Cross threading is a common issue when installing bolts. It occurs when the bolt is not aligned properly with the threading on the nut, causing the threads to become damaged. This can become more of a problem when you are using bigger sizes such as M16 bolts.
This can result in a number of problems, including difficulty in removing the bolt later on.
Cross threading a bolt can easily be done
To avoid cross threading, it is important to make sure the bolt is lined up properly before beginning to screw it in. It is important to take your time when initially lining up the threads of the bolt and nut, being careful at this stage will help prevent the threads cross threading.
You should be able to feel the bolt easily going into the nut and threading itself smoothly into place. However, if cross threading does occur, there are a few ways to fix it.
One is to use a tap and die set to repair the threads.
Another is to replace the damaged bolt with a new one, providing, of course, you have not damaged the thread of the nut.
Either way, it is important to take care when working with bolts to avoid cross threading and the damage it can cause.
What causes cross threading?
Cross threading occurs when the threads of the bolt and the hole it is going into are not aligned properly. This can happen if the bolt is forced into the hole at an angle or if the hole is already damaged. Cross threading can also occur if the wrong size bolt is used, so it is important not to force the bolt when screwing in place.
What happens if you cross thread a bolt?
Cross threading a bolt can damage the threads of both the bolt and the hole it is going into. This can make it difficult or impossible to remove the bolt and can cause problems with whatever it was being used to hold together. In some cases, cross threading a bolt can also strip out the threads, which will require repair before the bolt can be used again.
How to avoid cross threading a bolt
- Make sure the bolt and hole are aligned before beginning to screw them together.
- If the hole is damaged, try using a different one.
- Use the correct size bolt for the hole.
- Do not force the bolt in at an angle.
- Start the bolt by hand before using a tool to finish screwing it in.
- Go slowly and be careful not to cross thread the bolt.
If you do cross thread a bolt, try the following:
- Unscrew the bolt and remove it from the hole.
- Inspect the threads on both the bolt and in the hole.
- If the threads are damaged, you will need to replace the bolt or repair the threads.
- Try screwing the bolt in again, being careful not to cross thread it.
- If the bolt still will not screw in, try using a different bolt.
How to remove a cross threaded bolt?
If the cross threaded bolt is stuck and you can't remove it, try the following:
- Apply some lubricant to the threads.
- Use a tool to grip the head of the bolt and twist it counterclockwise.
- If the bolt still won't budge, try heating it up with a torch.
- Once the bolt is heated, try twisting it again
- If all else fails, you may need to drill out the cross threaded bolt.
Prevention is the best way to avoid cross threading a bolt. When screwing a bolt in, be careful not to cross thread it and if you feel the bolt starting to cross thread, stop and try again.
Be sure to use the correct size and type of bolt for the job. Inspect the threads on both the bolt and the hole before beginning. If the threads are damaged, they may need to be repaired or replaced.
In some cases, cross threaded bolts can be removed by gripping the head of the bolt with a tool and twisting it anticlockwise. If the bolt is cross threaded too severely, it may need to be cut off.