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Thread: Cleaning up bolt threads
09-24-2012, 10:53 AM #11
Reusing a torqued bolt back into a torqued application is not a good idea. Can it be done of course. Should it? No. The reason is that when you put a bolt under a torqued load the bolt stretches. How much? It varies from from bolt to bolt. The material the bolt is made from will also effect the stretch amount. That is why the average person should not reuse torqued bolts.
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09-24-2012, 12:44 PM #12
This proposition is neither accurate nor practical. You are supposed to wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds of scrubbing with water and never dry your hands with a towel, and wash between handling different foods or whenever you touch something not sterile in your kitchen. Do you do this too? I hope you are if you work in the food industry, but folks at home rarely if ever do this, and the resulting number of food poisonings is also correspondingly very low.
If the bolt has not exceeded its yield point, it absolutely can be reused. Over, and over, and over again. So saying it must be replaced in all circumstances is absurd. The service manual for your vehicle will call out when a fastener requires replacement during a service operation. "Stretching" is not a criteria for replacing a bolt. It is whether it has stretched or has been subjected to stress in service such that the yield point of the fastener was exceeded. Sometimes you can tell by how it feels when you torque it down. Other times you can't tell at all, so you have to examine how the fastener is used while in service. Since you may not know how it was tightened the last time it was installed, the issue may become more difficult to resolve, but again, the application of the fastener tells you whether you are just being anal in thinking of replacing it, or if you are fine to put it back in.
For example, the bolts and nuts that hold the front shock absorbers in my truck are supposed to be replaced when you replace the shocks. Nuts that hold on a wheel are typically retorqued so many times over the life of a vehicle you can't count, for tire rotations and tire replacement as well as brake and suspension work. Due to the twisting and vibration placed on that fastener, it is more likely to become stretched beyond its yield point. But how many of you replace the lug bolts or lug nuts every time you change a tire? On the other hand, the drain plug for your oil pan can be removed and replaced many times and it has very little stress placed on it while in service, and can be safely retorqued countless times without risking exceeding its yield point.
And as a practical matter, telling someone to "replace any fastener that needs to be torqued" is simply something only a very obsessive-compulsive personality would tolerate or want to do. There are many procedures a backyard or do-it-yourselfer does on their vehicle that result in removing and replacing the same fasteners numerous times in a short period. If he or she has to trudge out to the fastener store or auto parts supplier every time they remove a fastener from their rig, they would quickly tire of it and take up knitting or basket weaving, or find a psychiatrist for some meds to manage their frustration and anger.
A quick link to read a short technical blurb on this can be found from Fastenal:
http://www.fastenal.com/content/feds...0Fasteners.pdf1994 Chevy K2500 Silverado, 454 (modified), original owner.
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