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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ran into the issue of a crossthreaded mount bolt that holds the metal underpan on the 2003 Convertible?

I am trying to save the underpan by hacksawing the bolt, drill out the remainder and retap it, but part of me just wants to cut through the underpan to remove it! Any thoughts on driving without the underpan
 

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Yes, I was working on a 2005 New Beetle Convertible and the pan or "X" style brace, was missing, seemingly because of impact damage. The VW Self Study Program; says, that it does provide structural rigidity to the Convertible, as it doesn't have a steel roof, like the sedans and that is why VW added it to the Cabrio, I would recommend, you make the effort to reinstall it on the vehicle.

I got a used one and tried to install it; some of the threaded inserts (aka: "rivet nuts"); were stripped or damaged, some were spinning in their pressed/expanded into holes. The front area of the body showed impact damage and the trans oil pan, was smashed and so, someone, defintiely hit something under the vehicle (I had to replace the oil pan and straighten somethings but that is another story).

I went to my local industrial nuts/bolts/fastener supplier and found a suitable replacement, installed new ones and got new mounting bolts, from my local VW dealer, everything installed back in fine, after straightening out the used brace a bit with a hammer. I tried to get new rivnuts from VW but they said, they didn't sell them but as noted, the industrial supplier, was able to compare the originals with one of the old ones I removed and they matched it up fine, installed with success. I had a rivnut installer tool but you can use a nut/bolt combo to install them with out buying a tool.



Steel Knurled Flanged Rivet Nut:


I hope this helps; let us know, how it goes and the rivnuts can be replaced, fixing the issue, I got new mounting bolts, as they were missing, like the aluminum shield/brace was. The brace, DOES seem to make a difference; like VW has stated in their service info and it is worth, the work, to repair things and get the brace back in place, like it was from the factory.
 
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