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Old 03-27-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
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Rear-most Exhaust Heat Shield - How to Fix?

Hi Everyone! Vehicle is a 2003 Focus ZTW Wagon, 2.0 Zetec.

My exhaust heat shield is loose and rattling. I've searched the forums and I have decided it would be best to fix it instead of remove it, and I'd like to use the "stainless fender washers" fix. You can see from these pictures that the clips have all but disappeared from rust (Michigan car), and I'd like to know where to get new clips, fender washers, etc to get the job done. If the clips aren't easy to come by, does anyone know the thread of the attachment posts to the underbody? If I can just get regular stainless nuts for these that would be fine too . . . I just want it fixed right. Pics:





You can see in these pictures that the heat shield just broke around the fastener holes. This last picture shows the thread of the attachment post (what's left of it) that I was asking about:



Thanks in advance for your help!


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Old 03-27-2011, 04:10 PM   #2
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Use big washers under the factory hardware. OEM clips are basically stamped washers which have the shape of a nut. A dealership would have those.
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:38 PM   #3
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I'm going to need big washers with a pretty small hole, right? Would a dealer have these as well, or do I try a place like Autozone?
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:12 PM   #4
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Try lowes they sale stuff like that in the hardware section
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:46 AM   #5
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i had that problem too... i just took the shield off...honestly never had a problem. I had it off for a good 3yrs too.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy'sexclusiveZx3 View Post
Try lowes they sale stuff like that in the hardware section
Yep. I doubt you'll find metric sizes, but it won't matter. That looks like a 1/4" hole would work. What you want is called a Fender washer. Since you'll have difficulty finding them in aluminum, I'd look for them in stainless. Otherwise you're going to have rust with galvanized steel. You can find fender washers in all sorts of diameters, and the listing will be like so: 1/4 x 1", 1/4 x 1 1/2" and so forth. Hole sizes go up 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4 and on up. Some places will even sell nylon fender washers that would do the trick as well.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:32 AM   #7
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When I did my center shield with the same problem (needed fender washer for worn/corroded hole in shield), the local hardware store had stainless fender washers but I had to use plain steel for the stamped steel top-hat style screw on nuts.

Dealer could have special ordered them, but once I saw it was std. hdwe. I took the parts guy's advice and went to my usual hardware store source.

These are "special" nuts, but it's a common item.

"Top-Hat" is the basic shape of the stamped nut, with a keyhole shaped center hole. The hole is a single shaped "ramp", that grabs one slot of the screw with the slot being the corner that grabs first. You can use a socket or nut driver for installation, and it cuts through the rust on the old screw stud that extends from the body.

The trick is to pick a size that fits the rusted stud tightly, and not worry about the "official" size...

Luck!
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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Had the same issue, except it happened after driving it 60 miles from the dealer I got it from the day I bought it. They had used some metal tape ask a temp fix and refused to repair it. Needless to say I'm done with that dealership (and it was in Holland, MI).

I went to Autozone and got washers that worked perfectly and some self tapping bolts that I just slammed in next to the old rusted ones.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:53 PM   #9
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Question

Sailor,

Old thread I know, but just discovered this same problem today on my daughter's '03.

The studs are pretty much rusted off too. Thinking of using large SS washers, but also grinding the studs off and drilling a hole for a SS machine screw. Ya, I know the fuel tank is under there somewhere too!

Gee, I just found the fuel filter as well. Doesn't look like the filter has ever been off in 187,000 Kms.

May take the shield off completely when I replace the intermediate pipe and resonator this summer.

Any thoughts or hints would be appreciated.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:55 PM   #10
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I've done that before as needed, fuel tank hanging underneath is pretty obvious - you won't be screwing with that (grin).

Other places you just do your best NOT to put a screw through were it'll cause a problem (don't want to step on one for example).

At least a couple here have ripped it off & used stick-on shielding for the tank, more work & expense than saving the stock shield so try that first IMHO.

If you've got a pop rivet tool, might try large head rivets plus washers. they aren't sharp on the business end at least (chuckle). Tryin' to think of alternatives, often based on what you can find or have handy.

Luck
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