Just replace the fasteners

Ferrari 308 seat cap screwWhen I work on my car I almost always replace fasteners whether they need it or not. That’s fine… I’m obsessive about restoring and maintaining my car… everything has to be perfect when I put it back together otherwise it is not worth doing in my book. What surprises me is how mechanics or maybe past owners can put back fasteners that clearly need replacing.

Seriously, who puts a fastener like this back on the car? This isn’t a cheap old car… this is a Ferrari… give it some respect. I have found a number of botched fasteners while working on my car but the most were when I took out my seats. The seats had been poorly re-dyed at some point so I think it is fair to assume that the shop that re-dyed the seats are the culprits for these particular fasteners.

Here we have a stripped allen bolt (socket head screw if you want to be correct). Allen bolts are often softer than the key used to turn them so they can easily round out inside. When they round out you can extract them by cutting a slot in the top and using a screwdriver, as done here. But once you extract them this way there’s no excuse to put it back like that. A new M6 socket bolt costs 20¢ from BoltDepot.com… The equivalent, at regular labour rates, of 5.76 seconds of work. Don’t have them to hand? These stripped when removing the seats and re-dying takes several days so no excuse there. JUST RENEW THE  FASTENERS – THEY ARE NOT EXPENSIVE!

Ferrari 308 seat bolt broken hex keyNot a great photo… sorry… but remember when I said allen keys are generally harder than the bolt? Well this is what happens when the opposite is true: the end of the allen key has snapped off inside the bolt (after rounding it out approximately 30 degrees. The fix for this is simple – find a socket that is slightly smaller than the head of the bolt. Place over bolt and hit with a large hammer. Attach ratchet and undo. Simple… so JUST RENEW THE  FASTENERS and save the next mechanic a headache.


Leave a Reply