Do lock washers even work? - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

 3Likes
Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 47 (permalink) Unread 08-31-2019, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
Site Supporter
Grand Prix 125
Main Motorcycle: 2014 RT1200
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 30
Other Motorcycle: 1970 Triumph T120R
Do lock washers even work?

I am waiting for my fasteners to return from plating and the rest of my bike to be powder coated and dreading sorting all the nuts, bolts and washers. One of the items I am particularly worried about it getting lock washers back in place. Today I came across this article, which cites a NASA study that says lock washers do not work. Seems contrary to my experience taking things apart with them on, but any opinions?

https://www.quora.com/What-is-an-ope...8948&srid=tGNA

Second question, should I use Loctite putting my 1970 Bonneville back together? It will have original, not stainless fasteners.
JiminyCricket is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 47 (permalink) Unread 08-31-2019, 08:43 PM
Team Owner
Main Motorcycle: T120RT
Senior Member
 
KADUTZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: in my house
Posts: 4,957
Other Motorcycle: T140V,T140D,T140E,T140J
I believe very little of what NASA says. Use of RTV silicone will gummy up the threads and stop a fastner from backing off.

Only use Loctite if you want the fastners to stay on the machine. 242 blue is acceptable for most items.

K

TRIUMPH
"THE WORLDS PRE-EMINENT MOTORCYCLE"
KADUTZ is online now  
post #3 of 47 (permalink) Unread 09-01-2019, 02:48 AM
SuperSport
Senior Member
 
Tritn Thrashr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,174
You really should Loctite the bolts that hold the flywheel onto the crank and the nuts at both ends of the gearbox mainshaft.

Everything else is personal choice, or addressing things that you find won’t stay tight.

Putting Loctite on “everything” will annoy you when you dismantle things.
Tritn Thrashr is online now  
 
post #4 of 47 (permalink) Unread 09-01-2019, 05:20 AM
SOTP Vintage Series
Main Motorcycle: T160
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Great Britain
Posts: 6,101
Other Motorcycle: T100, T150
Cool

Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by JiminyCricket View Post
NASA study that says lock washers do not work.
Mmmm ...

... there's at least one YouTube video showing nuts 'n' bolts vibrating loose with and without lock washers ...

This much I know from first-hand experience ... Having been using stainless since about 1979 or 1980, from a couple of years later, I was able to afford to change large quantities of standard plated bolts, screws and self-locking nuts (usually Cleveloc) to stainless steel bolts, screws and domed nuts. Early on, I lost a few domed nuts and sometimes the bolts, washers and components too. This was expensive, so I started fitting lock washers, usually what my usual supplier calls "Heavy Duty" - oblong-section wire rather than the more-common square-section. Also, around the same time, I paid more attention to the length of bolt/screw thread into/through nuts - as a rule-of-thumb I use the thread OD; e.g. a 5/16" bolt or screw has 5/16" thread length into/through the nut, a 7/16" bolt or screw has 7/16" thread length into/through the nut, etc. You know what ... I haven't lost a domed nut, bolt, screw or fastened component in a very, very long time ...

If the internet has a downside, it's that anyone can publish anything - right, wrong, well-researched, poorly-researched, biased, unbiased. Internet search engines cannot make any of those distinctions, nor relevant or irrelevant; they simply return links that match keywords in a 'question'. At best, the internet is simply a tool, basically no different to a hammer, wrench, etc.; so the same applies - if you don't use a tool correctly, it won't give you the correct result. How do you know if a result is correct? Experience and judgement.

So, in many ways, I'm glad I did many things - stainless fasteners and other components, lock washers, DOT5 brake fluid, blah - Before Internet. Then, if something seemed like a good idea, I just tried it, rather than endlessly trawling the www and agonising over search engine returns. Now, with first-hand experience, I read stuff on the internet and think, "That isn't my experience". Then, if I'm that interested (e.g. lock washers work for me, why all the stainless on my bikes hasn't rotted them into heaps of corrosion on the garage floor), I can ask a question and use my "Experience and judgement" to sort out "right, well-researched, unbiased, relevant" from "wrong, poorly-researched, biased, irrelevant".

Couple of things to bear in mind here. Widely: NASA, ASME, Uncle Tom Cobbley An' All wouldn't design 4-stroke single- and 360-degree parallel twin-cylinder infernal confusion engine without a balancer shaft. But, lo-on-ng BI, engineers "who just make things work" (to quote a highly-experienced engineer who posts on a few other Britbike-related sites) designed and built millions of the things, which conveyed similar millions of owners billions of miles. Speaking as someone who earned a crust designing and building computer systems for over two decades, beware the "expert" with a computer ...

More-narrowly: you're on this site because you're doing the same as everyone else here - keeping vibratory half-century-old motorcycles reliable for thousands of miles. If anyone else here is also sending rockets into space, they're on different internet forums for that. With wide experience, it's easier to judge the relevance of sending rockets into space to keeping an old vehicle reliable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JiminyCricket View Post
should I use Loctite putting my 1970 Bonneville back together?
Define "Loctite"? If you look at the actual Loctite site (as opposed to resellers'), there are a whole host of "Loctites". Ime, it'd be unwise to use Loctite Superglue? Or even Loctite 263 of the "Threadlockers", which I suspect is what you mean by your question?

Fwiw, I've never used Loctite on any cycle-part fastener; generally lock washers work for me; the one place they don't regularly is on an aftermarket part I happen to use; there I use a Staytite (a particular type of all-metal self-locking nut) locked against a plain nut, which has worked for me for many years.

There are a few places in engines where the workshop manual recommends a particular Loctite "Threadlocker" type, and a few more where some people use Loctite 243. Nevertheless, you're trying to keep a particular vibratory half-century-old motorcycle reliable, YMMV.

Finally here - neatly tying the two parts of your post together - if you choose self-locking nuts instead of lock washers, bear in mind self-locking nuts wear out too, and they're a damn' sight more expensive to replace than lock washers. Ime, the worst 'self-locking' nut type is Nyloc - I actually manged to wear out a handful in one afternoon fitting and adjusting an after-market part; luckily, they were plated and I wasn't intending to use 'em anyway.

The rule-of-thumb for any self-locking nut is: if you can screw the nut fully past the end of the bolt or screw with just your fingers, the nut's shagged.

Most of the original self-locking nuts on your bike were an all-metal type known as "Cleveloc"; the maker's still around and aiui still makes UNF.

Hth.

Regards,

Stuart
StuartMac is online now  
post #5 of 47 (permalink) Unread 09-01-2019, 06:19 AM
Team Owner
Main Motorcycle: T120RT
Senior Member
 
KADUTZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: in my house
Posts: 4,957
Other Motorcycle: T140V,T140D,T140E,T140J
Good morning Stuart.

Might I point out Blue Loctite 242 or 243 are basically the same thing. I don't remember the exact difference but it had something to do with new vs used bolts. 243 was released about the time of the Loctite/Permatex break up. That would be about 10 years ago.

Course you can avoid using anything by safety wire usage.

K

TRIUMPH
"THE WORLDS PRE-EMINENT MOTORCYCLE"
KADUTZ is online now  
post #6 of 47 (permalink) Unread 09-01-2019, 07:44 AM
SuperSport
Main Motorcycle: 79 T140D
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Western NY state
Posts: 1,244
Other Motorcycle: 96 Ducati 900M
Extra Motorcycle: Several Triumph racers
Quote:
Originally Posted by KADUTZ View Post
Good morning Stuart.

Might I point out Blue Loctite 242 or 243 are basically the same thing. I don't remember the exact difference but it had something to do with new vs used bolts. 243 was released about the time of the Loctite/Permatex break up. That would be about 10 years ago.

Course you can avoid using anything by safety wire usage.

K
I believe the difference is the 243 works better on plated bolts..Loctitie recomended a primer be used on plated hardware with #242 for best results..

Second fastest Triumph..............land speed racing....dressed in animal skins clinging to oily vibrating machines propelled by fire..
Truckedup is online now  
post #7 of 47 (permalink) Unread 09-01-2019, 09:45 PM
Team Owner
Main Motorcycle: 1977 Triumph Bonneville
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Grass Lake , Michigan,USA
Posts: 5,281
Other Motorcycle: 1996 Ducati 900ss/cr
Extra Motorcycle: 2007 Ducati S4RS
I use the external tooth type lock washers when I have them. I use nylon nuts or other self locking nuts when I have them, as long as they have some bite . I always use Loctite on hardened fasteners, and never use hardened washers unless there is a specific reason why I need to. I don’t lose fasteners very often.
duc96cr is offline  
post #8 of 47 (permalink) Unread 09-01-2019, 11:26 PM
SuperStock
Main Motorcycle: 2006 Bonneville T100
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Rocklin. CA
Posts: 208
Other Motorcycle: Yamaha Warrior 1700
Extra Motorcycle: Yamaha RZ350
The Different Types Of Loctite.

Loctite's explanation of the difference between their Red, Blue, Green, and Purple grades :

http://henkeladhesivesna.com/blog/th...threadlockers/
49erx2 is offline  
post #9 of 47 (permalink) Unread 09-02-2019, 03:13 AM
SOTP Vintage Series
Main Motorcycle: 1971 t120r
Senior Member
 
rambo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: exmouth devon uk
Posts: 7,077
Other Motorcycle: Triumph Rocket 111
Extra Motorcycle: Triumph Thunderbird LT
Garage
I find nyloc nuts stay put and the split nuts as used on carb manifolds. Problem areas have been rear mudguard and the indicator stems which do need a locking compound.

Now,where did that bit fall off ?
rambo is online now  
post #10 of 47 (permalink) Unread 09-02-2019, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
Site Supporter
Grand Prix 125
Main Motorcycle: 2014 RT1200
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 30
Other Motorcycle: 1970 Triumph T120R
Every once in a long while these unorthodox views on the internet are correct, but I do agree with the consensus that lock washers do work. I recall removing a towing ball from a hitch not too long ago where I fought that lock washer for some revolutions. Second, it is hard to believe every manufacturer since this study was done is wrong by still using lock washers. NASA also has the resources to spend thousands per fastener on alternatives, and it still has catastrophic issues with fasteners.

I think the thing I worry a little about is that I am replating 50 year old fasteners, and that the lock washers may have lost some of their bite or springiness in that time. So I was wondering if that is a thing and there is something people conventionally do, like use a type of Loctite. It sounds like most do not worry about it and do not have issues, except with high vibration areas like fenders.

The only places I worry about (leaving the engine aside) are the nuts that hold the spindle for the front wheel, the nuts that hold the frame together, and the engine mount nuts. I intend to use those thin double washers to protect the finish, and I think I will just ensure the locking nuts are good where used, and maybe in a couple places substitute locking nuts or get new lock washers. Then I will check the fasteners after 10 km, 50 km and 100 km.

As always, I appreciate the comments.
JiminyCricket is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options
All posts must adhere to Forum Rules

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter your valid email address, that can receive an automated confirmation message. Otherwise, you won't be able to gain full access.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in













Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome