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Old 06-29-2009, 12:24 PM   #1
rufusbooth
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replace u-bolts...why?

Well, I am sure I am going to sound like a total newbie with this question but being the curious individual I am I was hoping this community could answer a nagging question for me.

changing u-bolts when working on suspension. I totally get that you should replace the u-bolts for safety reasons of you are working with really old bolts. I mean these things are what I would consider a "mission critical" item and your life depends on these things.

The root of by question is when working with recently installed components. One example I can think of is someone installs a set of lift springs in the front of the truck along with a set of zero rates placed at stock Axel location. This individual then goes wheeling the next weekend and finds the rear of the tires rubbing on a fender. Simple fix, use the zero rates to move the axle forward that extra inch. This entails loosening the u-bolts and moving the zero rates. Most people I have observed recommend changing the u-bolts because they have been torqued.

Now, the only technical reason I can think of that you would need to change the u-bolts after being torqued would be if they were a TTY type bolt. Are the u-bolts torque to yield? Inquiring minds would like to know?

Trust me, the things are not that expensive and I would likely change them myself if in that situation but I would still like to know the technical reason behind "always change the u-bolts".

Cheers,

Rufus
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:33 PM
Posted in reply to rufusbooth's post "replace u-bolts...why?"
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I don't have an answer but good question. Everybody does say to replace the u-bolts when yo do an axle swap with like axles but like you mentioned, these same people would not change to new u-bolts even if they just installed an easy-inch from DIY and didn't replace the axle. What gives and when is it appropriate/necessary to change the u-bolts?
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:39 PM
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cheyennek20
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That would seem like kind of a waste to just have replaced them, then to replace them again immediately after an adjustment.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:43 PM
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cegusman
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I have reused u-bolts several times. I just remember to use some red loctite once I tighten them back up. Then check them often to make sure they did no loosen up.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:43 PM   #5
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Exactly! That is why I was hoping for some technical reasons for changing the u-bolts and when they should be changed.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:46 PM
Posted in reply to cegusman's post starting "I have reused u-bolts several times. I..."
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use some red loctite once I tighten them back up.
Good point! I actually use loctite on new u-bolts but that is just me being paranoid.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:54 PM
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They actually stretch when they are torqued. Even though you torque them to the same value next time, according to testing reports, they will not have as much clamping force. Clamping force and the risk of breaking threads in the nut or breaking the u-bolt (rare, but it happened to me once, while torquing it down), gets a little worse each time they are reused.
That said, I don't change mine every time either, but if I've had them off a few times I get new ones.
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:15 PM
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What he said.

I replace them if they're too short, old and crusty, or have been on and off a bunch of times.
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:22 PM
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Our trucks use pretty big u bolts so we don't see some of the problems that vehicles using smaller u bolts see. For the most part if they are pretty new I will reuse them. I will only reuse them if they have the proper nut and washer on the first time.
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:09 PM
Posted in reply to blazinzuk's post starting "Our trucks use pretty big u bolts so we..."
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i have reused them several times.i have a large stock of them that i have pulled off rigs that i have modified or changed the way the suspension set up is.if the threads are in good shape and there is no visale damage i see no reason not to reuse them.esp since it is around $80.00 a set for them here.
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