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Old 02-13-2010, 12:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Reused u-bolt failures?

I want to know what everyone thinks on reusing u-bolts, personally i wont do it the extra 50 bucks for peace of mind is worth it to me. If you havent heard why not to reuse u-bolts its to do with the sharp threaded nut against the rolled threads on the u-bolt and when the nut is removed it cross threads the threads often you cant even see the damage.

If anyone has had any experience with u-bolt failures because of reusing u-bolts, tell the story and post up some pics if you got them.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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As far as I'm concerned U-bolts are torque to yield. I spent some time in a spring shop, and most people have no idea how far they actually stretch. Or that they should be upright when tighted(as in 90* to the axle tube)

Usually what happens is a broken center pin. People like to blame the pin, but fact is that the pin only is there to locate the diff until the u-bolts are tight, the clamping force or friction is what retains the diff.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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From my understanding its a combination of torque to yield and the thread design, i have found it odd how some people break their center pins when i have seen holes in spring perches ovaled before the center pin broke in a front end collision never thought that they were reusing their u-bolts, that makes perfect sense to me.

So i take it you dont reuse?
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I cut them in half to take them off. Don't give customers a choice. Unless it's been less than the time to the retorque(usually the first wheeling trip, or 300miles or so)
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Unless it's been less than the time to the retorque(usually the first wheeling trip, or 300miles or so)
No failures with customers in this category?
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ive reused mine lots of times after breaking center pins leafs and shit Ive never had and problems as long as they tighten up there fine.
Its not rocket science everyone I know has reused them at some point as long as there not horribly old my way of thinking about it is if they loosen OK and tighten OK there good to go.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ive reused mine lots of times after breaking center pins leafs and shit Ive never had and problems as long as they tighten up there fine.
Its not rocket science everyone I know has reused them at some point as long as there not horribly old my way of thinking about it is if they loosen OK and tighten OK there good to go.
Would you reuse ring gear bolts in a diff? they will loosen and tighten ok
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Would you reuse ring gear bolts in a diff? they will loosen and tighten ok
I've reused ring gear bolts plenty. I alway clean and red-loctite them. That's a whole different ballgame though, as ring gear bolts don't torque to the same levels as u-bolts and they are loaded in shear as opposed to the random loading of u-bolts (especially in an offroad rig).

I can't think of a time where I've had the chance to re-use u-bolts? I ususally cut them off donor vechicles. All the aftermarket u-bolts I've used had tall nut that seemed to be a mechanical lock nut, so it Fs the threads when you back them off?


I *may* have reused factory u-bolts on a fullsize chevy one time when I pulled the front axle for a complete clean/rebuild. (that was about 7 years a go so I dont remember, probably did tho)
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Would you reuse ring gear bolts in a diff? they will loosen and tighten ok
I do all the time i also reuse flywheel bolts and from time to time head bolts.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't like reusing bolts personally.Then again around here I don't know anyone who doesn't re-use all the above mentioned bolts.The only failures I've seen are driveline u-bolts and toy steering arm bolts loosening,but I believe it's just a matter if time.
Here are my thoughts....I don't want to be that guy who died when his axle separated or the one who was stranded,and had to leave his rig to be cannibalized over a few bucks and some inconvenience.

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Old 02-13-2010, 08:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I've only ever been able to get one set of ubolts off, and I reused them. I never have a problem with them. Since then, I've just cut them off and replaced them...
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I cut them in half to take them off. Don't give customers a choice. Unless it's been less than the time to the retorque(usually the first wheeling trip, or 300miles or so)
^^^^^exactly, its only $50 for a new set....dont be cheap
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I never reuse u-bolts, they don't cost that much to replace and I would rather have new un-stretched bolts while on the trail than take the risk.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I reuse u bolts all the time and have for years,never had a failure.same goes for ring gear bolts,never a failure.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I reused mine a few times, I swapped my axle in and out a few times while burning everything in. I used loctite and never had a problem.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:33 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I've reused them all. Ubolts, flywheel bolts, ring gear bolts, and head bolts. You just have to use your common sense man.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I've reused them all. Ubolts, flywheel bolts, ring gear bolts, and head bolts. You just have to use your common sense man.
Common sense doesn't exist. You islanders are just cheap
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have reused u bolts a few times and have never had an issue. But i only use them when i dont have new ones around. I just dont see the point in spending $50 every few months when im fine tuning my set up. Once i have it set up the way i like it then i will get new u bolts and i wont have to touch them for a year or two
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:08 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I re use them if they arent old as hell or gouged real bad, but recently I had an eye opening experience that switched me over to getting new ones each time.

I was torquing my u bolts before the NYE Clayton run and at about 100 ft lbs it snapped in half in the middle of the bend. This isnt some pos lift kit u bolt either. 5/8' Dayton stock. I get mine made at Inland truck parts who only work on big stuff over 2.5 ton, and usually around 5 ton and up.

Its cheap insurance to replace them and also go to a bigger size when doing so. Anyone who has had an axle twist out from under them knows the fun it causes.

These pics are from 2" blocks kicking out, back in the day. No pics of the snapped u bolt though.

No I didnt have rear steer, lol

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Old 02-13-2010, 01:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I've reused plenty, I chase the threads and use new nuts and washers if the old ones are worn badly, and torque them to 115 lbs with a torque wrench. I've never had one fail, knock on wood. But I am dealing with bigger than 1/2 inch ubolts too.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:08 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Why do you think gear install kits come with new ring gear bolts and a pinion nut.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:09 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I've re-used them, and every time I have I've had to keep re-torquing them until I finally got pissed off and put new ones or changed something in the suspension and needed longer ones.
I've gotten away with re-using many fasteners, but u-bolts always give me issues... I usually just buy new and cut the old ones off.
Hell, back when I was young and had no money I re-used a headgasket in my 300 I-6 3 times with no issues....
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:24 PM   #23 (permalink)
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If they are course thread then thay can be used again w/ little to no issue, if they are fine thread you are pressing your luck.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:49 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I don't reuse them. They're usually a few years old, and living in the rust belt makes them hell to get off. So I end up cutting them off, or recently snapped one when I had to use a cheater bar (having no air tools sucks ). I replaced the flexplate bolts also when I put in a 351. I tried using the original bolts, but one broke right off at the head when barely applying any torque.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I re use them if they arent old as hell or gouged real bad, but recently I had an eye opening experience that switched me over to getting new ones each time.

I was torquing my u bolts before the NYE Clayton run and at about 100 ft lbs it snapped in half in the middle of the bend. This isnt some pos lift kit u bolt either. 5/8' Dayton stock. I get mine made at Inland truck parts who only work on big stuff over 2.5 ton, and usually around 5 ton and up.

Its cheap insurance to replace them and also go to a bigger size when doing so. Anyone who has had an axle twist out from under them knows the fun it causes.

These pics are from 2" blocks kicking out, back in the day. No pics of the snapped u bolt though.

No I didnt have rear steer, lol
I'm betting you weren't running a Traction Bar. So it's not completly the Ublots fault. Puttin extra force on them with blocks will cause them to fail sooner.
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