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Bolts



OEM Engine Bolts

When repairing or replacing any component on your car, the possibility exists that one or more of the original bolts, washers or nuts will be lost, stripped or broken during the process. It is probably one of Murphy's Laws, but it is usually that last piece need to complete the installation is the one that gives you the most trouble. We all have coffee cans or mayonnaise jars full of miscellaneous hardware in the garage that were extras or leftover from a previous project, but finding the one item that is the correct size or thread pitch is not necessarily the end of the story - you should also make sure that the hardware has the same strength limitations as the other pieces you are using.

Bolts are the easiest to identify because each bolt has been marked with a series of radial lines that tell you how much stress it can handle. Tensile strength is the ability of the component metal to be stressed before it will fail. Because even metals have an amount of elasticity, they can often be stressed but still return to form. The yield strength is a point where the component materials deform without having the ability to revert back to their original shape. Rated hardware will have a lower yield strength than their breaking tensile strength, however, once the metal has been stretched, it is recommended it be replaced, as this stretching reduces its tensile strength under subsequent stresses.

Stainless steel bolts are usually made with a steel alloy that contains up to 19 percent chromium and 13 percent nickel. Standard thread stainless bolts are rated as 18-8 and have roughly the same yield and tensile strength as a Grade 5 bolt. Metric stainless bolts are rated as A-2 and are rated slightly under the standard metric 8.8 ratings.When replacing nuts, washers or lock washers, it is essential that you use hardware of the same grade or higher to ensure the bolts can still meet the specified strengths for each grade. A Grade 8 bolt can be compromised when held in place with a grade 5 or nylon-insert style nut. When the original nut or bolt is missing, assume it is at least a Grade 5 or metric 8.8 when selecting replacement hardware.

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