OT - Need Source for Long Elevator Bolts

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I need a few elevators bolts in the 3 3/4" to 4" range. Every place I've found on-line seems to carry a max length of 3". I've tried McFeely's, Graingers, McMaster-Carr, and few other web sites.
A local Fastenal store says that can get them for me, but only in lots of 50. At least that tells me that they exist.
Short of calling every company that lists a 3" bolt to see if they can get longer ones, does any know of a source that I can go directly to?
Thanks!
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Local Fastenal here says they'll get any quantity of anything (altho I'll admit I've never tried for stuff that would likely be highly unlikely they would sell the rest w/o too much trouble, I just picked up a small lot order of square-head bolts...
What diameter you want? If no other fastener distributor local, no other real ideas, sorry...
--
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These folks carry a LOT of fastners and 3" appears to be the max for them... http://www.reidsupply.com/index.aspx
DerbyDad03 wrote:

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"hi this may sound strange but how about an elevator maintenance company? surely they could spare few
Len
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Does it need to be an elevator bolt? Would a carriage bolt work instead? They're available in more sizes.
Chris
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Yes, it needs to be an elevator bolt. I need a flat head that can drawn flush with the wood.
Thanks anyway.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Still don't know what diameter you're looking for -- plow bolts also have flat head but may be larger diameter than you're looking for, I don't know.
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re: Still don't know what diameter you're looking for
Sorry about that - they must be 5/16" - 18
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I'm not sure what "elevators bolts' indicates, but if you need a long bolt, usually a nut on a length of all-thread will do it. When the head type matters, I've also used splice nuts- couplings for threaded rod- with Loctite.
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re: I'm not sure what "elevators bolts' indicates
For your viewing pleasure...
http://www.aaronscapscrews.com/ElevatorBolts.htm
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Thanks. Looks just like a 'plow bolt'. I had never heard the term 'elevator bolt' but was too lazy to google it.
Harry K
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re: Looks just like a 'plow bolt'
Thanks, but unless I'm looking at the wrong type of plow bolt, they are not the same.
Compare the heads of the bolts in this picture. I need the flat head to be flush with the surface when drawn tight. It looks like the plow bolt would produce a result similiar to a carriage bolt - a bump if the head is not drawn flush and an indentation around the head if it is.
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=20hprmt&s=3
I may just go with the 50 piece order from Fastenal. I'm sure I'll find a use for them once I have them. Cutting a long bolt down is easier than stretching a short one. <g>
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Different type of 'plow bolt' than I was familiar with. The ones I knew bolted the plow share on. they had a flush, flat head just as the elevator - had to be flush to keep the dirt from catching. Of course I was wrong in that the 'plow bolt' did not have the square under the head, they only had one 'tit' to keep them from turning.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote: ...

Right on...
Most plow bolts do have square corners -- essentially a flat-headed carriage bolt. The one-sided version are a variation.
--
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Thanks, but unless I'm looking at the wrong type of plow bolt, they are not the same.
Compare the heads of the bolts in this picture. I need the flat head to be flush with the surface when drawn tight. It looks like the plow bolt would produce a result similiar to a carriage bolt - a bump if the head is not drawn flush and an indentation around the head if it is.
Can you not just file or grind down the head of a carriage bolt so it's close to what you're looking for? You could do the essentially the same to a regular headed bolt too. If you need the thick neck that carriage bolts have to hold it place, then you could use a fully threaded bolt and just add a nut screwed on all the way.
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re: Can you not just file or grind down the head of a carriage bolt so it's close to what you're looking for?
The project I need these bolts for has some very strict rules about manufacturing your own parts or modifying readily available parts. My options for this bolt are pretty limited - carriage or elevator, by rule. Due to air-flow issues over the surface where the bolts will be installed, the carriage bolts would be a distant second choice.
These bolts are for a Soap Box Derby car where races are won or lost by thousandths of a second. Every opportunity to provide as smooth a surface as possible must be taken advantage of.
"Let up for a second and that's where you'll finish."
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DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

I have hard time believing there's high enough speeds involved the drag differential would show up... :)
--
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re: Drag differential showing up.
Our timers measure the differential between the cars crossing the finish line to the thousandth of the second. I have seen dead heats where the timers read 0.000. Average speeds for most tracks are 24 - 28 MPH but races are determined by the time differential between the 2 cars in a heat, not by top speed. Races are run in a 2-phase lane- swap, wheel-swap format to ensure that the only factors are car and driver, not a faster lane or faster wheels. The total differential between the 2 phases is what determines the winner of the heat.
While a single bolt head might not make a full 1/1000 of a difference, 2 bolt heads might. Or maybe 1 bolt head and an axle spindle out of alignment. Every little bit matters, and it's the sum of all the little things that you have to be concerned with. Trust me, if you know what you are looking for, you can see the differences between a well built car and one that was put together per the plans but without the attention to detail required.
Let me give you another example: When the cars are inspected prior to the World Championship races in Akron OH, you will either get a fancy VIP sticker on the nose of your car (meaning your car was 100% legal) or a repair sticker that tells you what is wrong and how long you have to fix it. These repair stickers are your standard 1" x 3" mailing labels. Years ago, after you repaired the car, they removed the repair sticker while VIP stickers were left on as a "badge of honor".
One team took their VIP'd car to a wind tunnel and ran a test, at average speeds, and proved that the VIP sticker caused air turbulance at the front of the car. In essence, Akron was causing *harm* to the cars that were sent to Akron ready to race. Based on that test, they now leave the repair stickers on the cars also. Like I said, every little bit matters.
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DerbyDad03 wrote: ...snip long story of precision derby cars... which is basically why I lost interest in it even as a kid way back when--it wasn't we kids who had anything to do w/ it...
--
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re: it wasn't we kids who had anything to do w/ it
I won't speak to how other families deal with it, but my kids are involved in every step of the building and tuning process. As long as it's safe, they're getting dirty right next to me. When they were younger they watched me use the power tools and when they were old enough they jumped right in. All along the way, they sand, wrench, paint and do whatever is needed to build them the best car possible.
I've got pictures of my 13 YO son cutting steel rod on a miter saw and my 14 YO daughter can use a torque wrench, belt sander, etc.. All of my kids are familiar with the itch of fiberglass, the smell of bondo and know what happens if you apply too much paint.
These experiences go well beyond Derby. Years after helping me build his World Championship car, my son wanted to modify a cart he used for his lawn mowing "business". Since he knew what could be done with metal and the proper tools, he came to me one day and asked me to help him make bracket to make the cart easier to tilt. If I had just put him in a Derby car and sent him down the hill, he might never of even had the idea of modifying his cart. Our success has also shown them how important attention to detail is. Not only do we build winning cars together, but we talk about how the things we see while racing apply to all aspects of life.
This year it's back to Akron with my daughter to try for another World Championship in a car that she has as many hours building as I do.
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