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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As you all know there are a ton of holes in the frame and crossmembers under the van: round, oval, hex. Most of these don't line up to the hole sizes for plusnuts/rivnuts and are blind (unless you do some surgery on structural members.

I'm curious what techniques people have used to take advantage of these? I'm considering fabricating some nut plates from weld nuts and bar stock (think giant t-nut) but am curious if there is something obvious out there I'm missing (some amazing type of hardware that I don't even know exists).

Anyone have any ideas/experience? Seems like an area begging to be taken advantage of (low center of mass, strong mount points, no impact on internal volume).

Sizes I've encountered:

0.63 inch diameter (round)
0.75 inch x 1 inch (oval)
0.75 inch diameter (round)
0.45 inch diameter (round) (maybe a 5/16 plusnut)
0.61 x 0.84 inch (oval)
0.51 inch flat to flat (hex)
0.35 inch flat to flat (hex) (maybe a 1/4 plusnut)

Thoughts/Experiences?
 

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Several people on the forum have used them to mount propane tanks and a few have mounted battery boxes if no one else speaks up.
 

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As you all know there are a ton of holes in the frame and crossmembers under the van: round, oval, hex. Most of these don't line up to the hole sizes for plusnuts/rivnuts and are blind (unless you do some surgery on structural members.

I'm curious what techniques people have used to take advantage of these? I'm considering fabricating some nut plates from weld nuts and bar stock (think giant t-nut) but am curious if there is something obvious out there I'm missing (some amazing type of hardware that I don't even know exists).

Anyone have any ideas/experience? Seems like an area begging to be taken advantage of (low center of mass, strong mount points, no impact on internal volume).

Sizes I've encountered:

0.63 inch diameter (round)
0.75 inch x 1 inch (oval)
0.75 inch diameter (round)
0.45 inch diameter (round) (maybe a 5/16 plusnut)
0.61 x 0.84 inch (oval)
0.51 inch flat to flat (hex)
0.35 inch flat to flat (hex) (maybe a 1/4 plusnut)

Thoughts/Experiences?
I used two different sizes of Plus Nuts to mount my grey water tank between the frame rail and the slider door. PlusNuts work in the hex holes on the bottom of the frame rails. Larger PlusNuts work in the existing holes under the slider door. Bolted a 80/20 frame to the PlusNuts to support the grey tank.
 

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Bollhoff makes Rivnuts for hex holes. There is an HRT steel version with class 12.9 threads . If I am reading the chart correctly, a standard Rivnut is class 8.8 They also make something called a Rivkle that is "for standard European design for “true metric” hole sizes" whatever that means. I have no personal experience with any of these.
 

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Bollhoff makes Rivnuts for hex holes. There is an HRT steel version with class 12.9 threads . If I am reading the chart correctly, a standard Rivnut is class 8.8 They also make something called a Rivkle that is "for standard European design for “true metric” hole sizes" whatever that means. I have no personal experience with any of these.
I used standard round hole PlusNuts in the frame hex holes. No issues in 4 years. The PlusNut's feet extend out to grip in a hex hole.
 

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Frame extension tips (the ones you replace after a low speed front end collision) are sometimes held in place to the frame with rivnuts. My experience in class 12 M10 and M12 on 3mm aluminum. As the loading is mostly in shear, they work quite fine.
 

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My understanding of the majority of what appear to be "random" holes, ovals and openings are added for fixturing of the panels/members when they are being formed to a specific shape. Other holes are alignment holes that are used to hold the parts in place while the chassis is being welded together. Many of the slots are oriented in a specific direction that allow for tolerance stacks as where fixturing pins align the part as they are loaded and positioned in the welding fixtures. Some of the larger openings are put in to allow water and liquids to drain out of the frame members.
 

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2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
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As you all know there are a ton of holes in the frame and crossmembers under the van: round, oval, hex. Most of these don't line up to the hole sizes for plusnuts/rivnuts and are blind (unless you do some surgery on structural members.

I'm curious what techniques people have used to take advantage of these? I'm considering fabricating some nut plates from weld nuts and bar stock (think giant t-nut) but am curious if there is something obvious out there I'm missing (some amazing type of hardware that I don't even know exists).

Anyone have any ideas/experience? Seems like an area begging to be taken advantage of (low center of mass, strong mount points, no impact on internal volume).

Sizes I've encountered:

0.63 inch diameter (round)
0.75 inch x 1 inch (oval)
0.75 inch diameter (round)
0.45 inch diameter (round) (maybe a 5/16 plusnut)
0.61 x 0.84 inch (oval)
0.51 inch flat to flat (hex)
0.35 inch flat to flat (hex) (maybe a 1/4 plusnut)

Thoughts/Experiences?
Can't tell for sure: are you just looking for how to mount stuff? Or considering producing a product for sale to make mounting easier for others?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can't tell for sure: are you just looking for how to mount stuff? Or considering producing a product for sale to make mounting easier for others?
Looking for hardware (like plusnuts, or nut plates, etc) that can be used with the holes underneath (without surgery if possible). Just thinking I'd like to store a lot of stuff under down the road.
 

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Semi related: for those of you that have mounted items with plus nuts under your van, how are the plus nuts holding up? I'm nervous about using the gold zinc coated hardware in that environment. Stainless steel plus nuts seem like they're unobtanium unfortunately.
 

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I don’t have them yet installed yet - but I think making sure you thoroughly spray the underside of the vehicle with soap/water (self serve car wash) is critical after driving on salted roads. I’d also probably go with zinc coated alloy screws over stainless steel fasteners (to prevent galvanic corrosion with the Zinc plus nuts). You could use Tef gel as well if you go SS, but for mounting things underneath like propane I prefer the strength of alloy screws over SS. Tef gel could even be a good idea for zinc-zinc fastener combos underneath the chassis.



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As you all know there are a ton of holes in the frame and crossmembers under the van: round, oval, hex. Most of these don't line up to the hole sizes for plusnuts/rivnuts and are blind (unless you do some surgery on structural members.

I'm curious what techniques people have used to take advantage of these? I'm considering fabricating some nut plates from weld nuts and bar stock (think giant t-nut) but am curious if there is something obvious out there I'm missing (some amazing type of hardware that I don't even know exists).

Anyone have any ideas/experience? Seems like an area begging to be taken advantage of (low center of mass, strong mount points, no impact on internal volume).

Sizes I've encountered:

0.63 inch diameter (round)
0.75 inch x 1 inch (oval)
0.75 inch diameter (round)
0.45 inch diameter (round) (maybe a 5/16 plusnut)
0.61 x 0.84 inch (oval)
0.51 inch flat to flat (hex)
0.35 inch flat to flat (hex) (maybe a 1/4 plusnut)

Thoughts/Experiences?
The holes are all metric - like the van. You will probably have better success starting with metric fasteners. There are tons of choices on Amazon.
 

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Semi related: for those of you that have mounted items with plus nuts under your van, how are the plus nuts holding up? I'm nervous about using the gold zinc coated hardware in that environment. Stainless steel plus nuts seem like they're unobtanium unfortunately.
I used metric sized S/Steel Rivnuts throughout my build. Got them all off Amazon with no issues but that was in 2019. 3 years later all are still pristine.
 

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Semi related: for those of you that have mounted items with plus nuts under your van, how are the plus nuts holding up? I'm nervous about using the gold zinc coated hardware in that environment. Stainless steel plus nuts seem like they're unobtanium unfortunately.
No issues that I am aware of. 12 gallon grey water tank is still in place after 4-5 years. Maybe I should look!

Did look yesterday and do not see any issues.
 

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Semi related: for those of you that have mounted items with plus nuts under your van, how are the plus nuts holding up? I'm nervous about using the gold zinc coated hardware in that environment. Stainless steel plus nuts seem like they're unobtanium unfortunately.
Tried a few stainless steel rivnuts. They were hard to do! Used zinc under the van. 🤷‍♀️
 

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As you all know there are a ton of holes in the frame and crossmembers under the van: round, oval, hex. Most of these don't line up to the hole sizes for plusnuts/rivnuts and are blind (unless you do some surgery on structural members.

I'm curious what techniques people have used to take advantage of these? I'm considering fabricating some nut plates from weld nuts and bar stock (think giant t-nut) but am curious if there is something obvious out there I'm missing (some amazing type of hardware that I don't even know exists).

Anyone have any ideas/experience? Seems like an area begging to be taken advantage of (low center of mass, strong mount points, no impact on internal volume).

Sizes I've encountered:

0.63 inch diameter (round)
0.75 inch x 1 inch (oval)
0.75 inch diameter (round)
0.45 inch diameter (round) (maybe a 5/16 plusnut)
0.61 x 0.84 inch (oval)
0.51 inch flat to flat (hex)
0.35 inch flat to flat (hex) (maybe a 1/4 plusnut)

Thoughts/Experiences?
I was skeptical at first but after seeing another guy install his FW tank and have it work out well using giant stainless worm clamps, I did the same for my 25G tank, but added a custom steel bracket to the front end since that's the real danger if it fell while driving (creates lever could flip the van up). But so far the worm clamps on the back and middle have remained solid, so I plan to use them exclusively for the smaller 7G gray and yellow tanks. There are numerous gaps between the cross members that can just barely accommodate them at an angle, and many other holes that are very easy to pass through.

You can see three clamps in the middle and rear, and sort of see the DIY bracket in the front that uses a threaded OEM hole, plus two custom drilled bolt holes in the passenger step well area. I may remake that diy bracket someday because I've gotten better at fabricating with steel since I did this job, but it hasn't budged a centimeter so for now there's no rush.
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I also drilled a few bolt and even fewer metal screw holes in the skirt and elsewhere because invariably the oem holes were rarely exactly where I needed them to be. For metal screws I typically used JB weld to ensure they stayed put.

Cheers.
 

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I was skeptical at first but after seeing another guy install his FW tank and have it work out well using giant stainless worm clamps, I did the same for my 25G tank, but added a custom steel bracket to the front end since that's the real danger if it fell while driving (creates lever could flip the van up). But so far the worm clamps on the back and middle have remained solid, so I plan to use them exclusively for the smaller 7G gray and yellow tanks. There are numerous gaps between the cross members that can just barely accommodate them at an angle, and many other holes that are very easy to pass through.
Cheers.
Where did you get worm clamps that big? I've never come across them at that size before.
 

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Where did you get worm clamps that big? I've never come across them at that size before.
I sourced two from mscdirect, and the third was this one from Amazon.

Amazon also has make your own any size kits like this, but I didn't trust them even though they may be perfectly fine.

What I recall is that the "quick release" Amazon ones seemed sketchy at first, but once properly tensioned they will not easily release. Just to be sure I even stainless zip tied the mechanism.

I used two non-quick release (msc) ones at the rear of the tank, and the third one in the middle is the Amazon quick release. And of course the beefier bracket at the front.

The msc ones have long sections of the band that is solid stainless, and they sell different diameters, so you can use an Amazon one to dial in the fit, then mark and measure the exact length, use C=2piR to get the radius, double for diameter, and then use that to order the better msc ones. Be sure to size up a bit to leave extra room to get the clamp started.

Cheers.
 
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