Thanks to all for your suggestions! I think I'm just going to go ahead and tack-weld a nut to the backside and run a bolt through...if i ever get my hands on that engineer! (probably the same guy that designed the brake band pin nightmare on this same tractor - haha)
...by the way if any of you guys remember my questions about the coolant contaminated motor oil in this same tractor - i followed your tips (replaced the wet sleeve o-rings) and now have the tractor running again with no coolant problem! thanks again for all your help over the past few months!