Classic car fasteners – some pitfalls

At Leyton Classics, we have a number calls from Classic engine and vehicle enthusiasts regarding a variety of fastener issues.  I thought it might be useful to share some of the common and less common ones problems.

Re-using nuts and bolts

One of the common misconceptions is that “it’s OK to reuse the fastener you have just removed”.  Let’s look at this in a little more detail, if you’ve removed a bolt or set which has been “torqued” down, there will be inevitable stretching of the thread, which means that the fastener will be less strong if used again.  A further issue is the re-use of spring or lock washers, which are only single use, they are less likely to lock the fastener in place for a second time, which can lead to failure.  If locknuts are re-used, the locking part of the nut is likely to have worked well when fitted from new, again, it will never work as well when re-used, it is designed for single use.  For the cost of the bolt, nut and washer, surely it makes sense to re-new.

Making bespoke fastenings from multiple nuts & bolts

I was recently asked if we could supply new fixings for an alternator, to which the answer was “of course”, until I was sent a photo of the fitment…basically multiple nuts, bolts, spaces and bar.  The fact is, with the stock we hold, we can usually find most things…even this fitment!

Rare fasteners

We sometimes asked for some rare things, such as the nut holding the splined stub axle (for the wire wheel) on a Healey 3000 to the brake drum at the rear is an interesting fastener.  Put simply, it’s a self-locking very small wheel nut, the locking end is manufactured such that the thread locks.  At £4 each, ten of these, need changing every service, assuming the rear brakes are checked.  I wonder how many owners’ think, at that price I’ll re-use them.

So, if you need rare or obsolete fasteners, give us a call on 0151 355 8045 or