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Old 10-18-2009, 03:39 PM   #1
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Angry Skid Plate Issue, please help

I have a 97 TJ that the skid plate bolts just spin in place when I tried to remove them. I am now concerned that I do not have enough bolts that are tightening down to support the transfer case and T-case. Can anyone help with with what I should do from here.....................I do have a MIG welder but am afraid to permanently weld this to the frame and not be able to take the skid plate off. I understand that the stock nuts where welded to the frame and I am assuming at this point that the welds have broke. Again, I can not get the bolts out or tighten them back down......AAARRRGGGG !

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Old 10-18-2009, 03:44 PM   #2
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the nuts of these bolts should be welded to the inside of the frame. if the wold spins the nut came loose.

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Old 10-18-2009, 03:47 PM   #3
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Correct, the problem is that the nut is still attached to the bolt and the frame is fully enclosed. Thanks for your response.
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:55 PM   #4
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I would cut the bolt and try to weld a new nut to that place through one of the small holes in the frame. On my TJ that worked with a long welding electrode.
place the nut in the frame over the hole and hold it down with a long screwdriver through one of th eholes in the side of the frame. srew in the bolt and let a friend pull down the nut with the bolt. don´t durn on the welder and connect the welders ground clamp to the frame. insert the welding electrode through one of the holes in the frame and put it at the nut and the frame. take care thet the upper part of the electrode doesn´t have contact to the frame in the hole. than turn on the welder for a few seconds until you have a weld point that arttaches the nut to the frame. repeat that 3-4 times around the nut.
now you can install the skid plate again with hew tuts in the frame.
after taht spay some underbody protection in the frame at the place where you welded before to avoid some rust.
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:16 PM   #5
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Nutserts: Nutserts
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:05 PM   #6
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Talking

Thanks guys I really appreciate your help. This is my wife's Jeep and do not want her to be stranded. I will either purchase the Nutserts or weld my own to the frame. Thanks again for the help
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:53 PM   #7
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I have had this problem in the past also. I used the good old fire wrench to get the old bolts out. Then I welded new nuts to short pieces of 1/4" plate long enough so that they could not spin inside the frame. then used the wire technic to place them in the rame rail. replace the bolts and good to go.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:33 AM   #8
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Also, the transmission mount support appears to be stuck to this skid plate. Do I need to unbolt this bracket before completely removing the skid plate or is this suppose to be a resting place for the transmission? I understand that I have to support the transmission first in order to drop the plate. Thanks for the responses, this has been a BIG help !
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:43 AM   #9
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You only have to remove the 4 nuts with that the tranny mount is attached to the skid plate.
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:32 PM   #10
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Ok, I checked to see if I could access the holes on the frame once I get the rivnuts removed and there is no where to get at these. I have read lots of posts and it appears that installing new rivnuts (or nutserts) is a techy issue concerning the strength of which ones you purchase. I called my Jeep dealer today and he quoted me $14.00 per insert...............ARE YOU STINKING KIDING ME? I asked him why? He had nothing to say. This is also the same place that quoted me $75.00 for the hardware (nuts and bolts) for the hardtop. I am beginning to believe that the dealership can ask that much because the general public doesnt know any different. I used to manage a boat store.......just because it had the word "Marine" on it, the price went up. I called a different local Jeep dealership and asked for the parts department. He said that his parts department was no longer in business (no kidding stupid when you charge the prices you do for something you can fabricate for pennies on the dollar). WTH ~
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:09 PM   #11
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Let your fingers do the walking too. I don't know where you live, but around here there are several places to buy oddball stuff (it's easier when you have one in your hand to show em) where you can get practically anything for nickles on the dollar.

I don't buy very much from the stealership and except for warranty work don't allow them to touch my jeep. Just can't afford the prices or the hassle.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:03 AM   #12
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The easy way?
Cut or grind the bolt head that's spinning - cut it so the skid plate will come off. That's the hardest part, and it's easy. Torch, grinder, or even a sawsall will do it.

After the skid plate is off, use a punch to drive what's left of the weldnut and bolt up into the frame. You don't need to retrieve it.

Weld - or JB Weld - a short piece of weldrod, stiff wire, or coathanger to the head of the bolts you are going to use to put it back together - the bolt heads, not the nuts.
Use the wire to fish the bolt through one of the existing holes in the side of the frame till it hangs down through the mounting hole. A magnet helps.
Position the skidplate, put a nut on the bolt. It helps to use an impact to spin the nut, but it's not bad doing it by hand. The wire keeps the bolt from turning at first.
The inside of the frame where the weldnut was is rough and bumpy. That's enough to keep it from turning when you tighten the nut.

It took me twice as long to write this than it takes to do one.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:43 PM   #13
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Thanks a ton, I appreciate the advice rrich and will try that this weekend.

Stevens 243, I couldnt agree with you more about the stealership comment. I can do a better quality job than most of the mechanics at any shop. This is why I started doing my own oil changes, ball joints, etc.........and it saves me a ton of money too.

Thanks again everyone !!!
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:28 PM   #14
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A lot of those parts coming from the dealeship are MOPAR prices. Some items are consistent in price across dealerships. Ask for the MOPAR # of the parts you're trying to buy and then search online (especially ebay) for the part. Usually you'll save a ton.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:10 PM   #15
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I know many "experts" have said it won't work when I've suggested it before, but I didn't know that before I did it successfully so many times.

Here's from post #12 on this thread:
"""""The easy way?
Cut or grind the bolt head that's spinning - cut it so the skid plate will come off. That's the hardest part, and it's easy. Torch, grinder, or even a sawsall will do it.

After the skid plate is off, use a punch to drive what's left of the weldnut and bolt up into the frame. You don't need to retrieve it.

Weld - or JB Weld - a short piece of weldrod, stiff wire, or coathanger to the head of the bolts you are going to use to put it back together - the bolt heads, not the nuts.
Use the wire to fish the bolt through one of the existing holes in the side of the frame till it hangs down through the mounting hole. A magnet helps.
Position the skidplate, put a nut on the bolt. It helps to use an impact to spin the nut, but it's not bad doing it by hand. The wire keeps the bolt from turning at first.
The inside of the frame where the weldnut was is rough and bumpy. That's enough to keep it from turning when you tighten the nut.

It took me twice as long to write this than it takes to do one."""""

Just a few days ago I used the trick on a swamp cooler, a motor mounting screw had broken off. The repair guy said it was impossible to fix.
It took me about 5 minutes to drill out the old screw and slip the new one in from the back - about 2 feet away, past the blower.

The stud piece of wire holds the bolt while you spin the nut on, then the bolt head digs into the surface and holds while you tighten it.

You can also do it with a nut - but it's harder to get it lined up.

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