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Weld Nut Removal and Replacement Review

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Review of Removing and Replacing a Weld Nut

So you are in the middle of doing your hitch installation and you are in the process of taking out one of your existing factory bolts. In the process you find that the bolt is not coming out due to the fact that the weld nut inside the frame has broken. We are just going to go ahead and show you a couple of things you can do to not only get the bolt out of the way but to also go ahead and continue on to be able to put your hitch in position without the weld nut welded inside the frame. The first thing that we obviously need to do is go ahead and get the bolt out of here. There are a couple of different ways you can do this. You can take a chisel, is you have one large and strong enough to do so, and possible grind the head of the bolt off. Or you can actually take a torch and torch it off. And that is actually what we are going to do on this application here. I am going to try to get most or as much of the head of the bolt off as I can. And we will take and push the remaining section of the bolt-weld nut combination up inside the frame. 0:49

With the head of the bolt cut off, on this particular application, I am going to go ahead and remove the tow hook. So, I am going to take the other two bolts out. OK, the next step is going to be to go ahead and attempt, if you can, to retract the bolt-weld nut combination out of the frame. It is not necessary but it will keep it from rattling around. And to get that out, what we are looking for is an existing hole of sorts in your frame rail. You can see this vehicle has a hole right here. A lot of times you will have an opening at the end of the frame rail as well so you can get inside the frame. If you do not have either option, you can go ahead and actually drill a hole in the side of the frame as well. We are also going to need to put the new hardware down through that hole, as well, in the position where the weld nut used to be. We are going to push the weld nut-bolt combination over to the existing hole here at the bottom of the frame. And we are going to take and attempt to use some pliers here and pull that out. 1:41

The next step is to go ahead and put the new hardware into place. What we are going to use is a 1/2 inch carriage bolt, along with the flat block with a square plate punched in it. And the combination of the two we are going to merge inside the frame and actually it down through the hole where the weld nut used to be. Again we need to find a way to get that combination inside the frame. We are going to go to the hole that we had found earlier, which is currently a little bit too small to get the block or the carriage bolt inside. So, we are going to go ahead and enlarge it a little bit. I am going to go ahead and use just a regular chisel and just chisel the opening up, just enough again to get the hardware inside. Next, we are going to take a bolt leader. And what we are going to do is go ahead and fish the carriage bolt and block through our access hole and down through the hole in our frame. Next take the block and go ahead and slide it onto the carriage bolt and take the carriage bolt and wrap the threads of the bolt leader around the threads of the carriage bolt. And then take and feed the block inside the frame, followed by the carriage bolt, and then pull them down into position. And then from there, once that repair is made, we can go ahead and just finish installing the trailer hitch as stated in the instructions.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Chuck H.

I stripped the fixed nut (on the last turn using a torque wrench) on a 2013 Honda Odyssey Hitch Install which is still affixed INSIDE the frame. The bolt still threads through the frame but doesnt tighten down. Not sure how to overcome this one. On this drivers side CURT hitch it uses 3 bolts (2 larger bolts going into the frame and one that required fishing down with a through access hole and sq block. It turns out I stripped the middle (one of the larger bolts) so now wondering if I can get away with it. I prepped with tap and die and the bolts went in easily FYI. Thanks for any suggestions.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

You might be able to get away with leaving it as-is but I would maybe try using a slightly larger tap and getting a slightly larger grade-8 bolt to see if you can get it to stick. You might be able to use red Loctite like part # LT37420 to help keep it in place.

Riley E.

Do you know what bolt and block he uses in this video, I need to order them with a nut for the bolt. I snapped a weld nut off.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jason S.

We used a Grade 5 1/2 inch carriage bolt # 337FCB050013200 and Trailer Hitch Spacer Block - 3" Long x 1" Wide x 1/4" Thick # RP3022 . You can then use the Conical Toothed Washer - 1/2" # 01292-008 and Hex Nut - 1/2" # 55178 . You will also want the fishwire # 80101-1 .

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