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  #1  
Old 08-20-2019, 05:45 PM
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Fix for a worn out sheet metal hole?

After 30+ years, my diesel M-B horse has a sheet metal hole that is too worn and too large to hold a screw securely and I'm looking for suggestions for how to overcome this challenge (may not seem important but it is so read on for details).

Three special little chrome screws secure the chrome trim on my driver's door (see picture). One of the sheet metal holes is now too worn and too large to hold a screw securely. I recently tried using some purple (low strength) thread locker but after a couple of months of driving, the screw worked its way loose... (long ago no longer available from M-B).

So, the question:
Is there any material that I could use to successfully reduce the hole's size and still thread the little screw into it? Or perhaps move up to the blue (medium strength - still removable) thread locker?

I'd appreciate any suggestions-
Thanks

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  #2  
Old 08-20-2019, 09:45 PM
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The more common fix for that sort of issue is to get another screw with a similar head shape but fatter diameter.

If you can get behind the hole and there is room you could with Epoxy glue another piece of sheet metal and drill hole in it just big enough to get the Screw Started if it is a sheet metal screw. Or drill and tap it for the specific Screw thread size.

The issue with the Epoxy is what holds the sheet metal in place while it cures. The have 5 minute Epoxy but you need a lot of patients to hold something in place for 5 minutes also both surfaces need to be clean and roughed up a little.

In replacing the Window Motors on my Chevy Van and other Chevy I used flange/washer headed nuts that I epoxied on.
I oiled the threads on the little screws and used Toilet Tissue to absorb the excess. Put the epoxy as carefully as I could on the flange of the Nut and screwed it together without the Motor and let it cure. I was still able to back out the Screws without and issues due to the oil on the threads that kept the epoxy from sticking to them.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
The more common fix for that sort of issue is to get another screw with a similar head shape but fatter diameter.
Yes. As you may know, these little screws are for countersinking (to be flush with the chrome door plate) and chrome...a tall order to find a brother that is the same but a wee bit larger only in the shank.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
If you can get behind the hole and there is room you could with Epoxy glue another piece of sheet metal and drill hole in it just big enough to get the Screw Started if it is a sheet metal screw. Or drill and tap it for the specific Screw thread size.

The issue with the Epoxy is what holds the sheet metal in place while it cures. The have 5 minute Epoxy but you need a lot of patients to hold something in place for 5 minutes also both surfaces need to be clean and roughed up a little.

In replacing the Window Motors on my Chevy Van and other Chevy I used flange/washer headed nuts that I epoxied on.
I oiled the threads on the little screws and used Toilet Tissue to absorb the excess. Put the epoxy as carefully as I could on the flange of the Nut and screwed it together without the Motor and let it cure. I was still able to back out the Screws without and issues due to the oil on the threads that kept the epoxy from sticking to them.
Hadn't thought of the backing plate with epoxy option. Thanks for elaborating on this.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2019, 12:21 AM
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What works for me is hammering the raised area of the hole edge flat so it shrinks the hole. But, you have to be able to access the raised side of the hole OR be able to squish it flat with pliers.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:44 AM
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Just fill the hole with JB-Weld epoxy - metal. (clean hole area first). When fully cured drill a small pilot hole and screw your screw in. For good measure, you could coat the screws thread with J-B Weld too.

For quick fix, just use the JB-WEld on the screw and screw it in.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:45 AM
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Option 1. Fill the hole with JB-Weld epoxy - metal. (clean hole area first). When fully cured drill a small pilot hole and screw your screw in. For good measure, you could also coat the screw thread as you put it in. This epoxy is slow cure and will sag but enough should stay in hole. You could add more later.

For quick fix, just use the JB-WEld on the screw and screw it in.

https://www.jbweld.com/collections/metal/products/j-b-weld-twin-tube

Option 2 (Better?) Use a putty stick - cures quickly.

https://www.jbweld.com/collections/all/products/steelstik-epoxy-putty-stick
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:57 AM
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super glue gel,and plastic drywall hanger works for me
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:46 AM
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Well I like JB Weld and it would fix the cosmetic issue but I don't believe it would fix the issue of the Screw actually having to hold something in place.

Note that since the threads are buggered you actually don't need to look for a metric screw with a fatter threaded area. Lots US treaded machine screws have the taped head and my have a fatter threaded area as a standard US size.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:36 PM
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Run by a muffler shop and ask them to spot weld it closed. Grind, drill and fixed.
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2019, 09:46 PM
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Thank you

Ah, you good people are a wonderful resource! Some great suggestions offering me multiple options for successfully taking care of this matter. Excellent.
Thank you!
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2019, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
Well I like JB Weld and it would fix the cosmetic issue but I don't believe it would fix the issue of the Screw actually having to hold something in place.
Heck, you can drill and tap JB-WEld. it will easily hold a self tapper in place.

Mind you, I prefer the idea of finding a slightly oversize screw. But getting one with the same countersink head might not be easy.

Quote:

STEELSTIK EPOXY PUTTY STICK
$ 7.99

SteelStik is a hand-mixable, steel-reinforced, non-rusting epoxy putty that quickly repairs or rebuilds anything made of metal. After mixing, it forms an industrial-strength polymer compound that can be molded into shapes or used to build up, patch and repair steel components. SteelStik sets in 3-5 minutes and after 60 minutes, can be drilled, tapped, machined, ground, filed and painted. SteelStik cures to a dark grey color, is rated at a tensile strength of 900 PSI and will withstand temperatures up to 300F.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
Heck, you can drill and tap JB-WEld. it will easily hold a self tapper in place.

Mind you, I prefer the idea of finding a slightly oversize screw. But getting one with the same countersink head might not be easy.
I have tried drilling and tapping jb weld steel stick. Yes, it can be done. No, it doesn't last. The first time any real mechanical stress it put on the part, it fails. I think the epoxy works better as it stays more pliable. Whatever the filler they put in the steel stick is, it makes it harder and more brittle.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gonesurfing View Post
I have tried drilling and tapping jb weld steel stick. Yes, it can be done. No, it doesn't last. The first time any real mechanical stress it put on the part, it fails. I think the epoxy works better as it stays more pliable. Whatever the filler they put in the steel stick is, it makes it harder and more brittle.
I agree. In the end JB Weld is plastic.

Back when I was a Mechanic they did sell metal filled epoxisch stuff and clamed it could be drilled tapped and treaded and it was as strong as the original. I don't know anyone who ever used it so can't comment on it.

That stuff may be still out there in the industry but it seems to have faded from use as far as a normal mechanics shop.

It is likely that the stuff was best used by a machine shop that knew the limitations of the stuff and would actually buy the primer that you were supposed to use and take great care with the application.

An issue with any adhesive is the surface you are applying it to. If you are applying it to a stripped rusted surface the bond is only going to be as good as the bond of the rust to the metal and if here is any sort of shape it can fill into.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:22 PM
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JB weld

This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
Just fill the hole with JB-Weld epoxy - metal. (clean hole area first). When fully cured drill a small pilot hole and screw your screw in. For good measure, you could coat the screws thread with J-B Weld too.

For quick fix, just use the JB-WEld on the screw and screw it in.
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  #15  
Old 08-24-2019, 07:19 AM
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Cut it out and then weld it up then countersink the weld or braze . Could you not use a countersink washer. Those that are used on the wood products a little work filing out the corrosion treat it first with rust killer then fit a countersunk washer to fill the hole . I know there is room after for the door is close without this harming the door jab

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