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Old 10-13-2010, 05:12 PM   #1
marlonn
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Broken front seat bolts

Hi people, thanks for this great forum, it is really the best. Yesterday I was removing the front seats to do a full clean at the carpet, but the four front bolts (two each seat) was very tight and full rusted, ant they simply broken when trying to lossen. Please can anybody tell me how to remove the bolts and replace them with new ones?

Marlonn
1996 Ford Windstar GL 145k miles.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:46 PM   #2
mark_gober
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Re: Broken front seat bolts

Marlon,

I'm not exactly sure what these bolts look like because I've never removed my seats, but is there any of it sticking up that you might be able to get a hold of with some vice grips? If it's flush with the floor, you may have some luck with a drill type bolt extractor (but if they're that rusty, you may need a big one) I'd start off by soaking the bolts in some PB Blaster or WD-40 or other similar product. I'd let it soak for several hours and then perhaps even soak it again.

Some vehicles allow the bolt to penetrate through the floorboard and they can be accessed from beneath the vehicle. On the Windstar, I'm not sure. I'd go check, but I'm out of town right now in another vehicle.

Once they've soaked pretty good, you can try to clamp some vice grips on it. Although it'll take a little bit more skill/patience, I've had some luck freeing stuck bolts like this with a good sharp cold chisel and a hammer. Hold the chisel at about 45 degree angle and then bang on the chisel to get it to start biting into the bolt. Once it starts biting, you can begin tilting the chisel downward a little more and in the direction of unscrewing the bolt. I've unlodged bolts that I considered lost causes like this. (Once again, soak in PB Blaster several hours ahead of time)

Good luck.

Mark
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:04 AM   #3
phil-l
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Re: Broken front seat bolts

On my '00, the front seats have a threaded stud protruding from the bottom of the seat frame - essentially a bolt that faces downward, which goes through a hole in the seat frame, and is welded to the frame. The stud passes through the van's floor, and a nut is threaded on from the underside of the van to attach the seat.

Of course, the exposed threads and bolt pick up water and road grime. After a few years, it's highly likely that some internal rust has formed; the stud will simply break if you try to remove the nut.

The seat is now easy enough to remove - but you're stuck with a broken stud - that's still welded to the seat frame. I believe you'll be able to use an angle grinder to cut the weld, to remove what's left of the stud from the seat frame. On my seat frames, it appears the stud goes through a hole in the frame - so the stud can merely be replaced with a correctly-sized bolt. Seat hardware typically uses high-strength fasteners: You'll probably need a grade 5 or 8 bolt (which you won't find in the cheap bulk bins at a typical hardware store; go to a real auto parts supply house), and appropriate washers.
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2000 Windstar LX 3.8
1995 Contour GL 2.5
1986 Mustang GT 5.0 --> Sold, but missed on sunny days
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:01 AM   #4
marlonn
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Re: Broken front seat bolts

Quote:
Originally Posted by phil-l View Post
On my '00, the front seats have a threaded stud protruding from the bottom of the seat frame - essentially a bolt that faces downward, which goes through a hole in the seat frame, and is welded to the frame. The stud passes through the van's floor, and a nut is threaded on from the underside of the van to attach the seat.

Of course, the exposed threads and bolt pick up water and road grime. After a few years, it's highly likely that some internal rust has formed; the stud will simply break if you try to remove the nut.

The seat is now easy enough to remove - but you're stuck with a broken stud - that's still welded to the seat frame. I believe you'll be able to use an angle grinder to cut the weld, to remove what's left of the stud from the seat frame. On my seat frames, it appears the stud goes through a hole in the frame - so the stud can merely be replaced with a correctly-sized bolt. Seat hardware typically uses high-strength fasteners: You'll probably need a grade 5 or 8 bolt (which you won't find in the cheap bulk bins at a typical hardware store; go to a real auto parts supply house), and appropriate washers.
Here is a picture of the four bolts on passenger side.

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