/ Dealing with loose bolts

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AlanLittle - on 04 Apr 2014
I've been encountering an alarming number of loose bolts on routes I've been trying lately (not in the UK) and am wondering how much of a problem they are really and how I should deal with them. Is there any real danger if the hanger just rotates a bit?

(I'm assuming the one I encountered last year in the Frankenjura, where the shaft of the bolt was sticking a good inch out of steeply overhanging rock and bent about forty degrees, was definitely unsafe)

I know some people recommend a spanner as a standard part of a sport climbing rack. What size(s) do I need? And I'm concerned that I might damage bolts and make the situation worse by over-tightening - is this really something I need to worry about or not?
andy_e on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to AlanLittle:
With regards to spanner size, use a very small adjustable! That'll solve any imperial / metric issues. With a small spanner, I doubt you'll be able to over tighten anything.

If the hanger on an expansion bolt is free to rotate, but the nut is tight on the bolt, then I used to think it was okay. But I'm not so sure now. Perhaps it means that the entire expansion sleeve has pulled out of the hole a little bit!
Post edited at 08:11
jimtitt - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to AlanLittle:

There is no real answer, there are quite a few different types of bolts out there and with some it matters the nut is tight and with some it doesnīt. Some you can overtighten and some you canīt.
Standard Euro sizes are 10 & 12mm so a 17mm/19mm spanner is normal. Tighten them enough so the hanger doesnīt move easily, the different bolts require different torque but if you donīt know what they are anyway itīs a problem!
The entire bolt may spin in the hole in which case you canīt tighten it and fairly often the nut is seized onto the stud and wonīt tighten either, some people are even misguided enough to Loctite the nuts as well preventing any maintenance.
Personally my advice is if you donīt know then leave them alone and try not to fall off.
jon on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to AlanLittle:

Best to nip it up tight enough to prevent the hanger falling off. As Jim says 17/19mm for 10mm and 12mm, or better, carry a small adjustable. This is a good advert for Jim's glue-ins...
rocky57 - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to AlanLittle:

You could just buy one of these and have it hanging off your harness whenever you climb. That way you can tweak em up if needed.

http://www.bananafingers.co.uk/metolius-torque-nut-tool-p-1135.html

"Other nut tools are available"
"Other shops are available"
jon on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to rocky57:

Good idea but I can't see how it'd work as the hanger would prevent the nut tool turning.
AlanLittle - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to jimtitt:

> There is no real answer, there are quite a few different types of bolts out there and with some it matters the nut is tight and with some it doesnīt. Some you can overtighten and some you canīt.

Thanks Jim, that's pretty much the answer I was afraid of (and two out of four of my current Konstein projects crossed off the list, seems to be a bit of an epidemic there)
Choss on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to rocky57:

The DMM NutBuster also has a 17mm bolt spanner Built in.

http://dmmclimbing.com/products/nutbuster/
rocky57 - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to jon:

As the bit that fits over the nut is the multi-point type you can tweak it the last bit by doing small movements after tightening it up finger tight. If it is loose enough to spin then the nut will probably be loose enough to turn it using yor fingers.

Alterntively, don't buy one.
rocky57 - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to Choss:

I know, I just picked one and that is why I said other nut tools are available.
jon on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to rocky57:
> Alterntively, don't buy one.

I won't! Seems a bit strange to carry a nut tool when sport climbing, anyway, I carry a small adjustable.
Post edited at 10:06
Cameron94 on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to jon:

Plenty of Alpine routes have trad pitches and bolted/chained belays though right?
AlanLittle - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to jon:

I do much of my "sport" climbing in the Frankenjura, where on the easier routes one often needs to either be very brave, or carry a set of wires and a sling or two. I generally go for the second option.
jon on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to Cameron94:

They do indeed.
jimtitt - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to AlanLittle:

> Thanks Jim, that's pretty much the answer I was afraid of (and two out of four of my current Konstein projects crossed off the list, seems to be a bit of an epidemic there)

Curious, I climb there a few times a year and donīt remember any bolt-ins at all. Maybe I should try some different routes one day!
AlanLittle - on 04 Apr 2014
In reply to jimtitt:

Well, don't try Wild Thing on the Hintere Konsteiner Wand or Gartenzwerg on the Oberlander Wand. Although both have nice moves.

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