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Old 11-04-2021, 09:29 AM   #1
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Stripped rivnut on Stabilizer jack

Ok I know several post have addressed this topic but none have the details I'm looking for. I have a 2019 27' Flying cloud. I lost a bolt attaching the drivers rear stabilizer jack. Easy right? Just go down get a new bolt and secure the jack back in place. Not! It's stripped, and the one I removed to size at the store is stripped also.
Ok so the rivnuts needs to be replaced. Thats where I need help. How do you access the old rivnut and remove it to install the replacement. I'm guessing the whole jack needs to be removed first. Then it appears there is no access to the old nut.
What's my next step. It's three months out of factory warranty.

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Old 11-04-2021, 10:06 AM   #2
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I'd think that the jack will need to be removed to replace a rivnut. Once there is clear access you can try carefully drilling out the old rivnut if it's still in place tightly enough to not just spin under the drill bit. Look up the correct drill bit size for the rivnut you'll be installing so you don't inadvertently use one which is too large.

If the rivnut is spinning freely, then you'll have to resort to more crude methods such as trying to collapse it within the hole by grabbing the rim sticking out with pliers. Careful use of a Dremel cut-off wheel to put a gap in the edge of the rivnut might help.

I've also had success in the past carefully grinding the rim of the rivnut off using a Dremel. Once the rim is gone you can just push it into the hole and carry on inserting a new one.
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Old 11-04-2021, 10:09 AM   #3
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You'll have to drill out the old rivnut by accessing the collar of the rivnut and removing it so the rivnut can be punched out. If you can't see the collar because the belly pan covers it you may have to enlarge the bellypan hole a little. I've attached a couple youtube videos to help visualize removing it and how to install a new one without the rivnut tool.





Locally I can get rivnuts at Ace Hardware. If no one close stocks them PM me. I probably have the size you need.
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Old 11-04-2021, 11:38 AM   #4
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Thanks, this is just the information I was looking for.

Mark W.
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Old 11-07-2021, 12:16 PM   #5
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Ok I have removed the stabilizer jack and began the removal process of the stripped rivnut. After looking at all three holes I found no rivnuts installed. It appears the bolts were just installed in the bare frame metal. I’ve attached photos. I only see the aluminum underbody and the frame material. I purchased a rivnut kit from Amazon and a 17/32 metal drill bit. Looks like the factory must have been out of rivnuts on assembly day. So the Amazon package will arrive tomorrow and I can install the new rivnuts and mount the jack in the proper manor. I’ll post with the finished repair information.
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Old 11-07-2021, 12:25 PM   #6
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Sorry I can’t figure out how to post the photos!
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Old 11-07-2021, 12:44 PM   #7
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Hope this worked the photos out.
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Old 11-07-2021, 12:52 PM   #8
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Mine had no rivnuts installed from the factory. At least in 1994, they were just using 5/16 thead-cutting bolts run into predrilled holes. Not much to grab onto in there unless they are going into steel, so of course you can't safely remove and reinsert the same bolts in those holes.


I went with 5/16 rivnuts where there was no steel. The rivnuts come in different lengths to be used in material of different thickness, so if yours don't want to seat this could be why.
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Old 11-07-2021, 02:33 PM   #9
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If these were threaded it would only catch one thread and easily strip out. I have 3/8 16 bolts and they were not cutting bolts. Just machine thread. I only need to drill a 17/32 hole and set my 3/8” rivnuts. Should hold much better than the factory install.
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Old 11-08-2021, 05:40 AM   #10
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Yep, no rivnuts, just bolts theraded into the metal... Water tank straps are installed the same way. No wonder there are reports of water tanks falling off. This method of attachment is terrible practice.
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Old 11-08-2021, 01:41 PM   #11
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Ok all finished! Rivnuts installed and jack secured to the RV. Not much room to squeeze the rivnut tool but I managed to complete the process. Now I feel confident the jacks are there to stay.
Thanks for everyone’s help. You guys rock!
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Old 11-09-2021, 10:53 AM   #12
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For what it's worth, here's a good video showing both RivNuts and PlusNuts. For anything requiring real strength, the PlusNut is the proper solution.

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Old 11-09-2021, 03:21 PM   #13
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I'll just add a few notes from my experience, in case someone else in need comes across this thread.

The OEM screws (not bolts) are called trilobular screws (Taptite brand). If you roll one between your fingers you'll feel there are 3 distinct edges. The head is a hex washer head. (See attachments, top down and bottom up.) These work as self tapping screws to thread a smaller, pre-drilled hole. When removing, they can sometimes break off and even if they don't, the threads come out. You can't just get bigger ones because the stabilizer brackets holes aren't big enough and you would probably break through the very thin cross member. Similar replacements would be Type-F screws. (See attachment.)

The rear stabilizers are screwed to the outer frame edge and the inner cross members. The front stabilizers (on my 23' anyway) are screwed to the A-frame and the inner cross members. Almost all of the front screws in the A-Frame broke off and were a real job to even partially drill out. I tapped those as best as I could and used grade 8 bolts

I used some Rivnuts to replace the stripped cross member holes. Using a Rivnut tool is difficult and expensive. There are videos that show you how to use a nut/bolt and a couple of wrenches to accomplish the same thing. Practice on a piece of scrap aluminum so you can see what's happening. (See attachment.)

I can't order the attachments so here's what they are:
1 - Looking at the trilobular screw from the end of the thread; 3 edges
2 - Description of Type-F screws, similar to trilobular
3 - Rivnuts - left one with nut/bolt combo to use with 2 wrenches to mash the brass part on the other side of the aluminum. Right one is the completed insertion with the bolt to put through the stabilizer and into the mounted Rivnut
4 - Top of the trilobular washer head screw.
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Old 11-10-2021, 06:56 AM   #14
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The bolts I removed looked similar in that the heads had a flat washer like appearance however they were not tapered at the tip as a self tapping type bolt. They were machine bolts and not cutting type. I had purchased 3/8-16 bolts for the rivnuts to replace the lost bolt and to have a few spares so I went with all new bolts when I mounted the jack. Always an adventure with an RV wether you are on the road or parked at the house.
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Old 11-10-2021, 07:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
The bolts I removed looked similar in that the heads had a flat washer like appearance however they were not tapered at the tip as a self tapping type bolt. They were machine bolts and not cutting type. I had purchased 3/8-16 bolts for the rivnuts to replace the lost bolt and to have a few spares so I went with all new bolts when I mounted the jack. Always an adventure with an RV wether you are on the road or parked at the house.
Mine were not tapered either and initially I took them for bolts as well. Looking for replacement, I took pictures of them and sent them to Bolt Depot who told me what they were. It's the triangular shape that does the cutting. Anyhow, maybe someone with an older trailer like mine would need this information.
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Old 11-10-2021, 04:04 PM   #16
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Hey thanks for the response. Iím sure they have used many different parts over the years. I think that if they had used the bolts you described that this would not have happened. It really appears they used a regular machine bolt to secure the jack. That means on a metal frame thatís 1/6Ē thick using a 3/8 -16 bolt that only one thread was securing the jack at each of the 3 points. Not much at all. I feel much better knowing that the rivnuts are a much better attachment and should not fail in the future. I did assemble a jack repair kit for on the road repairs that might follow. I have a trip this month and didnít have the time to redo all the other jacks at this time but Iím ready with all I need if it should fail again. I know this is all part of the adventure but it could have been done this way at the factory.
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Old 11-10-2021, 04:06 PM   #17
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If there were 3/8 bolts in there they were likely not OEM. Someone might have already stripped out the 5/16 bolts and tried to upsize to fix the problem.
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Old 06-07-2023, 07:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
Hey thanks for the response. Iím sure they have used many different parts over the years. I think that if they had used the bolts you described that this would not have happened. It really appears they used a regular machine bolt to secure the jack. That means on a metal frame thatís 1/6Ē thick using a 3/8 -16 bolt that only one thread was securing the jack at each of the 3 points. Not much at all. I feel much better knowing that the rivnuts are a much better attachment and should not fail in the future. I did assemble a jack repair kit for on the road repairs that might follow. I have a trip this month and didnít have the time to redo all the other jacks at this time but Iím ready with all I need if it should fail again. I know this is all part of the adventure but it could have been done this way at the factory.
I just ran into the same issue. Did you cut away any of the aluminum or did you just place the rivnut through the 17/32 hole you drilled? Appreciate any help.
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Old 06-08-2023, 06:07 AM   #19
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I just ran into the same issue. Did you cut away any of the aluminum or did you just place the rivnut through the 17/32 hole you drilled? Appreciate any help.
I replaced all of the bolts. I drilled out the existing hole to receive the new rivnut. I used the rivnut tool and pressed in the rivnut. After cleaning and lubing the jack I easily re installed the jack with the correct size bolt and the job was done.
I still have not replaced the bolts on the other three jacks yet but I carry all the required supplies and tools to do the job with me should the need require it.
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Old 06-09-2023, 06:18 PM   #20
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Thanks for your insights. I completed the job this afternoon.
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