Rivnut options?

outback97

Adventurer
Hey guys, when I tried to remove an aftermarket skid plate on my Xterra, one weld nut broke off and the other bolt snapped. I have recently learned about Rivnuts and just used a couple to replace these broken weld nuts. I drilled out the holes and installed two of them.

Here's one after install:


Test sample (not fully compressed in this picture, and the steel is slightly thicker than on the real application)


I used a smooth sided steel one in a 5/16" 18 thread, as it was the only type available locally, and most closely matched the M8 size of the OEM bolts. I have a ~30# skid plate bolted on with four bolts, two of which use the OEM weld nuts in the front crossmember, and the two rear location are held on with my two newly installed Rivnuts installed in the rear crossmember.

Now my after the fact question is... should I have used one of the other options? It looks like there are several:
http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-rivet-nuts/=wfr4gf

Or are these sufficient for my application?
 

Haf-E

Expedition Leader
I use Riv-nuts frequently and think your application will be fine - if you are concerned then just add a second set.

The other versions (like the ones with the splines on the outside) are better for some applications - the splines for example keep the rivnut from spinning in the hole - but it looks like your worked for you.

Your test shows good swagging of the rivnut in the metal - so I would say its good to go. I'd put some no-seize on the bolt when it goes in the whole to be sure it will come out later on...
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
The center skidplate in Jeep TJ's and YJ's is held in by six 1/2" thread rivnuts. That skidplate is VERY structural to a Jeep frame, so if rivnuts were'nt a good way to do it, they wouldn't be used there.

If you were were worried about them spinning after they rust some, then tacking the outer flange in two places and grinding it back flush is the best option. (That's how they're installed in TJ/YJ's.)

Should be no problem.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

outback97

Adventurer
I use Riv-nuts frequently and think your application will be fine - if you are concerned then just add a second set.

The other versions (like the ones with the splines on the outside) are better for some applications - the splines for example keep the rivnut from spinning in the hole - but it looks like your worked for you.

Your test shows good swagging of the rivnut in the metal - so I would say its good to go. I'd put some no-seize on the bolt when it goes in the whole to be sure it will come out later on...
The center skidplate in Jeep TJ's and YJ's is held in by six 1/2" thread rivnuts. That skidplate is VERY structural to a Jeep frame, so if rivnuts were'nt a good way to do it, they wouldn't be used there.

If you were were worried about them spinning after they rust some, then tacking the outer flange in two places and grinding it back flush is the best option. (That's how they're installed in TJ/YJ's.)

Should be no problem.
Thanks, that's good to know. I plan on keeping an eye on them. I did find that one bolt was missing from the front when I first removed it... so at least now I have four fasteners instead of three! This is an aftermarket skid plate that the previous owner replaced the thin OEM one with.

I don't have a welder but if they end up spinning the worst case scenario is probably just cutting the head of the bolt off, which isn't that hard to do.

I did use Permatex anti seize on all the bolts when I put this back on. I am becoming a fan of that stuff too.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
One other tip, just discussing riv-nuts this weekend with user Arclight: Sometimes after the swaging the nut won't be perfectly straight (like it compressed more on one side than the other), this can yield a situation where things cross-thread a little bit. It never hurts to chase these nuts with a tap prior to threading in your bolts. I've just made it a standard part of my process, only adds a few seconds...
 

outback97

Adventurer
One other tip, just discussing riv-nuts this weekend with user Arclight: Sometimes after the swaging the nut won't be perfectly straight (like it compressed more on one side than the other), this can yield a situation where things cross-thread a little bit. It never hurts to chase these nuts with a tap prior to threading in your bolts. I've just made it a standard part of my process, only adds a few seconds...
I'm with Herbie, on that one. Good practice to make sure the threads are right, before using the bolt.
Great suggestion, guys, thanks! I did not chase the threads but I did test fit a bolt in before reinstalling the skid, and all seemed to be working smoothly. Will watch for that in the future though.
 

doug720

Expedition Leader
Another option/good thing to do, especially if you don't have the two handled compression installation tool, run a bolt into the rivnut and with a regular nut on the bottom next to the head. Tighten the regular nut against the rivnut while holding the bolt head. This will lock the rivnut nice and tight.

If you have access to the compression tool, it really makes the installation easy and tight. You can get all the metric sizes also.

Another bit of advice, buy good rivnut, not some of the Chinese junk. The splined nuts work well, hold tight, especially in aluminum, and are nearly always cad plated.
 
Last edited:

outback97

Adventurer
Another option/good thing to do, especially if you don't have the two handled compression installation tool, run a bolt into the rivnut and with a regular nut on top. Tighten the regular nut against the rivnut while hold the bolt. This will lock the rivnut nice and tight.

If you have access to the compression tool, it really makes the installation easy and tight. You can get all the metric sizes also.

Another bit of advice, buy good rivnut, not some of the Chinese junk. The splined nuts work well, hold tight, especially in aluminum, and are nearly always cad plated.
I did not have an installation tool, I put this together instead:


Worked well for the two I had to do. I couldn't find the tool locally and wouldn't have paid much for something I only needed to use 2X. Now, if I end up doing another project using these things...
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
You can always go back and weld the flange to the frame. Just put a bolt in the threads first.
 

ckupq

Observer
IMHO Its better to weld an actual nut to the backside or through bolt things. I've had many issues on my salt sled adult rig with rivnuts and weld nuts spinning or breaking the bolt off flush with the body. Where I can I've replaced them with a regular bolt and nut combination or some sort of tag nut.
 

outback97

Adventurer
You can always go back and weld the flange to the frame. Just put a bolt in the threads first.
Thanks, another poster recommended that too. I don't have a welder but maybe some day that is a tool and skill I will possess.

IMHO Its better to weld an actual nut to the backside or through bolt things. I've had many issues on my salt sled adult rig with rivnuts and weld nuts spinning or breaking the bolt off flush with the body. Where I can I've replaced them with a regular bolt and nut combination or some sort of tag nut.
Thanks. As mentioned I don't have a welder, and in this case the OEM weld nut was inside a somewhat enclosed area without a lot of clearance. Another option that was considered was a carriage bolt and small plate, but then the bolt threads would be sticking down and probably more vulnerable than a fastener head being scraped on something.

I'm not sure what a tag nut is, and google isn't helping me figure it out. Is this a nut attached to flat stock that can be more easily attached to a crossmember? Or something else?
 

Arclight

SAR guy
I would echo the previous posts that you should definitely anti-seize bolts installed in rivnuts. You can also put a nylon bolt in the hole of any rivnuts that aren't in use.

Arclight
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

outback97

Adventurer
I would echo the previous posts that you should definitely anti-seize bolts installed in rivnuts. You can also put a nylon bolt in the hole of any rivnuts that aren't in use.

Arclight
Great suggestion on the nylon bolts, I wouldn't have thought of that! In this case both Rivnuts I installed are being used to hold my skid plate on. And
... I did use Permatex anti seize on all the bolts when I put this back on. I am becoming a fan of that stuff too.
 

7echo

Adventurer
One other tip, just discussing riv-nuts this weekend with user Arclight: Sometimes after the swaging the nut won't be perfectly straight (like it compressed more on one side than the other), this can yield a situation where things cross-thread a little bit. It never hurts to chase these nuts with a tap prior to threading in your bolts. I've just made it a standard part of my process, only adds a few seconds...
Another option is to use the Riv Float nuts. They have a little swivel action built in to account for holes and fasteners that aren't quite lined up perfectly.
 
Top