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Crash Enburn
Crash Enburn New Reader
7/15/17 7:57 p.m.

First off, hi! I have a 5MT '98 Subaru GT Wagon that I have owned for over 19.5 years.

The Radio Flyer (my little red wagon):

At the ripe old age of 50, I've decided I'm tired of not knowing stuff, and have slowly been working toward my man card. I started small (brake pads) and have worked toward some more daunting tasks, like replacing the struts and springs and ball joints.

I also have attempted to replace the steering rack, which brings me to my first Learn Me...

Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
7/15/17 7:59 p.m.

What exactly is the question? I will happily lern you all sorts of useless E36 M3.

John Welsh
John Welsh MegaDork
7/15/17 8:06 p.m.

You've come to the right place.

Crash Enburn
Crash Enburn New Reader
7/15/17 8:13 p.m.

Learn me: How do I handle stripped captive nuts? I replaced the steering rack in my car (it was part of the fix things so I can get an alignment so I can get new tires). It took way too stinkin' long. I thought it would take maybe three hours. Suddenly, the guy running the base auto shop is telling me he has to close in a half hour (I'm at the 5 hour mark at this point). So, in the red mist of panic, after close to a half hour of trying to get the bracket mounting bolts to thread into their homes, I ended up forcing the bolts in. One only went in part way, and the other has stripped the captive nut (bolt goes in, but instead of locking in place, sickeningly it turns a bit more, and then becomes easier to turn again). To really put the exclamation point on the "Crash, you suck at this", that bolt ended up falling out on the road, loosening the rack and turning my steering into a rather frightening affair.

The original bolts are M10 x 1.25 30mm. I've tried several times to rethread the bolts in, but they always end up in the same wrong place (where one won't go all the way in, and the other just suggests that it is as tight as it's going to get). Does it make sense to ream (rethread?) the nuts? Or is it, "Crash, you've done enough damage. Let a pro do this." Or something else? TIA,- Eric

Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
7/15/17 8:16 p.m.

Sounds like a job for a base mechanic with a welder to weld the borken free nut back in, a drill and helicoil kit.

Remind me again on this generation: can you see the captured nut, or is it behind a boxed section? Like, could you replace with a nut and bolt and two wrenches?

Furious_E SuperDork
7/15/17 8:18 p.m.

So the nut is just stripped, it hasn't broken loose? Can you drill and tap it one size larger?

Captive nuts are the work of Satan, I can't tell you how much I hate those berkeleying things.

Edit: Rereading your last paragraph, I am thinking the "tight as its gonna get" nut may have hope of being retapped. The other one unfortunately might be berkeleyed.

Crash Enburn
Crash Enburn New Reader
7/15/17 8:55 p.m.

Thanks, guys.

The nuts are both still welded in place (thankfully). They are fully enclosed within a front sub-frame (? I will very likely use the wrong term for something here. I'll try not to let my "knows a little" to lead us down the wrong rabbit holes).

That is pretty much my question, Furious: Can I drill and tap these nuts, or is that a thing where a seasoned mechanic's eyes would bug out and he'd say, "Step. Away. From. The car."?

Why would the non-stripped nut be hosed? TIA

Vigo UltimaDork
7/15/17 9:04 p.m.

Sounds to me like you can still drill and tap for a helicoil or skip the helicoil and go one size larger on the bolt. It IS pretty important to drill straight. The one thats crossthreaded is going to make your bit want to follow that crooked path so you'll have to stern with it.

Have you looked up Youtube videos on Helicoil or thread repair inserts yet? It'll help prepare you.

Crash Enburn
Crash Enburn New Reader
7/15/17 9:07 p.m.

Thanks, Vigo. Not yet. (As I was reading your response, I was thinking, "Note to self: Look up helicoil.", as both Duster and Vigo have mentioned it)

TRoglodyte UltraDork
7/15/17 9:17 p.m.

This is not the place you want to start learning your chops. I would go a size smaller with Allen bolt with washers,self locking nuts and loctite red nut busting tight. Yup, I'm that guy.

Robbie GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/15/17 9:39 p.m.

+1 helicoil or just drill and tap one size bigger.


Gearheadotaku GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/15/17 9:50 p.m.

You've owned the same stick shift station wagon for nearly 20 years? You sir have come to the right place. Welcome aboard.

If there is no access to the nut from the back, but it is still firmly in place. Drill and tap larger, but no more than you must. The 'tight as it gets' but not in all the way sounds cross treaded. try to retap.

Crash Enburn
Crash Enburn New Reader
7/15/17 10:05 p.m.

So, Trog, you're saying I should build up the outside of the allen bolt with lots and lots of red loctite? Cool! I'll get right on that...

Thanks, Robbie and Gearhead. This place is great for getting crashed down to earth. I get all excited at having cut a slot into the brake tab on my struts for the hose and then come here (or Locost and the N600 builds or Project Binky) and see where I really stand on skills. Now, anyway. :D

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/15/17 11:15 p.m.

Hay we all started out not knowing what end of the wrench to hold.

Welcome to GRM!!!!!!

ebonyandivory UberDork
7/16/17 5:03 a.m.

You sound pretty informed for a newcomer to this stuff!

These guys here will not let you down I know that much!

NOHOME UltimaDork
7/16/17 5:42 a.m.

I can's see how a Helicoil is not the obvious answer to this one as long as you can aim a drill down the hole.

John Welsh
John Welsh MegaDork
7/16/17 5:59 a.m.

I commend you on the Radio Flyer scheme!

Datsun310Guy PowerDork
7/16/17 8:33 a.m.

I hate the dry southwest where nothing rusts.......sort of a standard example in Chicago.

adam525i GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/16/17 9:20 a.m.

I'll ask since no one else has, can you get at the back of the captive nuts or are they inside the front subframe with no access? If you can you could always go to a longer bolt of the same size and grade (M10 x 1.25 x 50mm) and put a nut on the back (lock nut would be good). If you do go this route you would want to drill the captive nuts out just enough to remove the remaining mangled threads so the new bolts will slide through. Mcmaster Carr is good spot for hardware if you can't find anything local.

Good luck, nice wagon.


dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/16/17 11:55 a.m.
Datsun310Guy wrote: I hate the dry southwest where nothing rusts.......sort of a standard example in Chicago.

I REALLY like that color combo. Very nice!!!!

sesto elemento
sesto elemento SuperDork
7/16/17 12:02 p.m.

Welcome to grm!

Crash Enburn
Crash Enburn New Reader
7/16/17 5:54 p.m.

Thank you all. The "Radio Flyer" name and theme just kinda came naturally to the car. And, much like my gratitude for modern medicine when I had a root canal, I'm thankful for the dry desert of the SW. Every time I see rust I cringe (like seeing the rear suspension bits on Project Binky — which I just caught up with today )

DatsunGuy: I like your wagon! (Wish there were 'like' buttons on this forum) Crash approves!

It looks like Helicoil is the way to go. I hope to have all my parts ready by Friday, so I can get the correct rack installed, the bracket mounts fixed, and some new bushings installed too. Not knowing any better, I originally ordered and installed a steering rack for an Outback (19:1 instead of 16.5:1, and 3.5 turns lock-to-lock vs. 3.2 l-t-l for the Legacy). That's when I found out the bushings were pretty well destroyed, and that I should have gone ahead and ordered new outer links, too. So, I have all the new bits coming, and have Friday off, so I can get the work done on a lift then, assuming everything arrives. And I need to find an M10 1.25 Helicoil kit, too.

Crash Enburn
Crash Enburn New Reader
7/16/17 5:54 p.m.

Learn me this: I've been seeing a check engine light for "misfire cylinder 1 (and/or 3)" a couple times a year for a while now. Cyls 1 and 3 make up the passenger side bank of my engine. Typically, I just run some Lucas FI cleaner in the tank, and it's happy for a few more months. But that's just a bandaid (if even that much). What makes sense to be the cause? O2 sensors are 19.5 years old, but I'd expect an error cause by them to be a little more sporadic in what the misfire is blamed on. Same for the MAF. I'm hesitant to blame the injectors. Same for the fuel filter (which I've replaced several times). What would be your logical progression for solving this mystery check engine light?

ebonyandivory UberDork
7/16/17 9:14 p.m.

Try swapping injectors from 1 & 3 over to 2 & 4. See if it comes back as misfire on that side now.

(Do the free stuff first!)

I heard about injector wiring being sub-par so swapping injectors wouldn't help in that case. A thorough investigation on the injectors getting consistent voltage would then be in order.

I don't know much about these motors but what about coil packs?

chandlerGTi PowerDork
7/16/17 9:39 p.m.

Nice looking Wagon!

Btw: the "like" button is the +votes box under each reply.

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