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SeanTR3
05-27-2005, 10:52 PM
What is the general consensus regarding replacement nuts and bolts found at local stores: Autozone, Advance, Lowes, Pep Boys, NAPA?

I am looking for some 3/8"-24 1 inch long bolts. I found some grade 5 bolts in that size at Home Depot and I'm going to stop by Pep Boys tomorrow. If it is a zinc plated bolt in grade 5 or 8 does it matter who sells it? I know there are companies like mcmaster carr where I can order bags of 50 of any nut or bolt available, but I only need a handful to replace some rusty worn out bolts holding a tubular crossbrace behind the radiator on the TR3.

waltesefalcon
05-27-2005, 10:58 PM
A grade 5 bolt is a grade 5 bolt. Just go to a good hardware store. Going to a parts store, usually costs more money for the same thing.

MGTF1250Dave
05-27-2005, 11:07 PM
Aloha, check the yellow pages to see if there is a bolt & nut supplier near you. They generally have a better selection than auto parts stores.

Safety Fast,
Dave

05-27-2005, 11:12 PM
I get 'em at Lowes all the time, cheaper and quicker than ordering from one of the parts houses for essentially the same thing. Lowes even has some stainless and grade 8 stuff, but not grade 8 in machine thread, at least the one by me doesn't carry them. The only grade 8 stuff they carry is coarse thread. I replaced over half of the nuts and bolts during my clutch job and I got them all at Lowes.

Alan_Myers
05-28-2005, 07:08 AM
Hi,

I believe there is a lot of quality variation, from place to place. I snapped off a couple grade 8s that came from one of my local sources and am now a little skeptical about their stuff. Next time I was in the store I checked and found all their hardware boxes said "Made in China". There is probably some very good stuff coming out of China, but I have to wonder if items are graded accurately and quality control is good. Maybe it is, maybe not.

I am really leery of nuts and bolts found at the big discount stores like Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Prices might be good, but quality seems iffy and their selection wasn't all that good. The stuff from the auto parts stores is little better. At least, the pre-packaged stuff is iffy. Many auto parts stores also have bins, maybe behind the counter, of loose items that are higher quality.

The key thing to remember when buying bolts is the application. If high sheer strength is needed, go to grade 8. For example, all the front suspension bolts on my car are now grade 8, fine thread. I'd guess is Triumph originally used grade 5 there, but IMHO it doesn't hurt to be overly cautious in critical areas.

Use fine thread in high vibration areas. Coarse is best in cast metals. Also carefully consider the shank of the bolt, to keep threads from ending up inside the hole. Properly sized bolts will torque better, stay tight better and help avoid problems from vibration, such as enlarging the holes they ride in. It's possible to cut down a bolt with a Dremel cutoff wheel, if the bolt with the right shank is too long overall for the application.

I try to use some sort of locking nut or washer. In some cases, only a standard nut and lock washer is possible, due to thread length of a stud or close clearances (at the water pump, for example). A nylock is better when possible, but can only be re-used once or twice.

When rebuilding the front suspension on my car, I found the replacement parts often called for nylock nuts in low torque areas (trunnions and upper fulcrums, for example) where Triumph had originally used castellated nuts. I didn't trust nylocks in these applications, so drilled them and used cotter pins and castellated nuts.

With old suspension and body parts, I feel it's often a good idea to use a washer even where one wasn't used originally. I think it helps spread the load more evenly on the old casting or steel part, and is just a good precaution.

The crossbrace you mentioned is a pretty critical item and gets some stresses during cornering, in particular. I used 3/8" NF bolts grade 8 with shanks that prevent any threads inside the holes, nylock nuts and backed up everything with grade 8 flat washers. The bolts with the right size shanks were too long overall, so I cut them down with a Dremel cutoff wheel.

I've found some hard to find nuts and bolts at a local Ace Hardware, but their per-piece prices are absurd. I'm fortunate to have another hardware store nearby that carries a pretty good selection of hardware and have only failed to find a few things.

No one local seems to offer all-metal self-locking nuts, just nylocks at best. For drive shaft flanges I ordered a kit from TRF, which included grade 8 bolts and all-metal nuts that are an upgrade over nylocks. Even in this instance, I found the bolts a little long and running too close to the differential housing for my liking (less than 1/32" clearance! and ended up cutting about 1/8" off the end of each bolt that was just protruding from the nut anyway.

Cheers!

Alan

05-28-2005, 08:38 AM
Fortunately we have a nut and bolt vendor in our area that has EVERTHING in stock and only the best quality. Much of what I have used on my TR6 is overkill, grade 8 or aircraft quality. And from this vendor, they are CHEAPER than the big box vendors. Don't forget the Loctite.

Bill

71tr
05-28-2005, 10:09 AM
I've just gone thru this with a complete suspension rebuild. This place rocks, they have virtually everything you need, they are cheap, they sell by the piece and they ship nearly same day!

www.boltdepot.com (https://www.boltdepot.com)

Bugeye58
05-28-2005, 11:09 AM
All my critical fasteners come from the local airport. I figure it's my butt in the seat, and I'm willing to pay the little extra to keep it safe. Incidentally, Alan, they have the all metal lock nuts, commonly referred to as "jet nuts", or "K nuts", that can be used for high heat applications such as exhaust flanges, where nylocks won't work. Eight bolts and Jet Nuts for my driveshaft flanges on the Spitfire race car set me back the princely sum of seven bucks.
Aircraft Spruce is a good source if there is no "aircraft hardware store" near you.
Jeff

Hayfever
05-28-2005, 11:46 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I believe there is a lot of quality variation, from place to place. I snapped off a couple grade 8s that came from one of my local sources and am now a little skeptical about their stuff. Next time I was in the store I checked and found all their hardware boxes said "Made in China". There is probably some very good stuff coming out of China, but I have to wonder if items are graded accurately and quality control is good. Maybe it is, maybe not.

I am really leery of nuts and bolts found at the big discount stores like Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Prices might be good, but quality seems iffy and their selection wasn't all that good. The stuff from the auto parts stores is little better. At least, the pre-packaged stuff is iffy. Many auto parts stores also have bins, maybe behind the counter, of loose items that are higher quality.


[/ QUOTE ]

Counterfeit bolts are a BIG problem in this country. Unfortunately you can't just say "buy from small hardware stores, not from chains". Terry Rust, an IFSJA member, has a little anecdote (https://www.ifsja.org/tech/misc/bolts.shtml) on their site where he purchased a bunch of Grade 8's from a fastener company (fake) and a few from a local dollar store (real).

The US DOE maintains a list of bolt markings found to be suspect for the National Labs.

https://www-group.slac.stanford.edu/esh/bulletins/images/bolts3.gif

This is also printed in their report on counterfeit identification dated 11-3-04 here (https://www.directives.doe.gov/pdfs/doe/doetext/neword/414/g4141-3.pdf).

SeanTR3
05-28-2005, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone!