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Old 05-31-2019, 07:42 PM
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U bolt puzzle

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a leaf spring shop near me, and the subject of U bolts came up, he asked me if I knew how to assemble a U bolt, of course I said yes, he said ok show me, so proceeded to assemble it, he quickly stated nope that’s wrong.

He indicated that the grooves on the nut were actually supposed to bite into a specific side of the washer, I said I’ve never even noticed grooves of them before.

The nut does indeed have grooves and the washer is definitely not the same on each side, one side has a slight concave to it.

I thought this was very interesting and I’m just curious if any of you guys have heard of this?

This side has grooves, is not completely flat and bevels in


This side has a flat surface


This side tapers out and has less surface area


This side has a more surface area


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Old 05-31-2019, 08:33 PM   #2
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U bolt puzzle

It’s hard to tell in the picture but when the nut has the the ‘biting’ surface I always put that against the surface I’m tightening to. The washers I’m not so sure of. Those appear to be stamped out of a sheet? I’m not so sure if those are what I call cone washers, just a finished and unfinished side. I always have the finished side out...Click image for larger version

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Old 05-31-2019, 09:21 PM
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I edited the original post with some close up photos.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:39 AM   #4
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GREAT!
I reused my original U-bolts when I changed my springs (this is against spring manufacturer instructions). Now as soon as I am healed, I'll have to go crawl under my Jeep just to see if my nuts are on correctly.

I checked the U-bolts a couple tines in the first few months since I changed the springs and everything was still torqued to spec. I used Antiseize on the threads.
That was 5+ years ago and I'm confident that they're still tight. YMMV

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:57 AM
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I did some of my own research into this and really found nothing that could confirm this, the only thing I did find was those markings usually indicate grade C.

So was this just his best practice?, I think if it mattered a whole lot this information wouldn’t be so obscure.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:20 AM   #6
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I am going to call bs.

The washers are a result of the stamping process, not an intentional scientific feat of engineering.

You are talking .00000025 difference on washer face.....for a leaf spring shackle......on a yj.......um, no.

This is going into the same file as fuel injector cleaner.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:25 AM
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I also looked at my old Crown U bolts and they don’t have the markings or any differences between the sides at all, the photos I provided are from hardware of the U bolts that were bent on site for me.

I should of also stated this wasn’t a spring manufacturer, it was a shop that replaces leaf springs on heavy trucks.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:00 PM   #8
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I too reused the leaf spring U bolts when replacing the new springs and after cleaning, used a die to clean up the threads. The original U bolts seemed much stronger than the after market U bolts.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:10 PM
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This really isn’t a question of reusing old U bolts, rather it is nut orientation.

Before I was told this I have just used the flattest side and mated that to the plate, so pretty much the exact opposite of what this guy stated... I’m just trying to get to be bottom of this information.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:20 PM   #10
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I'll help you get to the bottom.....

He's full of shit..... put the washers and nuts on and tighten em to spec... there is no top or bottom to them....
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Old 06-01-2019, 02:03 PM
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Well the Wrangler collective has spoken, resistance is futile
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:03 PM   #12
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Sounds like your shop guy has come up with a clever way to sucker folks into not doing their own spring replacements.
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:12 PM
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This is the same guy that I used to attempt to fix my Mopar springs, that experience was quite odd, in the end it was just a huge waste of time as they had the same issues when I put them back on the Jeep.

I’m not quite sure if there was an angle though, as he wasn’t too excited to even have my business in the first place.
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Old 06-01-2019, 07:37 PM   #14
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To me the 3 grooves look like they may be stamped to deform the threads (Mechanical lock nut). If that is the case, they should definitely not be against the washer. They end up slightly deforming the bolt threads so you dont want to run them down the entire threads, because now all of the threads are structurally comprised and may fail prematurely.

As far as the washer goes, I agree with the previous statement. It is just how they come out when they are stamped. They're maybe some minute differences on paper but not enough to have any effect IRL. It wouldnt even make them more/less likely to loosen (look up the frictional force equation, surface area plays no part). And it isnt affecting the strength of the washer (how often does the washer fail?)

It sounds like this guy wanted to make you look dumb, but had the opposite effect. (He's probably got some washers on backwards upstairs)
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:51 PM
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This what I actually found pertaining to the hi nut

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Old 06-02-2019, 09:16 AM   #16
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I just wasted 5 minutes of my life and now I feel even dumber than before.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I just wasted 5 minutes of my life and now I feel even dumber than before.
Keep that up and you'll go blind.....
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:00 PM   #18
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It looks like IRQ's #15 post gives us the info that we need.
The three marks on the end of the nut indicate grade "C".

I'm not an engineer, so all I've ever heard of is numerical hardware grades, primarily grades 2, 5 and 8. I know there are other numerical grades, but those are the most common in the auto industry.

It seems that IRQ's spring guy is a joker.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:08 PM
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When an old guy that puts leaf springs on for a living tells you something I give them the benefit of the doubt, and I’ve heard crazier things that actually turned out to be true, however this was so out there it needed to be confirmed.

Thanks for wasting 5 minutes you will never get back
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:23 PM   #20
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I don't feel my time was wasted. I learned that there's more hardware classifications than numerical grades.
Now, if I'll ever get to use that tidbit of info, that's another matter.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:32 PM
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I also came out with more knowledge than I came in with, and as you stated I wasn’t aware there were as many classifications with fasteners either, I had to go through quite a bit of information to find that document, I also learned this leaf spring shop isn’t very smart, but they can lift heavy things
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Old 06-02-2019, 07:31 PM   #22
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I'll bet that after reading this, nobody will go to Lowes and buy a cheap ass zinc nut out of a bin again.....
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:44 PM   #23
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Just keep it up until you need glasses.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
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I'll bet that after reading this, nobody will go to Lowes and buy a cheap ass zinc nut out of a bin again.....
Almost all the replacement u-bolts offered in the spring kits are crappy ass zinc w/ loose fitting nuts. They just strip out before achieving proper torque.

I recently bought new plates and u-bolts from Ruffstuff to replace the ones that came with the Crown kit. These seem to be great quality.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:39 PM   #25
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I've seen a similar type of nut for a shock. As one knows, the nut should only be tightened slightly against the rubber bushing of the shock. (Hope I said that right.) The type of nut is a type of locking nut without having to use a locking washer since, as I stated before, the nut is not put under pressure. Instead of this type of nut (which has a different cutout from the one you pictured), one can use a locking nut. This is a nut that has plastic on the tapered end which the thread of the bolt will 'drill'/clamp into as it is screwed.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:37 AM   #26
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You mean a Nylock nut?

Most of the shock nuts I've seen are crimp locked. The top of the nut is slightly crimped on 3 of the 6 corners so that it grips the threaded portion.
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:45 PM   #27
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I hit "Fastenal" whenever I want something worthy of my 30 yr old bucket of bolts. Nothing against the later, especially newest Jeep offerings, but I'm hoping to still be around in another 20 yrs and see how many JKL's still have the interiors and electrical comfort gizmo's still working
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