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Engine tin fasteners are rusted and stripped
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VanPerson
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:02 am    Post subject: Engine tin fasteners are rusted and stripped Reply with quote

Howdy,

I've got an 88 vanagon 2.1 with some rusted out engine tin bolts. Surprise! Crying or Very sad

This is in regards to the tin that sits behind/over the muffler and cat. I was able to break all the bolts loose and pull the tin (yah), but probably half of them just spin freely now. I can't quite see up in there to tell if there were welded nuts that broke loose or what. It appears that I'd need to pull the bumper and the rear bumper body panel in order to access the area. Does anybody have any pointers on how best to address this issue more easily? Ie. are there some type of replacement clips or quick fix to save the day? I figure aside from pulling the rear portion of the van apart, I could drill the spinning bolts out and replace with a sheet metal type screw. Anyone have a better recipe than that? I figured this was certainly a popular topic, yet I was unable to find any leads when googling and searching here.

As always, if I've duped a previous post etc, just let me know. Thank you in advance!

Edit: maybe this would be a better fit on the "official lazy person" thread. Although, I'm not lazy, just seeking the advice of folks who have been there.

Edit: updated title from "Rusty engine tin hardware" to "Engine tin fasteners are rusted and stripped" per Vanagon Nut's suggestion.


Last edited by VanPerson on Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Rusty engine tin hardware Reply with quote

I think I know the fasteners you refer to and I'd posted to an existing thread or started a new one about them, but can't find it right now.

It might help to change your post title? At first glance, I assumed the topic was about something to do with rusty engine tin VS fasteners.

Neil.
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50 ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

VE7TBN
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VanPerson
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:10 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tin fasteners are rusted and stripped Reply with quote

Thanks Vanagon Nut, I've updated the title to use "fasteners" instead of "hardware" and reworded it to make more sense Smile

I'll do some Googling re: 'fasteners' now and see what I come up with. Thx.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Rusty engine tin hardware Reply with quote

Vanagon Nut wrote:
I think I know the fasteners you refer to and I'd posted to an existing thread or started a new one about them, but can't find it right now.

It might help to change your post title?


And speaking of titles, I used the part name as shown in the diagram I'd originally linked to but most would call it a "heat shield" and P. 13.32 in Bentley, it's shown as a "cover plate rear" LOL. Looking at that image again, I wonder if I showed the correct shield for a WBX. Anyhow.... Here's the thread I was thinking of:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=710834&highlight=heat+shield+nut+bolt

I didn't try to remove the spinning bolt/nut as I made a custom heat shield for a non stock engine and mounted it to different points on body.

Neil.

I think this diagram better shows the part in question but also appears to show the same fastener we're talking about:

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

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1981 Westy air cooled to 15 ABA swap: http://tinyurl.com/y9n4xob8

50 ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

VE7TBN
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The Carrot
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tin fasteners are rusted and stripped Reply with quote

They are riv nuts.
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borninabus
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tin fasteners are rusted and stripped Reply with quote

self tapping screws would be my fix
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VanPerson
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tin fasteners are rusted and stripped Reply with quote

Awesome! My side tin/shield use self tapping screws so maybe somebody has already been there done that. Maybe the rear uses riv nuts since it holds the weight of the coolant tank there.

I appreciate the help, as I didn't want to pull the bumper if there was some other strategy , and sounds like I have some acceptable options here.

Knowledge is power... and some level of laziness included Wink

Thanks all, and thanks Vanagon Nut for digging up that other thread!

Mods, I can delete this or link to the source thread in my initial post, just lemme know if there is any preference. Thanks!
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tin fasteners are rusted and stripped Reply with quote

If the any of the bolts are still in place you need to remove the head off the bolt somehow (Dremel or other small grinder ?) and then drive the nut upward to get it out of the way. I don't remember having to do any drilling on the old nuts to get them to push up through but maybe I have forgotten. Then install a riv-nut following directions. This would be a nice place to actually have a riv-nut tool but is doable without one.

Maybe practice installing a riv-nut first in an easier to access location so you will know what you are up against.
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teej
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tin fasteners are rusted and stripped Reply with quote

I just encountered this a couple weeks ago. Three of the rivnuts held but one was a spinner. I cut off the bolt head with a Dremel and then when I attempted to drill out the spinning rivnut it easily just pushed up and through the hole.

While replacement rivnut would be the best, my fix, as I did not want to wait for replacement rivnut hardware, was to finagle a small bolt through one of the vent opening holes and drop it down through the former rivnut hole.

When I reinstalled the tin, I was able to keep the bolt from spinning with fingers while I threaded on a nut, and then gave it a mild burst from a 12v impact driver to snug up the nut.
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VanPerson
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tin fasteners are rusted and stripped Reply with quote

Wildthings, I purchased some pop-top struts last year from Gowesty that came with a little riv-nut installer tool made of a bolt and a couple nuts/washers. It worked great. I'll see if I can dig that up and take a similar approach using the smaller hardware for these specific fasteners. I hear you though, might be a good place to have the "right tool for the job" instead of resorting to the MacGyver toolbox.

Teej, I knew there had to be others like me Wink Living in the PNW, almost every vanagon project involves handling rusty hardware. This happened to be an engine swap, and the last thing I wanted to do was button this up half-assededly. Dremel, drill, riv-nut sounds like a winner. I did get 3 of the 4 to tighten back up actually, but that was just so I could complete the broader project. I'll get some of those buslab riv-nuts in the mail, so this time next week it ought to be all fixed up Smile

Thanks again everyone.
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