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DB hardware on Chrysler products


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I have had two '32 DeSotos and am currently restoring one of them. Both were assembled with bolts having a raised DB in a circle on their heads. Evidently Dodge bolts were used on other Chrysler products. A friend told me he had attended a judging school in which they were told that bolts with markings on their heads on early '30s cars should call for a deduction in points because the head markings were started more recently. Will I have points deducted if I re-use the original bolts in my restoration?<p>[This message has been edited by Edward McCormick (edited 02-10-2000).]

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Ed,<BR>The markings on the bolt heads they get upset about in judging are the stress bolt markings. The DB on the bolt heads on early vehicled was a factory thing and the judges shouldn't say anything about them. If the judges even know what they are looking at. I have seen this marking on cars other than Chrysler products. Ronbarn will have a better answer on this for you in a coulpe of days. He is at the annual meeting in Plily this weekend. Rick might even know more about this than I do.<P>Dan

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Just for info, one of the reasons that Chrysler bought Dodge Brothers was to have access to their excellent forging and stamping shops. <BR>My 1930 DeSoto 8 has many bolts with the DB stamped on them.<P>------------------<BR>Steve Boettger<BR>'30 DeSoto 8<BR>'59 Nash Metropolitan<BR>'23 Chevrolet Touring<P>

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Ed,<P> Dan and Steve pretty much wraped it up in a nut shell for you. As Dan stated , stress markings on bolt heads are what they are taking points off for. I'm sure this is what your friend meant. You should not see these until after 1946 I believe. And Steves comment is correct. I was told that years ago. I restored a original 52,000 mile, 1931 Chrysler for the original owner back in the early '80s that had many DB markings, which at the time I thought was incorrect and so did a judge the first time we showed it. (He also told us that the copper hydraulic brake lines were incorrect also.) It paid to have a 80 year old lady who was the original owner, standing there with her walking cane (who not afraid to use it for other reasons than for walking) when the judge said her car was not correct. (We won that day!)<P>Great success with your restoration,<BR>Rick

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Rick, I must concur with you on the strength markings and the copper brake lines. My DeSoto still has the original copper brake lines, They look just like new eveen after 70 years. I was quite shocked when I first discovered that they were copper. <BR>Notice, also that the old original bolts have a higher profile for the hex than the new ones. When I neeed to replace a bolt, I have been replacing them with modern ones after running a file over the head to remove the strength marks. A dab of apprpriate paint protects them from the rusties. Also when there are a couple of bolts that are the same within easy vies I replace them all. Nothing like uniformity. My car is not a National Show winner (yet) It's been a driver, but my philosophy is to do any repairs like I was prepping for Hershey. That way it will be easier when I decide to make that turn. By the way, right now my straight 8 is scattered all over tables in the garage waiting for it to get warm enough in the garage to go to work.<P>------------------<BR>Steve Boettger<BR>'30 DeSoto 8<BR>'59 Nash Metropolitan<BR>'23 Chevrolet Touring<P>

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Ed, you've received some excellent support in the other replies. After WWII the SAE adopted some standardization for marking bolts to indicate strength. Use of these bolts for pre-war models may be appropriate. Use of "no marking" modern bolts on pre-war models should be carefully considered since that lower grade for a some applications could be dangerous. If your application might stress the bolts, use a higher grade, but dress the heads as previously mentioned. However, many pre-war manufacturers used different markings such as "DB" to assure application of proper hardware, but these are not the post war "stress marking" to which the judging standards refer.

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Many thanks to Dan, Steve, Rick, and Ronbarn for taking the time to reply to my question. You have been very helpful.<BR> Further to the topic of higher tensile bolts and misuse of non-marked bolts in critical applications. I have noted recently that restorers and hot-rodders are substituting stainless steel bolts for original hardware. Although this may work well in many applications, the particular stainless bolt may not be as strong as the one being replaced. Since stainless is more difficult in many cases to machine than most carbon steel, some people feel it is a super strong metal. Bolts purchased from suppliers to the auto or industrial users can be of high strength but stainless bolts from local hardware stores prevalent in marine areas may not be. Some suppliers will tell you the tensile strength of the hardware they sell and it would be wise to check. The same goes for parts fabricated out of stainless for critical applications such as suspension parts. This is more prevalent with hot-rodders than restorers, but I have encountered restorers who say they want to keep and drive their car forever so they want the "best" parts available, even if they have to make them. Stainless king pins come to mind. They can wear fast or could break depending on the alloy of stainless selected; not lasting as long as good originals. Again misguided by the allure of stainless as the ultimate metal. <BR> Time to get off my soap box. <BR> Thank you all again.<BR> Ed

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