kjohnson2444

Broken bolts on headlight sugar scoops

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    I need some advice... When removing the fiberglass headlight sugar scoops from my old fenders, I broke a few of the bolts. I was actually trying to be careful by soaking them with PB Blaster, wire brushing and backing the nuts on and off when I could, but two out of three on each scoop broke off. One is still long enough to use, but the others are not. Has anyone had any luck replacing these bolts which are embedded in the fiberglass?

    My search of older posts only found one other reference to these broken bolts from 2003, but no definitive answer on replacing them

    BTW, I hope I'm using the right terminology. I've heard some people refer to these as headlight buckets, and also the dome-shaped metal cover on the back of the headlight as the headlight bucket. Regardless of what you call it, I broke the bolts on it. :disappoin

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    One thought, can you drill through the broken stud? If so, simply drill a hole where the stud was. When it is time to put it back on the car you can simply run a bolt through the hole in the sugar scoop and the hole in the fender and use a nut & washer to fasten it all together.

    I suppose the bolt could be "embedded" in the sugar scoop with a little fiberglass & resin.

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    KJ

    I have the same issue and KENZ suggestion is the way I plan to go when it's time for reassembly. Grind the stud down flat and then drill it out. Make sure it is anchored securely so as not to run the drill bit through in an unwanted spot. "SUGAR SCOOPS" is OK with me. And you are correct most people and literature as well refer to them as headlight buckets.

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    I had the same problem with my head light bucket. What I did was I used a very tiny drill bit and drilled numerous hole around the perimeter of the broken stud so I could pull it out of the fiberglass. Then I went to ace hardware and bought a metric screw that matched the broken stud. I then used a file to file the head of the screw into the shape of a rectangle so I could then use fiberglass resin to glue the new screw into the existing hole. The rectangle shape was an attemp to prevent the new screw from rotating in the hole after being glued in. I have had the bucket off numerous times during my current restoration process and not had any problems.

    Good luck

    .Matt

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    First off if they are original they are not fiberglass, they are ABS plastic. I forget what designer won awards for this idea, because at first Nissan didn't have the equipment to make the complicated stamping. It is important to know that your not working with fiberglass, because if you repair it like fiberglass it might not take. Also ABS plastic is easier to repair.

    You need to get the stud out I think Nissan molded them right in I have one bucket with plastic on the threads. ABS can be heated up, be careful the plastic goes from soft to molten lava real quick. If that don't work drill it out. If is cracks use a plastic welder or ABS glue. You can get ABS glue in the plumbing section in white, translucent and black. The interior panels are also ABS. When you put the new stud in heat it up a little and use a little ABS glue, that way it won't come out.

    I'm fixing the ones I'll be putting on the car. I started by replacing the studs on one with the broken corner. Next I'll mold a new corner on the part and weld in some reinforcement into the corner. I noticed they crack and brake in that corner on a lot of these buckets so I'll make it stronger for the 2 buckets. I did this with the interior panels also.

    I have found repairing plastic not to be hard, actually when you know what type of plastic your working with it is easy. Someone hit and ran my FJ, most of the damage was plastic. My check was for $3,800. For a day and half of my time $350 in fixing the little metal damage and $300 in parts. I saved by repairing plastic another $400 in parts. I did not like working with thermal plastic, but the parts were cheap the front bumper cover was $110 from Toyota so I didn't do much with that plastic type.

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    If you're working with ABS I have found that the combination of ABS glue (as stated above) along with fiberglass fabric works extremely well for repairs. I've done this on the interior panels, ignition switch housing, and center console and none of them have come apart.

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    I drilled the broken bolts out and ground the head on new ones into a "T" shape and cast them back in place with fiberglass resin and fibers. Also built the edge up to match the fender contour with fiber glass. see my pictures for that work.

    Edited by a7dz

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    It isn't ABS. It's Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) although there actually isn't any plastic in it. It's actually some type of polymer base with fiber (appears to be fiberglass) embedded. When you replace the studs consider using brass or stainless instead of ferrous steel. Also use a standard nut, flat and lock washer along (preferably of the same material as the stud). with a bit of anti-seize. Nylocks used here could just cause another broken stud.

    Edited by ezzzzzzz
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    It isn't ABS. It's Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) although there actually isn't any plastic in it. It's actually some type of polymer base with fiber (appears to be fiberglass) embedded. When you replace the studs consider using brass or stainless instead of ferrous steel. Also use a standard nut, flat and lock washer along (preferably of the same material as the stud). with a bit of anti-seize. Nylocks used here could just cause another broken stud.

    It is not fiber like on my original bucks, I do have an extra fiberglass made one that's after market.

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    If you're working with ABS I have found that the combination of ABS glue (as stated above) along with fiberglass fabric works extremely well for repairs. I've done this on the interior panels, ignition switch housing, and center console and none of them have come apart.

    I use the fiberglass drywall tape to reinforce my stuff and weld new plastic over it.

    I like a7dz way with the exception I'd use ABS resin over fiberglass resin.

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    I like Nutz approach, except that I would add Anti-Seize compound to the threads. I used this stuff all over the place to keep problem fasteners from sticking in the future. A lot of the OEM fasteners are soft, combine this with rust and age and Snap! It is just a cheap bit of insurance....

    Good Luck!

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    I'll add my +1 to the Nutz method mentioned above. I did that with both buckets on my Z several years ago and they have survived several "remove & reinstall" cycles with no problems. In addition, fiberglass mat, cloth, and resin have been used to repair cracks in the buckets.

    Dennis

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    The Nutz method sounds good, but I'll mention the best way to prepare a new stud isn't by grinding a flat spot, but rather by taking a pair of sharp vice grips and completely boogering up all the threading that will insert into the epoxy (suggest JB Weld). This will increase contact area, rather than decrease it.

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    ... I then used a file to file the head of the screw into the shape of a rectangle so I could then use fiberglass resin to glue the new screw into the existing hole. The rectangle shape was an attemp to prevent the new screw from rotating in the hole after being glued in...

    He is re-shaping the radius of the bolt/screw head to a rectangle or a "t" - not the shank. I agree about gnarling a shank to increase resistance to spinning during nut install or removal if you were inserting a threaded rod or headless bolt/screw into blind hole with J-B.

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    OLD thread warning, but still relevant to those trying to fix. Using methods described above. Had all three break on one bucket, one on other. Worked great. The ABS glue I received was probably a little old because it was very thick. It worked to my advantage on this project because it steadied the bolts. Still had to do some occasional adjustments while it set up.

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    I haven’t been on the forum in a while but just noticed your post. That’s exactly what I did. Looks perfect. 

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