Here at Forged Offroad we have seen many lower A arms that have been damaged by the OE lower shock bolt not being properly “shanked” as you can see this slight damage on an A arm that has less than 10,000 miles on it.
In the off road world, every bolt we install has to be a minimum of a grade 8 (or 10.9 metric) and has to be properly “Shanked”. Shanking is simply a bolt that the shank (unthreaded) portion of the bolt spans the entire distance of the opening including the tabs. When threads are cut in or rolled into the bolt, not only does it reduce the diameter of the bolt, it also adds a weak spot where the bolt will break.
We have seen some lower A arms that the threads have made the rear hole oval, and even the 406 foot pounds of torque called for by Ford will make that bolt stay where it is. This is one reason we have found for the dreaded front end “clunk” so many Raptor owners find them selves experiencing.
As you can see from the picture, our bolt has a longer shank than the OE bolt.
You can see why we spent months looking for the proper sized bolt. Now we stock them!
One more thing most people don’t know, the Nylock nut that Ford Supplies with the OE bolt is a single use nut (as recommended for all Nylocks). Call Ford and ask them for a replacement, but make sure you are sitting down. The last quote I received was $35! EACH!
Our replacement bolt kit includes 2 bolts, 2 hardened washers and 2 Grade 10 Flange nuts. The nuts we use are not Nylocks, so you can reuse them, however we do recommend at least blue, if not red, locktite to make sure they stay in place. We did try a lock washer, however when adding the recommended torque, it always failed.