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Using bolts instead of rivets for spring brackets.

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Ryan_289 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06 July 2013 at 6:23pm
Im replacing all of the spring hanger brackets on my frame. Ive got them all out and have the new ones ready to go back on.  The holes in the brackets and the frame are larger than 3/8" but just slightly smaller than 7/16".  Would I be better off using 7/16" bolts and drilling the holes out or just stick with 3/8"  If I use 3/8"  what do I need to do to make sure the brackets are lined up with the frame?  Im also assuming that I need to at least hook up my leaf springs before I weld the sides of the hangers to make sure im lined up?  I know these are probably dumb questions but I want to make sure I do this right so that everything lines up and drives down the road straight!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2013 at 6:56pm
The faux rivets you can buy and that a lot of guys use have a 5/16" thread and are way weaker than a 3/8 bolt so I would not be afraid to use 3/8" bolts if you want. The shackle brackets are welded to the frame anyway. To align them, you can run a rod, through both brackets to square them up. I think the ID is about .860 or so.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2013 at 7:20pm
I think a 1/2" ID water pipe has a .840 outside dia
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote I got the Willys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2013 at 7:45pm
I like the look of fresh bolts,rivets are boring Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ryan_289 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2013 at 11:03pm

Yea the bolts wont bother me. I doubt anyone around my area would ever know the difference.  Maybe the jeep police wont get too upset!

I ran into another snag with my battery tray, im also using bolts and nuts to replace the rivets on that one as well.  The front rivet hole close to the crossmember is a blind hole.  Any tricks to getting a nut back there?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2013 at 11:21pm
Well if you are not worried about the jeep police, I would just weld the front tab of the battery tray to the frame and call it done, otherwise, you will have to cut a hole in the inner boxing plate so that you can get a nut inside the frame. Afterwards you can put a patch in the boxing plate and weld it back shut again ..... or not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ryan_289 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2013 at 11:28pm

Ive already drilled the hole in the tab, ill look through my bucket of frame pieces and find the other side of the rivets I punched out.  Ill weld it from the bottom and then it will look like the rivet is there.  Then ill weld the tab down secure.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2013 at 11:49pm
Gotcha
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Schimms15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2013 at 11:54pm
Or tap the hole and use a stud.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adrian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 July 2013 at 12:12am
I "domed" the head of some my bolts, so the ones that I could not hot rivet still look like rivets but are full size bolts.

One good way to dome them is to clamp a grinder down to the bench  and then put the bolt you want to dome in a drill chuck and then grind away with the drill and grinder all going, use a pistol grip drill and move it through an arc as the grinder slowly removes metal, the end result is real good.

Even bolts I have domed in the lathe get finished this way....

Adrian
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff_Davis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 July 2013 at 10:34am
I recently replaced and remounted all 4 shackles to my frame with the larger bolts and then welded.  I used grade 8 bolts and flat washers
 
A little caution on mounting the springs and using them  as an alignment jig - even my new springs eyes were not parallel.  They are crudely twisted and bent spring steel at best.    I like the pipe or rod alignment method mentioned above the best.....    I wish I had thought of that!
 
Happy welding!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkreutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 July 2013 at 1:45pm
When I was confronted with the "rivet vs bolt" question. I ended up using button head bolts (the ones with the round heads and an Allen socket). After I got them tight I welded the nut to the bolt on the backside (least visible) and then filled in the socket head with weld and ground it smooth. You can see examples in my photo album in the "front bumper" gallery.
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