I need to paint the wheels I just got back from Noah Stutzman. The wheels have modern carriage bolts holding the hubs to the spokes. Should I try to strip the shinny finish off the bolts before painting? If so, what should I use. I have never been able to get enamel to stick very well to plated nuts and bolts.
I believe that Steve Jelf has used muriatic acid in the past to strip the plating off of fasteners. If there are any raised markings on the heads, you can remove them also by grinding/polishing.
I don't have nay wheel bolts handy to check, but didn't the originals have fine threads? Modern carriage bolts are USS, not SAE. Also the heads are a little different, so you might consider buying hub bolts from the "usual suspects" and changing yours out.
I would replace the carriage bolts with the proper hub bolts. The heads of the correct bolts are a different shape and don't have the markings on them. Also, the proper bolts are shank bolts and are stronger than standard carriage bolts.
David, the hub bolts are coarse. Kinda surprising in my opinion since pretty much every other thread on a T is fine.
The vendors sell the proper bolts and nuts:
Spring for the proper bolt set. You won't regret it. Carriage bolts just don't look right. Whenever I've had Stutzman do a set for me, I supply him with the right bolts. I don't know why he doesn't stock them himself.
These bolts are toast, but it's plain to see they're coarse thread. I agree this is not a place to skimp. Get the correct new nuts and bolts. I believe the bolts you get from Lang's and most of the other parts dealers come from R.V. Anderson. That means quality and correctness. With modern carriage bolts you get neither. I'm surprised and disappointed to find that Noah Stutzman uses them. I'm glad I sent him all the metal parts for my new wheels.
That used to be true but the OHIO guy knocked off RV's bolts and who knows how strong or weak they might be in comparison. Get your bolts directly from RV or Lang's to make sure you get the genuine article. Just because a bolt may look the same does not mean it is the same grade.
You want to be leery of using "garden variety" carriage bolts fabricted in the Orient that are sold in your local "Lowest", "Home Despot" or "Ack Hardware". Rather than the heads being a single forging as you'd expect them to be, the new bolts are formed with a square shoulder, and the round heads are "buttons" spot-welded to the shank of the bolt. It doesn't take a lot of stress for these bolts to fail, the "button head" can pop right off. Not what you want on your wheels. (or anything else, really.)
While we're on the subject, notice the total disappearance in these places of regular old slotted-head screws ? Bah !
If you put too much side pressure on those metal rasps or whatever you call them that fit in a die grinder the head will pop off. I figured they were all one piece.
There are brazed carbide and solid carbide die grinder bits. You're probably experiencing cheap brazed carbide ones popping apart.
There's little reason to go with the wrong kind of nuts & bolts when it comes to holding your wheels together, especially when the good kind are not particularly expensive.
I got my hub nuts & bolts from RV Anderson. _They're correct and of extremely high quality. _Here's the contact information I have on hand. _I hope it is still current:
RV Anderson Engineering
3515 Route 62
Kennedy, NY 14747
Just knock the old bolt out with a hammer and punch, replace with the right type of bolt and nut, finger-tighten and repeat, one at a time, until they're all in place. _Then cross-torque 'em nice and tight. _To lock everything together, you can either peen the bolts or use blue Loctite on the threads before spinning the nuts on.
Thanks for the kind words, fellas. John is right; Lang's still carries my bolts. Bob's contact information is correct.
The set of wheels that I want to paint are for a Model R. They are much lighter than a Model T wheel, the hubs are smaller and use smaller bolts. Lang's sells the proper bolts for these wheels, about $60 per wheel. Much more than what a T wheel cost. When Noah did my Model T wheels a couple of months ago he used the correct bolts in them. He does a fabulous job.
Tedious, but maybe remove each bolt and grind the head down to the proper size/shape? Would remove the plating from the head, but leave it intact on the shank where it might do some good.
Being cheap often can cost more than using the best and doing it once! Bud.
The original bolt heads have a much higher dome than modern carriage bolts.
You can turn down the circumference, but they will still have the wrong profile.
Yup, those are pricey bolts. However, when it's all said & done, they'll probably be one of the cheapest parts you'll buy for that car. (I restored a Model N) Plus, having the bolts with the wrong style head will detract from the aesthetic value of the wheels that you've already invested good money in. Do it right. No regrets later.
Every one has overlooked the nuts! The hardware store variety is 5/8". Be sure to get the correct 11/16". I don't know if RV sells them too, but probably does.
I agree, again, this is not a place to skimp. I will adapt modern hardware in some other places, but not here. Do it right with the right materials.
RV can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he told me the correct nuts from Lang's are fine, and he can't match their price and doesn't try.
This thread is extremely important if cheap carriage bolts are being adopted at a wheel builders shop (even if only intended as temporary).
The wheels on my '18 MAY have come from that source some 30 years ago. They're gorgeous. I just went out and looked again and I'm still good/correct but as already said the modern carriage bolts are pure unadulterated crap. Grade two or less if you're into that.
Steve, may I ask? Is there any particular reason you are outsourcing your newest set of wheels to be done? Perhaps just convenience?... :-)
Perhaps the wheel builders got tired of ordering hub bolts where the lengths showed up incorrect or were mismatched. (I sure did). Noah built 3 outstanding sets of wheels for me, where he clearly instructed me to furnish this hardware. I'm the hobbyist here...it's my job to do the research and furnish parts that are acceptable to me.
The nuts are a semi-finished heavy hex jamb nut. I have tried finding them, and they do not appear to be made any more. I take a heavy hex nut (correct size across the flats, but too thick) and cut down the thickness on the lathe to match the original nuts. There is a BIG difference between the original nuts and the nuts sold by the vendors.
This source -
has grade 8 carriage bolts and heavy jam nuts.
Original Ford Model T hub bolts are soft, like grade 2 perhaps. Its pretty easy to twist off the original Ford bolts. I think RV's bolts are grade 5, correct me if I am wrong.
I think grade 8 may be too brittle for the wheel application. Just an opinion!