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Rivnuts help!

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I am looking to replace the Rivnut type fasteners in the boot area and am wondering if anyone else has found a better fastening system.  Recently bought a Rivnut tool. (Pictured)  Made of butter and totally and utterly useless.  So can anyone recommend a decent one?

The pictures below show what I am trying to refurbish a bit.  Picture with the single circle shows a Rivnut that fixes the boot floor to the side panels.  Looks a bit of a task to get a bolt in but can anyone guide me on replacing this.

Picture with the 4 x circles and 2 arrows shows holes which I guess had some sort of Rivnut fitting originally.  Holes are all a bit elongated so am thinking about refibreglassing the holes and then redrilling.  Again has anyone any experience of fitting a blind nut type fixing here too?

Thanks for any help


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5 hours ago, PhilW said:


I am looking to replace the Rivnut type fasteners in the boot area and am wondering if anyone else has found a better fastening system.

I think Lotus used Jack nuts which can be inserted using just a pair of pliers & a socket😃


John W

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Rivnuts are the correct fixings in that location. Lotus did use a few jack nuts but not there. 

@lotusfab recommended this tool -


It's getting there......

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  • Gold FFM

The key to fitting them @PhilW is not to overcrimp and strip the threads as these are soft ally ones. You can get steel ones - but have the similar problems with it damaging the fibreglass. Basically you need to practice, swear, cut damaged ones out and go again. 

Only here once

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I have a very similar riv-nut set to yours and it works well - for the type of material it was designed for, which is thin metal. The actual riv-nuts that come with my kit are mostly not long enough for anything but the thinnest fibreglass.

The big problem is that riv-nuts are not really suitable for fibreglass, I've no idea why Lotus used them.
For a strong fixing, the riv-nut length must be matched to the panel thickness and the hole diameter is crucial to within about 0.1mm.
The material needs to strong in compression and consistent (which fibreglass isn't, particularly hand lay)
So you need to do your repairs, drill and then measure the panel thickness before buying the riv-nuts
These give a good idea of the length of riv-nut for differing panel thickness's

Jack-nuts can be used instead of riv-nuts almost everywhere. They are more suited to fibreglass as they are more tolerant of variations in hole size and panel thickness, but are still prone to turning if you get any corrosion on the bolt thread. From the side you can see, they look almost the same as riv-nuts.

Personally I prefer Tee Nuts/Anchor Plate Nuts although they look very different so no good if you are bothered about originality.
They are very resistant to turning if the bolt gets corroded and hole size is almost irrelevant. But as they should be mounted behind the panel, you do need access to the back of the panel at the time of install, but for most of the places Riv-nuts are used on the Esprit that isn't a big issue.

Given that you already have riv-nuts it's easy to make your own Tee Nuts using a bit of aluminium plate and a suitable riv-nut

Edited by NG5
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Thanks guys.  Think I will look at an alternative.  Especially where fibreglass is thick.  There are many fixings out there and could be used with some glue/specialist bonding.  Will report back.

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