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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need help and/or advice on how to tighten a loose hatch strut ball stud (repeated pushing up on the gate since the OEM struts are so weak - now replaced). I am unable to tighten it properly since the anchor resides within the rear body panel itself. There is no access through the light assembly or through the inner plastic panels. The bolt is secured from the back by a u-bracket (similar to a dywall anchor). It is tack welded at two points. You can see in these photos the two weld holes and a glimpse of the bracket, as well as how much play there was in the stud by the dirt marks.

I was able to tighten the bolt with concurrent pulling but the friction isn't enough to not slip once the bolt gets close to truly tight. I place a couple screwdrivers in the holes so the bracket wouldn't spin, but they started to deform the sheet metal.

Anyone know of how to access the inner nut/bracket? Or ideas of how to tighten?

I've searched the forums and read dozens of threads. This appears to be the same problem but went unresolved.



 

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MM 2005 EX, AT southwest WI
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What I might try if I could get the rear piece to rotate back to the original position. Drill starting holes in the rear bracket and secure it in place with two self tapping screws and maybe some jbweld squegeed in. Once it was secured, back out the knob, add a thin lock washer, and retighten.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What I might try if I could get the rear piece to rotate back to the original position. Drill starting holes in the rear bracket and secure it in place with two self tapping screws and maybe some jbweld squegeed in. Once it was secured, back out the knob, add a thin lock washer, and retighten.
Are there split lock washers I could fit on without completely removing the bolt? If I take it all the way out to add a washer the original nut will drop off.
 

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Are there split lock washers I could fit on without completely removing the bolt? If I take it all the way out to add a washer the original nut will drop off.
I'm assuming the nut is part of or welded to that piece that is rotating. If so, once that piece is secured with 2 or 4 screws, backing the knob out a few threads should let you tell if the nut is captive. You could make a washer/spacer to slide under the bolt but it probably would mash out of place when you tighten.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm assuming the nut is part of or welded to that piece that is rotating. If so, once that piece is secured with 2 or 4 screws, backing the knob out a few threads should let you tell if the nut is captive. You could make a washer/spacer to slide under the bolt but it probably would mash out of place when you tighten.
Good point. I'll do some tinkering and report back. Thanks!
 

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If you re align the plate and holes, you could secure it with a few rivets in the existing holes. This way it would be more flush to the body and not disturb the door
 
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