Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/27/20 7:35 a.m.

The next tool I need is for threaded inserts/rivnuts.  I'm mostly interested in installing aero that can be removed quickly for things like switching from autocross to drag mode over the course of 20 minutes before I plow into some Sonny's BBQ and for mounting things on firewalls and inner fenders without just using self drilling screws.  
 

so which tools work and which don't?  I don't need a million dies, I honestly plan to just use 1/4" for everything to keep life simple.  

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/27/20 7:36 a.m.

I use a smittybilt rivnut tool for 5-6 years now. It has installed thousands of them with no issues. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/27/20 7:38 a.m.

I have the Astro Pneumatic 13 inch manual rivnut setter. I use it for all the things and I like it. Part of setting these things is feel. You feel when the sleeve crushes down and seats against the material. I find that with a little practice you have good feel with this point and you don't risk just mashing things and stripping the insert out. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/27/20 8:50 a.m.

I use the "get a good bolt that threads into the rivnut, and then one nut that is too large on the bolt" trick. It takes a little time, but works great. 

Basically the nut that is too large holds the rivnut from twisting while you tighten the real bolt and crush the rivnut. 

You can even just hold the large nut with a wrench and then impact on the one that tightens the rivnut, but it's hard to tell when the rivnut is completely crushed. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/27/20 8:52 a.m.

Oh, also it means once I find a good bolt and nut, I put it in the bag with the rest of the rivnuts, so I've always got the right tool handy. Even at the track. 

Trent (Generally supportive dude)
Trent (Generally supportive dude) PowerDork
10/27/20 9:17 a.m.

I have 3 types.

 

The old school rivet setter type. It only gets used on 3/8"/10mm and up when the butterfly variety won't fit

 

The butterfly Astro pneumatic one.  It is a fantastic tool but the copious amount of leverage it provides can over-set smaller rivnuts.

13" Plusnut and Extra-Long Rivet Nut Setter Kit Metric & SAE

 

but up to 5/16" or 8mm I prefer this one. You get a nice feeling of when the rivnut is set before it over crushes them and turns them into riv-locknuts

 

It is small and fits into places the others won't.

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/27/20 9:39 a.m.

Thanks for the info.

i snagged a slightly used smittybilt one for $27 shipped so i can practice on scraps and a bag of 100 1/4" inserts for $5.xx.  Should do everything I need it to and be mega budget friendly.  If I don't like the tool I can step up to a different one from there and likely get my money back for the one I bought.  
 

for doing the inserts, does making everything with self drilling screws then disassembling and opening the holes to the rivnut size sound like the way to go?  

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/27/20 9:42 a.m.

You need a much bigger hole in the rivnut panel than the front panel you are bolting to it (I'm sure you know that). And the self-tappers can sorta wave the metal right at the hole. 

But otherwise seems like a reasonable plan. 

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/27/20 10:07 a.m.
Patrick (Forum Supporter) said:

for doing the inserts, does making everything with self drilling screws then disassembling and opening the holes to the rivnut size sound like the way to go?  

That sounds like the quick and dirty version on using Cleckos. It should work well for getting things lined up and puller tight before putting rivnuts in place.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
10/27/20 10:22 a.m.

I have the bolt and mandrel squeeze together deal for when I was thinking I needed to use them for my front swaybar install. 
You only have to watch for your total panel thickness to have the right grip length rivnut.

I wish more people would use them as sometimes a nut on the backside is just a pita. That's on top of the overuse of washers....

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/27/20 10:42 a.m.
Patrick (Forum Supporter) said:

 

for doing the inserts, does making everything with self drilling screws then disassembling and opening the holes to the rivnut size sound like the way to go?  

Unless you're dealing with extremely thin sheet this is a fine plan. Just make sure you use the smallest self-tappers with as broad a head you can get away with. You want to make sure you're drilling out as much of the distorted area produced by the screws as possible. 

TVR Scott (Forum Supporter)
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/29/20 10:37 a.m.

I bought the "house-brand" big butterfly-style tool from Grainger, and now I regret it.  They have basically no mandrel options beyond inch/coarse thread.  I've made my own metric and fine-thread adaptors, but I'd recommend just getting one with more options.

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