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Old 01-25-2013, 09:02 PM
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My SS vs. grade 5 experience

Another thread mentioning SS bolts reminded me that something ought to be pointed out.

I've used SS bolts, nuts, & washers almost everywhere in replacement of the stock grade 5 bolts, and it inevitably raises the warning of how they're weaker and therefore implying they should not be used.

Well yes, they are weaker. Actual grade equivalence ranges from 2.5 - 4 depending on what province in China they were smuggled out of and whether someone pee'd in the ingredients bin that day.

But justification and rationale for using them requires some common sense. If it takes say, 85 ft lbs to twist off a grade 5 5/16" bolt and 63 ft lbs to twist off a SS 5/16" bolt, but my application only requires 25 ft lbs, I've reduced my safety factor from approximately X3.5 down to X2.5, but still within the warm & fuzzy range of doing the job quite nicely.

I switched to SS decades ago precisely because OEM grade 5's got rust-welded in place, snapped, twisted, or heads get rounded off when trying un-wrench them.

I have SS hardware all through the exhaust system, which is the first place I started using SS decades ago. Getting under there with an air rachet & removing the exhaust now makes me feel like I'm in a pit crew instead of a wrecking crew.

I've decommissioned a 360, taken all the SS bolts out and used same again on the one I overhauled. Never having to deal with rusty nuts bolts & washers again adds tidings of comfort and joy...especially if your FSJ is a "keeper" and you find yourself going back in several times for the usual reasons over time as things wear or break and warrant replacement.

Timing cover...water pump...oil pump cover...carb nuts...valve covers...all SS.

Ditto for all the various places one uses sheet metal screws: cargo area chrome strips, aluminum door sills, tranny floor cover, etc. I only wish they made SS muffler U-bolts.

Bottom line: Never had a SS bolt failure.

Worst problem is if a thread is dinged when you go to put on a nut and it gets hard to turn you must stop or it will gall and not come apart without a die grinder.

However, I would NEVER use a SS bolt on, say, shackles, heads, or anywhere else a grade 8 is called for. Nor would I use them for engine internals.

Related subject: I also now use those long brass nuts on the exhaust header flange bolts and on studs that have replaced the exhaust manifold bolts. Their material weakness is compensated for by how long they are, and thus attain adequate torque. They too never rust and come off ridiculously easy.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:05 PM
Mavawreck Mavawreck is offline
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My issue with stainless fasteners is having a lot of them rust on me, I suppose due to them being of poor quality.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavawreck
My issue with stainless fasteners is having a lot of them rust on me, I suppose due to them being of poor quality.

I'll say, starting with the fact they're not SS then. Not-rusting is one of the defining qualities of SS, and why SS was invented in the first place.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:10 PM
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isnt the timing cover aluminum?? If so watch out, SS and Aluminum dont like each other...they will corrode and weld together and be VERY difficult to remove!
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draglink
isnt the timing cover aluminum?? If so watch out, SS and Aluminum dont like each other...they will corrode and weld together and be VERY difficult to remove!

Welding together and being very difficult to remove is contrary to my experience. In fact I was careful to post my experience only and not theory. Also, I didn't just start doing this last week. Its been decades now. However, given enough time, dissimilar metals will produce observable galvanic corrosion. Come to think of it, grade 5 and aluminum are dissimilar are they not?
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:27 PM
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ProTouring442 ProTouring442 is offline
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I have used bolts from http://www.totallystainless.com/ with good success. They also carry higher strength SS bolts.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:04 PM
Al Johnson Al Johnson is offline
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Anti-seize compound is highly recommended on SS fasteners to reduce/eliminate galling failures.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich88
I'll say, starting with the fact they're not SS then. Not-rusting is one of the defining qualities of SS, and why SS was invented in the first place.

Sort of... lower grades of stainless will rust. And it is stain-LESS not stain-FREE.

I try to use a higher grade of stainless wherever possible. If you shop at a hardware store you are probably getting the lower grade:

18-8 stainless steel offers excellent corrosion resistance and may be mildly magnetic.

Type 316 stainless steel for superior corrosion resistance compared to 18-8 stainless steel. It contains molybdenum, which increases corrosion resistance to chlorides and sulfates. Screws may be mildly magnetic.

Just to break down the price difference, the 316 stainless is anywhere from 2x-4x the cost.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:26 AM
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I agree with Rich. When I bought my first FSJ 8 Years ago, I decided to that these broken bolt issues had to be fixed, thus SS. LOTS of antisieze. Engine external, exhaust and trim. As stated, only grade 8 for suspension. Whenever something comes apart, that's when i upgrade these. Only ones left for me are the exhaust manifold studs.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich88
Welding together and being very difficult to remove is contrary to my experience. In fact I was careful to post my experience only and not theory. Also, I didn't just start doing this last week. Its been decades now. However, given enough time, dissimilar metals will produce observable galvanic corrosion. Come to think of it, grade 5 and aluminum are dissimilar are they not?

Just posting my experience also...weld was the wrong word....I DO NOT mix SS and aluminum when possible(on my boats I have places they have to mix)....that is all

Grade 5 and aluminum are dissimilar, but they dont react to each other like SS and alum
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepfan93
....Only ones left for me are the exhaust manifold studs.

Did you really mean "studs", or bolts? I started using SS bolts, but my last time around I upgraded to actual studs. Also makes installing gasket & manifolds a pleasure. And yes, the gasket is a nice thick Remflex....also highly recommended.

Note the use of the long brass nuts. In addition to not corroding, they cover the length the stud, thus preventing stud threads from rusting, whereas if you used regular size bolts, there would be thread exposed to rust. If SS studs are available, I'm not aware. Suppose I could have cut my own, come to think of it.

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Last edited by Rich88 : 01-26-2013 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:00 AM
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I have really wanted to start using ss bolts since I live in the rust belt. At a car show last year I saw the totally stainless booth and they have everything you would need and can make anything you needed. They have a AMC 360 bolt kit for a good price. After talking to tell they said they would put together a whole wagoneer kit bumper to bumper. Very good prices I saw on there other kits. If I find my book I will post some of the prices.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich88
Did you really mean "studs", or bolts? I started using SS bolts, but my last time around I upgraded to actual studs. Also makes installing gasket & manifolds a pleasure. And yes, the gasket is a nice thick Remflex....also highly recommended.

Note the use of the long brass nuts. In addition to not corroding, they cover the length the stud, thus preventing stud threads from rusting, whereas if you used regular size bolts, there would be thread exposed to rust. If SS studs are available, I'm not aware. Suppose I could have cut my own, come to think of it.

I already have SS blots that go into the heads. I mean where the Y pipe bolts on the manifolds.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:30 PM
Mavawreck Mavawreck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPICherokee
Sort of... lower grades of stainless will rust. And it is stain-LESS not stain-FREE.

I try to use a higher grade of stainless wherever possible. If you shop at a hardware store you are probably getting the lower grade:

18-8 stainless steel offers excellent corrosion resistance and may be mildly magnetic.

Type 316 stainless steel for superior corrosion resistance compared to 18-8 stainless steel. It contains molybdenum, which increases corrosion resistance to chlorides and sulfates. Screws may be mildly magnetic.

Just to break down the price difference, the 316 stainless is anywhere from 2x-4x the cost.

Ya, exactly the issue. Thank you for explaining the designations. I had seen that before but never knew what it meant or thought to look it up.
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