nuts with nylon inserts versus lock washers and jamb nuts

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wrote:

WOW. From now on when I go on a plane, I'm going to look to see what kind of system they use. I really don't think I've seen a lock washer yet. Most of the stuff I see has plastic push fasteners. I must be dense as a rock. I thought they would use all sorts of fasteners depending on the application. Now to find out they use only a few. Oh, dopey me.
Steve
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Well maybe you should look at what is used on aircraft instead making assumptions. While there are mil-spec lock washers that were used on some aircraft, they are never used in an area where safety could be compromised by them coming loose. In safety critical areas, either castle nuts and cotter pins are used or safety wire is used. Nylon insert nuts are now the preferred choice in all instances where castle nuts and/or safety wired is not required. My own feeling is that if it is important enough to need a lock washer, it is important enough to use a high quality nylon locking nut.
If however you are talking about holding pieces of plastic together for cosmetic panels, you can use all the plastic push fastners you want.
On another post you commented on the "single" use of the nylon insert nuts and this may be correct if you are using the common cheap Home- Depot made in China hardware. I have found that aircraft grade nylon insert nuts will still provide a firm tight hold after two or three cycles. I wouldn't recommend them for more than that though.
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On Sat, 3 May 2008 17:53:40 -0700 (PDT), BobR

I'm the OP and I would think a Harbor Freight trailer is even more cheaply made than most of Home Depot stuff. And on the box the trailer came in, it says Made in China.
I hope my axle doesn't fall off!!
They also say no more than 55 MPH. Can I take that to mean no more than 60?
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-snip-

It won't blow apart at 56. or with 993 pounds in it. But if it does, it's your ass, not theirs.
FWIW- mine has about 2 years and 5000 miles on it. Once I did some really bad math in my head and put 4000 pounds of cement blocks in it. I'm glad I only had 5 miles to go as it pulled like a wet rug--- but it didn't bend anything.
Recently I made 16 trips of 80 miles one way. Empty one way- about 1000 pounds of pavers on the return. 65 miles an hour for most of the trip. I watched the bearings closely for the first 3 trips- but it was up to the job.
Use *good* wheel bearing grease. Check it often. [I haven't had any luck finding 'bearing buddy' caps that fit the Harbor Freight trailer] I've checked the bolts a couple times. Haven't found a loose one yet.
Jim
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wrote:

LOL.
It didn't actually say to check after 200 miles like I think I said. It was after 20 miles. Somewhere it said every 20 miles -lol- but I haven't found that again.

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If it trails properly, you can probably push it a little beyond the 55 mph. It will probably do better when loaded than empty. An empty trailer can easily start to wag back and forth or start a serious bounce. I had that happen with an auto hauler trailer once (doing less than 55) and it ripped the ball off the hitch. (Thank heaven for a good safety chain.)
PS: Not everything made in China is crap. I bought a tile saw made in China from Harbor Freight a couple of years ago and it has been a great buy.
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On Sun, 4 May 2008 17:34:10 -0700 (PDT), BobR

Very important. Thanks a lot.

I'll buy that. I sort of whined about how cheap it is to forestall others telling me how cheap it is.
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I used to use one of those "little red trailers" - the foldable style of the type sold at HF, although mine came from K-Mart. Many of the nuts on the trailer were nylocks, which made it pain to assemble, but it held up for a long time.
I'd load it with 500 - 600 pounds stacked 6 feet high and towed it for hours at (at least) 65 MPH on a regular basis. Never had an issue.
Kept the tires properly inflated and repacked the wheel bearings once a year, typically before the spring race season.
I eventually got an enclosed trailer and sold the open one, with homemade side walls, for $25 more than I bought it for, after 4 years and thousands of miles.
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We use nylon insert nuts torqued to up to 168 inch pounds and loosen and tighten them on fairly regular basis. It takes many, many cycles before we can't tighten them anymore. On the other hand, we've had some that can't be torqued even once, but that's very rare.
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As long as the Nylocks do not have many cycles on them you can use them without fear of loosening. Loctite is not needed. The only thing that will loosen a Nylock is a wrench, not vibration.
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wrote:

There is so much help here from many of you, rather than several replies, I'm going to thank everyone here -- Thank you -- and followup here.
I'm very encouraged about the nylon inserts. My one concern still is that somehow they use a different kind of nylon in China that won't work as well?
As it turns out, I bought the trailer 15 months ago and had it shipped to my brother. The instructions didn't show lock washers for any of the bolts I'd gotten to when I posted, but yesterday I got to the 4 square U-bolts that hold on the axle and the instructions said they used lock washers. But none were enclosed.
I had downloaded the instructoins from Harbor Freight, and they have changed them in the last 15 months and the new instructions show NO lock washers. Surely this isn't to save money, so they must think it's as good or better. Yet after reading all your posts, I'm still going to use them under those 8 nuts, because it seems like it can't make it worse. ??
FTR, my instructions showed a mixture of English and metric bolts, but the only bolts enclosed were metric. The new online instructions now correct some slight mistakes and also match the bolts etc. that they enclosed, except that neither mention that I need a grease or a grease gun, maybe.
There is some grease on the bearings, but after I put the hub and bearing on the axle, am I supposed to use the grease fitting to fill the whole chamber with wheel bearing grease? All it says it to fill the cap at the end with grease.
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