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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

That Phillips-head screw isn't what you think it is | Hagerty Media

The unsung hero of the automotive world is the threaded fastener. Most people only think about the bolts and screws of their machines when they have to, when the components are stripped, seized, or broken off. That dismissive attitude, however, may cause these components to strip, seize, or break in the first place.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/that-phillips-head-screw-isnt-what-you-think-it-i...
70 REPLIES 70
Kyle
Moderator

Are you sure you want to know where I was? 

 

Bokeoyaji
Intermediate Driver

You just a young pup?
Kyle
Moderator

Something like that. 

SteveNL
Intermediate Driver

This is an Excellent article!! For years I blew out the screw heads on my Japanese motorcycles using the wrong screw drivers. JIS screw drivers make a HUGE difference when you are working in Japanese vehicles. Yet, Japanese Industrial Standard screw drivers are not easy to find in the hardware store or in the auto parts stores. I had to purchase mine over the internet.
Bokeoyaji
Intermediate Driver

Not just for vehicles. I noticed that I used to have issues with the screws when working on electronic products like, stereo, TV, VCR's. I always found it difficult to get a good grip on the "Phillip" screws in Japanese electronics. Now I know why.
TrustyRusty
Intermediate Driver

I once had a MOMO Aluminum steering wheel on my old Porsche. The custom hub was made of aluminum and the six inhex (Allen) screws that fastened the wheel were steel. Over time the leather wheel covering wore out and I decided to replace the wheel. I tried to remove the wheel from the hub, but the steel screws had "bonded" to the aluminum hub and stripped out, permanently attaching the wheel to the hub. A larger "Torx" screw may have eliminate the problem.
VADanno
Pit Crew

Slide the rubber cover down the hub, pop out the horn button, and remove the hub with the wheel attached by removing the steering shaft nut. I fabricated a puller that bridges across the center hole to push on the steering shaft. Once the wheel and hub are off, you can soak the back side of the screws by setting the wheel on a workbench. You can also tie the rubber cover back and use a little heat from a torch. Been there, done that.
Qw
Intermediate Driver

recommendations on type and brand ?,I would like a set . as an aside ,old british bikes ,standard flat and phillips ? I always wondered about those square headed screws
Kyle
Moderator

There is a chance your vintage Brit bikes might have Pozidrive fasteners, but for the most part they are typically standard flathead and Phillips. One thing to consider on British machines of that era are Whitworth fasteners though. Hex heads that your metric or SAE wrenches simply wont fit. 

 

The square drive is Robertson, and I have always been amazed it never caught on inn automotive production. Torx is great, but I've watch Torx splines strip out but I've never seen a Robertson strip out. 

VADanno
Pit Crew

Robertson deck screws used to be a good choice, until Torx became the default fastener. I still keep Robertson bits in my tool kit.
MoparMarq
Detailer

Only learned about the JIS fastener recently also. Fortunately it was BEFORE starting on a brake rotor replacement on my sister's Honda. The manual impact driver helped a bit, too.
Richard
Pit Crew

You Have forgotten another cruciform screw that gets messed up by Phillips Drivers. The PoziDriv is used on many British, German and American vehicles.
Jaguar E-types use them as well as Triumph and BSA motorcycles.
A Phillips inserted into a PoziDrive will strip it out immediately.
If you are having a problem with a cruciform screw, check the head configuration, a PoziDriv has four marks on the top of the screw.
The more products I work with, the more I despise Phillips drivers.
WilliamLawrence
New Driver

The Brits were using an improved version called Posidrive in the early 50s.
-Nate
Detailer

2.4.21

This is a GREAT article ! .

I cheaped out and got my JIS screw driver from the internet (Amazon I *think*), it's very handy and speeds things up when re assembling .

I was a Honda Moto Mechanic in the 1970's and discovered that a #3 Phillips bit in my hand impact tool would break them loose without a scratch every time -if- you used the tool properly, I see many don't .

McMaster-Carr, Grainger and many other American supply houses sell JIS screw drivers in various lengths affordably, every vintage Japanese Motocycle enthusiast needs at least one .

I'm still using my American made 4" long #3 Phillips bit, the extra length helps reach the recessed screws in clutch covers and so on ~ no fun scratching that *perfect* original paint .

I finally wore out y American made (Miller Tools IIC) SEARS Craftsman hand impact a couple years ago ~ that was $6 (IIRC) well spent in 1971 .

-Nate
noah300g
Intermediate Driver


'Standards' are a wonderful thing. That's why there are so many of them.
dclaxon
Pit Crew

I also learned from the shop foreman at the airplane mechanic's school I attended in the early 80s, (the shop that maintained the airplanes, because the school also trained pilots,) that a little dab of valve lapping compound on the tip of the Phillips bit will help it get a better grip on the head. I assume it would also work on the other "cross-point" styles.
Kyle
Moderator

I have heard this trick, but I've also been warned that it will wear out the tips of your screw drivers quicker. Any firsthand experience?
YesDear
Pit Crew

I have been working on vehicles for almost 60 years, longer if bicycles are counted, and own wrench sets in Whitworth, BSF, American Fine/Course and Metric. I had no idea the JIS standard exists.
Thanks Kyle!
gkz
Pit Crew

I worked in a Kawasaki shop in the early '70s. Screws (all hardware actually) with a dot on the head had the ISO (fine) thread.
Zephyr
Advanced Driver

But what about self-sealing stem bolts? As used in the finest star ships.
Charley
New Driver

Great article. Thank you for submission! Never knew of this before... despite many years playing with tools & toys, and (in a previous life) learning at the feet of a career master machinist.