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Old 12-29-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
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Bed Bolt Quandary

After an exhaustive two day search, it seems that no one has yet asked for help on my particular bed bolt d-ring mod issue. Here are the facts:

When reinserting the bed bolts with d-rings, I tried to force the bolt so hard (thinking that it was rust not cross-threading) that now neither of the factory bolts can be tightened, and instead can be pushed into and pulled out of the factory holes by hand with ease.

This morning I took it to a local dealership and their diagnosis consisted of "yeah it's ****ed", so I spent the afternoon looking for grade 8 7/16 (because 1/2 won't fit) 6" bolts to replace the stock ones. I found them, but the 6" bolts only have threading from the tip to about an inch up, which would leave too much of a gap with a nut. I also picked up some 7/16 3.5'' bolts, but these would leave barely enough room to fit a nut on the underside. Access to the frame (without dismantling it) is via a hole that I can barely fit a nut into, a washer will not fit. So here are my options:

1) Figure out how to access the inside of the frame from underneath the truck and, using the 6" bolts fasten the D-Rings to the bed.

2) Use the 3.5" bolts to fasten the D-rings and hope that the minimal length on the underside and the lack of a washer can withstand the weight of whatever I tie down.

3) Find the best adhesive I can and, along with some solder, try and permanently attach the factory bolts back into their housing.

4) Abandon the D-Rings-connected-to-the-frame idea, use 3" bolts to reattach the bed to the frame in the front, and find another place to put the d-rings (I will be hauling around a 500 lb motorcycle regularly).

5) Attempt to rethread the holes to fit 1/2 bolt and hope nothing else goes awry.

Thoughts? By the way this is my first post but I've been around for about a month. I can take pictures, but I don't think they'd help explain any more.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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Welcome!

I used 2.5" bolts, with a nice backing plate, and put the D rings in a different location, rather than using the bed bolts. For one, this doesnt compromise the integrity of the beds mounting points, and two, with a 2"x2" backing plate, it is more than strong enough to hold any load I have had. This includes an engine (Chevy 454), and old Toyota 5 speed tranny, along with other misc. loads.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjrichmar View Post
After an exhaustive two day search, it seems that no one has yet asked for help on my particular bed bolt d-ring mod issue. Here are the facts:

When reinserting the bed bolts with d-rings, I tried to force the bolt so hard (thinking that it was rust not cross-threading) that now neither of the factory bolts can be tightened, and instead can be pushed into and pulled out of the factory holes by hand with ease.

This morning I took it to a local dealership and their diagnosis consisted of "yeah it's ****ed", so I spent the afternoon looking for grade 8 7/16 (because 1/2 won't fit) 6" bolts to replace the stock ones. I found them, but the 6" bolts only have threading from the tip to about an inch up, which would leave too much of a gap with a nut. I also picked up some 7/16 3.5'' bolts, but these would leave barely enough room to fit a nut on the underside. Access to the frame (without dismantling it) is via a hole that I can barely fit a nut into, a washer will not fit. So here are my options:

1) Figure out how to access the inside of the frame from underneath the truck and, using the 6" bolts fasten the D-Rings to the bed.

2) Use the 3.5" bolts to fasten the D-rings and hope that the minimal length on the underside and the lack of a washer can withstand the weight of whatever I tie down.

3) Find the best adhesive I can and, along with some solder, try and permanently attach the factory bolts back into their housing.

4) Abandon the D-Rings-connected-to-the-frame idea, use 3" bolts to reattach the bed to the frame in the front, and find another place to put the d-rings (I will be hauling around a 500 lb motorcycle regularly).

5) Attempt to rethread the holes to fit 1/2 bolt and hope nothing else goes awry.

Thoughts? By the way this is my first post but I've been around for about a month. I can take pictures, but I don't think they'd help explain any more.
I like number three...but that's just me. But welding sounds better...
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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Sorry to welcome you this way, but I'm happy to throw out some ideas.

That's a shame. Are the bolt threads mangled? If you're lucky, the bolt threads are shot, but a carefully used tap may be able to salvage what's left of the captured nuts.

So here are my options:

1) Figure out how to access the inside of the frame from underneath the truck and, using the 6" bolts fasten the D-Rings to the bed.
Maybe, but probably a PITA. I'd have to look to see how hard it is to gain access, but knowing that those are captured nuts doesn't bode well.

2) Use the 3.5" bolts to fasten the D-rings and hope that the minimal length on the underside and the lack of a washer can withstand the weight of whatever I tie down.
Bad idea. You'd have no idea how much of the bolt was actually threaded into the nut, and chances are, it's not much. At least, not enough that I'd trust it.

3) Find the best adhesive I can and, along with some solder, try and permanently attach the factory bolts back into their housing.
Not a chance.

4) Abandon the D-Rings-connected-to-the-frame idea, use 3" bolts to reattach the bed to the frame in the front, and find another place to put the d-rings (I will be hauling around a 500 lb motorcycle regularly).
Maybe, but is that what you really want to do?

5) Attempt to rethread the holes to fit 1/2 bolt and hope nothing else goes awry.
I think you're on the right track with #5.

Is there a Fastenal store near you? They specialize in solving this kind of problem. I'd talk with them to see what they recommend, as there are different products to deal with destroyed threads. Before doing anything drastic, I'd try to clean up the threads of the captured nuts. If that doesn't work, and Fastenal has nothing better to try, determine the proper sized tap for the next viable size up and cut new threads in the captured nuts. I'd stick with Metric, but there's no reason you can't go SAE.

BTW, if you need bolts with the full length threaded to the head, Fastenal may be able to help you with that, too. If they aren't available, you might be able to cut them with the correct die, but it's easy to get off-center. If you do any thread cutting, buy a small can of the proper lubricant. You'll only get one shot at cleaning up those nuts.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xaqori View Post
I like number three...but that's just me. But welding sounds better...
I think the OP meant "permanently attach the factory nuts back into their housing", but I may be wrong. The problem with #3 is I doubt the nuts have come loose. i think their threads are just buggered up.

Going Chris' route sounds fine to me, too. I'd still try tapping the nuts first, though.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for the recommendations, as much as I want to go with #2 because it's easy it looks like #5 would be best long term. I'll stop by Fastenal on Monday and see if they can help. But in case I screw that up as well (having never recut threading) does anyone know of anywhere in the San Diego area that could resize the holes and if so, about how much it would be?
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjrichmar View Post
Thanks for the recommendations, as much as I want to go with #2 because it's easy it looks like #5 would be best long term. I'll stop by Fastenal on Monday and see if they can help. But in case I screw that up as well (having never recut threading) does anyone know of anywhere in the San Diego area that could resize the holes and if so, about how much it would be?
No idea about what machine shops are in San Diego, but Fastenal will. Any decent shop should be able to do it. If you're still polishing boots and scowling for a living, you might be able to have it done somewhere on base for free.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DoorDing View Post
No idea about what machine shops are in San Diego, but Fastenal will. Any decent shop should be able to do it. If you're still polishing boots and scowling for a living, you might be able to have it done somewhere on base for free.
Not quite, I just don't think I'd use the tap too often so depending on how much it costs vs. how much it costs to have done, I may just go with the latter option.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:37 PM   #9
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:06 PM   #10
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I didn't feel like waiting until after the holiday to get this fixed to I just tapped a 1/2" hole myself. A lot easier than I thought it'd be. Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cjrichmar View Post
I didn't feel like waiting until after the holiday to get this fixed to I just tapped a 1/2" hole myself. A lot easier than I thought it'd be. Thanks again for all the help.
Good deal. Thread cutting has always been dead easy or a PITA for me, with nothing in between. Glad it went well for you.
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