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Thread: A "dang it!" and a "thank you!" all at the same time

  1. #1
    Chief Cat Herder showbizkid's Avatar
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    Talking A "dang it!" and a "thank you!" all at the same time

    So I decided today would be my day to give Barney his 1,000-mile front-end lube (more like 1,200 miles, but who's counting?) and jacked him up. But before the lube, I wanted to tighten the cap screws on the differential cover, since he'd been a bit - er, incontinent, shall we say. And my bride did not appreciate him marking up the driveway in this manner.

    So I got the rear end waaaaaaaay off the ground and proceeded to tighten things up. Hand tight at first, then with the torque wrench to 27 foot-pounds (I always torque to the midpoint of the specified range). Some of the bolts - the ones at the top, primarily - were really loose; almost finger-tight.

    Everything was going smoothly until I hit the last fastener, the one that holds on the 45C tag. I felt something going south, and it seemed like it was taking forever to get to torque, when - yep, the head twisted off and fell to the ground.

    "Crap," I said (or something like it), as I sat and watched the drip turn into a trickle. I ran and got a plastic cup to catch the lube while I figured out what to do next.

    I've got a good set of Craftsman reverse-extractors, so I got out the proper size, chucked it into the drill, and proceeded to slowly begin the drilling process... but to my surprise and delight, it seems that the bolt head, in breaking off, left a nearly perfect ridge down the center of the broken face. The extractor caught it and immediately backed it all the way out of the axle housing!

    Even better: I had the proper-size 5/16" cap screw in my bolt box, so I didn't even need to leave the house. Cleaned up the axle housing and cover, blew the hole out, put the new fastener in and torqued it - gently! - to spec.

    So what could have been a frustrating all-day job turned into a "thank you, God" moment that I was very, very grateful for. And the front end got greased, too

    Good times... good times!

    Clark in San Diego
    '63 Standard (F2) "Barney"
    http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Golden Hawk Member Dick Steinkamp's Avatar
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    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA


  3. #3
    President Member ddub's Avatar
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    Wonderful story, fate smiled on you!
    Don Wilson

    63 Avanti R1
    64 Champ 1/2 ton
    Centralia, WA

  4. #4
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Clark, it sounds like the bolt head snapped off because the bolt was stretched, not bottomed out. The remains are a whole lot easier extract when a bolt has been stretched than when it is over-torqued after bottoming out. Good that you had a nice day after all.

    That said, 27 ft/lbs sounded awfully tight for differential cover bolts. So, I just checked the Shop Manual. As I suspected, both Model 23/27 axles and Model 44 axles have 5/16 X 18 cover bolts. But, magically, the smaller axle calls for 13-17 ft/lb, whereas the larger axle calls for the 25-30 ft/lb you report!

    That makes no sense at all, since they have the same bolts. If you ever again have it apart, I would not go over 17 or 18 ft/lb. I don't even torque mine; I just use a step-down reducer from 3/8 to 1/4 inch drive and then tighten them about as tight as I can get them with a 1/4" drive ratchet, which, as you know, is pretty small. That doesn't squeeze out the gasket, as do higher torques.

    This would be even more appropriate if someone was using form-a-gasket instead of a real gasket.

    'Just my opinion, you understand. Again, 'glad it worked out for you. (Boy, you've got your hands full if you have both a working Studebaker and a wife who discourages driveway spotting! .) BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  5. #5
    Chief Cat Herder showbizkid's Avatar
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    LOL... thanks Bob!

    Yes, I was wondering at the relatively high torque values myself, but sure enough as you say, there it is.

    I do have a new gasket on hand, as I had intended to pull the cover and change the differential lube at some point. When I get "a round tuit", I'll take your advice and tighten them up hand-tight. (And use new bolts all 'round too, while I'm at it!).

    Clark in San Diego
    '63 Standard (F2) "Barney"
    http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Happy that you got the remains of the bolt out. Several years ago, I was getting my '48 ready to take to a meet. One of the two side valve covers was leaking a bit on my little 170ci engine. So...I decided to "tweak" the bolts a tiny bit tighter. Big mistake...SNAP

    That is "one of those moments"...you stand there in disbeliefknowing you really knew better, but did it anyway. Think about the location of that blasted 5/16 bolt...right in the inside wall of the valve stem/springs/lifter cavity. Absolutely crestfallen, I fired the engine up and moved the little car from the driveway into the man cave. It sat there for two full years until I got the courage and energy to correct my mistake!

    When I finally tackled the project, I removed the grille, passenger side fender, and manifold off the engine. I then draped the exposed engine like a patient in open heart surgery so that only the valve chamber was exposed. I used "refrigerator magnet material" inside the cavity to catch the metal chips from the drill as I attempted to drill a precision hole in the center of the remains of that small bolt. Using a variable speed drill motor...I drilled the hole at the slowest speed possible to keep from throwing metal shavings all over the inside of the engine. Besides the magnetic material, I would stop every few seconds and pick up shavings with a pencil magnet.

    Finally, after about four hours, I had the hole deep enough to insert an "easy out." Using a small easy out tool, with a tiny wrench, while gently tapping the end with a very small ballpein hammer to keep it "biting" in the hole...I was finally able to break the remains of the bolt loose and back it out.

    The school of "hard knocks" teaches some very unforgettable and harsh lessons. That little "tweak-the-bolt" lesson is a great example. Four hours of hard work because of one millisecond of stupidity!

    In my case...it was a two year and four hour delay in enjoying one of my cars.

    Lesson learned
    John Clary
    Greer, SC


    SDC member since 1975

  7. #7
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Torque Values

    (Yes, yes, I know a torque wrench should be used on every fastener in the universe....)
    But... Here's what I do...

    On 1/4" and 5/16" bolts on covers, etc......
    Grab my 1/4" drive ratchet and socket.....
    Tighten it with one hand....
    That never over torques it, and I am not strong enough to snap it off with that small ratchet.
    Jeff
    Jeff



    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  8. #8
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
    (Yes, yes, I know a torque wrench should be used on every fastener in the universe....)
    But... Here's what I do...

    On 1/4" and 5/16" bolts on covers, etc......
    Grab my 1/4" drive ratchet and socket.....
    Tighten it with one hand....
    That never over torques it, and I am not strong enough to snap it off with that small ratchet.
    Jeff
    Bingo. 'Done that for years, Jeff. Yet to break one in the process, as you say. BP

    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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