Clever fastening technology keeps top-fuel dragsters on track

Jan. 26, 2006
An innovative fastener-locking system with a new wrenching feature is preventing failures and costly downtime in top-fuel dragsters.

Tony Schumacher's top-fuel dragster is a good test of Stage 8 locking fasteners.


 

The idea for the fastener arose when engineers at Stage 8 Locking Fasteners Inc., San Rafael, Calif., asked, "If a wrench is good for tightening bolts, couldn't a retainer that acts like a wrench lock a bolt tight?" Today, many industries use the retainer-based locking fastener for critical applications.

At the drag strip, fasteners hold the hub bushings on the rear-end assembly of 7,000-hp top-fuelers. "You could wreck a $20,000 rear end simply because four screws came loose. And somebody could get hurt," says Jeff Capek of Strange Engineering, a Morton Grove, Ill., manufacturer of racing equipment. Capek tested a prototype fastener from Stage 8 and has had no problems in field trials.

The fastener virtually eliminates critical joint failures. The GrooveLok fastener acts like a wrench locked onto a bolt head. The locking retainer can be braced against a frame, casting, or other protrusion, thereby locking the bolt or nut in place. Bridge retainers can fit over two or three bolts, locking them together, or a retainer can be bent over an edge or frame.

Sponsored Recommendations

The entire spectrum of drive technology

June 5, 2024
Read exciting stories about all aspects of maxon drive technology in our magazine.

MONITORING RELAYS — TYPES AND APPLICATIONS

May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

Solenoid Valve Mechanics: Understanding Force Balance Equations

May 13, 2024
When evaluating a solenoid valve for a particular application, it is important to ensure that the valve can both remain in state and transition between its de-energized and fully...

Solenoid Valve Basics: What They Are, What They Do, and How They Work

May 13, 2024
A solenoid valve is an electromechanical device used to control the flow of a liquid or gas. It is comprised of two features: a solenoid and a valve. The solenoid is an electric...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!