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Old 01-04-2013, 07:26 PM   #15
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I did my own install on my Blue Ox base plate. Scrapped the nuts and bolts and went with grade 8 with grade8 nylocks with grade8 Zip washers. The small price for piece of mind.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:30 PM   #16
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Split lockwashers are not necessarilary bad for the bolt, they're bad for the joint. The way a fastener bolts two things together is by actually stretching as it is torqued so there is a tremendous tension holding the two parts together. If the two things being bolted never slip against each other, the bolts will never come loose.

Problem with the split washer is that it may, on installation, dig into the bolt head or nut as it is being torqued. So some of the torque goes to gouging the bolt and not to stretching the bolt. So you may not have the amount of clamping force at the rated torque you thought you had. Therefore, a compromised joint.

That's why current practice on critical joints is to use hardened flat washers under at least the nut. Then when tightening torque is applied, the nut turns freely on the washer and all the torque goes to stretching the bolt.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:13 AM   #17
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jetnuts instead of nylocks! also, green locktite is a wicking formulation - you can assemble the joint and loctite it later.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:50 AM   #18
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I like the idea of the green wicking Loctite. Instructions say don't torque anything until all bolts and nuts are installed. Hard to go back and apply red Loctite after nuts are in place. Tried to do that when I installed on my Geo Tracker and ended up with a mess. Several nuts were really hard to get to.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:58 AM   #19
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I have used Roadmaster towing equipment for several years and used the supplied hardware including locktite and split washers. Over torquing a bolt with split washers will be mistake, but with correct torque they perform well. My concern with split washers is corrosion. I will need to replace my hardware after this winter's travel for that reason. The Roadmaster hardware does not have the best plating, so I will be selective with my purchase. My equipment is only five years old and I have been careful and cleaned the towing equipment as often as possible. I do not like hardened steel washers unless mated with a softer top washer (non-locking). We pay a lot of attention to washer stack up in the aviation business, and locking washers are almost never used, but this is automotive and the over engineering is not needed.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmckinley View Post
Problem with the split washer is that it may, on installation, dig into the bolt head or nut as it is being torqued.
No, that does not happen, it only digs in on removal.

HOWEVER, I did find two other issues in my research.

The first is that the split washer is a spring, thus it may tend to 'Fool" the torque wrench, basically the same problem you report but a different cause.. With a flat washer you torque a bolt to say 200 Foot pounds (to pull a number out of thin air) and that translates to a specific force holding the plates together, With a spring washer,,, They plates may still be able to "Wiggle" due to compression of the spring. With a flat washer, This does NOT happen.

The second issue is that they do NOT gouge in when fully compressed, instead they slide, not holding the nut on the bolt at all.

The best solution, per at least one source, is my favorite one... Locktite.

As I said, it goes on like it was oiled. comes off like it was welded.
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