I just finished respoking the wheels on my latest project. The new carriage bolts for the front wheels would strip the threads off the bolts and nuts with the slightest amount of torque applied. I went to the local hardware that has a great selection of nuts and bolts and bought stainless steel carriage bolt to use. The question I have is that the junk (Grade 1/2) bolts had a shoulder for about half the length, the stainless bolts are threaded all the way back. I wanted some opinions ( I know that's dangerous) on whether the threads will have no effect on the wood spokes or my other thought was to get some thin walled tubing and run a length of that in the wood and the bolts through the tubing to protect the wood. Your thoughts.
My thinking is this: If you have enough movement for the threads to be a problem, you have other problems that are greater. But I am really new at this so don't take my word for it at all. I will be curious to see what others say though.
I thought the shoulder of a bolt was a shade larger than the threaded area.So if there is only threads in the holes,there would be room for movement wouldnt there?
I would at first think something like a thin piece of shim stock to go between the bolt and the wood, but then,there shouldnt be that much space? I would be stumped.
Actually the first thing i would do is get on the horn to the folkes i bought the "correct" bolts from and ask them what can be done about the situation.Those bolts should be of suitable grade to accept some torque because you have to put them in tight then peen them. Once peened,wouldnt it be hard to tighten them more later?
Where did you get those inferior carriage head bolts with the too short shoulder and threads that strip with the slightest torque? I would think that the proper sized higher strength, higher grade carriage head bolts with the proper sized shoulder would be available from Langs or Snyders. If you did not get them from one of those places, I would order them from them. Don't chance using an inferior bolt here. Jim
Jim's right, wheels are assembled with "hub" bolts not "carriage" bolts. Note that the hub bolt has a higher round head. As far as I have been able to tell no modern day hardware store sells these.
The hub bolts, even the original bolts, are soft bolts and can be easily twisted off if you cinch down on them like they were a grade 5 or grade 8.
When I respoked my wheels (last winter), I used the bolts made for that purpose sold by the suppliers, blue Loctite, and no more than 30 ft. lbs. torque.
1500+ miles later, I still have tight spokes and hubs, and no problems....
When I added Rocky Mountain's to my wheel's, the original bolt's were not long enough to bolt everything back together. I went to the local hardware store and got basic, Grade 2 strength carriage bolt's. Yes, the head is not as high as the original's, but they have worked fine.
They were "full thread" bolt's- no unthreaded shoulder.
McMaster-Carr supply company sells by mail order grade 5 carriage bolts. Their website is:
The heads need to be made smaller in diameter to match the original ones. They work great for Rocky Mountain brake conversions.
One area I'm not sure about is the diameter of the original heads. Were they all the same or were some years larger? I have seen larger diameter headed bolts in what looked to be T wheels but they could have been from a different make of car.
Hopes this helps.