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Nut and bolt restorations


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How far do people take this figurative phrase?

Do you replace as much hardware as possible with new?

Old cars have unique styles hardware,  like deeper headed hex bolts and other oddities.   Some bolts twist off.   I'm sure everyone hates slotted head screws and machine bolts.

 

Blasting and painting hardware is a pain in the arse.   But I found a real good way to do it in a medium blast cabinet,  use a strong speaker magnet to kind of hold the hardware.  You will have to move it around to get all the sides but it's better than dropping them and having them fall through the grate and into the medium and fish through it to find them.

 

I couldn't salvage all the hardware,  some was beyond use.   Some stuff in the interior that needs to be presentable can be bought new,  like window garnish moulding screws.

 

How anal are you guys in using original or correct reproduction hardware?

I think the older the vehicle the harder it is to do.

Edited by 1937McBuick (see edit history)
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My current project is from 1979, and I try to use as much original hardware as possible. One can get replacements but a lot of the times they are not right. I soak most of the small stuff, brackets, nuts and bolts etc. in evaporust or the rustoleum stuff. After a day in there, clean with water and hit with a wire wheel and the stuff looks brand new. Spray down with shark hide hoping to prevent future rust and most stuff comes out good as new. I do replace some structural stuff that may be stretched or compromised with age. Axle mounting hardware and such. 

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you can take a bucket of hardware to a plater and get them plated.  Black oxide if old hardware, zinc if newer.  I blasted and plated all the hardware on my MG TD one at a time and that was nuts (and bolts)... not doing that again.   The only downside is that most places have a minimum amount they'll do.  My plater wouldn't even say what it was, he just said it was $175 and I could bring all the nuts and bolts I wanted.

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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When I restored my cars (Cadillacs from the fifties), I could remove most of the bolts and nuts. Some were badly rusted. To get new ones, good luck in Europe! When I had to go to the USA for GM, I bought a bunch of strange things near Detroit.

The good bolts and small pieces were blasted and zinc coated by a local company. I never gave the whole lot, but did several small packages and noted the quantity and dimension of what I gave to be done. Sometimes something is lost; with my method, I knew what I had to search/replace. 

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51311727768_c4d4638268_c.jpg2021-07-14_02-45-14 by Kerry Grubb, on Flickr

These are some bolts off of my brake backer plates. They were really rusty before. This is after they sat in rustoleums version of evaporust for a couple of days. Took them out, sprayed them with water then ran them through the wire wheel.

51311728023_2daa16a214_c.jpg2021-07-14_02-45-31 by Kerry Grubb, on Flickr

 

After pic. I then sprayed them with shark hide, hoping to fend off the rust for awhile. The bolts look rather pedestrian, but I doubt I could find nuts to match these off the shelf. 

 

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When I stated to work my car the bolts all came out pretty easy and I was able to clean them up on a wire wheel.  Spray with some WD and the black finish still looks like new.  I was able to use just about all of the original hardware except for some of the smaller pieces and those are in areas you wouldn't even see.  It also helps when it's a Southwest car from the desert. 

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I don't obsess too much about fasteners. Where it's possible, I replace them. Where they will show and distract from the overall appearance of the job, I make them but proper fasteners for a pre-WWI car are not readily available. I do have a can full of them that came from machines I've scrapped or otherwise replaced arts of - having no particular feeling for keeping them original on machine tools I use every day. I've use the can ore often to get period measurements and then make them. The business of grinding off grade markings leaves me cold since in most cases it's obvious the fastener is new whether the marking are there or not.

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Shark Hide is a name brand, comes in spray bomb or can. Its a clear coating, non yellowing, no shine to prevent rust and corrosion. It drys pretty quick and you cant tell it has been applied. I have been using it on bare steal products during my resto for the first time. I have used the paint in the past that is supposed to mimic bare steel, aluminum etc. but it still ends up looking like paint. Its not cheap, but what is when restoring a car.

 

I obsess over small details too much. I dont think hardware store stuff looks the same as OEM. The backer plate bolts are a good example. Sitting on my work bench is most likely the only time they will ever be seen but I know what has been installed.

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On 7/11/2021 at 6:57 AM, 1937McBuick said:

How far do people take this figurative phrase?

Do you replace as much hardware as possible with new?

Old cars have unique styles hardware,  like deeper headed hex bolts and other oddities.   Some bolts twist off.   I'm sure everyone hates slotted head screws and machine bolts.

 

Blasting and painting hardware is a pain in the arse.   But I found a real good way to do it in a medium blast cabinet,  use a strong speaker magnet to kind of hold the hardware.  You will have to move it around to get all the sides but it's better than dropping them and having them fall through the grate and into the medium and fish through it to find them.

 

I couldn't salvage all the hardware,  some was beyond use.   Some stuff in the interior that needs to be presentable can be bought new,  like window garnish moulding screws.

 

How anal are you guys in using original or correct reproduction hardware?

I think the older the vehicle the harder it is to do.

Hello Mr37McBuick,

                                 I am one of those anal guys, I am restoring a 1930 Dodge Brothers DC-8 roadster. It is one of six known Budd bodied roadsters that has survived out of a total production of 598. I feel the old girl deserves to be restored as good as I know how. I am attempting to put the DB script bolts and their respective lock washers and nuts back on the car with the bolts pointing in the original direction. I have parted out several DC-8 cars over the years and have saved every nut, bolt and washer. Once I sort them and clean them with a glass bead blast cabinet, then I send them to a plater in Oregon that plates them in the original silver cadmium. I was a concourse judge for 19 years and when this car is finished I intend to show it and hopefully kick some serious ass. It has taken me many years to get where I am today but to me it will be worth it! I know it is not everyone's cup of coffee and most likely not for the faint hearted.     

Image (3).jpg

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Posted (edited)

E-116-YH.

That will be an intense restoration.  Given how rare it is it's probably worth going the extra mile.  The Dodge Brothers insignia on the bolt heads is really cool.

 

Some hardware is beyond use so having a collection of used stuff would help.   

 

I will have to be satisfied with a mix of old and new.

 

The guy who put the dash in my car used Philips headed screws because he "hated slotted head screws", even though I supplied the originals.  I still have them.  

 

There is no way I will have a high point car.  Started out with a non-matching number(engine) car.  All I want is a darn good original.   I have the type of car that would have made a nice chopped street rod but mine is one of the few McLaughlin Buicks left out of 311(Canadian opera coupe).  I have the things that set it apart from it's American sibling....  horn button, grill badge, hubcaps, and firewall plate.  So few things that make it different.   I wish it was done,  beautiful car,  in my humble opinion.

Edited by 1937McBuick (see edit history)
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In all honesty, just the meaning of “restoration” varies among people before adding any descriptives. To many, a restoration is getting it mechanically good and cleaned up for the road. Others it means new paint, with some being a rattle can paint job and others, a full fledged expensive one. Some only care how it looks and the mechanics leave a lot to be desired. Putting lipstick on a pig so to say. Everybody’s idea of a restoration is different and one has to determine what it is to them and what they really want. I do a lot of nut and bolt restorations. Blasting and painting all those “wind chimes” is a ton of work but it’s my idea of a full, rotisserie restoration. That’s why it’s always important when purchasing a car that it’s seen by the buyer in person. You can have someone look at it for you and tell you it’s restored and to him it is but it might not be to you. 

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Odd. I noticed something in 1937McBuick’s reply to E-116-YH’s post that I hadn’t paid attention to in the post itself: E-116-YH’s user ID. I had never thought to use my car’s serial number as a user ID.

 

Serial Number E-116-YH
Found in range E-001-WP to E-193-PH
Serial 11553 of 19213
Year 1930-31
Make Dodge
Model Name Eight
Model Code DC
Plant Detroit
Engine 8 cylinder 220.7 cu.in. L-head
Wheelbase 114 inches

 

Chrysler was still using the Dodge tooling for making nuts and bolts when my 1933 Plymouth was built so there are a lot of bolts marked with DB and I tried to save as many as I could.

 

About 10 or 15 years ago I did a search and came up with a screw and bolt manufacturing company in the Pacific Northwest that claimed to be able to make bolts with any markings you wanted. But the minimum quantity was far higher than I was willing to go for my one car. But it sure seems like a thing that a vendor serving the Dodge (and 1928 through at least early 1930s Mopar) restoration business might want to consider. I would certainly been willing to buy a box or two of appropriately marked new bolts. Just not a pallet load.

 

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9 hours ago, ply33 said:

Odd. I noticed something in 1937McBuick’s reply to E-116-YH’s post that I hadn’t paid attention to in the post itself: E-116-YH’s user ID. I had never thought to use my car’s serial number as a user ID.

 

Serial Number E-116-YH
Found in range E-001-WP to E-193-PH
Serial 11553 of 19213
Year 1930-31
Make Dodge
Model Name Eight
Model Code DC
Plant Detroit
Engine 8 cylinder 220.7 cu.in. L-head
Wheelbase 114 inches

 

Chrysler was still using the Dodge tooling for making nuts and bolts when my 1933 Plymouth was built so there are a lot of bolts marked with DB and I tried to save as many as I could.

 

About 10 or 15 years ago I did a search and came up with a screw and bolt manufacturing company in the Pacific Northwest that claimed to be able to make bolts with any markings you wanted. But the minimum quantity was far higher than I was willing to go for my one car. But it sure seems like a thing that a vendor serving the Dodge (and 1928 through at least early 1930s Mopar) restoration business might want to consider. I would certainly been willing to buy a box or two of appropriately marked new bolts. Just not a pallet load.

 

Sound like a business opportunity for you to venture into. Dodge bolts!  LOL

 

I knew a guy that made a rather decent living by reselling construction screws he bought by the container full from China.

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When I did my '37 Buick, I spent incredible amounts of time restoring the original hardware.  Many of the bolt heads had markings that are not replicated today.  Some of the specialized bolts are not made today.  For the ones I had to replace, I would use my belt sander and grind off the modern torque symbols.

 

My routine for every nut and bolt was:

Wire wheel all the rust off, using channel locks to hold the work

Soak in a container of acetone to fully degrease, clean and prep for paint

Use a cardboard box to lay parts out and label for assembly

Prime and paint OR just use a Rustoleum paint and primer rattle can

 

For bolts that won't hold torque, they gotta go!

 

 

DSC_0717.thumb.jpg.409428a267316d7d8569e8db7e648562.jpg.04713dc83f8e325af4d9a89cc795618d.jpg

First the wire wheel to remove the rust from the threads, and give it a good finish.  (EYE GOGGLES A MUST!)

 

 

DSC_0722.thumb.jpg.522fbae9f98d5b2792a16f657c1fd4a3.jpg.c34a12a44dad4c26a5d2508d1c52d28c.jpg

Front engine mount bolts before and after using just the wire wheel.

 

 

DSC_0184.thumb.JPG.e197e1df537e049c78e46b82cb4aad4f.JPG.df5e54bcd4f1bbdb00619ee1dc0b5317.JPG

Front Brake parts after the wire wheel and now in a tray of acetone

 

 

DSC_0188.thumb.JPG.17eaf622a74e87521fbad8e80d049b99.JPG.75220d1dd919c04f50947eb3042dcccf.JPG

Labeled and set up on a cardboard box

 

 

DSC_0190.thumb.JPG.f54dd64ebf22650c3292dbd31d807e00.JPG.403b6a020b5bcc865745aa42ad40f88c.JPG

Sprayed gloss black, some sprayed silver.....

 

 

DSC_0235.thumb.jpg.261ba18cc080c6f45701c81ac89ede11.jpg.b1b40a3a878000ada50f09595782afee.jpg

Organized for the build.

 

 

DSC_0605.thumb.JPG.71cb477ff45bccc44f372e2e2b0444a3.JPG.f39cf425a0d709a4ede41cdf3915ed54.JPG

Of course there are some nuts and bolts that were completely useless and had to be replaced.  (running board hardware)

 

 

I had a part of my restoration where I made a post about Nuts and Bolts.  I got a lot of personal messages about it!

 

 

(Just touch the arrow in the upper right hand corner)

 

 

 

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Hardware is the 20 grand no one budgets for on a big early 30’s car when doing the restoration.

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I absolutely try to rescue as many pieces of original hardware as I can.  One of the worst transgressions as far as I am concerned is finding a bunch of phillips head screws on a car that never had any.  My current project, 1931 Buick, has a lot of old style bolts and lots of square nuts.  Probably the worst violation I have on my car is all the stainless 1/4-20 by 3/4" bolts with hex nuts on fender attachments and running board aprons that went on while installing fender welt.  The correct fasteners there would more likely have been slotted screws like I used to attach the rear fenders to the gas tank shield.  I know that hardware is the correct style because I copied the hardware used on Dave Dunton's original 31 car.  I also took the trouble of tracking down oval fender washers which are at least style correct, Buick used them to attach the rear fenders to the body.   Another dirty trick I used was to file markings off stainless bolt heads on high vis items and polished the stainless to look like chrome. 

 

I bought 50 sets of 1/4-20 x 3/4 bolts with nuts, locks and flats from Bolt Depot to fasten fenders and running board aprons while installing fender welt.  The bolts probably should have been slotted screws.   

FW 0018.JPG

 

Dave Dunton sent a picture of his car's fender to gas tank attaching hardware and a ton of welt pictures.  I think I did a pretty good job on the welt installation and I know the slotted screws are correct style for the fender to gas tank shield.  I tracked down some pretty good quality oval fender washers like those used by Buick from Moss Motors of all places.  They specialize in Brit cars and Jaguar uses this style fender washer.

FW 0014.JPG

 

I filed markings off and polished the heads of the bumper bar clamp bolts to the left of the repro Guide turn signal lamp in this picture.

Graves 34.jpg

Edited by Str8-8-Dave
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I'm also keen of preservation of all usable hardware. In my 32 Buick most of bolts, nuts, washers etc. were parkerized. I personally prefer oxidation, which is similar to parkerization. Both processes are simple and can be done with respect to safety requirements.
Below example of my work.

Items prepared for oxidation:

BEFORE.jpg.f0ddbb91940cb6c4da5ad37cddab9c31.jpg

After oxidation. It looks good in my opinion:

AFTER.jpg.ddd9dc4630f8d2e0f12d15552f2e8101.jpg

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