Stainless Steel Bolts - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Stainless Steel Bolts

A note of caution on the SS bolts. SS will produce a galvanic reaction with aluminum. Simply put- the aluminum of the case will migrate to the SS bolt with the slightest bit of moisture present. This can be quite a problem in marine applications. The bolt over time will become tighter than a ... well lets just say very tight. Something may need to be applied to the threads to break this reaction. On my boat outdrive I use silicone gasket sealer on the threads before I install the bolt. Seals the water out and breaks the galvanic connection ( brackish water accelerates the erosion ). How much of a problem this would be on a motorcycle I do not know. I use anti-seize on all of the bolts on my aluminum bicycle. My 2 cents, John

No fear, use the SS BUT put a dab of silicone or anti-sieze on the threads first. The outdrive manuals say to use silicone BUT the outdrives do not get hot like an engine does ( I do not know what they use on their outboards motors ). If I change to SS bolts I will use anti-sieze and not worry about it. The motorcycle is never under water like a boat ( lets hope ) so the problem is nowhere as bad. I have not had experience with chrome but would think it would be about non-reactive to the aluminum. I build automated manufacturing systems for inhouse use where I work and have had problems with SS and alm over the years. The silicone or anti-sieze does do the trick from my experience. I guess the real answer is--has anyone of the group ever had a problem with the SS? I may just be being an alarmist

Stainless Steel bolts trated with the anti-seize would be no problem. And hasn't been a problem with my bike.

For Stainless steel bolts/nuts I use a spray on silicone lube. I also use it on any bolt I remove and replace. Another small problem with stainless steel bolts is they are a bit harder than regular alloy bolts..which is good...but bad if going into threaded aluminum- you run a higher risk of stripping the threads out. So be carefull there adding silicone also makes it hard to "feel" how tight your getting. When in doubt..use a torque wrench. knifemaker1954
Remember that link I posted abt chrome bolts and nuts etc etc ??? ferget abt it... I found out my ACE hardware carries chrome bolts in both SAE and Metric. Got me some chrome 1/4-20 bolts today with chrome acorn nuts for my lay down license plate bracket on the 1600 I assume all ACE hardwares stores would have the same ? Jax
Are you sure they are chrome and not nickel plated?...I usualy opt for the stainless steel bolts and polish the heads. They will not rust and the mirror finish I put on them should last a long time. Some companys do make bolts/nuts with a chrome+nickel plating..but in time they can pit and rust. A way to prevent this on bolt heads that show is to coat them with clear nail polish..which you don't have to do to stainless ones.
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