Steel fasteners and Aluminum Parts - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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Steel fasteners and Aluminum Parts


As part of a 560SL engine swap/restoration, I am dealing with a lot of steel fasteners going into aluminum castings and parts. Steel and aluminum love to gall. I'd love to hear some input as to the best procedures to be taken on disassembly to prevent galling on the threads.

Do I unstick a stuck bolt with a rattle gun, or just an ordinary wrench until the bolt releases? I have done the latter on several bolts which finally gave and removed with no damage. Do you recommend warming castings with a heat gun? Aluminum carries (conducts) heat way faster than steel and expands and contracts much more. Does this loosen or tighten the bolt in the hole? This issue really worries me. I surely would like to avoid repairing holes with heli-coils. Prevention is better.

The second thing will be on reassembly. Do I treat all fasteners with anti-seize? What type? The silver or the copper color? The MB service books give the torque values to use, but do not mention anti-seize or bolt lube requirements to get the proper torque value. What about use of the various thread locking fluids like Perma-Tex?

Any help (or past experience, good or bad) would be greatly appreciated.


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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 09:05 AM
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I would use hand wrench to start and eventually switch to power wrench after.
Some people don't quite understand how heating helps on loosening bolts. It is effective on small object like nuts, where heat expansion will make the hole inside bigger, loosening potential rust in the process. On bigger block, heating will expand only small area of it. Since the expansion can't go outside, the only way for it to go is inside the hole, locking the bolt.
Anti-seize is not recommended on stationary bolts. Some people use it on wheel bolts, not adjusting the torque for added lubrication and not realizing that easy coming off is not really good on wheels while in motion.
good luck on your project.
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