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Old 01-18-2005, 11:00 AM   #1
leecea
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Member#: 37359
Join Date: May 2003
Vehicle:
2003 WRX

Default Re-using self-locking nuts, etc

I always re-use hardware like nuts and bolts unless it is obviously damaged, despite the manual often saying to discard them and use new ones. I've not had any problems, but I'm not sure if I'm taking a big risk by ignoring this advice. Does anyone have any data either way?
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Old 01-18-2005, 11:29 AM   #2
spacenut999
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Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Spaceport, U.S.A.
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2004 WRX Sport Wagon
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Speaking with experience working on space flight hardware, most self locking nuts are good as long as they still fall within certain specifications for running torque. I would imagine with automobile hardware they say toss it and get a new one because it's not that expensive, and it's easier and safer than making sure the nut is still good. As long as your not repeatedly applying torque to it and then taking it back off you should be okay. If you can easily twist the nut on all the way down until the nut is flush to the surface of the piece you are tightening then it's time to get a new nut.

Cliff Notes: No big risk. Just don't do it too often.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:00 PM   #3
leecea
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Thanks for the info. I wonder of we are talking about different types of self-locking nuts. It sounds like you may be refering to the type with a nylon insert. Most of the bolts I've come across on my car have a kinda serated bottom surface that seems designed to grab onto the surface they are tightened against. I'm thinking of things like the nuts on the strut bolts that go through the hub.

Also, something that I thought was particularly strange, some of the front subframe bolts can be re-used but others are supposed to be discarded.
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Old 01-18-2005, 01:43 PM   #4
avk
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On the bolts holding suspension arms and sway bars links, and probably some others, the locking nuts have a collar with indentations stamped in. The manual says those should be replaced, maybe because the indentations wear down. When replacing an axle boot, I did re-use those nuts, with blue Loctite on the threads.
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