Nuts 'n bolts - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 125
Main Motorcycle: 1968 Trophy "project"
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Nuts 'n bolts

I've got my 68 Trophy project stripped back to its bare frame, and the rebuild will start in the next few weeks.

All the nuts and bolts I've removed are pretty much serviceable (and have been carefully bagged according to location), but are corroded to varying degrees. It seems a shame to refit them to what is going to be a freshly painted frame with either new or restored (in other words clean and shiny) parts.

I know engine case and mounting bolts are readily available as kits, and will be purchased when the time comes, but as for the various others, are these easy to find, or do I have to measure each and track them down individually? Are there any kits available for the frame fixings for example with everything needed included?

There were some odd bolt sizes fitted to the bike as it was (three different sized heads on the four for the rear footrest plates for example), so I'm not dealing with all original bolts as it is, hence why measuring everything wont necessarily give me the correct results. A bolt "kit" or several of them if needed would be ideal.

The other option a mechanic mate said is to just use metric nuts and bolts of the closest diameter (and of the appropriate grade of course). I'm not averse to this, given the bike is never going to be a show winner, but I want to do it right (as in safe, and aesthetically pleasing).

What would you suggest as the best way forward?

Many thanks in advance.
Dan
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 02:00 PM
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Use grade 5 UNF nuts and bolts not set screws. Look up the individual part numbers in the parts book, this will give you an under head length that you can match the nearest 1/8 inch. Then google the part number and you will typically find the bolt diameter. You could of course use Metric but then your riding tool kit has to have two sets of spanners.

As for the engine plates there should be two 3/8 diameter and the rest 5/16.

Rod
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 125
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Cheers Rod, really helpful info, and thanks for confirming the bolt specs.

The metric idea feels wrong somehow, and that point on the toolkit seals the deal for me.

I’ll do some Googling.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 03:54 AM
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You can buy high-quality UNF selection kits from Grove Components at a reasonable price.
http://groveco.co.uk
I have used them for years on all my classic and vintage restoration projects for decades, without ever having experienced a poorly manufactured fixing.

Make sure you get zinc plated though, stainless will create anodic reaction and corrode the steel around it.

Ian

Last edited by Boggie; 08-08-2019 at 07:16 AM.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 04:03 AM
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There is a logic to part numbers and part number progression.

My suggestion is to take your parts book and match it up to a suppliers price list. Also later Triumph Parts Books will have a chart at the end converting the number to a size.

If you don't have a Parts Book or an expansive price list might I suggest going to www.britishonly.com
Here you can download your Parts Book and a price/parts list for comparison.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 05:54 AM
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Hi Dan,

I've moved this to the main CVV Forum from Vintage Technical Tips & Tricks (where you'd started the thread originally); doesn't really fit with the latter's ethos and more people will see it here.

Fasteners raise vexed questions here in GB because of the age of your bike:-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postie2003 View Post
All the nuts and bolts
have been carefully bagged according to location
Platers are around that'll replate original fasteners but, even if any'll do it, they'll charge the earth to keep 'em separate according to your "bags"; most'll want a bucket-full, which they'll "tumble" to clean and replate; you then have to "measure each ... individually" as you rebuild. Be aware that they'll be replated in zinc, not the original cadmium, which is likely to appear horrifyingly-bright when returned but does dull relatively-quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postie2003 View Post
do I have to measure each and track them down individually?
Ime, 'fraid so ...

Usually, the quickest way to know diameter, thread and length is to take the part number from the parts book to http://stainlessbits.com/link12.html. However, this does contain several "?????" and a few mistakes - e.g. barrel base studs described as both "BSW/BSF" and "UNC/UNF" or a some small screws described as UNF when they're BA. Nevertheless, this doesn't take away that it was a vast effort and is still a valuable resource; it's now hosted by Forum contributor Greg Marsh (@marshg246;) who's also turned it into a searchable database at http://www.gregmarsh.com/MC/FastenersList.aspx.

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Originally Posted by Postie2003 View Post
Are there any kits available for the frame fixings for example with everything needed included?
Not in plated afaik, one or more stainless suppliers might offer "kits" for a given area; however, be aware even they're a vexed area, which I'll explain ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redmoggy View Post
Use grade 5 UNF nuts and bolts not set screws. Look up the individual part numbers in the parts book, this will give you an under head length that you can match the nearest 1/8 inch.
Hah, you wish!

Because most people who rebuild old bikes don't want plated fasteners going rusty as the finished restoration sits in the garage, stainless fasteners overtook plated some years ago. The parts suppliers sell relatively-few plated fasteners so, apart from any available being pretty-much as expensive as the equivalent stainless, your choice will be 'take it or leave it', rather than "grade", bolt/setscrew or a length you don't have to hacksaw (the end of which'll go rusty ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postie2003 View Post
odd bolt sizes fitted to the bike as it was (three different sized heads on the four for the rear footrest plates
While the latter sounds like the usual DPO (Dreaded/Dipsh1t Previous Owner), bear in mind your bike originally had both Unified- and British Standard-thread fasteners, consequently at least two different hex. sizes for the same shank diameters ...

However you decide to proceed, if you don't have 'em already, I strongly advise a set of "thread gauges" aka "screw pitch gauges" - enter either phrase into your preferred internet search engine and decide how much you want to pay - and a way of measuring diameters accurately - good steel rule works most of the time but both Aldi and Lidl have low-cost-but-good digital vernier calipers time-to-time. Armed with diameter and tpi (threads per inch), you can look up a thread on t'internet - "unified thread", "cycle thread" and "bsf thread" become your new best friends in your preferred search engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postie2003 View Post
I know engine case and mounting bolts are readily available as kits,
Mmmm ... you know your bike's engine case screws are BSF and the correct mounting bolts are Cycle? Ime, "kits" are more-often of Unified-thread fasteners ...

Then you're aware "kit" engine case screws will be Allen heads, not original Pozidrive and - if such a detail is likely to bother you - heads of different-length bolts could well be different patterns too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postie2003 View Post
Are there any kits available for the frame fixings for example with everything needed included?
"one or more stainless suppliers might offer "kits" for a given area; however, be aware even they're a vexed area, which I'll explain ..."

I started using stainless nearly forty years ago - originally the exhaust clamp bolts because the heat there causes plating to fall of fairly rapidly (due to differential expansion?) and then the fasteners'd both look crap and are difficult to remove/reuse. Then I disliked the way any plated fastener rusted at the hex. corners, plus I changed a lot of bolts on my T160's to studs-'n'-dome-nuts. Although I changed fewer bolts on subsequent bikes, I've never gone back to plated, because of the reasons mentioned above, because stainless are available in GB in a wider variety of lengths than plated and, even if any do have to be cut down, having cleaned up cut ends with files in an electric drill, they never rust.

I use stainless even if I'm trying to replicate the look of original cadmium, because even polished stainless lightly bead-blasted does ... but never goes rusty ...

Notwithstanding they came off the bike, ime you'll likely end your rebuild with a load of - usually short - bolts, having bought a load of new longer ones. That's usually because Triumph was tight about washers - you'll care more about hex. corners and spring washers gouging your new paint and chrome so you'll fit more washers - and at least some of your paint will be thicker than Meriden applied ...

The above is at least one of the reasons many stainless suppliers don't offer "kits", they got fed up with punters moaning how this bolt or that screw isn't long enough, not enough washers, yadda, yadda. I've used the Middletons for decades - very rarely out of stock of anything, quick dispatch; uniform look - when I've had to a buy a replacement for something I bought thirty years ago, the new one looks exactly the same. But, if I get a length or thread wrong, while they'll exchange the fastener, I pay postage both ways for my mistake ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postie2003 View Post
The other option a mechanic mate said is to just use metric nuts and bolts of the closest diameter (and of the appropriate grade of course). I'm not averse to this,
You should be - this is A Really Crap Idea.

"closest diameter" is rarely any good - if bolts and studs aren't of the correct diameter, vibration will wear holes oval - only 5/16" / M8 are close enough; 5 mm. is bigger than 2BA / 3/16", 6 mm. is smaller than 1/4", 10 mm. is bigger than 3/8" and smaller than 7/16", 12 mm. is bigger than 7/16" and smaller than 1/2".

Plus what would you do about threaded components - you can hardly fit, say, M6 Allen screws through the engine cases? So you'd be left with a mixture certainly of metric and British Standard fasteners, and probably some Unified too. Fwiw, years ago, an ex-girlfiend had a 1960's bitsa and, at first, I tried using more-common Unified fasteners rather than BS; but I came up against the problem that some original BS threads would take major work to convert to Unified ... in the end, it proved easier to use all-BS fasteners, as I should've done in the first place ... lesson learned ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postie2003 View Post
What would you suggest as the best way forward?
Not sure there's one "best way", to a great extent, it's up to you, all we can can do is offer individual experience ... and point out 'the worst ways' ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boggie View Post
stainless will create acidic reaction and corrode the steel around it.
Never experienced that in nearly forty years and well over a dozen bikes and cars.

Hth.

Regards,

Stuart
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 07:28 AM
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Apart from the auto correct error (acidic was supposed to say Anodic, but I guess you knew that), now corrected, I am really surprised you have not experienced galvanic corrosion. I have seen it a number of times where stainless is against steel. It is even worse in aluminium; on a recent S2a Land Rover project, I had to bin most of the panels where the PO had fitted SS fasteners, presumably for longevity (the fasteners were ok but the aluminium panels were toast),

Stainless steel and mild steel are 0.25 and 0.6 respectively. More than enough to start galvanic corrosion in the weaker element (in this case steel or Iron). This is the reason for sacrificial zinc anodes on steel hull boats.

Obviously you need to add water (and worse: salt) into the equation to accelerate the process, as well as lots of time, but I build my restorations to last (I treat each one as a 'keeper') so don't take any risks. Zinc plated fasteners look as good as stainless and as long as they are good quality, will last as long.

Just sharing my knowledge and experience.....

Last edited by Boggie; 08-08-2019 at 08:18 AM.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 07:31 AM
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 07:46 AM
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You could buy home plating kits back in the day. I used one many years ago and the results were great.

Not sure if this is still viable but I had fun wtih it.
in the UK, I've ordered quite a bit of stuff from these guys for UNF parts.

namrick.co.uk
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 12:22 PM
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Now that would be useful. 🙂
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