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When I replaced the exhaust on my S3 last year, I purchased 18-8 stainless steel M8 bolts and nuts from McMaster-Carr. Recently, I had problems with the bolts stripping when I removed them and had to cut them off with a hacksaw.

Is there a better material or source for exhaust hardware? I need to replace my catalytic converter and it would be a good time to replace the exhaust hardware.
 

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These nuts are about twice as long as regular nuts
Hi Eric,
Do you have a source for these? Are they 13mm or smaller hex?
 

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Real old ones (1300 101 Normale) were 14 mm 1600 on 13 mm.
 

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I recall reading of 12mm hex nuts, possibly VW.
 

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Are those brass Ed, or copper plated steel? 12 mm copper plated steel are pretty common. I only have 2, 12 mm real brass ones for the "impossible-to-get-a-wrench-on" original 1600 Giulia Spider Veloce factory headers.
 

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How do the copper plated ones compare with brass? The good thing about brass nuts is that they are easy to loosen.
 

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Hate to say it, but I've snapped off a stud on Mercedes Benz car with copper plated steel 13 mm nuts. After I split it off the broken stud for a look, it appeared to have electrolytically bonded with the stud, then rusted into the threads. All I could say was "pooh!". I like brass better.
 

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When I replaced the exhaust on my S3 last year, I purchased 18-8 stainless steel M8 bolts and nuts from McMaster-Carr. Recently, I had problems with the bolts stripping when I removed them and had to cut them off with a hacksaw.
Yes, stainless steel hardware will do that when exposed to heat. The effect is called "galling". I think you can avoid galling by using any combination of SS, conventional steel, and brass hardware, except for SS nuts on SS bolts.

Honestly, for anything aft of the exhaust manifold, conventional steel hardware works pretty well. Then too, I don't live in the "salt belt" as Gordon does.
 

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Thanks Steve,
I am will be having a custom exhaust system built when I get back from my 2 week vacation in Colorado - starts tomorrow. The headers will have to come off to give the welder access to the front section. I would like to find some 11mm or 12mm hex brass nuts but the only ones that I can find are m8x1.25 - Fiat/Lancia I think.

Buying the nuts from Centerline would give me a good excuse to visit them and shoot the breeze with Joe.
 
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