should the bolt move with this castle nut? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:47 PM   #1
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should the bolt move with this castle nut?

While trying to tighten this castle nut, we noticed the bolt is moving too. Before we cut the boot off, wanted to know if this is normal or not.

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Old 07-13-2013, 05:16 PM   #2
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The pic is sideways so I'm going to assume we're talking about the nut that holds the pitman arm to the centerlink right? If so, most times the "stud" is form of tie rod-type end built into the top end of the center link that the castle nut bolts onto. The stud itself shouldn't turn as there would be no way to tighten the castle nut as tight as you need it to be (reel F'n tight) without spinning the entire thing. There is usually a cotter pin through the castle nut too just to keep the nut from spinning off. I'd pop the nut off, get a pickle fork and pop the centerlink off the pitman arm, see if you can spin the stud with your fingers. I'm not 100% sure if it's supposed to spin freely, but I wouldn't think so.

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Old 07-13-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
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Actually, a castle nut is used when the bolt does not need to be super tight. Not sure of torque specs on that bolt, but I am guessing very low. Tighten, then back off till the cotter pin goes into slots in castle nut. By design, they are not meant to be very tight. the cotter pin acts as a nut keeper if you will. Same as we commenly use in many aviation applications btw.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:30 PM   #4
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That nut should be torqued to 55 foot lbs and have a cotter pin in it as a safety measure. Its a tapered stud fitting into a matching tapered hole, with the nut torqued to spec the stud should not turn.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by flflash View Post
That nut should be torqued to 55 foot lbs and have a cotter pin in it as a safety measure. Its a tapered stud fitting into a matching tapered hole, with the nut torqued to spec the stud should not turn.
^^^What he said
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:01 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. The nut is turning, so I am unable to tighten the castle nut unless I use lockjaws on the stud under the boot, which I did. It still turns though.

Sorry for the pic, I was on the cell phone and didn't see how the pic turned out.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Getnoff View Post
Actually, a castle nut is used when the bolt does not need to be super tight. Not sure of torque specs on that bolt, but I am guessing very low. Tighten, then back off till the cotter pin goes into slots in castle nut. By design, they are not meant to be very tight. the cotter pin acts as a nut keeper if you will. Same as we commenly use in many aviation applications btw.
Troy

Depends on the application. If you are talking about the castellated nuts that hold wheelbearings onto trailer and similar spindles, you are correct and it won't hurt to back them off slightly to align the slot with the hole.

If you are talking about a tapered pin connection like on steering and similar, then you are incorrect. That style of connection depends on the pin remaining in the tapered hole to be a viable high force connection and the nut should be tightened to the next slot after the initial torque value is reached.

It is not often that aviation standards cross over to Jeeps. They may at the point in time when Jeeps grow wings and fly, but until then we should stick with automotive standards.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by muddafugga View Post
Thanks everyone. The nut is turning, so I am unable to tighten the castle nut unless I use lockjaws on the stud under the boot, which I did. It still turns though.

Sorry for the pic, I was on the cell phone and didn't see how the pic turned out.

Any time you work on the tapered pin connections on our rigs, a few things remembered will help a bunch.

If the pin turns, use some method like a floor jack, pry bar, your buddy's leg or similar to force the pin into the tapered hole tighter. That will generally give it enough bite to remove the castle nut.

If you are taking it apart and want to use the nut to keep the trackbar, draglink, or tie rod from falling, remove the castle nut all the way first and then put it back on. That assures you that it won't get hung up on the cotter pin hole and make the pin spin.

Don't depend on the cotter pin to maintain torque. It's function is merely to keep the nut from falling off should you lose torque on the nut.

I typically put a box end wrench on stuff I am taking apart that has difficult cotter pins that are being a pain to remove and just use the nut to shear them off. It doesn't take much.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:16 PM   #9
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Interesting idea (I wish I could claim credit but it was my buddy who thought of it): possible reason that bolt turns with the castle nut is because the socket has been worn down and allows it to move freely. I'm going to get in touch with the manufacturer and see if I can order a replacement.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:19 PM   #10
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interesting idea (i wish i could claim credit but it was my buddy who thought of it): Possible reason that bolt turns with the castle nut is because the socket has been worn down and allows it to move freely. I'm going to get in touch with the manufacturer and see if i can order a replacement.
no.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:00 PM   #11
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Only two reasons I can think of where the castle nut will turn the shaft: #1-The threads are boogered up on the nut or the shaft, or #2- the tapered part of the balljoint is not fully seated into the matching taper on the arm.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:04 PM   #12
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Only two reasons I can think of where the castle nut will turn the shaft: #1-The threads are boogered up on the nut or the shaft, or #2- the tapered part of the balljoint is not fully seated into the matching taper on the arm.
There is one more. It was driven with the castle nut loose and the pin wallowed out the tapered hole. That will let the castle nut bottom out on the threads where they meet the pin and not tighten up any further.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:31 AM   #13
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Just wanted to provide some closure for those folks who are sub'd to the thread (and in case someone else stumbles upon this one day).

I replaced the tie rod end. In fact, the theories here about the castle nut losing its thread because of the lack of cotter pin from the previous owner were correct. Once I replaced the tie rod end, torqued it properly, and stuck a cotter pin in there, there was an immediate difference in driving. The bump-steer is practically non existent. Well, that's not true, but when bump-steer happens, I immediately feel it in the steering wheel and can make subtle corrections since there is no longer play in the steering. This allows me to make immediate corrections, and basically eliminated my problem.

Thanks y'all for the help.

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