It starts like this. You realize that every time you get into your car, you see the lumpy cowl cover...
...and it bugs you each time.
Your pride and joy should look better than this. I resolved to fix the problem. I should have been working on my front-end refresh that was in-progress (haltingly) at this time, but a guy can only take so many setbacks in a day before he looks to other projects. Hence, I removed my cowl cover. That promptly turned into disappointment that so much of our cars are put together with dreadful, terrible fasteners.
Like this kind of thing:
I can't complain too much. They've held up for 30 years. Even so, you'll notice that the centers of mine are all gone because they failed and I replaced them with metal screws. I didn't paint those screws, so I had bright shiny silver screws holding on my cowl cover that you might have noticed in some of my photos lately.
I'll clean, straighten and paint the cover itself at some point, but today's task was to get rid of those awful fasteners.
Enter this kit from eBay:
86 Threaded Nut Rivet Tool Rivnut Insert Rivetnut Nutsert Gun Riveting Kit M3-M8 | eBay
It allows me to turn those cheeseball plastic anchors into properly threaded bolt holes. Good good stuff!
Now I won't lie, this tool is craaaaaaaap. Like, the tool only operates with tremendous difficulty. I had to use my slip-joint pliers to unscrew it from the finished rivet. It's supposed to turn easily by hand, but I had to use pliers. Also, the tool was literally falling apart in my hand as I used it. This was its maiden voyage! Brand new, right out of the box and it was falling apart in my hand. ROFL! But as bad as it is, it's still better than the tool I don't have, and it did the job I needed it to. The rivets performed well and if it they fail, I can drill them out and try again with a better tool. Like this one:
Marson MR39314 Marson Klik Thread-Sert Kits | Summit Racing
Here's what Honda gave me. Just a simple circular hole.
One of the inserts in the kit fit very well into these holes, so that's what I used.
Here's the bare tool.
And the rivet.
Rivet on tool.
Tool in operation.