By far the best installation method is the investment in an installation tool, available online from McMaster Carr. Select the tool for the plusnut size you choose in the next section (for most with 1/4-20 plusnuts it’s part #96349A305). We made a demonstration video on how a Plusnut is installed using the tool:
You will operate the installation tool with an adjustable wrench and an 11/16” socket (double check your socket set because this is a large size socket that not every socket set includes).
Before touching your van, we highly recommended practicing the installation of a few plusnuts on scrap metal or plywood (up to ¼” thickness). Here’s what we learned: don’t over tighten the plusnut. It needs to be firm and snug, but don’t torque with absolute full strength.
If a plusnut is over tightened, either during installation or when a bolt is being inserted, the expanded bulb can lose its compression. It will then just spin non-stop (it’s not supposed to spin).
It happened to us a couple times early on, and with great frustration we grabbed it with needle nose vice grip pliers and drilled it out (it wasn’t pretty).
Side note: Another installation tool some recommended is the Astro Pneumatic 1450. but we read of people having difficulties with this tool that we never had with the McMaster tool. It’s also more expensive..
You can also DIY an installation tool using wrenches and some nuts, but as Faroutride.com said, “Trust us, we installed all our plusnuts without a tool and we wish we invested in the proper tool.”