It has been said that if you own a 10mm, 13mm, 17mm and a 19mm wrench, you can take care of almost any nut or bolt on a Porsche. While this is almost always true, there are a few nuts and bolts that require an 8mm or 12mm wrench.
We don’t want to get too basic here, but here are some specs on metric bolts. The 10mm head is normally a 6mm x 1.0 bolt. That means that the bolt is 6mm in diameter with one turn per millimeter on the thread. The 13mm head is an 8mm diameter bolt, and the normal thread pitch is 1.25. A 17mm head is a 10mm bolt, and the 19 is normally a 12mm bolt. There are several thread pitch sizes for the 8mm, 10mm and 12mm diameter bolts, but most of the 6mm bolts are 1.0 thread pitch. So when you see a bolt listed, it will be listed by diameter and thread pitch.
Bolts are then also listed by length, measured in millimeters. The conversion is pretty simple – one inch equals about 25mm. So a bolt that is a half inch long will be about 12mm, a quarter inch long bolt will be 6mm, and a 3/4 inch bolt will be 20mm, and so on. So a bolt for the front cover on your 944 engine will be a 6×1.0 x 6mm – and you will use your 10mm socket on it.
Here at 924S944.com, we learned a long time ago to keep some extra hardware on hand. As our projects grew, our inventory of new hardware also needed to grow. Using an old rolling “tray rack” like you see in hospitals and cafeterias, we narrowed it to accommodate Harbor Freight parts boxes. We can fit seventeen on a side, thirty-four total, and we have everything from bulbs to bolts to clamps and small parts – all labeled and cataloged so we can actually find what we need when we need it. A pegboard was added on each side to allow hanging up things that we need often such as compression tester, air gauges, fuel pressure tester and various air tool attachments. Note the board hanging on the side that helps us determine the proper bolt diameter and thread pitch. Very handy to have.
Having the hardware that you need on hand is much better than stopping your project and making the trek to the local hardware store to try to find that nut or bolt that you need. Many have a “stash” of old nuts, bolts and washers in a coffee can or box, but let’s be realistic – you can rarely find exactly what you need after digging and digging in dirty, oily or rusty stuff. And new is best.
We source our hardware from BelMetric at BelMetric.com. They are a supplier of metric fasteners and automotive specialty supplies, and you can order in quantities from only one to hundreds. Their fasteners are good quality and delivery is quick. We order the hardware we need in bulk quantities, normally fifty or a hundred at a time.
When you go to the site, you will see listings for all kinds of hardware. Select a metric nut, let’s say an 8mm nut. There are choices for course or fine thread, and eventually you get to the specifications for the nut itself. For example, it may be:
- Diameter: 8mm
- Pitch: 1.25 Coarse thread
- Height: 6.5mm
- Wrench Size: 13mm
- Material: Class 8 Steel
- Finish: Yellow Zinc Plated
If you buy 100 of these for your stock, they are 11 cents each, $11.00. Add a hundred yellow zinc flat washers for another eight bucks. Inexpensive way to stock up on nice new hardware. And it’s a good way to organize your spare parts.
Trips to the hardware store can get expensive. We still have to do it from time to time, but this way you save both time AND money. And the Harbor Freight boxes help with organization. And it’s a good way to organize your spare parts.
Kevin Duffy is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Daytona State College in Florida and a dedicated car guy. He divides his time between teaching criminal justice topics in the online environment and working on/driving cars, particularly Porsches. Kevin is one of the principals in InspiringLifeOver50.com.