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Stripped thread/missing nut, in frame repair

Mark off the area to be cut out

Section cut out

Tack weld the nut to the backside of the steel cut out

Place and tack weld one corner

Welded in and painted

If you are always working on your rig then sooner or later you will run into a nut in the frame that gets stripped or the tack weld gives way and the nut falls into the frame.

I have pulled off my front bumper more times than I can remember.  Swapping winches, making alterations to the front bumper and then adding more to it.  With each off/on cycle the bolts and nuts that hold your front bumper on take a beating.

Finally one of the nuts inside the frame that I could not get at fell off.  It was the second nut in, on the right side of the frame.

Procedure:  After much thought I decided to use my cut-off wheel on my angle grinder.  You could use a plasma cutter, Sawzall or even a hand hacksaw.

1)  Inspect the area well to be opened up and draw some lines in each direction you will cut.  This is to help keep you on track with your cutting by whatever method you use.

2)  As I was using a 4 1/2 in cut off wheel I started my cuts in the middle of the line I had drawn.  Slowly apply pressure and continue the cutting until the cut-thru area crosses the lines drawn on the sides.

3)  The cut piece will just fall into the frame and you can retrieve it with a screwdriver.

4)  In this case the nut had fallen off and it was a simple fix from here.

5)  Turning the cut piece over and using the proper size nut you only need to put several tack welds around it.  I used a carpenter pencil I had laying around to hold the nut against the cut-out steel.

6)  I flipped the nut and steel over and inserted the pencil into the nut.  I then welded it in.

TIP:  Using the pencil or other means of holding it in place, focus on any one CORNER of the cut-out.  Try and get your spacing correct for that one corner.  Now hit it with a corner tack weld.  What this will allow you to do is shift the workpiece left and right to get it square and centered in the frame.  When you have equal spacing all around, then tack the other corner, check that its level and then tack the other two corners.  This will help to keep it from pulling due to welding heat.

Tools:  Welder, angle grinder, marker pen and pencil to hold the nut with

Cost:  28 cents for a new grade 8 nut

Time:  About 30 min if you have welder and cut off wheel

Worth it factor:  You bet, keeps the bumper nailed down on the frame in case of an accident.

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