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Old 08-20-2011, 09:18 AM   #1
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Bolt stuck inside rubber grommet

Not sure where to ask this so if it's in the wrong section, please move it

I've got a bolt in my door panel that screws into a rubber grommet pressed into the inner door frame.

Halfway through tightening the bolt, all the resistance disappeared and now the bolt spins freely but it won't pull out of the frame. It sort of feels like the rubber grommet isn't catching on any part of the frame/slot it fits in.

I have a replacement grommet but the door panel won't come off cuz the bolt holds the grab handle in the middle of the door.

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The bolt I'm talking about is circled, behind the silver trim piece. Hopefully this makes sense haha...

Any suggestions on how to get the bolt out?? Thanks!
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:35 AM   #2
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hmmmm

Have you tried pulling on one corner of the door panel, to cock the whole thing, to see if you can get the grommet to grab again just enough to undo the bolt?

You could also try reaching up from the bottom with a long flathead screwdriver to try and hold the grommet from rotating while you undo the bolt.



*edit* just thought of another idea, maybe try this one first

make a little ball of masking tape to fill the socket you're going to use to undo the bolt, fill it with enough tape so the bolt just engages the flats, but has no room to go deeper into the socket. Then press inwards pretty hard as you undo the bolt, hopefully this causes the grommet to bind and not rotate with the bolt.
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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Yeah, I've tried pulling on the handle to see if I can wedge the grommet against the metal to undo it but no luck.

I tried the screwdriver but from when I can feel around behind the panel, the grommet's pushed through the metal frame to secure it, so no dice there ...

I'll try the tape trick though, thanks!

I guess if worse comes to worst, the bolt will have to be cut to get the panel off and then the grommet can be removed??
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:49 PM   #4
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Any chance there's enough room behind there to lock on some needle nose vice-grips?
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:01 PM   #5
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Bolts are cheap. Save some headache and just cut it with boltcutters or a dremel if space is tight.
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