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CrossNuts vs RivetNuts (and other hacks): An Experimentation on Spinout Resistance

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I used cross nuts exclusively for my first build and had great success with them. But lurking on the forum, I noticed many people are struggling with "spinners". I spent HOURS on forums trying to find what's the latest consensus on threaded inserts, but no luck. It's still a endless debate. It's hard to thrust someone's opinion when there is no data to back up their claim...

So I went ahead and attempted to QUANTIFY spinout resistance torque of CrossNuts and RivetNuts. In addition, I tested a few "hacks" often mentioned in forums: regular washer, split lock washer, tooth lock washer, CA glue, Red LocTite, and J-B Weld:

Measuring Spinout Resistance


Spinout Torque Results


Notes:
  • I didn't use "fixed material" between the insert and the bolt (which creates friction on the insert's head and increases spinout torque). That intentional, my goal wasn't to quantity the "real-world" spinout torque. I just wanted to compare different inserts/hardware spinout resistance, so I took the "fixed-material" out of the equation (which was one more variable).
  • My test sheet is 0.032" thick and holes are 0.364" to simulate standard holes on the Transit.
  • The spinout torque was recorded with a digital torque adapter.

Results:
- Rivet Nuts (alone) and Cross Nuts (with tooth lock washer) gave the best results. In fact, the spinout torque was beyond the recommended torque for a 1/4 bolt (grade 5) and I was able to shear a few bolts (or damage the crossnut/rivnut).

Observations:
  • CrossNuts (without hardware) spinout torque varies a lot, and it's hard to obtain repeatable results.
  • The tooth lock washer increases the spinout torque a lot, and also helps installing the crossnut straight and flush with the mating surface. Win-win.
  • Rivet Nuts installation is very predictable and repeatable.

Conclusions:
- I'll probably prioritize Rivet Nuts on my next build, but still keep a few Cross Nuts handy for the oversized or oddly shaped holes (hex, square).

Learn More:
This is a short version of what you'll find here: https://faroutride.com/threaded-inserts/
In the link above I also got a 360° virtual tour showing ALL sizes/locations of threaded inserts in the Transit cargo area. I'm pretty proud of that and it should be very handy!

Conclusion:
It might not be a huge revelation, but at least I've got data to back up my decision for my upcoming build! :)

OK I'm done here, up to the next project!
Cheers,
Antoine
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Two hands, I used a cordless impact wrench and a wrench on the McMaster-Car tool, The Rivnut/Plusnut screws onto the mandrel of the tool so there is no need to hold it.
Correct. That would work. I do not own an impact wrench. When using the $30 tool and two box wrenches nothing holds the Rivnut and tool in the hole before it is expanded. A pre-bulbed Plusnut does not fall out of the overhead hole like a Rivnut. I guess you could determine the correct torque setting on the impact wrench instead of relying on "feel" for the two box wrench method.

The Plusnut was a better choice for me because I have a low skill level.
 

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Correct. That would work. I do not own an impact wrench. When using the $30 tool and two box wrenches nothing holds the Rivnut and tool in the hole before it is expanded. A pre-bulbed Plusnut does not fall out of the overhead hole like a Rivnut. I guess you could determine the correct torque setting on the impact wrench instead of relying on "feel" for the two box wrench method.

The Plusnut was a better choice for me because I have a low skill level.
Yeah ok, I was pushing on the impact wrench and that held the Rivnut in the hole
When the inner nut of the mcmaster tool comes completely unscrewed that sets the torque on the rivnut/plusnut, Giving you perfect torque every time. It does not matter, Impact or wrench, That is how the mcmaster tool works.
 

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Yeah ok, I was pushing on the impact wrench and that held the Rivnut in the hole
When the inner nut of the mcmaster tool comes completely unscrewed that sets the torque on the rivnut/plusnut, Giving you perfect torque every time. It does not matter, Impact or wrench, That is how the mcmaster tool works.
Thanks for the instruction. Did not know how the tool works. I just tightened the tool by feel. Had no difficulties installing the Plusnuts. No issues installing Plusnuts in the two builds. Find it interesting that there is so much discussion about this subject.
 

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Thanks for the instruction. Did not know how the tool works. I just tightened the tool by feel. Had no difficulties installing the Plusnuts. No issues installing Plusnuts in the two builds. Find it interesting that there is so much discussion about this subject.
Many of them refuse to spend money on any tool and use a combination of nuts and bolts to install them, I think they might be the ones who have the most spin problems.

Yeah the mcmaster tool comes without any instructions, I think I figured out how the tool works pretty quickly because the impact wrench has no speed control and the nut on the tool unscrews quickly. I figured out how the tool works by accident.
 

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Correct. That would work. I do not own an impact wrench. When using the $30 tool and two box wrenches nothing holds the Rivnut and tool in the hole before it is expanded. A pre-bulbed Plusnut does not fall out of the overhead hole like a Rivnut. I guess you could determine the correct torque setting on the impact wrench instead of relying on "feel" for the two box wrench method.

The Plusnut was a better choice for me because I have a low skill level.
Excuse to buy an impact tool. Cordless.
Many of them refuse to spend money on any tool and use a combination of nuts and bolts to install them, I think they might be the ones who have the most spin problems.

Yeah the mcmaster tool comes without any instructions, I think I figured out how the tool works pretty quickly because the impact wrench has no speed control and the nut on the tool unscrews quickly. I figured out how the tool works by accident.
Your Man Card should be revoked.
 

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Your Man Card should be revoked.
upgrading from a 'man card' to an ingenuity-pioneering-perseverance card is always a good idea
 

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I used cross nuts exclusively for my first build and had great success with them. But lurking on the forum, I noticed many people are struggling with "spinners". I spent HOURS on forums trying to find what's the latest consensus on threaded inserts, but no luck. It's still a endless debate. It's hard to thrust someone's opinion when there is no data to back up their claim...

So I went ahead and attempted to QUANTIFY spinout resistance torque of CrossNuts and RivetNuts. In addition, I tested a few "hacks" often mentioned in forums: regular washer, split lock washer, tooth lock washer, CA glue, Red LocTite, and J-B Weld:

View attachment 181783

View attachment 181784

Notes:
  • I didn't use "fixed material" between the insert and the bolt (which creates friction on the insert's head and increases spinout torque). That intentional, my goal wasn't to quantity the "real-world" spinout torque. I just wanted to compare different inserts/hardware spinout resistance, so I took the "fixed-material" out of the equation (which was one more variable).
  • My test sheet is 0.032" thick and holes are 0.364" to simulate standard holes on the Transit.
  • The spinout torque was recorded with a digital torque adapter.

Results:
- Rivet Nuts (alone) and Cross Nuts (with tooth lock washer) gave the best results. In fact, the spinout torque was beyond the recommended torque for a 1/4 bolt (grade 5) and I was able to shear a few bolts (or damage the crossnut/rivnut).

Observations:
  • CrossNuts (without hardware) spinout torque varies a lot, and it's hard to obtain repeatable results.
  • The tooth lock washer increases the spinout torque a lot, and also helps installing the crossnut straight and flush with the mating surface. Win-win.
  • Rivet Nuts installation is very predictable and repeatable.

Conclusions:
- I'll probably prioritize Rivet Nuts on my next build, but still keep a few Cross Nuts handy for the oversized or oddly shaped holes (hex, square).

Learn More:
This is a short version of what you'll find here: https://faroutride.com/threaded-inserts/
In the link above I also got a 360° virtual tour showing ALL sizes/locations of threaded inserts in the Transit cargo area. I'm pretty proud of that and it should be very handy!

Conclusion:
It might not be a huge revelation, but at least I've got data to back up my decision for my upcoming build! :)

OK I'm done here, up to the next project!
Cheers,
Antoine
This is sooo helpful! Thanks for doing this! I've been using Rivet Nuts and never had a problem. Now I know why!
 

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Conclusions:
- I'll probably prioritize Rivet Nuts on my next build, but still keep a few Cross Nuts handy for the oversized or oddly shaped holes (hex, square).

Learn More:
This is a short version of what you'll find here: https://faroutride.com/threaded-inserts/
In the link above I also got a 360° virtual tour showing ALL sizes/locations of threaded inserts in the Transit cargo area. I'm pretty proud of that and it should be very handy!

Conclusion:
It might not be a huge revelation, but at least I've got data to back up my decision for my upcoming build! :)

OK I'm done here, up to the next project!
Cheers,
Antoine
Good content. I wish I had this information before I started.
 
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