Nuts and Bolts
by Pat Goss
Pat Goss: We need nuts and bolts to hold our vehicles together. But, it takes more than just nuts and bolts to hold things together properly. And here with some tips, we have Lyndon Abel from Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax, Virginia. Welcome back to the show, Lyndon.
LYNDON: Thanks for having me, Pat.
PAT: Alright. You’ve got some familiar looking stuff laid out here.
Pat: Tell us what you’ve got.
Lyndon: So, the nut and bolt is really a remarkable device, and it holds things together. But, to do its job properly, it needs some things to be done properly, as well.
Lyndon: Alright. So first is: use proper torque. You know, the manufacturer doesn’t just guess at this. It’s tight for a reason. Get a properly calibrated torque wrench, and tighten things properly. The other thing is: follow instructions on thread lockers. So here we have some different strength thread lockers. There’s blue and there’s red. Red is a high strength application. Blue is medium strength. If you use blue where you’re supposed to use red, things aren’t going to hold properly; things start falling apart. That’s not the fault of the vehicle, that’s the fault of the installer. Right?
Conversely, if you use red, where it calls for blue, when it comes time to take things apart or do some maintenance, you might find yourself with: having to get out a torch, skinned knuckles, broken bolts, so on and so forth. Inconvenient at best.
Pat: Now, for those of you who don’t know what thread lockers are, they are chemicals that prevent bolts and nuts from vibrating loose.
Lyndon: Exactly. So you get the proper torque, and then it stays that way. In some applications, Harley-Davidsons for instance, a very popular addition is to use some more chrome bolts. But chrome is a very hard surface, and sometimes, although it seems smooth, there are some slightly jagged edges. Combine this chrome bolt with this chrome Nyloc, and you often times get a situation where they lock together, and you can’t get proper torque on it, you can’t get it undone, it’s…just stuck where it is. That’s a proper place for anti-seize. Anti-Seize will allow that thread lubricant…It’s a thread lubricant which will allow things to tighten down properly, so that you can get the proper torque. And that Nyloc nut will keep things in place.
Pat Goss: Okay.
Lyndon: And you’ll also find plenty of uses for anti-seize on other thread pieces. Another…spark plugs in a good example…Another threaded item are drain plugs. If it requires thread sealant, you must use thread sealant. If you don’t, many people will over tighten that drain plug in order to get a proper seal, and then you end up stripping out an oil pan, which can be a very expensive mess. Instead of a couple of dollars’ worth of the right product. Bottom line: follow the instructions. They put them there for a reason.
Pat: Okay. Lyndon, Thank you. And if you have a question or a comment, drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.