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Old 05-07-2020, 10:41 PM   #1
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Broken bolts

When I raised the lid on the front storage box today I noticed the back of the lid was hitting the trailer. On closer examination I found that the Box was loose on the frame and the 4 bolts attaching it to the frame had broken where they attach to tabs on the frame. No telling how long it had been that way. Has anyone else had this problem? This is on a 2012 19. Should I use a larger bolt?

Thanks

Graham
Opelika Al
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Old 05-08-2020, 12:37 AM   #2
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Actually you should be able to tell if the bolts have been broken long. Look for rust stains , a fresh break will be shiny. The four bolts lasted 8 years, replace them with grade 8 bolts and look at them again in 2028.
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Old 05-08-2020, 01:45 AM   #3
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Pictures would be good.

You could use bigger bolts, but I would use the same. Are you sure they didn't come loose? It's odd any bolt would break in that situation without damage to something.
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:38 AM   #4
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Metal will rust outside and deteriorate, eventually. Some areas are worse than others. I routinely replace my gate hinges every 5-6 years as the bolts corrode and break.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:02 AM   #5
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There has been several threads on this forum about bolts and fasteners failing on Escapes
( Propane tray - spare tire mount — front utility box - etc)
I understand the problem with the self tapping screws used to anchor the propane tray
( Poor corrosion resistance , brittle -thread spacing ) but why are we experiencing bolt failure and why when they do fail there does not appear to be any structural failure / damage
The bolt size and grade Escape uses are more than adequate for the job , they are installed properly and at least the bolts I’ve checked were tightened properly .

Are the forces from traveling or the jarring- twisting from going off road putting excess lateral loads on the bolts , or are the bolt heads shearing or are the bolts of inconsistent quality , or are the working their way loose from vibration ?

I know the easy answer is to replace the bolts with grade 8 and call it good but I still wonder why a grade 5 bolt is failing when a grade 2 should have been more than adequate ? . Changing out / replacing bolts on a regular basis should not be normal maintenance yet bolt failure could make for a dangerous situation.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:24 AM   #6
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I find anything exposed to the elements wear prematurely, salt on the roads, high temperatures, low temperatures, age, all can cause issues. Your Escape going down the road will wear items out. I expect to remove rust spots and replace items that rust, not to question why but perhaps how to make it better for the next time.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
There has been several threads on this forum about bolts and fasteners failing on Escapes
( Propane tray - spare tire mount — front utility box - etc)
I understand the problem with the self tapping screws used to anchor the propane tray
( Poor corrosion resistance , brittle -thread spacing ) but why are we experiencing bolt failure and why when they do fail there does not appear to be any structural failure / damage
The bolt size and grade Escape uses are more than adequate for the job , they are installed properly and at least the bolts I’ve checked were tightened properly .

Are the forces from traveling or the jarring- twisting from going off road putting excess lateral loads on the bolts , or are the bolt heads shearing or are the bolts of inconsistent quality , or are the working their way loose from vibration ?

I know the easy answer is to replace the bolts with grade 8 and call it good but I still wonder why a grade 5 bolt is failing when a grade 2 should have been more than adequate ? . Changing out / replacing bolts on a regular basis should not be normal maintenance yet bolt failure could make for a dangerous situation.
Great questions Steve. Our propane tray is welded to the frame. Super secure. I wonder why they stopped doing that.

I can say that being under the trailer last weekend reconditioning the frame I saw plenty of bolts. There was superficial rust on some but nothing I wouldn't expect after 10 years exposed to the elements including some road salt. Of course I have no chance of the same problems as we have heard from others...propane tank tray welded, no front storage box and spare tire was shifted and better secured when we put the Stowaway box on the rear.
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Old 05-08-2020, 09:26 AM   #8
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Not much mystery

The photo of the broken storage box bolts shows that the bolts would be subjected to bending forces as the box tried to move forward or back. It seems it would have been better if the horizontal flange were on top.

Graham
Opelika Al
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Old 05-08-2020, 09:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I expect to remove rust spots and replace items that rust, not question why but perhaps make it better for the next time.
Questioning why bolts have broken seems like a perfectly appropriate response.

Finding an answer might "make it better for the next time."
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Old 05-08-2020, 09:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyuill View Post
The photo of the broken storage box bolts shows that the bolts would be subjected to bending forces as the box tried to move forward or back. It seems it would have been better if the horizontal flange were on top.

Graham
Opelika Al
The box installation on my Escape is different than yours . On mine the mounting flange is welded even with the top of the frame so the bottom of the fiberglass storage box rests directly on the metal flange . The box is bolted in place with 4- 3/8” grade 5 bolts , flat washers and lock washers
Thanks for the picture it explains a lot .
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWCO View Post
Questioning why bolts have broken seems like a perfectly appropriate response.

Finding an answer might "make it better for the next time."
Several reasons come to mind as to why. The age of the bolts, the condition of the bolts last time inspected. In addition the E19 has maybe an extra 80 lbs jostling about since the dual 6 volts are located there over other models. Taking the trailer off road or just towing a lot can impact those bolts with stress. All of these can/will cause wear and tear of the attachment points, would they not? I agree, now would be the time to dismantle the original set up and try to make it better, if possible, or just replace the bolts, depends on the individual. On edit, it seems Escape has made improvements to the attachment due to frame changes.
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:03 AM   #12
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Steve. Does the front and rear of your box rest on the flange? It seems in my case the rear is about 4 inches in the air and the front may have been just in the air. With my set up I would expect lots of failure.


Graham
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyuill View Post
Steve. Does the front and rear of your box rest on the flange? It seems in my case the rear is about 4 inches in the air and the front may have been just in the air. With my set up I would expect lots of failure.


Graham
My storage box sits directly on the frame and on all 4 mounting flanges . The attachment bolts are only about 1 1/2” long . ‘Evidently Escape has inproved the design
What amazes me is that the bolts failed before the fiberglass box
I checked the mounting bolts on my storage box this morning, they were all in good condition and tight.
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:35 AM   #14
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This could be a result of Escape going from the 3" to 4" frame sometime later.. Steve has an E21 but the year is not shown. It is raining and I can not access my underbox area. Did you Graham ever get the frame upgrade performed?
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
The box installation on my Escape is different than yours . On mine the mounting flange is welded even with the top of the frame so the bottom of the fiberglass storage box rests directly on the metal flange . The box is bolted in place with 4- 3/8” grade 5 bolts , flat washers and lock washers
Thanks for the picture it explains a lot .
Here is how the flanges look on a newer 21 I worked on. Much better than the long unsupported bolts that Graham shows.
https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post292144
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:39 AM   #16
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Not touching frame

I repositioned the bolts on top of the nuts and you can see that the box was not on the frame. The bolts broke at the top of those nuts. I may call Escape and I am thinking about putting a wedge between the box and the frame. I agree the fiberglass held up well. Thank for the input.

Graham
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:51 AM   #17
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Box Mounting

Picture of storage box mount
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:19 AM   #18
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Flange

Steve. That photo is worth the proverbial 1000 words. I wonder if my flange was installed upside down? One fix would be to add a piece of rectangular tube sitting on the flange with the bolts going all the way through. No welding required. Thanks again

Graham
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
This could be a result of Escape going from the 3" to 4" frame sometime later.. Steve has an E21 but the year is not shown.
The flat 4" frame on the new 21's certainly makes for a better installation as you can see from my and Steve's photos. It's not so much the dimension of the frame as the straight versus curved design of the A-frame. You can tell from Graham's frame that his curves down which makes installation of the box more problematic. Those bolts appear to have been supporting the full weight of the box while also subjected to significant shear stress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Did you Graham ever get the frame upgrade performed?
Jim the recall did not apply to 21's.
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:22 AM   #20
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I may call Escape and I am thinking about putting a wedge between the box and the frame.

Graham
I mounted my own. I didn't like the "falling forward look" so I installed wedges to make the box more vertical. The lid is level.

Ron
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