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Old 06-09-2005, 12:16   #1
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chain plate question

I am installing my new chain plates and have run into a challenge. The chain plates are bolted to fiberglassed knees, not a bulkhead.

The knees are not perfectly flush. They have dips and ridges so that when the chain plate is bolted at the top and bottom, there is a 1/16" gap in the center.

This occurs on 7 of the 16 knees. I can tighten the center bolt enough to get it flush against the knee, but it seems to me that this will weaken the plate. It appears that I can a) leave the gap or b) tighten the plate causing it to flex or c) try to fair the knee.

Any thoughts?

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Old 07-09-2005, 01:09   #2
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I think that the chainplate should be in contact with the knee where-ever there are bolts. In between the bolts, it is OK if there is a a gap. Rather than tightening up on the bolts so much that they bend the chainplates, maybe consider "fairing" the knees with some filler? I suppose the other thing to think about is whether or not the chainplates are adequately thick and strong if you can bend them by tightening up on the bolts!

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Old 07-09-2005, 06:48   #3
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I would certainly recommend getting the kness flush with the chainplate to avoid bending them at all. I would fill the voids/gaps with a thickened West System mixture and then bolt the chainplate in place. If you coat the chainplate and bolts with a thin coat of wax before you bolt it in place you will be able to remove it to inspect your epoxy fill. If you are happy with the fill, you can then just clean off the wax a permanently install the chainplate.
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Old 07-09-2005, 10:13   #4
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Epoxy isn't the only answer

Fiberglass reinforced filler, such as is even sold in automotive stores for body repairs, has tremendous compressive strength exceeding that of thixotropic epoxy (thickened) unless the thickening has been done with chopped fiberglass. It is easy to use and not as expensive. It perhaps it the best solution to fill those gaps which will be compressed (and useable after a very short cure time).
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Old 07-09-2005, 16:11   #5
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working with steel in construction the standard fix is solid shim at bolt locations. you can place a stainless washer (assuming stainless plate) behind the middle bolt and keep the plate straight.
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Old 07-09-2005, 16:36   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I decided to use SS washers to bridge the gap. Fortunately each plate has 5 bolt holes and I get a tight fit against the knees @ no less than 3 of the holes.

Thanks for your suggestions. I may go ahead and inject some filler just to be certain. I've spent too much time on the refit to cut any corners now.


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