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I think I'm the first of a previous 2 owner 72 to remove the rear sway bar and completely clean, degrease, strip and repaint the lower A-arms, sway bar and cross member. I went on the cheap for now so I can drive it some and plan on chroming the 3/4" bar and buying cool billet brackets. I shot it with satin black, scrubbed the factory brackets down to shiny metal and clear coated them. Replaced the bushings and reinstalled the sway bar. After securing the A-arm brackets a started wrenching down the center cross member nuts with just easy ratcheting and no serious torque (I didn't lean on the ratchet. 2 of the 4 nuts got to the base of the bolts and just kept spinning. Now I'm panicked and tried to reverse them off but no luck. Putting pressure on the underside of the bracket as I tried to back off and remove those nuts didn't work either

I'm wondering WTF? Are they stripped just at the base? How did that happen if so and why can't I remove them? Has anyone heard of this before or have any clues how to get them off to see what the bolt looks like? It's obvious the bolts are part of a plate welded to the cross member so this should be interesting as far as a replacement or re-threading

Any advise would be appreciated.


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Welcome to the wonderful world of Pantera ownership!

Frustration is always part of the game. Frowner Big Grin

Putting pressure on the underside of the bracket as I tried to back off and remove those nuts didn't work either

Well, that is exactly what I would have done. And if it didn't work the first time, I'd keep trying. I can see no other, or better, method of getting those nuts to thread back off.

My 72 is 2511. On my chassis those threaded studs are tack-welded to the chassis, somewhere along the piece by piece assembly of the chassis. They are not bolts in the sense of having a hex head, but a round-headed stud. And they can not be accessed once all the pieces are welded up.

I had the misfortune of having one of those studs snap off at its base.

My solution was to drill, starting small and working up in diameter, (so as to not bind and snap the tack welds) the tack welded head of the stud. When I reached the proper diameter for the 8MM (I think they re 8mm) I tapped threads and threaded in a replacement stud.

I was able, not easily, to get an 8mm nut dropped down the small channel (again, your chassis may vary) behind the studs, and hold it in place while I threaded the new stud into it.

Really though, just a stud threaded into the drilled/tapped stud head should suffice, as once you tighten down the brackets, there really isn't any rotational force to unthread the stud. It will be in tension and should just sit there doing its job.

But yup, those damn nuts have to come off as the first step.

"But yup, those damn nuts have to come off as the first step".
Good advise.

Wow..You guys impress me with the fast reply's. What a great group of owners to know.

I wished I'd bought new nuts and the billet caps before I removed them now. As soon as I read your suggestion, I ran to the garage with a open wrench (instead of a ratchet) and backed off the nuts waiting for the stud to spin........nutin.....Damn!

I was told by a POCA member in my new club to jack up the rear and put the frame on stands and see if relieving pressure off the brackets might let the nut feel free to work off better.

I'm hoping it will work and will try it. Glad to know the drill out method is also a backup. I'll post back with results.


To mount the De Tomaso plate I aligned it in the center of the cross member, used a nail to tap a mark through the plate holes and drilled 1/16 pilot holes. I then took self tapping carbon stingers and sank them after doping the back of the plate with silicone to absorb vibration. With the same paint I sprayed into the groves, I shot on a piece of paper and dabbed a Q-tip to spot paint the top of the screw heads.
Last edited by qrtlow
Wow it's nice to see that I am not the only owner of a 72 who needs to do the EXACT SAME THING. Joe they made forums for Pantera owners to comiserate about their cars (we need a "don't do this" section). I hate to say it but as I read this thread I started to laugh when I got to Larry's comments (sorry Larry I know that's heartless) because the same damn thing happened to me but I snapped off two of my studs when the nut that was spinning on the tightening mode(like yours Joe) started to cross thread as I tried to back it off. Holy crap those studs must be made of coat hanger wire(and I'm being generous). Of the four, I have two snapped off and a bent one...just turning with a ratchet using very little torque. I swear some of the stuff done on the Pantera makes me wish the car had been made in China or Korea, some of it might have been an improvement. What were the Italians thinking using studs this soft? Larrys solution to get a nut on the back of the new stud is a great idea, but I would not rely on just the rounded head to hold after taping...the head is made of the same crap the bolt is made of and what remains can't be that thick.

My car is having wheel house repairs done right now and all four of those sway bars studs will be replaced with much higher quality steel by my fabricator. I had thought about making a 1/4" steel plate that had countersunk bolts(tack welded to keep them from spinning), poking out of the 1/4" piece of steel fashioned to cover the old mounting surface of the sway bar mounts. Just saw off the old studs or knock them through as my fabricator has and weld the plate on over the existing brack/stud face. My fabricator had a similar idea to Larrys but I'm not sure what he has planned. I'll make sure he takes pictures and I'll post them.
I'm hearing you on this. I soaked the nuts overnight in solvent before putting them back on. As I looked at the hefty A-arm 1/2 bolts, I wondered why the cross member ones were weasly tin/aluminum poly gasket nuts that are barely worthy of holding on a valve stem.

My only guess is that this point of tension on the sway bar is insignificant and only serves as a guidance similar to the functionality of a muffler hanger in it's importance to overall FuncSway. The connection to the right and left A-arm is the goal, the cross member is a convenient secondary anchor in between.

I'm sure I'm over-generalizing. lol
My guess is that you have broken the spot welds on the bolt heads inside the cross member and the whole assembly is turning...

As soon as I read your suggestion, I ran to the garage with a open wrench (instead of a ratchet) and backed off the nuts waiting for the stud to spin........nutin.....Damn!

Well, you obviously haven't broken the spot welds. Get a nut splitter to properly remove the nut before you destroy or cross-thread the remaining threads on the stud.

You could probably find them cheaper elswhere - Google is your friend.
I was over at the fabricators shop last night visiting rear sway bar studs are being replaced. Here's the fabricators idea to replace them. The original studs are just bolts with a very small round head spot welded onto what amounts to basically a six sided box welded onto the back of the Pantera frame, one on the left and right side.

My fabricator cut the bottom of the box off (see diagram) now you have access to the entire back side of the stud/bolt. His fix is to take a 3/8" slab of steel that fits the inside dimensions of the box, knock the old studs out, so now you have a clean box with no rounded bolt heads spot welded to the inside. Cut a piece of steel to fit the inside of the box (approx 2" x 3.5" x 3/8") which now can be drilled and threaded with two new stud holes, slide the steel up inside the box, thread the new studs into the new steel, put a nut on the new studs form the outside to tighten and pull the steel inside the box up to the surface, do a couple rosette welds to hold the steel in place and you're done. You could also epoxy the piece of steel in if you don't have a welder.

Basically all you've created is a backing plate that fits up inside from the bottom to anchor new studs. You could also just re-thread the old head that is remaining, and thread a nut onto a new stud like Larry did but with the bottom cut open, you can now easily insert the nut from the opening in the bottom. I like the piece of steel inserted in behind because it distributes the load over a larger area once all the sway bar brackets are bolted on.

Hope you can read my diagram...I thought it might be easier to understand.


Last edited by tomsealbeach
Great fix Tom, while at the fabricators I'd recommend adding a far more substantial plate along the bottom of the box section at that point of the chassis too. The amount of Pantera's I have seen with that area crushed from poor placement of a jack to raise the whole back end is too many to count.

Last edited by joules
Other owners in the past have bored 1" holes thru the back of the crossmember for socket wrench access, knocked the weld-studs out and simply used grade-5 or grade-8 bolts and nuts. While the fix with holes might be quicker and simpler, your fix likely stiffens up this area. The stock setup is flexible- enough that mounting a 1" OD solid swaybar may give you LESS cornering power than with a 7/8" bar, due to the crossmember & frame stubs flexing. Good work!
I recall a number of months back someone commented that I should also add additional support to the sway bar mounts on the a-arms because theirs pulled right off the arm from loading?

I've got my rear a-arms off and am about ready to paint them and remembered that, but can't find the email or forum link. Anyone done this? Can you post a picture of what you added to strengthen the mount?
This is super time delayed follow up. I found a heavy duty nut cracker that was cast steel and they popped off with a loud crack. After I upgraded the sway bar and bought the billet sway bar caps and heim joints, I added a couple washers to the studs before I put the new accorn caps back on. Torqed down perfectly. Next....BTW I'm not sure when I'll ever need a nut cracker again so if anyone needs to borrow one let me know.
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