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Thread: Belly Pan Fastener Woes

  1. #1
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    Question Belly Pan Fastener Woes

    The belly pan on my 2012 came loose. Apparently, it was being held in place by one bolt at the leading edge and a zip tie.
    This part is attached with 6 fasteners, two at the front and 4 spaced out towards the rear.
    Upon successive oil changes it appears my mechanic systematically stripped the heads off of the bolts.

    Short of trying to drill out and extract what's remaining the 4 rear bolts can one remove and replace what appears to be a factory installed rivet in the frame?
    The replacement rivet looks like the factory part from the surface however doesn't appear it would expand to catch the edge of the stamped hole in the frame using a new bolt.
    I've considered either grinding off the head of factory rivet or perhaps try to pry it out from the leading edge.

    I drilled out and attempted to extract the front bolt...it's being stubborn. It has a hex nut welded to the top face of the front cross member.
    Using a fine threaded bolt that needs to be removed frequently and subject to the weather wasn't the best design solution by the FIAT engineers.

    Any suggestions?

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    I just ran a quick Google search and found a Belly Pan Installation Hardware Kit.
    That's what I recommend.
    The FIAT OEM Belly Pan Bolts are very prone to corrosion as they are located in an extremely corrosive environment below the car.
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    Senior Member MemoryFoam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lloyd View Post
    The belly pan on my 2012 came loose. Apparently, it was being held in place by one bolt at the leading edge and a zip tie.
    This part is attached with 6 fasteners, two at the front and 4 spaced out towards the rear.
    Upon successive oil changes it appears my mechanic systematically stripped the heads off of the bolts.
    ...
    Using a fine threaded bolt that needs to be removed frequently and subject to the weather wasn't the best design solution by the FIAT engineers.

    Any suggestions?
    Yeah, that's right. Blame it on the engineers. The ham-fisted mechanic that blew the heads off 5 out of 6 bolts, then tried to attach the part with zip ties, had nothing to do with it. I assume he never told you about any of the damage - just figured the next guy would have to deal with it.

    First priority is to find a mechanic that knows how to properly tighten and loosen a bolt. That mechanic will probably know how to remove a broken bolt.
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    On these I always take them out and put anti-seize paste on them. They're just common M6 bolts, not fine thread, so they're easy to buy if you need some. The engineers are damned either way - if they use plastic fasteners people complain when they get brittle and break and if they use metal fasteners they rust. If the oil is changed every 6 months as recommended these should not seize tight, but a lot of people, myself included, do topsider oil changes with suction and only get under the car and take the pan off every two years to inspect the CV boots etc.

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    Member Megatron's Avatar
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    You just need to drill out the old inserts and buy a Threaded Nut Rivet Gun. They're around $25 on ebay. Harbor Freight has them, but they are not metric sizes.

    If the threads aren't too damaged, you can buy and Tap & Die set instead and try to repair the threaded rivets. If you have a Harbor Freight store locally, you can buy this and try it and if it doesn't work, you can return the tool.

    If the current threaded rivets are too damaged but you don't think you can get them out, you can use helicoils, which is actually the cheapest option ($12). You will basically enlarge the hole with their drill bit, tap new threads into the hole, and then screw in the helicoil to bring you back to the original threaded size. This is usually how you fix cross-threaded spark plug holes and oil pan plug holes.

    You can just look for how-to videos on youtube for any of these solutions.
    Last edited by Megatron; 03-06-2021 at 08:37 AM. Reason: added 3rd option

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megatron View Post
    .......... snip................If you have a Harbor Freight store locally, you can buy this and try it and if it doesn't work, you can return the tool.......... snip.............
    Really? Did you buy a tuxedo for your wedding and then return it for a full refund the next day? Do you dine out, eat three quarters of the meal, and then send it back and refuse to pay? Do you buy tires, drive on them for 5000 miles and then return them for a refund claiming they're defective?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozella View Post
    Really? Did you buy a tuxedo for your wedding and then return it for a full refund the next day? Do you dine out, eat three quarters of the meal, and then send it back and refuse to pay? Do you buy tires, drive on them for 5000 miles and then return them for a refund claiming they're defective?
    I've actually done two of your examples

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megatron View Post
    I've actually done two of your examples
    hahaha good response. the person asking is obviously as pure as the driven snow
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozella View Post
    Really? Did you buy a tuxedo for your wedding and then return it for a full refund the next day? Do you dine out, eat three quarters of the meal, and then send it back and refuse to pay? Do you buy tires, drive on them for 5000 miles and then return them for a refund claiming they're defective?
    I was reading maybe 5 -10 years ago that during a typical Super Bowl event thousands of people would buy the largest TVs they could find, invite their friends to watch the game, then put the TV back in the box and take it back to the store. There's a small industry of people who go through these things and look for missing accessories and repackage the stuff for resale, presumably at a discount.

    Not the way I was raised so it surprised me how many people do it!

    As for Harbor Fright, I think it's the only place I've ever had to return a tool. I'm pretty careful with tools but their tools often only look like the things they are supposed to be. It looks like a Philips head screwdriver until you stick it in the screw and it shears off!

  13. #10
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    Its even built into Harbor Freights return policy. If the item isn't in new condition, they will just charge you a 20% restocking fee.

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