How to Install Cross Nut With DIY Tool




Introduction: How to Install Cross Nut With DIY Tool

About: Hello! We're Isabelle and Antoine, a couple dreaming of being on the move and ride more. We bought a Ford Transit van, converted it to a campervan and we are selling our house to make our dream a reality. We a…

We don’t like drilling holes in our van! It could:

  • attract rust on bare edges
  • spread metal chips all over (almost impossible to remove and will attract rust)
  • interfere with the van electronics (!) (follow your manual’s no-drill zones, such as the Ford Transit BEMM)

There is a way to avoid drilling holes... CROSS NUT!

What is a Cross Nut?
It is an insert that you install permanently in an existing hole. Once installed, a bolt can be fastened (and removed) into it. Voilà!

Cross Nut:

  1. will not create galvanic corrosion (if your van panels are also made of steel, most likely they are…)
  2. have impressive pullout strength: 1215lbs (for .030″ thick steel)
  3. covers a wide grip range (grip = van panel thickness) (for example, the 1/4-20 Cross Nut grip range is .020″ to .280″)
  4. are quite easy to install with specific tool or DIY tools
  5. blind installation (no need to have access to both sides of the panel)
  6. can be installed in plastic or wood as well

Step 1: Tools Required

  • Carriage bolt (same type as your Cross Nut. 1/4-20 Cross Nut = 1/4-20 bolt.)
  • K-Nut (it’s a nut with an attached, free spinning washer). We found this type of nut will last MUCH longer than a regular nut (a regular nut will last for 1-2 uses only as opposed to 10-15 uses for the K-Nut)
  • Box Wrench (or any drilled plate would do. This is just to prevent the Cross Nut from rotating when upsetting)
  • Vise Grip
  • Wrench (for turning the K-Nut)

Feeling lazy? Head over here for clickable product links:

Step 2: This Fender Washer Is Used to Simulate the Van Panel in Our Demonstration...

Step 3: Insert the Cross Nut in the Hole

Step 4: Insert the Box Wrench, K-nut, Carriage Bolt and Secure the Vise-grip to the Carriage Bolt.

Step 5: Upset!

Step 6: Remove the Box Wrench, K-nut and Carriage Bolt. That’s It!

Step 7: This Shows Our Bed Structure Installed Using Cross Nut

(The Cross Nuts are behind the wood structure)

Step 8: Want to Know More?

There are some more hints & tips on our site, such as:

  • What Cross Nut size to buy
  • Where to buy
  • How to transfer to Cross Nut pattern into the structure to be installed (to get a perfect match)

Thanks for reading!

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    Question 3 years ago on Step 8

    Why not use a regular bolt for the tool?


    Question 3 years ago

    I have yet to rip anything out of my ford e150, so maybe this will be obvious once i do, but will my ford van have these hole to use the cross nuts in? or is this something special to your specific van? We are trying to figure out how to secure out platform bed we are making for saftey sake (since our 15 mth old will ride in the captains chair in front of it!) If we do have these holes and can use the cross guessing it will just take some thoughtful planning to make sure the posts we want to secure line up with where the holes might be?
    any more tips or tutorials you can point me toward would be very much appreciated!!
    happy vanning


    5 years ago

    Nop. We have no product to sell, so
    no business, so no advertising.

    Our Story:

    We’ve been
    converting a cargo van to a campervan during the last year, from scratch, with
    basic tools and basic knowledge. We’re now selling our house to travel for a
    year in the van across America. We detailed
    everything from our experience in our “Build Journal”, so others can benefit
    from our learnings and, maybe, be inspired for their own conversion. We
    honestly believe the Build Journal is valuable information.

    So here’s the deal:

    you are building your own van and you lurk onto our website to get some
    information, then you might end up buying a product by using any of the link on
    our site. In that case, Amazon will give us a small commission. You pay the
    same price as if you buy it directly from Amazon. That being said, I don’t feel
    like I’m cheating or doing something wrong. In fact, Instructables is OK with
    this practice (please read the rules).



    5 years ago

    Hi, what s the difference between Plusnuts and Rivnuts?


    Reply 5 years ago

    Plusnut are more tolerant to oversize or damaged holes, easier to install with DIY tools, greater pull-out strength & wider thickness range.

    Rivnut holds by expanding around the edge of the hole, while the Plusnut holds with the "petals" behind the hole (see pictures in this instructable).

    That's it! Hope that helps!