Fixing a Weld-nut
May 18, 2005
To start off;
A "weld-nut" is one of the nuts that the factory welds onto the body. They are normally not repairable if the welds let go. It's also not uncommon for the welds that hold them in place to break loose. There may be other names for weld-nuts, but that's the name I'm going to use.
What makes fixing a weld-nut a bitch is that they are normally in a location where you can't get to the back side. That's why the factory welded them there!
When I did the roof swap and had to remove the rear hatch, I found that one of the weld-nuts that hold on the struts was broken.
In the following photos, you will notice the "center" hole. This is where the weld-nut was. The two holes on the side are ones that I drilled.
Now note that big hole in the photo on the right. It's where some of the wiring comes out. The reason it's important is that it's through this hole that the backing plate will be inserted.
Here is a pair of photos showing the backing plate that I made up.
What is going on here is that I had to make up a plate, weld a nut on it, and weld on a section of welding rod onto that. Ya, I know that my welding isn't the best in the world, but it's better than what the factory did.
The plate has to be sized to fit within the hole. It also has to be such that you can weld through the two side holes that I drilled.
The welding of the welding rod shouldn't be good! The reason is that once everything it together, you want to break it off from the backing plate.
Here I've inserted the backing plate (it's on the end of the welding rod sticking out of the hole.
The reason I'm showing the bolt with nut is that it's real important in getting the backing plate in location!! By moving the backing plate around, you can screw the bolt into the nut that is welded onto the plate. Don't worry about tightening the bolt!
Now you can tighten the nut, pulling the backing plate tight against the inside of the body panel. The reason for doing this is that you can keep the bolt from rotating and as a result rotate the backing plate. By tightening the nut down, the backing plate doesn't rotate.
Now it's time to weld the backing plate to the body through the two holes that I drilled.
Once the backing plate is welded in place, you can twist on the end of the welding rod and break it free.
This next photo isn't pretty, but it's the last one I shot.
What is left is to use bondo to clean the whole thing up. The finished product looks like nothing was ever done.
Cover any glass to prevent it getting damaged by the spatter when welding!!! I fucked up and if you look at the photo above you can see the damage that I did. I've replaced the glass.
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