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!