Thanks to some helpful advice & digital pics from fellow dmcnewsers, I was
able to solve my captive nut conundrum. After wasting my time trying to
retrieve it with a magnet on a string, I gave up and decided to pull the
quarter panel back. For posterity, here's the exact procedure that it took:
1. Peel back outer weatherstripping & remove screws securing quarter panel
to body. I didn't have to remove the weatherstrip, but I'll have to reapply
adhesive in a few little spots.
2. Remove bolt in wheel well securing quarter panel to rocker panel
3. Push outer edge of rocker panel down. It's held in with little clips &
they should pop out easily. Ignore the service manual's instructions to
remove the rocker panel screws (special thanks to Martin G for this tip!)
4. Remove final 3 screws securing quarter panel to body (formerly hidden by
the rocker panel)
5. Pull quarter panel away from body, retrieve captive nut. You may also
find your upper seat belt anchor cover in there too (I did). What a great
time to reattach that!
6. Slide arm between quarter & body to replace the captive nut.
This was actually a lot easier than I anticipated. I think it took about an
hour from start to finish, including a trip into the house to get a
-Luke & 10270
Here's a couple of shots of what you are dealing with. The big square nut with the tapped hole is what falls out.
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