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front crossmember issue

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  • front crossmember issue

    While tightening my ps belt today, I noticed this. When I first looked at it, it looked like the metal plate just cracked a bit. I picked at it with a screwdriver a bit to make sure it wasn't all rusty.

    It appears that one side of that plate cracked, but the other did not. I checked the nut on the bottom by hand and it appears to be tight.

    Should I be worried about this? Because this is my front subframe, I have been pondering with myself what caused this, and how big of an issue this is.

  • #2
    You don't need those bolt plates, really, do you? i.e. if you just threw in four bolts, it should be relatively good, no?


    • #3
      I found it at the dealer for $12 for the base plate with the two bolts attached to it. (nuts are 3.19 each as well)

      I'm just not sure if I should be driving with this. I assume it would be fine, but I tend to worry about stuff.

      I also assume that when I go to replace it I can put the car on jack stands using the cross member and simply unbolt the current stuff, and drop in the new ones right after?
      Last edited by Vlad; 07-27-2013, 06:34 PM.


      • #4
        Here are the bolt specs if anyone else has this issue.

        Also, note the "air guides" which apparently came stock on the euro spec s14, I never knew...


        • #5
          It's not the plate I'd be concerned about, it's the frame rail it goes through (that's where it goes, right?) If the nut is tight, I wouldn't worry about it.


          • #6
            Yes, it goes through the frame rail. The nut is tight and its more than likely fine. Hopefully I don't find a pleasant surprise in the form of a rust hole when I remove the whole thing. I also hope its not a pain in thebutt to remove it. I think that bracket is there so you can remove the crossmember using just the nuts on the bottom. There isn't a whole lot of metal on the bolt head in case I have to put a wrench on it to hold it.

            Anyone else ever have this issue?


            • #7
              I haven't had that issue before, but I have removed/installed those bolts at least 3 times.

              (this isn't really relevent to your situation just a FYI to other people) The hardest part is in removal, you need to pry on the subframe to relieve pressure on the threads. If you just use a punch to move the bolt out the threads will get damaged.

              I'm not fond of using regular bolts in that position. I've thought of using regular bolts, but once you pull the OEM bolts they feel much lighter than you would expect. I think the OEM bolts are made to be weak so the engine will fall in an accident.

              The installation is a bit of a problem chances are you will need to pry on the crossmember to get it to line up with the frame rail holes.

              The ideal way to remove/install them is to use an engine hoist to take the weight of the engine off the crossmember to allow for easier movement.

              Without a hoist I would put the car on jack stands then support the weight with a jack on the crossmember during removal/install. It will be harder to pry with it being supported in that method, but still possible. Do not get underneath the crossmember, when its only supported with a jack and one half of the bolts.


              • #8
                I'm actually going to pick up new bolts/bracket and nuts from nissan so that helps. My plan of attack is to put the jack stands on the crossnember so it doesn't move when I unbolt the xmember on the drivers side, and taking a hammer to the bolts to push them out since I have no interest in trying to save them.


                • #9
                  I removed this before on my S14 and It came out relatively easily. I had dropped the crossmember to replace the oil pan gasketing and supported the engine and transmission with jacks.

                  - Phil
                  1995 240sx | KA24DE-T 309whp, 368lb-ft


                  • #10
                    That's exactly what I'll be replacing. How would you say it is to replace that on just one side with the motor and eveything else in the car?


                    • #11
                      iirc, it was pretty straightforward. Everything was lined up and I pried it out with the crossmember lined up with the frame and everything connected.
                      - Phil
                      1995 240sx | KA24DE-T 309whp, 368lb-ft


                      • #12
                        If your frame rail is fine, I just replaced my x-member bolts with 1/2" grade 8, yellow chromate bolts, nord-loc washers and distorting thread nuts for relatively cheaper than just buying that metric sized bolt.


                        • #13
                          Just make sure you secure the weight of the motor/trans assembly. That would be a nightmare if something rocked off or kicked out a jack stand and fell.
                          VVL S14 on KW's...


                          • #14
                            I wonder if having solid motor and trans mounts could have had any affect on this....? (all the vibrations, obviously) I have never really seen this before, and was sort of hoping someone had some insight as to how it happened. I don't THINK its rusted, but I guess until it comes out in the next few days, there is no way to tell.


                            • #15
                              The whole front half of that thing is pitted with rust and it just fell apart. Not a big deal. Buy a new one, install, and move on with life. You're making this a lot more complicated than it should be.
                              Originally posted by SoSideways
                              I don't care what color they are as long as they are LONG AND HARD.
                              '04 G35 Sedan 6MT- The DD
                              '96 240SX- The Track Toy