Products to Compare (max of 3)
Compare These Parts

How to fix binding Nuts and Bolts


Customers often say: "I'm installing new hardware and I can't seem to keep it from binding!"

Binding Up?

We have all probably had threads gall or bind up on us, It's enough to make you want to pull your hair out! There are several reasons this happens, and it is the most common with chrome or stainless steel but can also occur with plain steel. To save yourself time and money, you should always run a thread chaser or tap and die over and through any threaded item before assembly, especially if it’s a chromed or stainless steel item. Then apply a thread anti-seize compound liberally to both threaded surfaces before attempting to put them together. All engine and car builders use this method to ensure a problem-free build.

Most of us take bolts and studs for granted. ‘A bolt is a bolt’ has been muttered many times by people putting together engines or cars. As you know, there are many grades of bolts and studs and they must be matched to the type of use they are going to see. That said, here are a few suggestions of what to look for and how to properly install and use engine fasteners.

Thread Lubricant

The first time you tighten up a new bolt or nut is when it sees the most friction. There are sharp edges and manufacturing burrs that will cause problems unless they are dealt with. All new fasteners should be torqued and loosened several times before final assembly. The type of thread lubricant will make a big difference here. If you use ARP’s thread lubricant on their fasteners, you should torque and loosen five times before final assembly.

As stated above, the type of thread lubricant used will make a big difference in final torque accuracy. If you just use motor oil, there can be a 20% - 30% difference in final torque compared to ARP’s lubricant. The motor oil will normally require a higher torque figure due to the increased friction of the threads. Use what the bolt manufacturer recommend.

The finish of the bolt also makes a significant difference in torque numbers. Many engine builders remove the black oxide finish most bolts and studs come with to get a more consistent torque after the engine has been run in.

Speedy Tips
  • Be sure that your torque wrench is checked for accuracy at least once a year. You can send it in or find a tool dealer to have it checked.
  • If you have just had your block machined, you will need to run a tap through every hole to make sure the threads are free of dirt and debris.
  • Always remember to use a thread sealant on bolts that go into water jackets. If this is not done, odds are that water will wick its way up the fastener and you will end up with a leak.

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

Installing An Adjustable Proportioning Valve Block
by Steve Lewis - Posted in Tech
Learn how to install an adjustable proportioning valve block.
Ford Flathead V8 Specs and Firing Order
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
Learn about the specs of the V8 Ford Flathead Engine. Check out these Flathead firing order diagrams and torque specifications chart created by the experts.
Determining the Best Performance Carburetor For Your Application
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
We look at the basics of performance carburetion and what you need to properly supply your street or race car with enough fuel in this buyer's guide
Choosing the Right Exhaust
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
A new engine deserves new all new exhaust. Be sure to have a look at our rundown on selecting the best setup for headers, exhaust, and mufflers here.
Selecting Quarter-Turn Fasteners
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
There are several types quarter-turn fasteners used in the auto industry and in this article we'll show you how to choose the correct fastener for your application and how some of the most common types of fasteners are used.
Under Box EFI Ready Fuel Tanks for your Classic Truck
by Joe McCollough - Posted in Tech
Ready to get that crusty, stinky old fuel tank out from behind the seat of your classic truck and upgrade to an in-tank electric fuel pump? Speedway Motors has just the tank for you!
Wheel Offset vs Backspacing Explained
by Joe McCollough - Posted in Tech
This guide explains the difference between offset and backspacing when measuring wheels for your hot rod, muscle car or race car with helpful diagrams.
DIY Cold Air Intake Kits | Carburetor & Injection
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Why buy a cold air intake like everyone else when you can build your own?
Choosing the Right Headers
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Which size of headers should I use? Short or long tube headers? Etc. Learn how to answer these exhaust questions and choose the right header with our expert guide.
Front Spring Choices for Traditional Straight Axle Hot Rods
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
It may feel like a daunting task attempting to determine the best leaf spring for your traditional hot rod straight axle build, but our buyer's guide will surely help.