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  1. #1
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Exclamation Jeep JK Wrangler Grade 8 Replacement Bolts - Do I Really Need Them?

    I know there are a lot of people on the internet who really sound like they know what they're talking about and will tell you that you need to replace your factory 10.9 metric track bar bolt with a new 9/16" grade 8 shouldered one. And, I know there are even a few reputable vendors out there who sell whole grade 8 replacement bolts kits as if there's something wrong with all your factory bolts, BUT, I'm hear to tell you to NOT buy into the stupidness and save your money. Just because it's said on the internet doesn't make it true and let's face it, vendors are in the business of making a buck - they will sell you whatever it is you are willing to buy. Fact of the matter is, there nothing wrong with your factory bolts, they are the right size, they don't need to be shouldered and Chrysler purposefully put them on your Jeep for a reason.

    To put things into perspective, you need to know that there are over 1,000,000 Jeep JK Wranglers out there on the roads today and 99% of them or more are still running these so called "wrong size bolts", for about the last 8 years now and without ANY issues. If all these bolts are really the wrong size, you would think it would be all over the news and some kind of recall issued by now. What the naysayers don't understand is that if bolt size were really the only thing that mattered in keeping things from moving around, there would be no need for torque settings.

    Still not convinced? Let's take a closer look at how things work. When you look at the bushing of your track bar or control arms, the metal piece in the middle where your bolt will go through is called a "crush sleeve". AS IN, it's designed to get pushed really really hard from either end. The purpose of your bolts and nuts is to provide "compression" and cause your mounts to act like a vice by clamping down really really hard on the crush sleeve. The crush sleeves is NOT supposed to rotate AT ALL when installed correctly but rather, the bonded rubber bushing will twist around it. Of course, if you have a polyurethane bushing, heim or other aftermarket joint, the bushing will rotate around the sleeve or misalignment spacers - again, there is NO movement around the bolt and therefore, shouldered bolts are NOT necessary. This is the reason why bolts are rated for "torque" and NOT "sheer" - the value of compression strength is all that is necessary to hold things together. Don't believe me? Place a pencil between your index finger and thumb and hold it in the air. Why doesn't the pencil fall? I mean, there's no bolt going though your finger and thumb to hold it in place. Pinch it harder and it will even take effort to move the pencil around. Imagine that - compression alone made that possible.

    If you really want to spend money on your Jeep, invest in a good torque wrench and use it as a part of regular maintenance.

  2. #2
    Hooked Big b's Avatar
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    I don't normally post because I feel like I have a hard time putting my thoughts down. I also do not have near the offroad experience as a lot of people on here. What I do have is a background in automotive mechanics and engineering and now work in the natural gas industry which puts a lot of emphasis on fastener safety (I have been to week long courses about proper nut and bolt usage). With what little knowledge I have on the subject I can assure you that Jeep engineers put more thought into using non shouldered bolts into these bushings locations than any home mechanic ever will. A bolt is a "spring" and once torqued to it's design point or stretched it wants to relax back to it's original length, fastening the joint. To get the proper spring tension a lot of engineering goes into bolt design, I'm not sure but believe this is why full threaded bolts are used in these situations. When you use very high grade bots in shorter lengths it's actually harder to get the needed stretch or tension applied. For this reason in the Natural gas industry when fastening down high pressure pipe, vessels, or machinery we don't use the largest diameter, shortest, and highest grade bolt, but instead use several smaller diameter, longer, and the correct grade to give us the most clamping tension. Eddie is 100% right in the fact that the bolt is not designed for sheer, they are not axles and are not the parts that were engineered to accept the side load. The side load is handled by the sleeve and bushing, and is only fastened in place by a properly torqued bolt. When you decide to use shoulder bolts (especially high grade) you are bringing in some unknowns that weren't engineered into the system. These may in fact require a lot more torque to hold tension and not loosen, This could damage the crush sleeve, bushing, heim joint, or whatever else was not designed to be crushed as hard. I'm not saying that these grade 8 "upgrade" bolt kits do not work and solve some peoples issues. More than likely you are just masking the fact of improper torque. I just believe those issues could be solved with the factory bolts, proper torque, and maintenance. A better purchase would be a quality torque wrench.

  3. #3
    Old Timer GCM 2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big b View Post
    I don't normally post because I feel like I have a hard time putting my thoughts down. I also do not have near the offroad experience as a lot of people on here. What I do have is a background in automotive mechanics and engineering and now work in the natural gas industry which puts a lot of emphasis on fastener safety (I have been to week long courses about proper nut and bolt usage). With what little knowledge I have on the subject I can assure you that Jeep engineers put more thought into using non shouldered bolts into these bushings locations than any home mechanic ever will. A bolt is a "spring" and once torqued to it's design point or stretched it wants to relax back to it's original length, fastening the joint. To get the proper spring tension a lot of engineering goes into bolt design, I'm not sure but believe this is why full threaded bolts are used in these situations. When you use very high grade bots in shorter lengths it's actually harder to get the needed stretch or tension applied. For this reason in the Natural gas industry when fastening down high pressure pipe, vessels, or machinery we don't use the largest diameter, shortest, and highest grade bolt, but instead use several smaller diameter, longer, and the correct grade to give us the most clamping tension. Eddie is 100% right in the fact that the bolt is not designed for sheer, they are not axles and are not the parts that were engineered to accept the side load. The side load is handled by the sleeve and bushing, and is only fastened in place by a properly torqued bolt. When you decide to use shoulder bolts (especially high grade) you are bringing in some unknowns that weren't engineered into the system. These may in fact require a lot more torque to hold tension and not loosen, This could damage the crush sleeve, bushing, heim joint, or whatever else was not designed to be crushed as hard. I'm not saying that these grade 8 "upgrade" bolt kits do not work and solve some peoples issues. More than likely you are just masking the fact of improper torque. I just believe those issues could be solved with the factory bolts, proper torque, and maintenance. A better purchase would be a quality torque wrench.

    Thank you Big b,

    Along with Eddie's earlier post, this is by far the best detailed explanation of "using a proper fastener" ever to grace the forum. If anyone disputes this well written, factual logic you should be kick in the genital region repeatedly for continuing to argue your ridiculous shade tree mechanic rhetoric.

    Please lock this thread Admin.
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  4. #4
    Nothing but a Thing JeepKeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GCM 2 View Post
    Thank you Big b,

    Along with Eddie's earlier post, this is by far the best detailed explanation of "using a proper fastener" ever to grace the forum. If anyone disputes this well written, factual logic you should be kick in the genital region repeatedly for continuing to argue your ridiculous shade tree mechanic rhetoric.

    Please lock this thread Admin.
    So true!!! Post definitely needs to be locked!

  5. #5
    Caught the Bug BChaffins's Avatar
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    I seem to always learn a lot from the Wayalife forums and even though it seems to get heated at times sometimes causing a little friction brings out the best.

    This has been a good learning experience and for the cost of a few bolts I feel its been worth the ride. And now I own a ball joint puller which can't be a bad thing either. If my wobble is still there in a day or two I'll be heading down the ball joint road I'm sure. Everything else seems to be secure and is properly torqued. I own a fairly good Utica micrometer style torque wrench and it has never failed me yet.
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  6. #6

  7. #7
    Resident Smartass OverlanderJK's Avatar
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    I did the grade 8 upgrade. Didn't do anything except thread my control arm bushings. I went back to stock.

    End thread.
    2012 Jeep Wrangler

  8. #8
    Nothing but a Thing sean.m.adams33's Avatar
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    Good thing I read this right before I clicked buy on amazon prime! But seriously, thanks Eddie, I too have wondered about doing the bolt upgrade mod.

  9. #9
    Fresh Catch
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    Thank you Eddie, good info. I was on track to buy the grade 8 bolt kit till i read this post.
    "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom
    must undergo the fatigue of supporting it"- Thomas Paine

  10. #10
    Knows a Thing or Two CharlieK's Avatar
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    These were on my list of up grades that still needed to do. Thanks Eddie for saving me on this one.



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