert a J-nut of the proper thread size.

Tester


#9

Thank you all. I’m waiting on a quote from a body shop. If it’s something I can stomach, I’ll leave this to the pros. If it’s stupid expensive, I’ll give that j-nut a shot.


#10

Sorry I was gone for a while. Not long after this discussion (Feb. 18-20?) I took it to an indie mechanic. He welded in a new captive nut and welded the hole shut for $270. Thanks again for the advice.


#11

Sounds like you got it fixed the right way.