well, yesterday, i snapped off #3
on the drivers side. this morning, i opened it up from above. there was rust through just behind the "mound", so i poked some nips thru there and started cutting. the nut was unrecognizable, and the cage was substantially rusted away.
in the first image, i had drilled thru the floor pan with a 1.5" saw, which left a useless hole. not big enough to even see what was going on. the jagged edge on the right is where the rust had eaten through the floor pan. i used the nips to cut two lines, along the top and bottom of the image, and folded the flaps back. as you can see, there is nothing there that looks like a nut. it is there, though.
the second image shows the enlarged hole. the cage remnant is folded back towards the left to allow me to get the bolt out. that is it on the right, upside down. the shiny middle is where it snapped off underneath. there is a ruler for scale. not quite the nice rectangular bolt i've seen in the pictures. i tried pounding it out from underneath, but ended up using a chisel to break it free from the top.
at this point, i can't imagine digging out the rest of the cage, and clearing enough room to put a new one in. i went into town, with one of the bolts from the kit i bought, and purchased some grade 5 nuts and lock washers. i'll be going back to ames to get a few of those large washers that they sell for the use with the bolts, since the TrueValue didnt have anything appropriate. and just go with that.
so far i have snapped one, loosened three, budged one, and have two that won't move (both #7s
, in the very back.) #1
, at the front, both sides, and passenger #3
, i haven't tried yet. (yes, that doesn't add up. drivers #6
was completely rusted out. i'll need to replace both the bracket on the frame, and the tower that goes up to the body)