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Art & Inspiration Down to the Nuts & Bolts

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by J.Ukrop, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,039

    Staff Member

    J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:

    Down to the Nuts & Bolts


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,725

    from Idaho

    The fasteners sold today at the local hardware store, Fastenall, etc. scare me. Earlier this year we'd just finished boring a block and were pulling it out of the Sunnen ... the shiny new bolt holding the hook started stretching until it looked like a 7/16'' diameter spring. Personally, I've always used what I've kept salvaging cars and trucks.
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,431


    If I had a setup like that, I'd use it....

    It is a battle.
    Okie Pete and williebill like this.
  4. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,062


    It rankles me when I read of a car being touted as featuring "every nut and bolt replaced".
    With whatever offshore crap was cheapest for the fastener distributor to buy that week?

    I have clamped a bolt in a vise then spun a new nut on it to watch how it spins. It is very common for the nut to oscillate because the thread is not accurately concentric to the (formed) body of the nut.
    So when such a nut is tightened on a bolt, it will touch on one spot first, then as it straightens will tend to try to pull the threads apart on that side of the bolt.

    So I am also a fan of saving the old junk.
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  5. When I was fixing cars for a living, there was a current brand of hardware that escapes me right now. The quality was nice and the bolts had a distinctive design on the heads. I went through all of my hardware buckets and fished out quite a few of new ones and ones slightly used. Bowman.. that's it. I'll have to take a picture of some. The heads of the bolts were a little taller than most on the market.

    So wherever I could on my Ford, I used them. I would say that 95% of the hardware on the build is new. Really on the engine, I can think of 3 pieces of hardware that are native to the engine, the crank bolt and a couple pieces of alternator bracket hardware.

    At work, we do retrofit kits and the old hardware goes out the door, at least most of it. These are very high-end NAS grade items and work nicely on cars.

    I had put up with rummaging through pails of old crap, I decided to do something right for once. Ace Hardware carries stainless trim screws, very close to what Ford used from the factory. They have fine-thread j-nuts for fender hardware. Back to the stainless, I'm looking for exhaust manifold bolts... I took a closer look and realized they had A286 stainless nuts, bolts and washer. $36 later my exhaust manifolds are a work of art.
  6. 50DropTop
    Joined: May 6, 2004
    Posts: 194


    I too am a “nut and bolt” fanatic and am very leery of today’s hardware. My first restoration was 1950 Ford 8N and every nut and bolt was replaced.....with the original nut and bolt that was used on the tractor. I even had parts tractors locally that were too far gone that I could use for replacement of needed hardware. My latest is the ‘36 5W Ford coupe I’ve been working on; again I made every effort to use the original hardware. If that was not possible, Roy Nacewicz was my next source. Seems there is just something about the older hardware that ‘feels’ quality vs today’s hardware; Roy’s hardware had that same feel. I don’t know that I do this to meet some ‘vintage’ criteria; but there is nothing that can ruin a good look more than some out of place hardware that doesn’t fit the feel of the car. The devil is always in the details.
  7. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,030


    I like to keep my oem nuts / bolts separate, especially things like fender bolts, engine fasteners.
    I was lucky to have worked for our local municipality in the fleet maintenance end of it where we had a nice supply of Bowmalloy brand fasteners. All grade 8+ stuff.
    Boneyard51, Okie Pete and loudbang like this.
  8. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,195

    from oregon

    I turn into a real geek when I get in a well stocked "hardware" store, I'm not talking about HD or Lowes either. We did have an Orchard Supply here for a couple years, it was the closest thing to hardware heaven on my side of town, it was owned by Lowes, they closed it, now I'm lost without OS.
    It was as if Peewee Herman stocked the Lowes stores and Arnold Swarzenneger stocked the Orchard Supply stores.

    I guess from that little ditty it can be construed that you won't be finding any rusty old Ford hardware around my place.;)

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  9. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,402


    Yes, yes, Hell yes.
    I've posted before about stripping hardware from pre 70s American stuff at Pull a Part. I've got some boxes of old Ford nuts and bolts that need to be cleaned and sorted. Since all my cars are either Fords or Mercurys, I'm weird enough that I don't pillage GM or Mopar hardware, just Ford.
    They just feel better to me. And I'm sure they're better quality than most modern stuff.
    Boneyard51, VANDENPLAS and Okie Pete like this.
  10. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 9,877

    from Raytown Mo

    If I have original hardware I clean them up and reuse them but I don’t go out of my way to source original hardware. If I have it I use it, I have a couple buckets full of it that I’ve taken off various bits and pieces.

    If I brake down a front end or something for a piece of it I keep all the nuts and bolts and put them in the bucket. Then When it’s full go threw and sort them
  11. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,776

    Atwater Mike

    A friend was proud of his new flathead project. A Chev fanatic, he pointed out how much GM 'product' he was able to use on the showy flatmotor.
    I spotted the Chev intake bolts immediately. Barely 1/4" tall, the hexes looked like they'd rusted, then were ground smooth on top!
    I showed him some nice Gennie bolts, and next time I saw the flattie...the intake (and other) bolts had been replaced: with ALLENS! Yipes.
    Boneyard51, rpm56 and Okie Pete like this.
  12. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,266


    I, right now, have a five gallon bucket of original Ford bolts/hardware at the platers. I've spent many hours blasting and chasing threads on those parts. There's no substitute for the original Henry Ford stuff.
    Boneyard51 and Okie Pete like this.
  13. lowrd
    Joined: Oct 9, 2007
    Posts: 198


    After stripping out a parts car for a build, I saved all the nuts and bolts I could. Ran all this material through a tumbler used for cleaning brass for reloading pistols. A whole lot less time needed to clean the threads with a wire brush.
    Easier to identify thread pitch as well.
    Boneyard51, Okie Pete and loudbang like this.
  14. 40two
    Joined: Feb 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,698


    Schweden mit Claudi 317.jpeg
    Ask me again, dude. This is the corner of our shop to store bulbs, gloves, connectors, wires, beer, foreign coins, points, condensers, memories, beer, nuts, bolts, welcome friends, freeze plugs, dash knobs, beer, first aid kits, pens, wonderbaums, drinks and beer... and some more.
    it was a minerals collectors store before, we had the chance to dismantle it first since it was installed into the Hamburg warehouse in 1946, it wasn't possible to take all of it with us because it was built into the house in one piece. but all the counters and slideouts came with us. while dismantling it all, the local deputy touched our wiper blade two times, you see, parking our truck to save this interior was more expensive than all the rest. but quite worth it, for sure. :)
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  15. error404
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 131

    from CA

    if a fastener isn't damaged or corroded badly, I usually clean it up and re-use it. I see no reason why not. I generally run the nut/bolt through a chaser, that also helps strip some rust off.

    But that said, I've never had problems with new grade 5 and 8 hardware. I usually get mine from McMaster, unless I'm in a pinch and have to hit an Ace Hardware locally.

    I do keep OEM hardware in a separate drawers though, I don't mix them with new hardware. I don't really have an honest reason for doing so, I just do.

    I have alot of old hardware from my father, jars full of square nuts are neat :)
    Boneyard51, Okie Pete and 40two like this.
  16. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 690

    from Florida

    I like old bolts and nuts
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  17. brjnelson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 418


    Saved my ass with some Bendix bolts out of the coffee can you see in the background that came with my great great grandfather‘s model A

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Boneyard51, Jet96, Okie Pete and 3 others like this.
  18. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,142


    Wherever possible, I will reuse the original nuts and bolts minus the lock washer as most are flattened and worn out.
    My elder neighbor and Godfather to my son use to take joy in telling me to listen to the tinnnnnngggggg in good ol' American made bolts and the sound of the thud that an offshore one made. There is a difference!
    Around the corner from there was a very old hardware store that if it wasn't open it was because the proprietor had "gone fishing" with that sign posted on the door. Well, he was old enough to have a picture there in the store of himself and his Uncle, who took him to the game, of he, his Uncle and Babe Ruth.
    His fasteners were all kept in those steel stacks with little drawers with all individually labelled size affixed to them.
    And yeah, they all tinnnnnnnggggged! :)
    Boneyard51, Okie Pete and williebill like this.
  19. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,446

    Bandit Billy

    Then you've come the right place. There's more nuts around here that any other site on the net. Some metric, most standard, all certifiable. :cool:
  20. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,629



    They way you have saved that old nuts and bolts box is good. If they are not rusted, or altered/used, they are just as good as today’s nuts and bolts. There are new versions of that box, probably made by the same company years later, that are in the roll out drawers of the local big box stores. But, our favorite place to shop for those “new” nuts and bolts is our local, Orange County(Denualt's) True-Value Hardware Store We have been going to the local family owned True Value Hardware Store for over 40 years. They were close by, had all of the stuff we needed for various car/home/gardening supplies.

    It is hard to imagine that anyone is so particular about putting in the 40 year old nuts and bolts just to be somewhat “traditional.” Sure, if it is in the nuts and bolts drawer, still new and unused, then go ahead. It is still just as good as the new ones in the big box stores. But, the whole hot rod build can’t be held up for not having a non-40-50 year old nut or bolt. As long as it is rated for the safety codes and strengths, then it is fine for any build. Others can not be critical of what you are doing…it is not their build.


    On the other hand, since we all have professed the individuality of hot rod builds, then those little things that people nit pick are meaningless. If it is built well, runs great and is a reliable daily driver or long distance road trip material, then more power to those hot rod builders. We don’t minus points just because a nut or fastener is not to your liking or “traditional” in the sense that most hot rods use these, etc. We all would like to be safe and sane in our daily drivers and what ever it takes to meet those reliable goals should be used.
    Our late friend, Atts Ono built one of the most meticulous, 1940 Willys Coupes for the Gas Coupe and Sedan Class. He did not use the standard motor mounts or the standard nuts and bolts, so would we nitpick his outstanding build? He used Allen head nuts for almost every attachment on his custom-made mounts, brackets, and you name it.

    The design of his builds was a smooth, machined finish and the properly machined flathead Allen bolts went right into the holes creating a great looking non traditional look. It was all smooth as was the total design. So, individuality always has a place in our lives. We are not all fish swimming up the same stream.

    We had fun building and adding stuff to our old hot rods and cruisers. It was the fun factor and reliability that played the important part of being involved in hot rodding. If it isn’t reliable, why bother? We are all individuals with much different styles and tastes.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
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  21. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,063

    Model A Gomez

    Hardware store bolts here are junk, no grade marking and soft. Orscheln's farm store has grade 5 and grade bolts, the only place I can get decent bolts without a 60 mile round trip. I'm always amazed when I take apart old Ford stuff that has been outside for years and they come out without breaking.
    Boneyard51 and Okie Pete like this.
  22. Just today I attempted to install a bolt in ball joint, I went to my grade 8 drawer and pulled out the correct bolts then found my my nylock nuts. The damn nuts stripped out! AND one of the bolts didn’t look too good either. I’ve got to go shopping for some good ones tomorrow.
    Boneyard51 and Okie Pete like this.
  23. This chest-o-drawers is full of vintage and new hardware, I save everything. It cost $20 15 years ago, it has helped me get better organized. 92 drawers (missing one) it’s still not full.
    Boneyard51, 302GMC, Okie Pete and 2 others like this.
  24. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,195

    from oregon

    Which brings up something that I dont recall being discussed.
    Always curious whether the early Ford cars produced in Europe used metric fasteners.
  25. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,062


    Good question, some of the early Fords in Canada used Robertson head body screws.
    Not metric, but just shows that there could be regional differences.
  26. Garpo
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 151


    English built Fords, including the8 & 10Hp, and the V8's used NC and NF threads. Some of the components from Lucas, Solex etc used other threads. Lucas used BSF and BA threads for longer than they should have.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  27. error404
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 131

    from CA

    No marking means it's a grade 2, I believe. I've never seen a hardware store that didn't sell grade 5 and 8 bolts. Heck, I think even home depot sells grade 8 bolts. Probably the last place I'd go for quality hardware, but they do sell them I believe.
  28. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,110

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    hi my name is Ted and I am a hardware-a-haulic .... DSCF0015.JPG I have been buying out of old dealerships, hardware stores, service stations and private supplies since I was in my teens.
  29. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,110

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    my dad and uncles used this box, one of them built, to save hardware when they parted out cars. full of pre 60 chevy engine parts. DSCF2652.JPG DSCF2653.JPG
  30. WillyKJr
    Joined: Sep 5, 2009
    Posts: 135

    from Blackstone

    No hardware store pieces here. Maybe to hold a jack handle together or hang an old Clay Smith Cams banner on the wall.....maybe.
    When my Dad passed and we cleaned out his shop the collections of hardware (coffee cans and bread tins and such) from decades of cars, trucks, tractors and diesel rigs all came home with me. That collection is invaluable. Grade 8's, knurled, shanked, safety wire ready, carriage bolts, castle nuts and all manner of "where will I find one of those" pieces have been found in these buckets. I do my best to replenish them as well and offer up to share with others in need of just the right bolt, nut or fastener and in hopes that a next generation builder/maker will see the gold in them thar buckets some day.
    All vintage builds get vintage hardware. Every piece is saved, cleaned, glass beaded, polished and sent out for proper plating (CAD, phosphate, oxide, etc). If it is a specific piece it will be put into service as intended. If it is a generic piece it is stored in marked bins for use later in the build.
    We will buy parts cars and disassemble them just for the hardware and hard to find pieces or restorable pieces that may be needed on another build (there is ALWAYS another build).
    If a new piece is necessary for safety sake (wheel studs, bumper bolts, etc) they are sourced from a supplier that guarantees their product and is not sourced from China or the like.
    A pain-in-the-ass sometimes, yes but well worth it in the end.

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