Nuts and Bolts

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,901
113
There is NO way you guys are finding the correct hardware and bolts at the local hardware store. I am not saying they will not fit but they will not be correct.

I don't mean to sh*t on 4 pages of positive responses but this thread is under the / Restoration.


These have to come from an OEM car or some of G body vendors. Kirban, Highway Stars, Classic Industries etc
While, the purist side of me agrees with your passion on this, you know that isn't 100% true. You CAN find some of the hardware in odd places. Granted, not going to get that special length bolt or certain head stampings, but in the case of things like locking crimp nuts, and some washers, etc., you can get them from general sourcing. Especially if you stumble across a supplier who supplied GM with said fasteners. But all this only works if you already know what the fastener looked like from the factory. The way I see it though, is if GMSPO has a different part number to a particular application, and you use that GM fastener, even if it didn't look precisely like the fastener that was being replaced, it is the "correct" part. Fasteners seemed to change part numbers like I change my underwear, about once a month. :)

I will attest to the bolts being the majority of the problem when finding the correct looking parts for a restoration. You do not always have to go with used OEM hardware. A correct-sized phosphated washer head body bolt holding the bottom of the front fender to the car is likely not going to be noticed, even in a 1000 point car show. Obviously if you can easily see the bolt, like in a valve cover or intake manifold, and it doesn't look correct, you will likely get dinged, but for the most part, a fastener that blends in is usually not flagged on a point sheet. Most judges probably wouldn't even know every manufacturer's marking for every year anyway.
 
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abbey castro

Master Mechanic
Oct 31, 2015
433
93
Harker Hts TX
While, the purist side of me agrees with your passion on this, you know that isn't 100% true. You CAN find some of the hardware in odd places. Granted, not going to get that special length bolt or certain head stampings, but in the case of things like locking crimp nuts, and some washers, etc., you can get them from general sourcing. Especially if you stumble across a supplier who supplied GM with said fasteners. But all this only works if you already know what the fastener looked like from the factory. The way I see it though, is if GMSPO has a different part number to a particular application, and you use that GM fastener, even if it didn't look precisely like the fastener that was being replaced, it is the "correct" part. Fasteners seemed to change part numbers like I change my underwear, about once a month. :)

I will attest to the bolts being the majority of the problem when finding the correct looking parts for a restoration. You do not always have to go with used OEM hardware. A correct-sized phosphated washer head body bolt holding the bottom of the front fender to the car is likely not going to be noticed, even in a 1000 point car show. Obviously if you can easily see the bolt, like in a valve cover or intake manifold, and it doesn't look correct, you will likely get dinged, but for the most part, a fastener that blends in is usually not flagged on a point sheet. Most judges probably wouldn't even know every manufacturer's marking for every year anyway.
You are right most judges of car shows have no idea what markings are besides the ones noting the grade of the bolt. The oddest place to find bolts is another car :)
 

Rt Jam

Greasemonkey
Mar 30, 2020
140
43
Ontario Canada
I think you missed my point 69hurst. I am not a purist. I used the hardware supplied with the UMI suspension. In fact UMI suspension says it all right there. No purist here.

Just trying to protect others from expecting to find the correct hardware at the local fastener store. It's not there. Sure some clips, retaining nuts and washer may match but like you say. Only if you know what you are looking for. Not here to debate the every part from a local store is wrong. My main point is the replies which is in a thread called Restoration.
 

JAMCAR223

Royal Smart Person
Jun 6, 2014
1,845
113
Houston, TX.
Restored back to "new" looking?
Restored back to "original" looking?
🤷‍♂️
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,901
113
I think you missed my point 69hurst. I am not a purist. I used the hardware supplied with the UMI suspension. In fact UMI suspension says it all right there. No purist here.

Just trying to protect others from expecting to find the correct hardware at the local fastener store. It's not there. Sure some clips, retaining nuts and washer may match but like you say. Only if you know what you are looking for. Not here to debate the every part from a local store is wrong. My main point is the replies which is in a thread called Restoration.
I wasn't calling you a purist. Never suggested it. I said the purist side of ME agreed with your sentiment. But I'm not quite understanding your argument here. You call for a restoration protocol, but you want to use non-restoration parts. I agree that suspension components and critical point fasteners should never come from a hardware store. I just can't see putting my life in Chen Xing-Pi's hands, even if he thought he was making a good bolt. But I also see nothing wrong with using a nut or screw from Home Depot to hold the radio bracket onto the radio if you need to. If that makes any sense.

If you properly restore a car, you can't use UMI suspension parts, even with UMI-supplied fasteners (which they likely source from someone else anyway). I'm sure they use quality fasteners, but it's not a restoration part in my mind. Nor should you use generic, weird bolts/screws from Home Depot. The closest you can get is restification with this. And nothing wrong with that.

As a rule, I don't use fasteners from hardware stores on my cars. I usually go through GM or specialty places when GM doesn't have something, like AuVeco type products, etc. I have used ARP bolts before and I trust them, but they're not OEM for sure. So ARP and restoration can't even be used in the same sentence when going for the factory-new look.

If you don't know the quality of the bolts you seek, you could be in trouble. For instance, it's a far cry difference when the bolt in your chain link fence hinge fails, or a bolt on your car's suspension fails due to being low-quality. Always ask yourself if you trust the fastener from Home Depot in a life/death situation before buying it for your car. I also see some people using stainless fasteners for stuff, which if it's holding a trim part on is one thing, but generally, stainless bolts can't deal with the high tensile strength situations as well as hardened steel fasteners. And if conditions aren't right, they'll corrode worse than a regular steel bolt. Besides galling issues with stainless. For that reason alone, lubricate all stainless fasteners when installing.
 

64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
3,800
113
Upstate NY
Bolt smolt, the best lock nut is supplied by Mr. Crossthread - wife is SAE and husband is from the metric system.
 
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Rt Jam

Greasemonkey
Mar 30, 2020
140
43
Ontario Canada
Do not use me or my car is an example. My G body is far from correct. You could probably even find zip ties on it somewhere.

I am only trying to shed light on others reading this post and the replies since it is in the RESTORATION thread. It should not be.
 
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newmexguy

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Apr 8, 2021
43
8
Las Cruces NM 88005
I agree with Rt Jam. No Big Box Store has hardware that has the markings of the OEM installed nuts/bolts. I've seen many really nice restorations and the Lowes/Home Depot/Ace bolts that detract so much from the appearance, yes they are new bolts and they look so out of place. So I take my tool bag and any G Body in the pick and pull gets taken apart just for the bolts!
Personally have two or three shelves of original OEM hardware, but mostly earlier seventies SAE stuff. Do have 10 or 12 cans of G body stuff, if anyone is interested, would prefer to see it all go. W Texas / NM / southern AZ quality stuff. Dave S.
 

abbey castro

Master Mechanic
Oct 31, 2015
433
93
Harker Hts TX
txo98jlnAighN_uLQQ244q_611rR1naKdSHY9gqefz-5H6Mh3z9ASQxKQkYy_R59m39CCYS-ruYdvSYw1h1OtsIaecXWaEYkSEw7fLhQp99VT7uqADqhKYXSjltMRQ9D93NA6cMBmJmm7oJ_WMZLJr_8zFLc83pF5CDMhOK_47XtzwU1sEnjZ1pRkrq1z4bPwPd14kgJSJZ_39xav9U0BTyV1quR_ymfE11_sfogA42L28-H6z5IJrCEMs6h_G9neyVcklqblnX47EKI3vLw-W6o_-UwVYdFp6ajE-12HIa8CAN4INtDzuIoT4RCKZAeu4DkPoJ8lvyi5LYgZtvRgi8G2eDInwTOQtu6mEdSDyBgxsbpPm4CuH4J6VvHwol7ipWXkmWXGjxK_-bXkY3ElEcNt0FtoTchA-_Ou32kTlyczQpTiKaGRdIfK16N_Qdg1b1HzqFxVhyw9m68rbQZRW66t4qTuFoj_Wn36ac9_Cg2xLWVKWOw0LT7pWov1SZGVCF6_4lXq2MbJTAq7CIKdVADXMl621B3fXpaKS3Fes7F6S9dN3-6YGa4cNPpcAB7Cb39DRcSPyijawBxn2d_8_An6-GeLOaVm7he2CWLYLVLnUW0DKGoOZzc30knzbU6bbgWh65p-sXCJ4Ijkua_T-jZY6r72qUayzu5YsO6i324Z5c4dmxwXXmMdQtZu06ZL9t7ZMTztx4os2FbzFqCbXaL3A=w923-h520-no
This is one of 3 bolt bins I made that roll under my bench's lowest shelf. I use my foot to roll it in and out.
 
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Wraith

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Jan 13, 2013
1,329
113
DFW, TX
Even while I did strip every single bolt and nut out of my car and have them replated, a "nut and bolt" concours restoration of anything less than a GN/GNX/442 seems silly to me.
 
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