Nylon bolts weaken with age?

Do nylon bolts weaken with age? This may sound like a dumb question, but my old P-40 kit has a couple of nylon bolts for mounting the wing to the fuselage. While they've never been used, they're 20 years old. Should I get a new pair?

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Nylon suffers under UV light, so if they've been around a fluorescent light or in the sun, they're shot. If they've been in a warm place they've likely been affected by moisture and oxygen, too. Nylon bolts are cheap at Home depot. A lot cheaper than the P-40 wreck.


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I scratch built a 60 sized trainer looking bird once that died on its first flight due to some sort of failure. There I was straight and level when the wing came off. When we recovered what was left of the fuselage, there was a nylon bolt stub on one side and the bolt on the other side was holding part of the wing. It is/was clear that head of one bolt sheard off, but why has never been closely examined. I strongly suspect that it had been stressed.

I have used nylon bolts on planes for years with no problem, but I always use new bolts on a new airframe. That being said, if it is easy to replace those bolts, they are cheap.

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Nylon definately weakens. Replace 'em and while you are at it, replace all the other nylon bits such as clevises, control horns etc. Small price to pay for peace of mind. Gord Schindler MAAC6694

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Gord Schindler


Not all plastics degrade, but exposure to chemicals and especially UV makes many brittle.

Why risk a model for the sake of two new bolts?

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The Natural Philosopher

they are like a nickle each at your local hardware store. Home Depot, Lowes,and most ACE stores carry them.

10 cents insurance on a couple of hunderd bucks. Almost as cheap as AMA.
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Roger G

Nylon dries out. When many props in use were made of white nylon, they came with a warning notice to regularly boil the props in water for ten minutes to keep the moisture content up and props supple to avoid props splitting or disintegrating. regards Alan T.

Alan's Hobby, Model & RC Web Links

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Thanks, all!

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