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Old 10-15-2018, 05:38 AM   #1
goodellj
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Replacing Coroplast Screw Attachments & Adding Support

I have been wanting to replace the OEM self-tapping bolt/screws that hold the coroplast to the frame of my 2012 3150RL. They are very corroded and some appear to have worn through the coroplast and are not providing much support. I would replace the OEM self-tappers with stainless and also add stainless steel fender washers. I'd also like to maybe add some 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” angle iron to support the coroplast,, although I'd like to find something stainless or non-corroding. I have found that the screws are so corroded that the heads will break off when I try to remove them.

Can anyone offer suggestions on how to remove the old bolt/screws? How hard would it be to simply add new screws and leave the old ones? Do these self-tapping stainless bolts need a pilot hole to get through the I-beam of the frame? Do I need a special high powered drill? Is there enough clearance between the frame and the holding tanks inside the frame to avoid damaging the tanks? I don't think I have ever tried to drill though something as heavy as the I-beam of my trailer frame. Do I need a special drill bit for a pilot hole?
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:32 PM   #2
rohrmann
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You may have some screws break when trying to remove them, but, unless you have been running in very corrosive areas, say with salted roads, most should come out. When I had to repair a leaky gray tank, I had the entire front belly coroplast removed, and when I put it back on, I had a sufficient amount of new screws and washers to replace all of them, and did not use stainless screws either. I also installed additional braces, not so much to support the coroplast, but to support the tanks. I used 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" angle iron from a hardware store and attached them with the same screws. You could also, prior to replacing a screw in an existing hole, add some anti seize compound to the screw threads, and if installing a new screw in a new position, install the screw, then back it out and apply the compound. Prior to installing the extra braces, and after cutting them and drilling holes for the screws, I painted them with a good spray paint designed to prevent rust. I used my heavy duty battery powered drill with a nut driver for this work. A light duty drill may not have enough power. It may help to drill a hole slightly smaller than what the drill bit pilot part of the screw would drill, but I found that was not needed. You could also spray the same paint on all the screw heads once the work is complete, too.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:36 AM   #3
Dave W
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When I pulled the coroplast down on our SOB a few years ago, I expected those rusty screws to break. Not a single one did!. I did replace them all though with new ones from McMaster-Carr (https://www.mcmaster.com/)plus a box of fender washers



If the screws do break off, grind the remaining piece level with the frame then install new, self drilling screws right next to the old hole. I, personally pwouldn't use anti-sieze though as it cab be (is!) real messy while woting under any RV but it is an option if desired
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:37 AM   #4
goodellj
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Thanks. Your experience and advice was helpful. I removed 9 bolts that had worn through the coroplast and/or fenders, and 3 of them broke off. Installing a new SS bolt was not as difficult as I thought it would be, and I included a SS washer. Some of the fenders "wore out" of their hole, making a "U" in the fender, so I epoxied the washer to the fender with superglue after roughing them both up with emery paper. I think it will hold up. I decided not to replace the dozens of corroded bolts all at once, and instead I will wait and replace only those that become a problem by wearing through the coroplast, or if I need to drop the coroplast for a repair
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:30 AM   #5
mlh
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There are 2 basic types of drills you can use to drill through the frame. The normal type is the standard length. They will work but require a lot of pressure to shove them through. The stub length drills are much better for this. The tip is ground different and has 2 extra grinds so you aren’t shoving it through the medal. The tip actually cuts. Go on line or to a machine shop supply place and get some or let me know what size you need. I own a machine shop and have hundreds of both types. I will send you a few.
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