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Side-step bracket bolts sheared


Active Member
Jan 31, 2017
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Hi all

I need to sort out my side-steps which are rattling and insecure. I started removing the brackets from the body (with a view to renewing them) but some of the bolts were totally rusted and sheered off in the process. So now it will not be possible to bolt new brackets in place.

Would it be "bad" to weld them on instead, where I can't use bolts? Unfortunately the access precludes drilling out the broken bolts in order to repair the captive nuts.



PS I would consider a chassis mounted rail / side-step but (vaguely affordable) options here in the UK (esp for AHC vehicles) seem to be near non-existent. Am open to suggestions though. A slider would be nice, but a step is all I really need.
Check the price of the sidestep brackets before scrapping the old ones - The last one I bought was £160 - and there are eight of them !!

I have repaired one with some steel sheet, origami and a MIG welder (paint covers a lot of sins) !

Its a fiddle but a decent right-angle drive on a cordless drill can reach some tight places (not those plastic-bodied drives). I have also ground the drill bit shafts down to make them shorter. The bolts are M8 x 1.25mm.

Hours of fun :icon-wink: .

Thanks Bob - I've seen your sill-renewal thread and I raise my hat to you for what you did there. I too am not thrilled by doing bodywork. (I do have some bubbling at the front of the rear sill which I must deal with - I am praying it's not as extensive as yours!).

After I posted my message here I did wonder about a right-angle drill attachment. I've never used one so wasn't sure if there were any good. It sounds like I should invest in one.

The other problem is, some of the bracket fixings appear to be bolts into captive nuts as one would expect, but other are nuts on the ends of bolts (or studs??) that have their head inside the sill. No idea why! (You have very clear shots of them in your sill repair pics!) But the implication is that they are there to somehow clamp the sill itself, not just the brackets. So what to do about these, where the exposed nut has broken off?

Hours of "fun" indeed!

I don't know why there is a mixture of studs and captive nuts on the sills - neither do anything but hold the sidestep brackets.

The 'inside view' of a stud and captive nut combination can be seen here; they don't hold the sill to anything:


I hate bodywork :angry-screaming: , so much so that my '100' is still waiting for the N/S sill to be welded. Then the rear wheel arches have to be repaired - inside and out.

To avoid working on the bodywork I have been reduced to swapping 200TDI motors in a disgraceful old ex-military Landrover 110 :doh:.

For someone else I must add.

Not a job I'd recommend.



Retirement isn't as quiet and gentle as I thought.

Can't blame you Bob - I think I'd rather be swapping the engine on that than dealing with rust and broken bolts!

Very odd how they mix studs and captive nuts.... The only reason I can think of is to make factory assembly a fraction of a second quicker by allowing the workers to locate the bracket on the stud first. That would be an example of Toyota Production System in action!

Problem is, how to repair a broken one!
Drill the broken stud out and fit a Rivnut (like a large pop rivet with a threaded centre). I have a selection, M4 to M8, they are very handy.

They come in alloy or stainless. The stainless ones take some effort to fit !

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Ah - rivnuts! I saw them on youtube a while back and thought "where have they been all my life?!" But I never think to try them. Thanks!
As Bob says, the s/s do take some effort to fit, depending on size, you won't fit them with the diy nuts, bolts and washers trick, it's a struggle with the manufactured version of That.
That leaves the proper tool which is expensive, and not worth the cost if only a few to do.
Rattling and insecure ain't ideal, that's for sure. Now, you're wondering if it would be "bad" to weld the brackets on instead of using bolts. I'm not a mechanic or anything, but if it were me, I'd say go for it! As long as you know what you're doing, welding should do the trick. Just be careful not to burn the bodywork or anything else in the process. If you can't drill out the broken bolts to repair the captive nuts, have you thought about using wall plugs instead? They're designed to hold things in place when you can't use screws or bolts, and they might just be the solution you need, check out for some options. Good luck with the side-steps, mate!
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Cheaper and easier to put the original step on chassis mounted sliders I bet .