I'm new to this forum and I thought I'd share a creative solution I used when relocating my sideview mirror to the front windshield (to remain legal while driving with the doors removed).
If you're driving an older YJ, it's probably been repainted (at least once). Well, I decided to buy aftermarket brackets which relocate the sideview mirrors to the front windshield.
In order to do this, you must remove the bolts on the lower, outer front windshield hinges. Well, between the aftermarket paint and locktite, I quickly stripped the bolts. The next move was to drill them out. Drilling quickly lead to actually punching out the factory threads in the windshield and I was left with 3/8" holes and no threads....
My first remedy was simple. I simply used bolts with butterflies (toggle bolts) and this solved the problem quickly, efficiently and cheaply. The mirror brackets easily covered the holes I created.
But, the toggle bolts were small and after a couple years, the bolts rusted and looked terrible.
My first thought was to continue to use toggle bolts with butterflies, but finding a stainless steel bolt wasn't happening. Well, I'm building my "Champagne Jeep" on a "Draft Beer Budget" and I decided to go to Home Depot and I bought some nice chrome "hex head" bolts and stainless steel washers. (They look great!) For the inside, I just used plain washers, lock washers and nuts.
Now, here's where "thinking outside of the box" comes in and my little secret to share with you... I could easily reach my hand up under the dash to the holes, but there was NOT enough room for my hand to slip on the washers and nuts on to the new bolts. My first optional plan of attack was to recruit my young son with his small hands. I was sure this would work, except I didn't consider that the speakers were right there and every time my son managed to get a washer on the bolt, the magnet pulled it right back off!!!!!!!
Well, I'm not going to let a YJ out-smart me and my next plan off attacke was to remove the speakers and give myself plenty of room to work... What was I thinking????? I google-searched speaker removal - and my first thought was that whoever designed the speaker installation for Chrysler should have been fired! There is no way I'm going to spend an hour disassembling my dash, loosen the hard top and fold down the windshield which already has an aftermarket lightbar bolted to the hinges...
My creative thinking cost $5.00 in parts and the task was completed in about 5 - 10 minutes for each bolt. Actually, only the top bolts required this technique, while the bottom bolts were able to be installed using my hands...
The first thing I did was purchase a hot glue gun at Home Depot ($5.00) and the first thing I did was glue the washer, lock washer and nut together. next I took some fishing line and tied one end to my exterior sideview mirror and then I tied a small bolt on to the other end.
Next I pushed the small bolt from outside the Jeep through the hole and let it fall through the dash. It quickly stuck to the speaker magnet and I pulled it through. next I took off the small bolt which I had used as a weight and I hot-glued the washers and bolts to the fishing line (The washers and nuts were previously glued together.
Remember to tie the outside end of the fishing line to something outside the vehicle so that it doesn't get pulled through the hole. Now with the washers and nut glued to the fishing line, I simply pulled it up through the dash, guiding it past the magnets on the speakers.
With the doors removed for easy access, I simply reached up under the dash and held the washers and nut in place, and with my other hand I pushed the bolt through the hole and hand tightened it. Then tightened it all the way and within 5 - 10 minutes the upper screws were installed. For the bottom holes, I still glued the washers and nut together and simply reached up under the dash and with my other hand, pushed the bolt through and hand tightened. Once the mirror brackets were hand tightened, I alighned them with the windshiled frame and tightened them up.
This complete project (four bolts - two brackets) took less than 1-hour to complete and looks perfect! I accomplished this project in less time than it would take to remove the dash (with a hardtop and AC) and I didn't have to fold down the windshield or anything else. It was very "non-invasive".
I'll add pics when I take them... It looks professional!
Hope this helps if anyone else has this issue!