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Old 06-16-2017, 10:12 AM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Havasu City AZ
Posts: 2,076
Default Nutplates

Plus one on Paul's post. If you plan to use stainless screws you may find it better to install a plain steel screw the first time, then remove and install stainless. Another option is allen head plain screws, then remove and install stainless. All with the prescribed lube.
Snap on screwdriver tips, 1/4" drive with ratchet also helps.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:24 AM
acam37's Avatar
acam37 acam37 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Lufkin Tx
Posts: 611

We used Torq-Set head screws in the Navy. Was supposed to be better than phillips head and not strip out as easy. We called them swaztika tips. BTW, I need to find a supplier for these screws. I would like to use them on my -4.
Arlie Conner
RV-4 (N124TT) Sold
RV-8 (N269CP) Sold
RV-4 (N684ML) under construction
KOCH Nacogdoches
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:57 PM
Bill Dicus Bill Dicus is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Shorewood, WI (Milwaukee area)
Posts: 1,066
Default nutplates

I used the #4 screws and nut plates from Cleveland for my wingtips..Boelube on all the screws and regular screwdrivers of proper size Absolutely no problem. Have had wingtips on and off a few times and love those #4's. Tried tapping a few plates and they seemed to lose all their screw retention qualities, so I avoid the tap. Just Boelube, a little care and everything goes well for me. At all sizes. Never tried the toilet seal but that sounds a good idea...
Bill Dicus
Shorewood (Milwaukee) Wisconsin
RV-8 N9669D Flying 12/4/14!
Flying Pitts S-2A, Piper Lance
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Old 06-16-2017, 02:12 PM
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DanH DanH is online now
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 7,600

Originally Posted by Ironflight View Post
I get really nervous when I see this many people say "run a tap through your nut plates!" Sure - there are a few low risk places where this might be OK. But airplanes are not cars, trucks, boats, or houses - fasteners in aircraft are designed to be hard to remove because the consequences of critical parts coming off are much worse than getting stuck by the side of the road. Cavalierly telling people to "run a tap through" defeats the locking purpose of the fastener, and while that might be OK on a storage compartment inside the cockpit, it is not such a good idea on a fuel tank attach plate.

The problem with blanket advice like this is that some places, its OK, other places, it is dangerous, and a rookie builder probably might not know the difference. But its the easiest way to go, so they listen to this large number of people on the internet, rather than the designer of their airplane, or the good words in the good book of acceptable techniques and practices (AC 43.13).

The bottom line is that if you use good tools, and you use BoeLube (beeswax is a good substitute if you check the ingredients) the first time you put a screw in a new nut plate (both recommended by experienced designers and the makers of most kits), you shouldn't have problems. Randomly removing the locking feature of aircraft fasteners is just a bit careless, and a shortcut to doing things right. And shortcuts often lead to bad places.
Dogfight! (yeah, I know, that's the other magazine )

First, auto and truck fastener failures have life and death consequences, just like airplanes. However, you won't find a lot of locking fasteners, because fastener loss just isn't much of a problem. If it was, believe me, the NHTSA would make the FAA look like Boy Scouts, not to mention the truck crash lawyers behind every tree.

"Designed to be hard to remove"? Not really. Nutplates were designed to be reliable (read "don't turn") blind thread receptacles. The locking function is secondary, and can be a plastic insert, which has nothing like the friction of an "egg hole" all metal plate nut. And if high friction is critical, should we ban rivnuts? Zeus fasteners? Quarter turn cowl hardware?

Let's take a hard look at the applications on an RV. There are a few places where a plate nut is used in structure, but they're typically 3/16 and 1/4", and get torqued bolts. There are also the tank screws, along the front spar. None get removed short of a serious issue, so sure, why fool with the locking feature?

The vast majority hold inspection plates, floorboards, seat parts, etc...stuff removed for inspections at least one per year. All have multiple screws. The loss of a single screw means zip, and even if the part managed to shed enough screws to actually come adrift, how many would be critical to the continuation of flight? Bottom line is that there is no good reason why removing them should be hard. We might even argue that making removal hard just encourages pencil annuals, while easy removal supports inspections.

Last, it is entirely possible to tweak an all-metal K1000 with a tap so it has plenty of lock left in it, but not enough to strip a screw head. There is no reason to ban a tap when used sensibly.
Dan Horton
Barrett IO-390
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:32 AM
6 Gun 6 Gun is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 811
Smile Screws

Loctite is our friend.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:30 AM
William Slaughter's Avatar
William Slaughter William Slaughter is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 437
Default Burnish, don't tap

Get hardened socket head capscrews of the appropriate size. Lube liberally with Boelube, then using your electric screwdriver, run them into and back out of the nutplate which is held in non-marring vise jaws. I do them in batches ahead of time, but this can be done in place on the airframe just as easily. Zero material removed, just refines the surface finish, leaving plenty of prevailing torque. Also, plus one on using high grade screwdrivers (or bits). I like Wiha, nice German stuff readily available via online order.
William Slaughter
Houston, TX
RV-8QB FF complete, baggage door done. Fiberglass work mostly done. Now at the airport for final assembly.
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