Author Topic: Source For Automotive Bolts  (Read 1769 times)

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Online bostonman

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Source For Automotive Bolts
« on: June 07, 2022, 12:33:01 am »
I'm trying to find some bolts for a car suspension repair and McMaster-Carr doesn't seem to have exactly what I need. Does anyone know a good place to find bolts?

From experience, usually McMaster has every fastener that exists (or what I've needed), however, it doesn't seem to be the case now.

The bolts I need are tapered at the end (not a big deal if the new ones are not), but I need:

M10x1.5mm x 40mm fully threaded flange bolt, 10.9 grade, but with a washer.
M12x1.75mm x 95mm fully threaded flange bolt, 10.9 grade, also with a washer.

Although I can buy washers separately, I'm curious where to find bolts that match these (the washer is fitted onto the bolt so I can't remove it). Obviously they must exist since they are on the car, but could they be special ordered bolts (it's an old GM car) or am I just not looking in the correct place(s).
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2022, 12:40:58 am »
I would suggest visiting your nearest dealer or a good local garage - they will know how to source them.

You could try the likes of NAPA or other parts suppliers, but they're likely not to be of great use without a part number.
 

Offline Whales

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2022, 12:42:06 am »
Tip when searching through online catalogues: a fully threaded bolt is often deemed a "screw" not a "bolt". 

I'm used to seeing retained washers on smaller fasteners, didn't know they also came on larger ones.  Perhaps you can get washers with slightly undersized holes and force them on using a press?

Online bostonman

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2022, 12:59:03 am »
Quote
Tip when searching through online catalogues: a fully threaded bolt is often deemed a "screw" not a "bolt". 

You're absolutely correct.

I've been clicking on the pictures McMaster has for so long that I didn't read the title which is 'Hex Head Screws'. Pressing a washer isn't really important.

My main objective is to fix the car, use the "correct" hardware, but also learn where to find the actual bolts since they must exist.

In either case, the local NAPA and/or garage is a good idea. I'm assuming most garages would either have a junk bin of bolts, use the old junk bolts that are so old the head has become worn from age, or hack other bolts onto the brackets.

Thinking logically, a local garage would need to fix the car somewhat quickly, so they'd need to do one of the three methods I listed above, or, as suggested a NAPA may have a plethora of bolts.
 

Offline themadhippy

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2022, 12:59:22 am »
Quote
a fully threaded bolt is often deemed a "screw" not a "bolt".
or  set screw in the uk
Quote
but with a washer.
Is the washer fixed to the bolt or is it free to rotate? If its fixed maybe a flanged screw,uk based,but for example https://www.spaldingfasteners.co.uk/m10-metric-coarse-10-9-grade-hex-flange-fully-threaded-set-screws/
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2022, 01:04:25 am »
learn where to find the actual bolts since they must exist.

If they are available the dealer will be able to get them. The full exploded diagrams (the dealer or any good independent garage will have these) will have a part number for every single bolt, pin, and clip.
 

Online bostonman

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2022, 01:09:53 am »
Quote
If they are available the dealer will be able to get them. The full exploded diagrams (the dealer or any good independent garage will have these) will have a part number for every single bolt, pin, and clip.

I wonder if the bolts are special/custom and that's why they'd need to be ordered. My paranoid side believes this is a ploy the car manufactures use to make it harder to repair.

This is another option too, but I'm betting the dealership prices are through the roof.

The car isn't really worth putting much money into it. Providing I get the same 10.9 grade (or better), I'm sure a standard hex head bolt, with a washer, will suffice.

In either case, thanks for the input as always. I thought maybe this was cut and dry where someone would know of a website.

 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2022, 01:13:40 am »
Google "automotive bolts", specialty dealers for that stuff show up easily, for example -

https://www.wurthusa.com/web/en/website/produkte_1/fastenershardware/bolts/bolts.php
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2022, 01:16:46 am »
They'll be made to suit the application, and likely common across quite a range of their designs. Their quantities are such they need not concern themselves with what is standard to other industries.

Dealer prices for this sort of thing usually aren't too horrific. Nothing to lose by asking them.
 

Online bostonman

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2022, 01:37:35 am »
Quote
https://www.wurthusa.com/web/en/website/produkte_1/fastenershardware/bolts/bolts.php

Ironically I found this website earlier (prior to posting my question) but didn't find what I was looking for.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2022, 02:30:17 am »
I'll just emphasize what has been said before.

1.  Automakers quantities allow customization at no cost or even cost savings.  In working on my vehicles I have found many screws/bolts that I have never encountered in non-automotive applications.  Some of the customizations ease assembly, and don't really have any challenging performance requirements.  Unfortunately head bolts and suspension bolts are likely to fall in the special performance class.  Another reason automakers may go to custom bolts is to reduce legal liability for off the shelf parts.

2.  In the US the automaker is legally required to make replacement parts available for ten years after date of manufacture.  If your car is less than ten years old, or if the identical design element was used on a vehicle in the last ten years the part will be available from the dealer.  It is worth checking multiple dealers as I have encountered price differences over 300% on the same part from different dealers in the same city.  The law doesn't set prices and different dealers have different theories on keeping customers happy and coming back to buy new vehicles.

3.  Auto parts shops (NAPA, O'Reilly, Autozone, etc.) can usually access these parts, and larger stores often have shelf stock on commonly needed parts.  This is great if you are fixing a Ford pickup or other popular model, less helpful if your car is much older or less popular.  There is a great variation of the density of these shops, and I have noticed an inverse relationship to area income.  Wealthier folk in general pay other people to fix their cars.  If you are getting engineer or technician pay you may have to go far from home to find a good shop.

4.  Online parts stores (Rock Auto, A-1 Auto Parts and others usually are far cheaper than the local stores, even after paying shipping charges and have far larger stocks and selections.  Navigating to your part is sometimes tricky if you don't know the exact nomenclature, but your suspension bolts shouldn't provide too much trouble.

5.  As a last resort, you or a local machine shop can manufacture bolts to your specifications.  I have done this on several occasions, sometimes starting from a similar, but not quite right bolt.  This requires you to fully understand the needs of the application and/or a willingness to enforce limitations on the vehicle utilization.  Not cheap, but much less than the cost of a new car.


 

Offline james_s

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2022, 02:33:06 am »
Belmetric has a lot of automotive and other metric fasteners, you could give them a shot.
 
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Online bdunham7

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2022, 02:42:01 am »
A body shop supplier may have similar bolts.  I had a collection that I acquired from junking cars--the bolts you describe are found only holding old GM cars together--I've never seen that fully-threaded tapered style anywhere else.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Online Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2022, 03:05:26 am »
I would suggest visiting your nearest dealer or a good local garage - they will know how to source them.

What I have done in the past with exotic bolts is to hit up my local machinery shop. They've got catalog books of nearly every damn bolt ever made and know what's what. Failing that, they have made perfect bolts for me in the past from a pile of broken pieces. High tensile too, if I want.
 

Online bostonman

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2022, 03:21:19 am »
Lots of great input.

As for GM having custom parts, I considered this, however, didn't consider the possibility of legal liability which brings light to the topic.

My gut feeling on the bolts being tapered is based on something else stated: they are easier to install at the factory. Rather than try to align the bolt into the hole, the tapered bolt goes into the hole much quicker.

The car in question is twenty-five-years-old and not worth much effort trying to get identical (custom?) bolts. I just find myself wanting to figure out how to do things "correctly" should a situation arise where perfection is required. If I cheat now, then I'll not learn anything and cheat later.

The smaller bolts M10 x 1.5mm x 40mm go into the frame of the car and hold a bracket. For those who work on cars and care to know, the control arms are rotted off. I painfully was able to remove all the bolts, and, other than making sure they are 10.9 grade (which is the marking on two of the bolts that still have life), providing I get the correct length, pitch, and obviously size, I should be safe with ones from McMaster.

Any input on going with black versus the zinc plated? They go into a metal sleeve (I don't know the material of the sleeve - maybe stainless steel) on the control arm, so I'm uncertain if the plating material can cause erosion due to them not playing well with each other.
 

Offline eugene

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2022, 02:40:35 pm »
I just thought I'd mention fastenal.com as an alternative to McMaster for for hard-to-find fasteners, at least in the US.

Online ordering is the same as everywhere else, but they also have brick and mortar outlets, possibly one near you that you never noticed. Sometimes the local store will have what you need when the hardware stores don't. If they don't stock it (but it is on their website) then they will special order it and have it in the store in a couple of days without charge for shipping. 
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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2022, 05:10:26 pm »
Another source similar to other suggestions is a "pick a part" salvage yard if there are any in your area.  Those bolts are common on GM cars over a fairly long period, so take the appropriate wrenches and you should be able to collect all you need.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2022, 05:33:41 pm »
Another source similar to other suggestions is a "pick a part" salvage yard if there are any in your area.  Those bolts are common on GM cars over a fairly long period, so take the appropriate wrenches and you should be able to collect all you need.

That's California thinking!  In many places those have all rotted to oblivion and any such bolts would be useless even if you torched them out.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2022, 05:36:15 pm »
Another source similar to other suggestions is a "pick a part" salvage yard if there are any in your area.  Those bolts are common on GM cars over a fairly long period, so take the appropriate wrenches and you should be able to collect all you need.

That's California thinking!  In many places those have all rotted to oblivion and any such bolts would be useless even if you torched them out.

Presumably they will have rotted a little slower than those exposed to the salt cycles for a similar period.
 

Offline Benta

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2022, 11:08:32 pm »
The bolts I need are tapered at the end (not a big deal if the new ones are not), but I need:

M10x1.5mm x 40mm fully threaded flange bolt, 10.9 grade, but with a washer.
M12x1.75mm x 95mm fully threaded flange bolt, 10.9 grade, also with a washer.

Just curious: why would a flanged bolt need a washer? 
 

Online bostonman

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2022, 11:36:56 pm »
Quote
Just curious: why would a flanged bolt need a washer? 


Thanks for asking because I've wondered myself.

I'm guessing to reduce the force on the bolt head. The M12 bolt goes through a bracket which goes through a sleeve and the (what I call) knuckle rotates on it as the car bounces, so I imagine the constant rubbing may wear down the flange. What I also don't get is the fully threaded bolt goes through a sleeve. As the car goes up and down and the arm rotates, it will wear the threads and the threads will wear out the insert thus making it sloppy over time.

From what I'm seeing though, this isn't the case as the rust has provided a nice thick filler for any cracks. It's been so nice that I spent lots of time trying to remove these bolts; and didn't give up because they were annoying me.

The washer on the M12 is about 26mm with the bolt flange being 25mm. The washer on the M10 bolt is about 28mm with the bolt flange being 20mm.

As I've mentioned, trying to find exact parts with features that don't alter the function (i.e. a tapered head or a washer that's pressed onto the bolt threads) isn't really important. A solid bolt with a washer should do just fine.

Usually I use these moments to learn and figure out how to obtain the actual (in this case) bolts should this be a project that required precision or whatever.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2022, 11:49:03 pm »
Just curious: why would a flanged bolt need a washer?

The flange and the captive washer are both hardened and have an appropriate surface to control friction and torque without galling the surface underneath. 
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 


Offline Monkeh

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2022, 01:58:08 am »
Wrong pitch on both.
 

Online bostonman

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Re: Source For Automotive Bolts
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2022, 02:06:44 am »
I saw that site earlier, but also clicked on the links and noticed the pitch is wrong.

Another hiccup on McMaster is the flange bolts for the M12 only comes in partially threaded, however, a slight possibility it doesn't have enough threads (I need to remeasure tomorrow).

I can buy a fully threaded non flange, but most likely the flange adds a level of strength.
 


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