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Old 11-07-2016, 02:22 PM   #1
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Loose nut unable to find bolt head

My 2000 Itasca Horizon has bolt coming from the coach and going through a welded extension on the frame rail just before the rear axle. The nut on the bold is loose but I am unable to tighten since I can't locate the bolt head. I called Winnebago customer support and they do not know about the bolt. I've tried a impact wrench but the bolt just spins. From the size the nut 15/16 and the rectangle washer I assume it is an important bolt. Does anyone know where the bolt head is located or how to tighten a loose nut when the bolt head is not reachable?
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Old 11-07-2016, 02:26 PM   #2
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You could grab the exposed threads with a pipe wrench and tighten the nut with an open end wrench.

Don't want to be removing it, with out a cutting torch, later down the road.
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Old 11-07-2016, 02:40 PM   #3
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You could try wrapping something around the threaded portion to protect the threads and hold that with vice grips while tightening the nut.

If there is enough room on the threads it could also be possible to "jam" two nuts (or half nuts) together there and hold the one that would be tightening against the other one while tightening the loose nut.

If all else fails you could also just put vice grips on the threads toward the end and tighten the loose nut. Of course, then if you wanted to remove the nut at some point you would have to clean up the threads or cut the end of the bolt off.

I've learned that these things aren't made to be easy to work on.

Best of luck with it.

Steve
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:40 PM   #4
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Probably a carriage bolt, with the rounded head under your carpet or flooring (or inside a cabinet?). If so it might not help to gain access to the head, since if it's turning, the square shoulder underneath the head is stripped. As twinboat & dix39 suggested, try to grab hold of the exposed threads somehow and then tighten the nut. One other option would be to cut a slot in the end and hold it with a large screwdriver as you tighten the nut.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:46 PM   #5
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If there is enough room on the threads it could also be possible to "jam" two nuts (or half nuts) together there and hold the one that would be tightening against the other one while tightening the loose nut.

EXACTLY!!!!!!!
That will give you the ability to actually create a new "head" of the bolt" only on the threaded tip of the other end.
Scott
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Old 11-07-2016, 09:14 PM   #6
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seems to be another one...
I posted earlier this year:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/fram...ms-290005.html
(photos later in the thread)
... and still wonder why the shims slide out; and the bolt is loose.

Tom
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Old 11-07-2016, 09:43 PM   #7
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Make sure to use some penetrant fluid on the threaded portion of the bolt your going to tighten the nut on. Spray it a few days before you start if possible and spray it a few times. It might give you a break when you start to tighten it.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:49 PM   #8
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You can also try drilling a hole through the end bolt and sticking a screwdriver theough the hole so you can hold the bolt while tightening the nut.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:18 PM   #9
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Update:

I tried just about everything suggested even split a 3/4 nut in half to try the double nut idea, used vice grips, penetrating oil then I reread the post from TWINBOAT and used a pipe wrench. My strong neighbor used a 15/16 box end wrench along with a cheater bar while standing next to the dual tires. I was under the coach holding the pipe wrench. The pipe wrench held the bolt but we were unable to move the nut. We were fearful of heating the nut since the propane tank was close by.

Then I followed the link provided by TSUT and came to conclusion that the gap was intentional. Since Winnebago was bolting an aluminum box framed coach to a steel Freightliner chassis the materials must expand and contract at different rates. The bolt at the end of the aluminum frame was tight but the next bolt before the rear axle was loose. Neither bolt used lock washers so they must of put some kind of special thread sealer on the bolts. If someone out there with a coach of this vintage could verify their bolt before the real axle is loose this would verify my conclusion. But then again I could be totally mistaken.
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