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Is the Dorman 31001 shock bolt kit a reasonable repair kit for front shock bolts?

I was changing the front gas shocks on my 97 ford ranger, which is totally rusted underneath due to 20 winters in the great frozen north of the usa. I knew the bolts would likely be rusted and the heads would likely come off, and I know the trick to rusted bolts is a good zap from the oxy acetylene torch, but there is pressurized gas in those shocks and I don't want a darwin award. So I just used muscle. And the heads came off both front lower shock mount bolts.

Just bought two dorman 31001 shock bolt kits and I'm planning to cut the old mounts off, drill a hole to accept to replacement bolts, and replace the shocks. I'm also considering welding the bolts to the frame, but I'm a safety nut with a family to support and Ill only do that when I have drop the fuel tank and let all the fumes vent for a few days. There is a guy on youtube who used this kit on the front https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQjmzvCeaXk&t=113s and he says it went a-okay. The bolt packaging, however, doesn't mention whether it is safe to use on the front or not, but the instructions say to "support the rear axle assembly to relieve tension on the shock". Hmm I think thats legalise for "you implicitly werent supposed to use this product on the front."

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    Why would you drop the fuel tank to weld a bolt on in the front? Is there some kind of evap or fuel leak? I had to do this job years ago with very little in the way of tools on a b2300. Drilled out the lower mount and ran long hardened bolts through the lower mount. It held up longer than the rest of the truck. – Ben Jul 22 '17 at 12:48
  • Ive never welded anything on a car and I'm just scared. I'm not a professional welder or mechanic and sometimes I just don't know what to be scared of and what's totally harmless. All I read was the Chilton's manual! So I just do everything the hard way to be sure. I'm glad to hear about the bolt holding up though, that does fill me with confidence. I still don't understand the instructions on the packaging though, why would they explicitly mention the rear? – Julian Cienfuegos Jul 22 '17 at 15:44
  • Also, I'm just starting to learn about electricity and I don't really know if the mig welder would do damage to some electrical components so I was planning to take out the battery, I think that should be enough since the current flow for the welder will be from the tip through the metal and to the ground clamp. If there isn't any short then I dont think there should be a path that contains any "hot wire" into an electrical component. – Julian Cienfuegos Jul 22 '17 at 15:46
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    On the page @paulster2 linked I don't see a reference to the rear maybe old packaging? NAPA sells the same kit 6501100 that works for the front or rear as well. – Ben Jul 22 '17 at 17:15
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The product page for this item states it's a universal fit for the shock mount. It's stated for "Ford 2010-90, Mazda 1997-91". This would include your Ranger.

With this in mind, even though you decapitated both of your bolts, you should be able to use the original against the new ones to ensure they are the same size. Really, they should fit without issue. They only cost a few dollars per set, so I don't think you've got much to lose. Most parts stores will take them back if they don't fit as long as you have the receipt and keep the original packaging in good order.

As far as Doorman products go, I've used them often and don't believe I've ever had any issues with them. Mind you, these are designed to retrofit into your shock mount. If they weren't going to work for their intended design purpose, Doorman would be out of business due to being sued into the ground. They've been around for a while and still in business ... I'd suggest they are doing okay. Maybe someone else has had other results, but my results have been above board.

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