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Crossmember won't go back in!

4748 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  RadioFlyer90
The other day, I finally decided to fix the leaking oil pan in my '90 2wd pickup. I removed the sway bar and the crossmember that is right below the pan. The steering linkage was still in the way, so I unbolted and lifted the engine, which allowed the pan to come out. I got everything cleaned and sealed, and the pan reinstalled on the motor when I ran out of time. I set the engine back down, and left it for a few days. All this time, the truck was still sitting on its wheels, not on jack stands. Today, I had enough time to spare to try and finish it. I got everything else put back together, but now only two of the four bolt holes line up on the crossmember at any given moment. I put the two bolts in on the driver's side, and used a C-clamp to pull the other side into place and got one more bolt in. But only about half of the last hole shows. It is like the suspension towers that the crossmember bolts to have twisted toward each other. I jacked up the truck every which way, lifting one side, then the other, with no success. Right now, the truck is sitting on the ground with a 4" block under the passenger front tire, which looks as though it should counteract the twist. Any other suggestions or tips that might help me get the crossmember back in? I'm stumped!
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Just got to be patient, mine was sitting for about 3 months before I put it back in, but I had jackstands on the frame right in front of the doors, about an hour or two later they all lined up.
Are you sure it is right side up? if it is upside down you cannot align all 4 bolt holes, however using the c-clamp may allow you to get 3 in .
Pretty sure. If you think of the crossmember as a U-shaped channel, the top of the U faces up. I'm almost certain that's how it came out.

I looked this morning, the hole is a bit closer. I may play with the clamp some more or try the jackstand trick.
DO not know if this will help you, but on the 4WD crossmembers (front and aftermarket rear), we insert the first two bolts and start the nuts (one on each side). Then lift the truck by the x-member, using a jack to put pressure on the x-member. When the other two holes line up, slide the bolts in. Jack truck up so full weight is on x-member, and torque the fastners.

This is my experience, yours may and can vary.
I tried that, my 2wd isn't heavy enough without that front axle. Maybe if I do it again and let it sit there for a while...
You can try placing a jack between the crossmember to spread it out a little. I had the same problem when I did the oil pan (and oil pump) gasket on my girls 4runner. ITs a tight fit.
o shit..... mine has been off for about a month now, i hope i dont have this issue . :sosad:
Pretty sure isn't close enough, try turning it upside down and put it on, like I said, the holes don't line up if it upside down, and as you describe it it is upside down, it is a U shaped channel, but the open end of the U faces down, and the curved part that would be the bottom of the U is up.

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Thanks for the picture- I am pretty dang sure that it came out the way I am putting it in, but I guess if I flip it and the bolts line up, I can't argue with that! Yours appears to be opposite of mine.
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