Off-Road Assassin

Securing A 14-Bolt Axle Flange With Stage 8

Loose bolts are never a good thing while out in the dirt, but it can be prevented from the moment that they are installed. Stage 8 created a product that will create peace of mind when it comes to the axle flange bolts on a 14-bolt axle.

Stage 8’s axle flange locking bolt kit (PN GM-14AX) is an easy, yet effective way to secure the axle flange bolts, but can be easily removed if an axle shaft needs some attention.

Behind The Bolt

To find out where the need of the product came from, we spoke to Bruce Bennett, President of Stage 8. “The idea came as requests from many rock crawlers and racers having these bolts come off.

The 14-bolt axle flange bolt kit includes eight 1/2-13×1 1/4 inch 12-point Grade 8 grooved Stage 8 locking bolts, four 2-hole laser-cut stainless steel locking bridge retainers and eight poodle clips. Keep in mind that you will need two kits to cover both sides of the axle.

We were ready to install after knowing what we were getting into and just how secure our bolts would be.

Tightening Thoughts

A product like this is something that can be added during assembly of an axle to keep all the new parts from coming loose or to an axle that is already on a vehicle. The install is extremely easy and did not take us more than 30 minutes to complete both sides.

To prevent extra gear oil from being lost during the install we removed most of the stock bolts and installed Stage 8’s bolts in place of them. Once those bolts were installed we replaced the remaining bolts which allowed us to see just a few drops of oil.

The most technical part of the install, if it could even be considered technical, comes when placing the laser-cut stainless steel locking bridge retainers on the bolts. The axle flange bolts need to be adjusted, tightening or slightly backing off a bolt, to allow the retainer to lock the two bolts together.

Once all eight bolts are locked in pairs, the poodle clips slide in to lock the bridge retainers in place. The use of poodle clips allow the bolts to be easily removed on the trail or in the garage with no special tool.

Altogether we couldn’t have been more impressed with the quality of the product and how quick the install is. It is great to know that on the trail the bolts are secure, but can be easily removed to service the axle shaft.

To find a product that fits your application, be sure to visit Stage 8’s website.

Steven Olsewski

He grew up with a true passion for anything with an engine. During the year he can be found enjoying the outdoors, building Legos with son, and wrenching in the garage on his race truck.

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