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Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:03 am    Post subject: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

Got tired of the beatup nut-clips falling off and decided to use rivnuts.
Rivnuts are M5 size, which is kind of small, but almost too large for the available hole area. M6 is too large for the narrow flange.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Philips screws and old nut-clips that kept falling off, sometimes down into the hole.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


A home-made rivnut rig. You hold the allen wrench, and the "anti-rotation handle".
Turn ONLY the 8mm nut down while holding the other two stationary, and it compresses the rivnut onto the flange.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Best to use a round file to size the hole such that the rivnut fits tight. Also since there is so little edge margin you want to file AWAY from the edge.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Rivnut completed.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


IKEA 4mm hex wrench inserted into slots in the carpet. Ready and waiting for (easier) battery access.
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Last edited by Sodo on Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Alaskaberrys Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:21 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
....
4mm hex wrench inserted into slots in the carpet. Ready and waiting for (easier) battery access.


Nice touch! Excellent mod too.
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WestfaliaMike
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:16 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

I like that idea.. my list getting longer..
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:38 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

Neato! I woulda been wondering how to jb weld some nuts in place (if this ever crossed my mind, which it hasn’t).
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

That IS clever!

But I didn't realize that some people actually screw on their battery lid?!?!?
What if you need to yank a terminal .......like NOW!!!!!???? .

One might consider a disconnect switch in the aisle.......

My cover is in the garage, has been for a long time.
The PO so mangled the box flange that it is like "why bother to try".

Having had so many Beetles and Miatas...... I'm way past worrying about a little battery out gassing.......

Dave
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AZ Landshaper
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:37 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

hows it held in place if not screwed down Dave??
Mines been man handled too and the screws are obviously from someplace else. I get that yours isnt in the van but whats covering the bat and how else would it b held there.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:17 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

Both my under seat boxes have piano hinged lids. I've never seen screw on lids
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

AZ Landshaper wrote:
I get that yours isnt in the van but whats covering the bat and how else would it b held there.


The battery is not held in place by that cover. There is a hold down 'clamp' that is used at the base of the battery. Looks like this. Sounds like yours is missing.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=352717
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

Hmm - my cover is held by 4 counter-sunk machine screws, no clips. And yes, the battery is clamped in place.

Did VW actually vary the design that much or are those U-nuts someone's later replacement?
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elizer Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
AZ Landshaper wrote:
I get that yours isnt in the van but whats covering the bat and how else would it b held there.


The battery is not held in place by that cover. There is a hold down 'clamp' that is used at the base of the battery. Looks like this. Sounds like yours is missing.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=352717


When I changed my battery I took that off... and for the life of me could not get it back in. So its hanging out in my glove compartment until I decided to give it another shot.
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
Both my under seat boxes have piano hinged lids. I've never seen screw on lids


My '85 Wolfsburg has the screw-on lids and all of the GL's I've had used hinged lids. I considered retrofitting a hinged lid to the '85 but found that the battery boxes are very different. The screw-on type lid is narrower than the hinged one, and the side edge/metal shape is different.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

On my '87 Westy the passenger side has a screw on lid and the drivers has a hinged lid. Go figure...
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9.5isCanadian Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

My 81 has a piano hinge on both.
Owen
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mikemtnbike
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

I've installed/repaired a lot of rivnuts on bike frames using the specific tool; as usual, Sodo, great job improvising your own method and tool.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

Honestly I just keep one screw on my lid. If I need to access the box, I simply slide it out of the way. PO maybe lost the screws but I never replaced them.
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bajaleo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

Nicely done Sodo. I wish I had a battery cover so that I could do this mod.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

I've always been annoyed with these lids, so my preferred mod would be to fab up tabs/slots in the front and then a single Dzus-type fastener in the rear. That way it could hinge up or be slid out just like the engine deck lids
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:31 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

On mine, 86 Wolfsburg "Weekender", both of my battery covers screw on. (Or used to).

Dave
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

The screw down lids are an abomination to me, for various reasons. I remove the added on inner box structure that Westfalia installed for those lids and then install a hinged lid from a passenger van. I trim the hinged lid so it can open without having to turn the seat swivel plate, in vans that have the swivel seat.

Removing the pop-riveted and glued in support structure gives you a roomier box that makes battery service a lot easier, like VW originally intended.

Only factory poptop campers have the screw down lid(s). Some of these have 2, some have 1, some have none.

Mark


joetiger wrote:
Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
Both my under seat boxes have piano hinged lids. I've never seen screw on lids


My '85 Wolfsburg has the screw-on lids and all of the GL's I've had used hinged lids. I considered retrofitting a hinged lid to the '85 but found that the battery boxes are very different. The screw-on type lid is narrower than the hinged one, and the side edge/metal shape is different.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: Battery box cover: Button-head screws and rivnuts Reply with quote

Interesting. I never heard of these variations. And I thought I was a vanagon nut. My '85 was screw-on, with countersunk sheetmetal screws, and the same (loose) nut-clips. And my bros '86 too.
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