Blackened, Stainless Roll Cage Bolts! - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 18th, 2006, 04:37 PM
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Blackened, Stainless Roll Cage Bolts!

Hey everyone -
I have managed to source button headed, blackened, stainless bolts to replace the rusting steel ones on our roll-cages.

The only difference between them and stock is that the stock bolts are torx-drive and the replacements would be hex-drive.

Each truck takes around 25 of these suckers, so the numbers add up quickly, making a group-buy pretty worthwhile even after taking into account the custom costs. I need to order around 500 fasteners to get the price per-piece more reasonalbe.

Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure I can keep the price for a set right around 100 dollars.

The fasteners on my truck, if I recall correctly, are all 30mm long (maybe 25, I have to check). What I dont know is whether all the SW's and 110's have the same length fasteners. I also dont know how many fasteners are required for a 110 (of course the 110 guys with white cages might want plain bolts anyway).

So, I need to know who is interested and who's willing to put up $$$ (turn-around will be at least a month).

A final note from my research: according to the fastener people I spoke with, button headed fasteners are never used in a graded application, so even the steel ones on the trucks currently are low-strength, ungraded fasteners. Based on this knowledge, it is my option that there is no safety penalty for switching to stainless.
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  #2  
Old September 18th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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"Based on this knowledge, it is my option that there is no safety penalty for switching to stainless."

ECR did some stainless and recalled them all because some failed and cracked. Mike correct me if I am wrong but I believe this is what I saw on the website a while back.

YMMV

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  #3  
Old September 18th, 2006, 05:00 PM
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my .02$

I would imagine Land Rover (and/or Safety Devices) could get heat treated, special strength fasteners in any type they wanted so lets not assume that because the fastener people (who want to sell you 1000 expensive bolts) say that button head are never graded, that the ones on our vehicles are not graded or specified at manufacture to be made of stronger alloys.

I think someone should contact Safety Devices (made our roll cages, right?) and get the straight skinny as to the spec of these fasteners.

Hell, at least get a factory bolt and a stainless and torque 'em until they break, do some sort of testing. ?

Im all for as much (safe) stainless as I can get!!


Thanks alot for this Jim!!

~Steve
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  #4  
Old September 18th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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I broke a few of the regular SS set by hand when installing them.
It took alot of force, but they do break.
Is it torque or stretch (tensile) that is more important.
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  #5  
Old September 18th, 2006, 05:23 PM
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In a rollover, some bolts would probably be put in a shear loading and some would probably be put in a tensile situation. Its a situation that could vary widely depending on the accident and so, I say: OEM or better only!

~Stv
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  #6  
Old September 18th, 2006, 06:22 PM
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Stainless fasteners

Stainless fasteners have to be lubricated before attempting installation because they are prone to "galling" which will cause them to snap off. Learned this the hard way on my bertram sprotfishing boat.
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  #7  
Old September 18th, 2006, 06:50 PM
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I'll do some more research and see what I get regarding bolt strength.
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  #8  
Old September 18th, 2006, 08:24 PM
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Years ago we used to install the SS bolt kits from company X. After installing a few with air tools (we just installed them we didn't hammer them in) the heads split and developed cracks.
I then did some reserach on stainless (helps to be next to some of New England larges boat yards) and all said that to use stainless to replace a grade 12 bolt (like the Roll cage has) would require going to roughly double the diameter to retain the same strength.
Then we started doing roll over and even minor fender bender repairs of Defenders with SS bolts and found that they pop like popcorn when even minor stress is applied.
Then there is the gawl (sp?) factor that can happen, but that isn't bad in these larger threads.
End of the story... Nothing built by ECR has SS bolts in any safety related item and I'd never run SS bolts in a cage or anything that meant my ass, too many folks with way more hardware knowledge than I said it was a stupid idea.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I was talking with Safety Devices and they said the new hardware they use on the NAS 110 style cages is now all SS. So go figure.

For us from a liabilty side, the cages leave here as LRNA had them set up, but someone should conatct Safety Devices and get the skinny. Who knows, I could have been speaking with a moron there as I was just asking about when my cage had shipped.

Too each his own though. I'll touch up my bolts periodically and keep the roll over strength until I see proof that a SS bolt is as tough as a grade 12 in impact sheer strength (aka roll over accident.)
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  #9  
Old September 18th, 2006, 08:52 PM
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This is my kind of subject! I can give the straight skinny on Stainless but not on what is already on the roll cage as I have no idea.

If we are just talking in general application, there is no way for a stainless bolt to be as strong as the same size tool steel bolt. Usually alloy A2 type steel is used. There are websites that sell stainless steel bolts that claim that they are as strong as grade 8 bolts. I DO NOT believe that for a second. Tool steel can be heat treated to 55 Rockwell C with good shear resistance. Stainless, no matter what kind 13-8, 15-5, 303, whatever, just does not exceed about 48 max.

This is just general information and a lot of questions remain. Has anyone seen the bolts on a stock roll cage fail? Are the bolts even the weak spot? What bolts are used? If they are crappy grade 2 then stainless would actually be an improvement.

There are a lot of unknowns. If someone wants to send a stock bolt to me and one of the SS ones I can have them both tested and tell you for sure which is stronger. That said, if no one is willing to test it, I simply wouldn't change them. It is my opinion that the stock roll cage is inadequate in the stock form so the thought of potentially making it weaker is not to appealing to me.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 09:49 PM
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I'd take you up on that offer to test them. I'll sacrifice a roll-cage bolt and order up a single stainless one for testing.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
I'd take you up on that offer to test them. I'll sacrifice a roll-cage bolt and order up a single stainless one for testing.
No problem. When you are ready, PM me and I will send you my address. I can have a test done pretty quickly.
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  #12  
Old September 19th, 2006, 12:12 AM
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"Grade 12" is not a valid material condition or 'call out' to SAE, ASTM, or ASME specifications.Grade 8 is the highest standard 'western' material condition: ferrous alloy heat treated."Lamalloy L-9" is a proprietary alloy steel material heat treated that is somewhat 'stronger' than Grade 8.( 160m psi tensile vs 180m psi tensile)ISO metric materials are Class 12.9 (applies to hex socket head cap screws, equivalant to ANSI 'heat treated alloy steel' Rc38-45); Class 10.9 (applies to hex head cap screws, equivalant to Grade 8); Class 8.8 (applies to hex head cap screws, equivalant to Grade 5).

Follow-up Post:

ISO 12.9 has a tensile strenght of 175,000psi.
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  #13  
Old September 19th, 2006, 12:29 AM
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You mention that these strength ratings apply to head head bolts. From what I understood about button head bolts, like the stock roll cage bolts is that the penetration for the torx drive weakens the fastener substantially. I can't find any grading marks on the stock fasteners.
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  #14  
Old September 19th, 2006, 04:12 PM
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I don't know if this qualifies as any test of the matter, but when I rolled the D90 all the bolts held and the tubing joints on the passenger side collapsed.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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I have a stainless roll cage bolt from I think the Mud uk kit -- yours for testing if you want. let me know.
Tony
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Old September 19th, 2006, 08:29 PM
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What roll cage bolts come in the Mud kit? I was under the impression that the motosource kit had standard stainless hex bolts to replace the roll-cage bolts, but thats the only other kit I was aware of.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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Sorry, just checked, it's the remnants of a motosource kit
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  #18  
Old September 20th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECR
Fast forward to a few months ago when I was talking with Safety Devices and they said the new hardware they use on the NAS 110 style cages is now all SS. So go figure.
I can confirm this. When I got the Safety Devices full roll cage kit earlier this year, all 6,000,000 nuts and bolts in the kit were SS.
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  #19  
Old September 22nd, 2006, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s
THas anyone seen the bolts on a stock roll cage fail? Are the bolts even the weak spot? What bolts are used? If they are crappy grade 2 then stainless would actually be an improvement.
From the photos I've seen, I'm getting the feeling the 90's cage does more to make us feel safe than it actually does to keep us safe. I assume it would be strong enough to provide adequate protection in an off-road, low speed rollover, but the wrecked D90's I've seen don't make me feel safe.

But I digress, these photos seem to show that several of the bolts in the roll cage failed in this accident. I found these photos on the web awhile back, maybe someone remembers the truck and what happened to it, but I never knew the circumstances of the accident (if someone does, I'd like to hear them, were the occupants okay). It seems pretty clear to me though that several of the bolts holding the roll cage sections together failed..

http://img1.putfile.com/main/9/26413082691.jpg

http://img1.putfile.com/main/9/26413082678.jpg

http://img1.putfile.com/main/9/26413082792.jpg

More photos in the gallary:

http://www.putfile.com/lrnad90/images/24328
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  #20  
Old September 22nd, 2006, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepeytr
From the photos I've seen, I'm getting the feeling the 90's cage does more to make us feel safe than it actually does to keep us safe. I assume it would be strong enough to provide adequate protection in an off-road, low speed rollover, but the wrecked D90's I've seen don't make me feel safe.

But I digress, these photos seem to show that several of the bolts in the roll cage failed in this accident. I found these photos on the web awhile back, maybe someone remembers the truck and what happened to it, but I never knew the circumstances of the accident (if someone does, I'd like to hear them, were the occupants okay). It seems pretty clear to me though that several of the bolts holding the roll cage sections together failed..

http://img1.putfile.com/main/9/26413082691.jpg

http://img1.putfile.com/main/9/26413082678.jpg

http://img1.putfile.com/main/9/26413082792.jpg

More photos in the gallary:

http://www.putfile.com/lrnad90/images/24328

Do you know if those are Hurricane Katrina trucks? Those 50 to 60' tall pine trees did the same thing to the houses they fell on.

I agree, a bolt together NAS cage can't be nearly as strong as a full welded rock crawler or race car cage.
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