Previously I had repaired the body mounts that are located just above the rear axle… the caged nuts inside had spun loose out of their cage and became useless (thank you rust!). I did the repair to these the same way I did on of the rear mounts, as explained here. But I never was happy with that repair. I figured that when it came time to bolt the body back on the frame, these nuts being welded solid were going to cause a lot of headaches. After a few sleepless nights worrying about the repair, I decided to re-do them. My dad found these new caged nut patch panels for me, they are the perfect item for this repair! This caged nut will allow the body bolts to have some “play” to make the installation easier, just like factory! To install them, I cut the top (ok bottom) of the brace open to expose the inner brace, a U shaped piece that is welded to the floor. I then cut the end of the brace off and replaced it with the caged nut. Granted, the steel on the new piece is not as heavy guage as the original brace, but its close enough… I figured, what would fail first in the event of an accident? The end of that brace, or the thin sheetmetal floor that it is welded to? My thoughts exactly. Also, unlike the original, the repaired brace now is also the part you see, its not covered with thin sheet metal like before. Once it was all welded and ground smooth, I dressed it in Duraglass (fiberglass reinforced filler).
UPDATE!! These repair panels are now available for sale… see the blog entry for March 2, 2009 for details.
The original plug-welded repair, and the new patch panel awaiting installation.
Bottom of the brace cover, cut out to expose the inner brace.
The inner brace now cut out.
The new caged nut patch panel welded to the inner brace.
The patch welded to the outer brace skin and ground smooth.