Author Topic: Help! Hatch strut ball joint has come off... no nut inside to screw back in  (Read 13040 times)

Offline timodonoghue

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The ball joint to which one of my hatch struts attaches has come off: it is the one which is attached to the bodywork and not the hatch itself.  The problem is that whatever nut / threaded receiver was inside the body work is now gone; it must have worked itself loose and is now lost inside the body work somewhere (perhaps irretrievably).

So, I'm now left with a hole but nothing into which screw the ball joint... and a hatch which I now have to hold open (as the remaining working hatch strut isn't man-enough to keep the hatch open solo.)

All I can think of is that this is a welding job, either welding in a threaded receiver for the screw on the ball bracket, or perhaps even welding the ball bracket to the bodywork.

Anyone else had this (or a similar) problem?  Is welding my only option?  Or is it possible to remove some of the interior trim to get into rear bodywork to try and retrieve whatever has fallen off and refix.

Any suggestions / ideas appreciated.

TIA.

Tim

Offline Thom89

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Make a small plate with a hole and an 8mm nut welded to it. Thread a piece of strong curtain type cord through the hole in the body, and pull it through. Then thread the end of the cord through the nut, and tie a knot on the back to hold it. then use a small amount of PU sealer, on the side of the plate that will be up against the inner panel when you pull the cord back the other way, which will put the plate in the correct position, leave the cord tied to something to maintain the tension while the sealer sets
Leave the sealer to set for about an hour or so, before cutting the cord, and letting the knot drop away...

You should then be able to carefully replace the ball joint back in, and tighten fully

I would also recommend that that you change both struts, as they could be starting to seize up, causing excessive fatigue on the body, causing the problem in the first place

HTH

Thom

Offline timodonoghue

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Cheers Thom.

Re threading the cord thru', clearly I'll have to remove some interior trim to get inside the bodywork.  I assume the c-pillar is where I should start.  This is a 2005 Mk5 5-door.  I haven't yet looked to see if there is somewhere obvious to start on removing the trim, so any (further) tips appreciated.

Thanks also for the suggestion to replace the struts.  Will do that also.  Don't want this happening again on the other side (or on my soon-to-be-repaired side;-)!

Tim

Offline Thom89

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I've never tried this method on a golf in particular, but it has been successful on other cars with the same problem.
If you feed enough cord through the hole as a loop, you may be able to hook it with a coat hanger etc, and avoid removing a lot of trim
See how you get on...

Thom

Offline Len

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Top Tip!
Mystic Blue Mk3 16v + Black Mk5 Gti 05 plate + Peugeot 405 Mi16

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Offline corbie

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if you are needing a captive nut, google rivnuts, its basically a captive nut that you can rivet. Very handy for things like this.

here is a vid of them in action
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_uu_ba6qAM


Offline Thom89

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if you are needing a captive nut, google rivnuts, its basically a captive nut that you can rivet. Very handy for things like this.

here is a vid of them in action
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_uu_ba6qAM

Welcome...
Unfortunately Rivnuts are not up to the job for a permanent fix, they simply can't deal with the pressure exerted by the struts, and the weight of the tailgate. Metal fatigue will quickly set in, and OP will end up with an even larger hole in the pillar... Its vital that the load is spread over a larger area, hence welding a nut to a steel plate...

Thom

Offline golf01

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I had the same problem on my 01 Golf TDI, ball joint nut broke off leaving only the hole in the body.  Here's another suggestion based on my fix:
1) instead of the plate buy a Unistrut M8 channel nut with spring (these are galvanized)
2) remove the rear light assembly on the side under repair (mine was RHS) for access
3) place Unistrut nut on end of a telescoping magnet tool (mine had a strong rare earth type magnet about 1/2" dia)
4) gently feed the Unistrut nut up inside the body, threaded hole facing inside/spring facing outside until threaded M8 hole of nut is aligned with the hole in the body for the ball joint
5) screw in the ball joint and tighten
6) pull out telescoping magnet
7) reinstall rear light assembly
This repair can be done in less than 1 hour.

Offline berteso

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Hi all, has anyone tried golf01's method on a more recent model? I have a MK5...

Cheers

Offline Cjeff42

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I fixed this by going in through the cable hole just above the bolt hole.  I needed to bend a bit of stiff wire so that it would hold a new M8 bolt in the right position to receive the nut thread.  worked a treat and hopefully, the nut lock glue will keep it in place.  The VW garage had no solution and recommended body shop said they could use a rivnut or weld, which were last resorts in my opinion!

This video shows what I did https://photos.app.goo.gl/KfNE3MNdGqXe5Tvx8.
« Last Edit: 22 August 2019, 09:18 by Cjeff42 »