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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
 
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#@$%& seat bolts to the floor!!

So once again on this car, a seemingly simple project goes awry. I just lovingly cleaned my leather seats in the warm house and went to reinstall.

Just exactly like the 924 I had, the captive nuts in the floor in that asinine little sheetmetal box you cannot possibly access - all four nuts came loose and are now spinning uselessly. What the hell was Porsche thinking using puny little 10MM bolts to hold the seat down in a car with speed and sporting pretensions? Now I discover they've also continued a clearly trouble prone design forward.

The bolts in my Vanagon are 3 times this size and enter a large reinforced section on the floorboard, and they use a welded steel structure with a welded on threaded fastener.

Holy **** I am so sick of this damn car some times. So if any of you read my post on cleaning your seats and how easy it is to get them out for cleaning of the carpet and seat - forget my recommendation completely. It is a hellhole and a descent into madness that will have your car out of commission for a week while you find a welder that will let you drive to his shop sitting on an orange crate and cut out a piece of sheetmetal and weld in a new one and give you a bill for a ****-ton of money because you showed up in a Porsche.

Crickey. Rant over.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:27 AM
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There are solid reasons why the early 944 is one of the cheapest cars you can buy, and you've found one of them.
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:30 PM
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Yeah. That's part of it - economics. I will say in their defense it is a light structure, and I'm sure they researched and tested the design.

So the cure. Not for the faint of heart. Turns out 3 of the 8 had come loose. Clean the bolts with gasoline and a wire brush for minimal friction and best chance of getting them threaded until they fetch up against the inside of the box and will be held by friction there against turning. Clean the captive nuts for the same reason. I used brake cleaner, a dental pick and Q tips to pull any remaing grundge out of the threads. Then oil the bolt when you insert.

Now the damn spinning nuts captive in the floor. Make a small hook with wire that lets you lift the nut up against the top of the structure they live in. Put a few TINY drops of super glue on the top edge of the nut and pull it up to pin it against the structure for 30 seconds. That will hold long enough against the small amount of torque of clean and lubed threads so that when it becomes tight, the nut will jam against the inside of the structure harder and/or be held by the glue until its tight.

On the 924, two of them broke loose taking the bolt OUT. That sucked as we had to attack it with a dremel and cut the bolt.

Porsche should have just left ONE side of the box open so you could get a wrench in there to hold the nut. Yeesh. What a kick in the shorts that was.

I went from happy and proud to carry beautifully reconditioned black leather seats out to the Porsche, to apoplectic with spinning nuts I could neither tighten all the way, nor remove and start all over again. Crazy.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdahoDoug View Post

Porsche should have just left ONE side of the box open so you could get a wrench in there to hold the nut. Yeesh. What a kick in the shorts that was.
Porsche designed the cars to be manufactured, not to be worked on.

My solution to the same problem was to drill through the captive nut, down through the floor pan and use a very long (4 inches) bolt with a nylock nut and washer from underneath the car. Not factory, not the prettiest, but functional and safe.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:18 AM
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I’ve removed the captive nuts and used Rivnuts on three of mine that spun.

https://youtu.be/dkPhGIaPCVs
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:41 AM
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One of the cars I parted years ago had holes drilled through the outside floor big enough to fit a socket inside and then used regular nuts to bolt the seat on. The holes on the underside of the car were then fitted with rubber plugs/grommets to keep water out. Worked fine but it took two people to take the seats out of the car.
Old 12-11-2017, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
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Porsche designed the cars to be manufactured, not to be worked on.
+ 1000000
no car is built with maintenance in mind.
just ease of MFG...that's why the early fuse box/wiring harness is such a cluster, but it went in easy in 1984.

i do agree that the captive nuts are kind of chintzy though, i had one tear out completely, had to re-weld the channel.
Old 12-11-2017, 08:23 AM
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Add water leaks and you have the recipe for $**(&*%$#%^^&&^.
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Old 12-11-2017, 02:08 PM
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Yes. Water leaks, coffee spills, pop spills, constant rain of grit off shoes and you've got the formula for disaster. On the 924, I was going to take it to a welder and have new captive nuts actually welded on. Luckily, sanity kicked in and I sold it as a project and got the 944 in the same month period.

I still do not understand how the nuts live down there? They appear 100% trapped with zero access. Yet they are able to spin, and flop up and down? I agree with the mfg comments and worked for an automotive company. But it would seem simpler to weld down 4 bolts onto the floor pan. Versus a multipart sheet metal box with a nut trapped inside it that is then welded to the floor. Dunno. Who's gonna judge the insanity of that stuff? Not me. My beautiful seats are clean and infused with oil and leather conditioners, I found $1.01 change, and my daughter will be home from college this week, so I get to reteach her how to drive a manual with it over Christmas. She learned in the Quattro but it's got an abrupt clutch and is a challenge to drive smoothly. This should be much more rewarding.
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:51 PM
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the bolts that hold down the seats are SINGLE USE. they are not designed to be reinstalled. the threads are self-locking. thsi prevents them from coming loose over time. it is a very important safety measure, as the only thing holding you in the car is that seat. that is why the bolts are so stiff coming out (unless somebody else already removed them and failed to replace them). once removed, they are to be discarded and replaced.

there are a couple of other places int eh car where they use self-locking single use hardware. most notably are the exhaust manifold nuts.
Old 12-11-2017, 09:24 PM
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And the flywheel bolts...
And the torque tube coupler bolts...

Referred to as micro-encapsulated.
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flash968 View Post
the bolts that hold down the seats are SINGLE USE. they are not designed to be reinstalled. the threads are self-locking. thsi prevents them from coming loose over time. it is a very important safety measure, as the only thing holding you in the car is that seat. that is why the bolts are so stiff coming out (unless somebody else already removed them and failed to replace them). once removed, they are to be discarded and replaced.

there are a couple of other places int eh car where they use self-locking single use hardware. most notably are the exhaust manifold nuts.
Nope, definitely not on an early 944. The bolt used is M6x15 DIN 933 class 8.8 part number N01021513.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:00 PM
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I didn't see any of the usual cues of a single use fastener.
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Old 12-12-2017, 10:50 PM
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There's another fix for this if you're not so worried about appearance.

On my '87 924S autocross car I had the same issue when installing race seats. To get the captured nut to not spin - I simply took a hammer and large punch to the inverted channel. Some carefully placed blows will squash the sheet metal around the nut and prevent it from spinning. I did this with the caps screw (I always replace that 10mm bolt with a hex head) in the nut to control the exact location. I've noted that the channel allows some movement of the nut which I always thought was to assist in getting the bolt threaded with the seat in place with the limited space. Unfortunately a little movement turns into A LOT and the nut just spins. That's a poor design that gets even worse with owner neglect (moisture, trash, mouse droppings, etc.)
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:02 AM
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Thats a great fix with the hammer. Good call.
Old 12-14-2017, 07:34 PM
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the early seats indeed used a normal bolt, with a split-lock washer.

later on, they went to single use bolts. it's easy to tell the difference. the early ones are hex head cap screws. the later ones are socket head cap screws (allen)

Last edited by flash968; 12-17-2017 at 05:05 AM..
Old 12-16-2017, 07:56 AM
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Got it - thanks much for the clarification.
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Old 12-16-2017, 02:43 PM
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