Anyone else have issues with the factory shock tower bolts? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone else have issues with the factory shock tower bolts?

While trying to remove my upper shock mounts from the top of the shock tower, I found on both sides the inner carriage bolt they use for this to just spin. I got the mount off by removing the other bolts and kinda sliding the 3rd one out. but once removed(still in the upper shock mount) I saw the shoulder of the carriage bolt was rounding off. So now I need a new set...but if the OEM hardware is doing this I am wondering if there is an aftermarket bolt that has a shoulder that fits the slots better. As it stands now I may as well go down to the hardware store and buy whatever they have available.(Not impressed with Ford's hardware for a lot of things on this car...but usually its at least marginally functional)
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 12:15 PM
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To loosen or tighten the bolts, I push up from the bottom to keep them in the square slot. They work fine as long as you remember to do that. One of the previous owners may have set you up for failure? You can pick up new one's from most of the vendors out there. Good luck, Jim
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 12:54 PM
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No, I think that his Factory Jam Nuts have "given way and come loose"...and just turning "Round and Round..and Round"....lol....

You have two options:

1. Look for another used stock Original or Repro Shock tower cap assembly. 2. Secure the shock bolt from the bottom side using a common Hardware Store hex nut.

Either will solve the problem....It's just how anal that you want to be about it.....lol...

Had the same problem in both shock tower caps in my '65 Vert... Someone buggered both of them up long ago.... I went out to ebay and bought some clean used originals...and put some AMK Concours Reproduction bolts into them.. Good to go...

)

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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NEFaurora View Post
No, I think that his Factory Jam Nuts have "given way and come loose"...and just turning "Round and Round..and Round"....lol....

You have two options:

1. Look for another used stock Original or Repro Shock tower cap assembly. 2. Secure the shock bolt from the bottom side using a common Hardware Store hex nut.

Either will solve the problem....It's just how anal that you want to be about it.....lol...

Had the same problem in both shock tower caps in my '65 Vert... Someone buggered both of them up long ago.... I went out to ebay and bought some clean used originals...and put some AMK Concours Reproduction bolts into them.. Good to go...

)

Tony K.

This car is far from concours...so that much isnt an issue. I got the caps off, so I dont actually need new caps, just looking for better hardware options. If hex bolts will fit, I would be much happier with them, but the spring isolators(or whatever they are) didn't look like that would be an option.

What is the thread size for these? Chances are I need longer bolts anyway with my strut tower brace.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 01:11 PM
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Some of mine were spinning. I replaced them with original looking ones from NPD. the new ones fit tighter and didn't spin when torquing them down. You can buy some carriage bolts that do the same. There is a recent thread with a post about this.


https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/v...estions-3.html


Now original looking ones worked fine for me.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 02:30 PM
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The original bolts have a very flat carriage head. You may have a hard time finding a longer bolt with the flat head. You may have to take a standard carriage bolt and grind the head flat.

I generally have to use a screw driver between the shock tower and shock bracket to keep tension on the nut/bolt thus keeping the bolt engaged in the shock tower slot.
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 66coupe289 View Post
The original bolts have a very flat carriage head. You may have a hard time finding a longer bolt with the flat head. You may have to take a standard carriage bolt and grind the head flat.

I generally have to use a screw driver between the shock tower and shock bracket to keep tension on the nut/bolt thus keeping the bolt engaged in the shock tower slot.
Grinding the head flatter wouldn't be a concern...I just found the shoulder on the stock bolts to be very short...which is the cause of the issue in the first place:



P.S. Of course the watermark would be right in the way...its about time to dump photobucket
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 02:56 PM
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With originality not being an issue, I would just fit the mount as best you can, and tack weld the bolt heads and dress the weld flat.

'65 A-code coupe, T-10 4-speed, 8" 3.25 limited slip
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wicked93gs View Post
This car is far from concours...so that much isnt an issue. I got the caps off, so I dont actually need new caps, just looking for better hardware options. If hex bolts will fit, I would be much happier with them, but the spring isolators(or whatever they are) didn't look like that would be an option.

What is the thread size for these? Chances are I need longer bolts anyway with my strut tower brace.
I just did this job this past weekend. Mine were 'original' style which you can find at NPD. However, I opted to take another route. One of the VMF members said the easiest fix is to use Carriage Bolts 5/16 diameter with 18 thread count. I believe the length is 1/2". So what you are looking for you can find at any Ace Hardware: 5/16-18 carriage bolts with the appropriate Keps K-Lock Nut.

You will NOT find the 'fine threaded' style (5/16-24) in a carriage bolt that has the extra depth for the 'dome' part of the head, I looked.

Either you go this route or you go the concours and may have the same issue in the future. I opted to do this because the amount of dremel sawing I had to do to get the bolts and shock tower caps off wasn't worth it down the road.

Attached is a picture for reference of concours style vs carriage bolt.

EDIT: Oh and by the way, I did NOT have to do any grinding of the domed heads like others say you may have to do. I found that the front most area needed some 'nudging' (aka a little hammering' to slide it the extra bit to align but it really wasn't that bad.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20190901_175508.jpg (488.4 KB, 17 views)
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File Type: jpg IMG_20190824_155907.jpg (483.5 KB, 13 views)

1965 Fastback Mustang
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289ci V8, 4-speed Toploader

Last edited by ricer333; 09-03-2019 at 03:24 PM.
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 03:24 PM
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One might check McMaster-Carr for the stranger versions of a carriage bolt. I think in the end, it's the POs of the passed that, over time, buggered the recesses for the carriage shoulders.

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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by kenash View Post
One might check McMaster-Carr for the stranger versions of a carriage bolt. I think in the end, it's the POs of the passed that, over time, buggered the recesses for the carriage shoulders.
Just did a courtesy check and I still couldn't find the 5/16-24 in a carriage bolt for this application

Here's the final photo with the carriage bolts installed, the export brace (repainted) and the shock tower cap along with the new Bilstein Street shocks all put together and torqued down.
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Last edited by ricer333; 09-03-2019 at 03:35 PM.
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Just did a courtesy check and I still couldn't find the 5/16-24 in a carriage bolt for this application

Here's the final photo with the carriage bolts installed, the export brace (repainted) and the shock tower cap along with the new Bilstein Street shocks all put together and torqued down.
Were there longer bolts available? Maybe 5/16-16 x 3/4" or 1"? I am going to need longer ones than stock I am sure.
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 04:10 PM
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Were there longer bolts available? Maybe 5/16-16 x 3/4" or 1"? I am going to need longer ones than stock I am sure.
What you're looking for is 5/16-18 which I'm sure was a typo.

Since you won't find anything that resembles the "fine" threading (aka 24 or higher) I think your best bet is to go to Ace hardware locally. Yes, they have them in 1/2 and 1" and longer bolts. I do not think they have 3/4".

The bolts should be Stainless Steele and the Keps K-Locking Nut will be Zinc plated.

Good Luck! Post back if you need anything further as this is all SUPER fresh in my head.

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Last edited by ricer333; 09-03-2019 at 04:12 PM. Reason: change washer --> nut
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 04:45 PM
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^^^ Stainless? No need, plus it is much, much weaker.

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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 04:52 PM
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^^^ Stainless? No need, plus it is much, much weaker.
Please educate me here, I thought most bolt kits that one would get from NPD or whatever would be stainless steel.

https://www.npdlink.com/product/moun...0001%26year%3D

By the way wicked93gs, that's the URL to the package that I ordered. I did NOT use the 6 shock tower mounting bolts but used the 4 shock tower cap bolts. If you want those 6 bolts & nuts, PM me and we can chat about it

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