I recently took down a ceiling fan/light in order to replace it with track lighting. After disassembling the fan I was left with this fixture box:

Fixture Box

As you can see there are two holes in which to affix the mounting bracket with two provided screws. However, either the screws are too small or the thread inside each hole is stripped as I can easily pull the screws back out after attempting to tighten them. So I a wondering if I am better of replacing the mount or attempting to get bigger screws or tighten with a nut?

  • 1
    8/32 or 10/32 machine screws are for fixture boxes, you could try one of these sizes.
    – Gunner
    Aug 8, 2012 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


Ceiling fans, when properly mounted, are put on specialized mounting/junction boxes that are especially strong, have a very secure mount for the fan and are hard screwed into a beam or stud.

What you have there looks like a pancake style fan box. See this example:


Every junction box has threaded holes for mounting fixtues such as your track lighting base. The studs in your picture appear to be the bolt holders for the fan. If they are stripped, it is not safe to hang things from them and oversized bolts are a risky work-around.

It may be that other screw holes in the bottom are properly threaded for standard fixture mounting. Check them using the bolts that came with the fixture. If they are not (and there are usually several unthreaded holes in junction boxes), you should probably replace the box with a new one with intact mounting tabs/holes.


If you're trying to re-use an old fan mount to affix a rail light system, you probably shouldn't use it in that way. Instead, install the rail on suitable new mounts and cleanly patch up plaster after removing old fan mount box.

  • 1
    Make sure you aren't hiding any junctions in the wall, they need to be in accessible junction boxes. And presumably, the track lighting has a mount for the round box so there shouldn't be a need to cover it up.
    – BMitch
    Aug 8, 2012 at 11:06
  • @chris: it looks like you've accidentally created a duplicate user account; if you register your account, you'll be able to take credit for the answers you've previously provided. I've flagged for a moderator to merge this account with the previous one you created: diy.stackexchange.com/users/6933/chris
    – Niall C.
    Aug 8, 2012 at 14:00

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