Tech Area

Cradle Bolts

Question: I have been carefully renovating my '88 Formula that I bought from the original owner, the little old lady next door (really) a year ago.

I've had a nasty bump in the rear on turns so I have tightened down or changed everything, and I mean everything, back there. Finally last week I discovered the problem. There is a three inch long or so bolt and a strange "bell nut" that holds down each side of the rear of the engine cradle to the chassis. One of these nuts is gone and the other is wallowed out and barely hanging on. All I can figure is that one came loose and fell out and that caused the other one to come loose.

Answer: Strange....those bolts don't come loose by themselves. Sound like she had some work done by an incompetant "mechanic".

There are 2 bolts that go straight up and screw into nuts that are tack welded to a washer, which is in turn tack welded to the inside of the frame rail. When the bolt is being removed, the washer often breaks loose from the frame rail.

The (now spinning) nut can be accessed with a long wrench through the rear of the hollow frame rails after the taillights, side marker lights, rear facia, and rear reinforcement/honey comb is removed. But, simpler is to chisel a 3 sided square in the frame rail next to the nut and bend the flap out of the way of reaching the nut.. That involves removing the inner wheel well only.

Your 88 cradle uses much shorter bolts for the rear of the cradle then 84-87 Fiero's that have thick mount bushings (front bolts are the same but there are no bushings). 88's are direct bolt, cradle to frame, front and rear.

We are not certain just what you need, but you can use non-Fiero bolts and nuts if you remove what's there.

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