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Old 05-10-2010, 02:11 PM   #1
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I have a screw loose

OK, it's not what you think. Well, maybe it is but that's for another discussion. Let me hear the tricks and tips all y'all have for those screws that after five or six years work loose and then will not tighten. I know you've had them. They are the 1 inch or longer screws in 1/4"-1/2" material that are stripped. I have some in my dash holding the trim around the radio, ac controls and 12 volt receptacles. I've also found some in the trim around my fantastic fan.

Thanks in advance for you help.
Larry
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:39 PM   #2
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I finally started gluing a strip of 1/8" thick aluminum behind the stripped holes. I then drill a pilot hole in the aluminum and problem solved. This had worked in a number of places in my MH where the material is 1/8" paneling.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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Depends on the screw (And trust me we all have a few METAL screws loose)

larger screw, longer screw, "Screw Insert" (hollow wall anchor or concrete anchor)

All depends on the screw.

I use a lot of them depending on the job
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:55 PM   #4
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Hi Larry,
I fill the hole with epoxy or glue. Let the stuff cure for the time stated in the instructions (usually 24 hours or more). Drill a pilot hole and refasten with the same screw.
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:23 PM   #5
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I'll dip a couple tooth piks in elmers and stick those in the hole. Once the glue is dry, break off the part sticking out of the hole and you're good to go. If in metal, you'll have to go the bigger screw route.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:35 PM   #6
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Depends on the surface/backing material/access, etc. On some I use LocTite, on some (wood) I glue into the hole pieces of wood toothpicks and let it dry before re-inserting the screws, on some I add a backing material.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:43 PM   #7
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I've had to use expanding rivets in place of some screws that have become stripped. This is usually on the fiberglass exterior of trailers and motorhomes where, for example, the door hold back latch becomes unattached to the door.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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Knotdodger,

I vote for tmh462's idea.

Use an all aluminum "pop rivet" to fit the size of the hole that has been enlarged through the years. Place it in the hole and "pop" the stem out. You now, in effect, have a bushing that can be drilled to the correct size for the original size screw. The cost would be measured in pennies-
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knotdodger View Post
OK, it's not what you think. Well, maybe it is but that's for another discussion. Let me hear the tricks and tips all y'all have for those screws that after five or six years work loose and then will not tighten. I know you've had them. They are the 1 inch or longer screws in 1/4"-1/2" material that are stripped. I have some in my dash holding the trim around the radio, ac controls and 12 volt receptacles. I've also found some in the trim around my fantastic fan.

Thanks in advance for you help.
Larry
it depends on the material that the screw goes into and the number of loose screws. one method that i use is to stick the end of a plastic tyrap in the hole and then insert the screw. if the hole is small, sometimes the tyrap is too wide and i have to squeeze the tyrap a bit to make it sorta round to fit the hole better. this works better for me than toothpicks and glue. this works in metal and wood.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:10 AM   #10
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I've run into that numerous times on plastic dash parts. During assembly they run them in with power tools and over-torque them. Then, when you want to remove the screw later on it comes out with a ball of plastic wrapped around it and now the hole is too big.

I bought a plastic welder kit to repair these. But, prior to getting the plastic welder I did it the old fashioned way. I used a soldering gun to melt the plastic to reform it. If the plastic was thin I sometimes had to snip of a small chunk from someplace that wasn't seen or needed and melt it over the top and refill the hole. Then I would drill a small pilot hole in it and it was ready to accept a screw again. Plastic melts easily and burns if too hot so you have to be careful with the soldering gun and just melt it enough to make it pliable so that it can flow. You need a bit more heat if you have to melt in a patch so that it stiks but it can be done. The plastic welder just makes it that much easier plus it comes with a selection of plastic "welding rod" (polycarbonate, fiberglass, urethane, etc, etc) that can be used to fill in when needed. I've welded everything from radiator fan shrouds, to dash parts, to tupperware waste baskets, etc with good results.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:52 PM   #11
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I want to thank everyone for their response. I have several different situations that'll take different fixes that you've given me. I think I'll start with the tie wrap suggestion on one of my problems. I also be on the lookout for one of the plastic welder kits the next time I'm in Harbor Freight. I like the pop rivet suggestion also. I already have a gun and plenty of rivets in different sizes.

Thanks again
Larry
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