Fastener problems when maintaining classic vehicles

Whenever we are supplying a customer, we know very well that the fasteners element of any project, whether a car restoration or a major construction project, will be the smallest element of cost.

However, we also know that our major customers value:

  • Our ability to supply the correct specification, every time.
  • They deal with someone who understands what they need and when. The last thing most customers want is to find the job delayed because the wrong materials have been supplied.

However, when we are dealing with professional restorers, they know to use new fasteners for every job AND to ensure that the correct fastener is used with the correct thread.  Because Classic Cars built since 1945 have used British standard Whitworth, Unified (UNC/UNF) and Metric, this issue becomes ever more complex

We recently had a customer bring in a selection of bolts holding his Healey gearbox together.  “Selection” meaning, there was a combination of different threads…which was a problem as they were holding an aluminium casting.  We worked out that virtually all the bolts (apart from two) were the incorrect thread (although close) and had been in use, albeit with leaking fluid, for several years.

So as a checklist:

  • Always use new fasteners when restoring, avoid utilising the old bolts/nuts as threads can stretch.
  • Check that the threads are correct, particularly on 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s models.
  • Beware, some single “mark” specialists sell individual bolts for fairly high prices.

Please check out our other blogs on fasteners which may well be useful.  Whilst we have the facility to measure threads and all the different elements such as pitch etc. this is a time-consuming process, so we are unable to offer it “on demand”.  However, if in doubt, call or email and we will do our best to help.