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I put in a new differential seal tonight. I was going to torque the retainer bolts b/c I had loosened them. The bolts just kept tightening and I had the wrench set for 45 lbs.
I felt one bolt go and was able to get it back out. Is there anything special about the bolts? Grade 5? Maybe I need to get a smaller torque wrench.
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Not the first person here recently that's stripped bolts. IH had torque specs that were, in my opinion, a little on the aggressive side. 45 ft-lbs on a 3/8 bolt is really pushing the limits. I back them down to the GM standard for a 3/8 grade 8 bolt and torque them at 40 ft-lbs. The little bit of clamp that you lose won't hurt anything but the time you save repairing threads is worth it.
As far as the original question - if you are buying replacement bolts - grade 8 is the way to go.
Yes - would be a good idea to get a reference check on your torque wrench - you may just be reading the vernier incorrectly and have the wrench at 55 instead of 45.....
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