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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The metal retainer clips for the bottom cover (model 921051 and others) - the screws were somewhat tough to get out of the bottom cover in the first place, then when trying to reinstall the bottom cover, it was a royal PITA. The clips seem to be 'bent' so the screw cannot go straight in? it needs to kind of angle upwards to thread through the clip?

Anyone else ever run into this issue? That the screws were tough to get out to begin with points to them being bent before the bottom cover was removed the first time (by me). Very hard to bend them back into form in a meaningful fashion.

I know one can order new clips, but wondering also if theres a simple trick I am missing here? All the 4 bottom bolts do is hold that cover on and these clips chip and gouge the paint, is there a better solution I can pick up at the hardware store for these 4 bolts/clips? Have not went to look yet, but thought I'd draw on knowledge here first. Thanks.


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Those clips are definitely bent out of their normal shape. I would go to Lowes, Ace hardware or an auto supply store and buy new ones. Tinnerman is a common maker as are other companys. Just pick up the correct ones for your size bolts.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Those clips are definitely bent out of their normal shape. I would go to Lowes, Ace hardware or an auto supply store and buy new ones. Tinnerman is a common maker as are other companys. Just pick up the correct ones for your size bolts.
I see some locally, I plan to try to 'match' them this week or whatnot, but wondering if theres some simpler nut I can very easily thread in/out each maintenance season w/out having to f### with these each time. Thinking plastic/rubber etc. All it does it hold that pan up in place. Thanks.
 

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As Grunt said, the tension of the clip nut should be tight enough that it takes a little effort (light tapping) to slide them over the edge and into position.
I've inserted screws into thousands of these clips working on aircraft. I typically will use an awl or the right sized tapered punch and wiggle/jiggle them to make sure they are all centered in their hole before installing the panel.
When you are starting each screw don't press hard at first as you will just bend the backside of the clip. Once a screw is started, stop and move on to the next. Don't tighten anything until you have all screws started. This allows the panel to float around some and take advantage of the fact that all the holes were not perfectly aligned to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As Grunt said, the tension of the clip nut should be tight enough that it takes a little effort (light tapping) to slide them over the edge and into position.
I've inserted screws into thousands of these clips working on aircraft. I typically will use an awl or the right sized tapered punch and wiggle/jiggle them to make sure they are all centered in their hole before installing the panel.
When you are starting each screw don't press hard at first as you will just bend the backside of the clip. Once a screw is started, stop and move on to the next. Don't tighten anything until you have all screws started. This allows the panel to float around some and take advantage of the fact that all the holes were not perfectly aligned to begin with.
thats just it, these were already bent ON the machine. Whoever installed them must've kinda pulled them apart to slide into place bending the clip creating the issue. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did pick up new clips, they helped significantly. Also got some tiny rubber washers for the underside of each bolt head to keep them from gouging the paint when reinstalled.

Seems like a really poor design that could use improvement. One should be able to pull that panel in 1-2 minutes and reinstall in 1-2 minutes.

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The less expensive brands simply use a self-tapping screw that cuts threads into the thin sheet metal. These easily strips out so at least you are one step ahead of that.
I considered suggesting a rivnut, but they have their issues as well.
example: https://www.amazon.com/30PCs-Stainless-Insert-Nutsert-4-20UNC/dp/B077GQLQZ8
I don't know if your hole size is already too big to use the 1/4-20 bolts
There are special tools to install them but I've seen this simplified tool work as well.
example:
 
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