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SGB SGB is offline
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Lightbulb Can a car fatigue out?

I've recently completed a series of re-torquing, re-tighteming, re-glueing, and re-fixing lots and lots of things on my 914. It has made for a much tighter, quieter vehicle.
I wondered as I (re-)did all these things if I didn't do it right the first time, but I know I always used locktite if called for and torqued to required specs if available.
So it got me to thinking (ouch!). Does a car have a limited number of road hours before it becomes over-stressed too easily? How many times can I wrench that thing down before the bolt or the nut or the plate or the (fill in blank) no longer is strong enough to hold the load?
I know there are some aviation mechanics and experts on this board, along with thousands of years of experience (and thats just Jake ). Whaddayathink folks? Will they last forever if we are dedicated enough?

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Old 11-10-2004, 11:57 AM
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Yes, the parts will fatigue out. I don't know how you'd check for that, though. You can do something about it if you want to pour enough time and money and effort into the car.

All cars get "looser" with age. Convertibles and hatchbacks seem to show it the most, as they have large open areas with no structure to brace them. My 1990 CRX, for instance, now creaks in the back when I turn to go up a driveway. I believe the chassis is flexing slightly, and that this is mostly due to fatigue.

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Old 11-10-2004, 01:51 PM
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Old 11-10-2004, 03:07 PM
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At my company, we have a corporate plane and (by regulation) the engine is completely dissembled and all parts are x-rayed every certain amount of flight hours.

Of course, the regulations for aircraft are very strict because you can just "pull over" when something goes wrong.

I suspect that everything has a shelf life - but with a little tlc every now & then, our 914's should outlast the owners (okay, maybe a lot of tlc).

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Old 11-11-2004, 02:01 PM
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