Black Oxide Finish

We have received several inquiries recently regarding black oxide finish.  Black oxide is a conversion coating (as opposed to an applied coating) because it results from a chemical reaction with the iron present in the metal fastener and forms an integral protective surface.  It is a color of the base metal, which neither removes nor deposits metal.  Therefore, it adds, at the most, 5 to 10 millionths of an inch to the fastener's dimensions.  Likewise, it cannot chip, peel or rub off, and the item maintains 99% of its conductivity making black oxide a popular finish for electrical parts.

When a black oxide finish is specified, it is called out as "Black Oxide and Oil".  Other supplementary coatings such as wax or lacquer may be ordered, but fasteners with those finishes are usually not available from stock and must be a special order.  Typically, the oil after-finish is dry to the touch, which gives the part a lustrous appearance and improved lubricity without excessive residue.  The color is a deep black rather than the grayish-black appearance of black phosphate, and remains consistent at temperatures as high as 900 degrees Fahrenheit.  Black oxide also resists abrasions better than phosphate, and one of the most important advantages is that there is almost no risk of hydrogen embrittlement because the process does not involve electro-plating nor does it require an acid-activation.  Case hardened parts need not be baked after receiving a black oxide finish.

Black oxide neither enhances nor detracts from a fastener's resistance to corrosion.  The post-treatment oil application offers good indoor corrosion protection, but a zinc-plated part is more resistant to rust.  However, parts with a black oxide finish will not suffer from white corrosion which can occur over time with electro-plated parts.  To avoid the risk of white corrosive particles (which can cause electrical shorts) many in the electronics industry opt for black oxide instead of zinc plated fasteners.

The popularity of black oxide stainless fasteners is also growing.  In addition to being used for decorative purposes, the finish reduces light glare and reflection and makes the surface of the fastener smoother.  The automotive aftermarket utilizes them in tail-light assemblies, grills and windshield wiper assemblies, to name a few.

Comparing Fine Thread with Coarse Thread Fasteners

Fastener threads provide both load holding when tightened and the ability to move during tightening and loosening.  A fastener's pitch and lead, determined by whether it is coarse or fine thread, is a factor in fastener performance.  A coarse thread will move a larger distance with each rotation than a fine thread of the same diameter.  If speed of assembly is a factor, a coarse thread may be preferred as it will assemble faster.  If adjustment is required, a fine thread will provide a less sensitive adjustment and a greater ability to control adjustment.

Each flank of thread carries a percentage of the clamping load.  This load is not distributed equally among the thread pitches in most applications.  It is generally thought that a fine pitch thread will have a more uniform load distribution among its engaged pitches when installed.

Fine threads can be more susceptible to cross-threading if assembly conditions are not controlled.  In general, both coarse and fine threads have advantages depending on the fastening output required.

Super Cruise XIV, February 5, 2017

Hillco’s annual Super Cruise took place Sunday, February 5, and we had a great turnout! Although it threatened to rain throughout the day, we were lucky to enjoy cool weather and gray skies (perfect for car-show photography!).  The many who did attend had a great time checking out what has become the most diverse collection of cars, trucks, and bikes in one show, enjoying the food and participating in our raffle.

Conversations with the builders helps one appreciate the history, hard work and craftsmanship required in each project.  Many are so beautifully planned and executed that they are more a work of art than merely just a car. From the daily driver to the trailer queen, it was all here on show day, which is the main reason many love attending this event.

On behalf of Hillco’s entire staff, thank you for attending, and a special thank you to Gary Brown (The OC Car Guy) for emceeing and organizing our event and donating to our raffle, Tom Leroux of Hoist Services, Joe and Arlene Jill of Superior Automotive, Stephanie Hill of Stephanie Hill Photography, Los Alamitos Brew Kitchen, Brighton Best International, and Joe Leroux and the Road Devils for their generous donations to our raffle that helped to make Super Cruise XIV a great success.  Special thanks to the Hillco staff for their enthusiasm and support in putting on this event.

Thank you again to all who attended.  We will be posting photos from the event on our Facebook page, so please share with your family and friends.  As most of you already know, Hillco is a family-owned and operated business established in 1976.  Super Cruise Sunday is our annual customer appreciation event which gives us an opportunity to see your projects and raise funds for veterans and first-responders via donation to Gary Sinise Foundation.  We look forward to seeing all of you next year!

New Hillco PSA100-178 ProShop Assortment

When working on automotive restoration or repair projects it's very difficult to figure out exactly which fasteners you'll need for either fabrication or final assembly, i.e. body bolts, fender bolts and nuts, etc.  Our new ProShop Assortment removes much of the guess work!  Our PSA100-178 assortment includes factory body bolts, u-nuts and j-nuts needed for your automotive project, and they work for most pre-1980 GM, Ford & Chrysler products!  Fasteners are the last thing you think of and the first thing you'll need for your project, so be sure to plan ahead!

2015 SEMA Show

Two Israeilis, two Palestinians and an Arab walk into a room . . . sounds like a very bad ethnic joke doesn’t it?   In fact, it is what my son Ryan and I experienced at the SEMA show in Las Vegas last week.  For those unfamiliar with the SEMA show, it is the premier trade show for the automotive after-market industry and is held in Las Vegas every year.   Manufacturers and distributors from all over the country present their new products and prototypes to the automotive aftermarket industry. Seeing three groups of people who can’t get along on the world stage but have a common interest in this wonderful machine we call the automobile had a great impact on me.  The desire to build and make available something different and extraordinary is a common bond shared by all those attending the SEMA event, and it is our goal at Hillco Fastener Warehouse as well.  

The SEMA show is the largest trade show in Las Vegas.  Attendance is in the hundreds of thousands every year.  Not only did we did we get to meet the folks mentioned above, we also had visitors to Hillco’s exhibit from Colombia, Mexico,  Panama, Qatar, Venezuela, Japan,  Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, just to name a few.  

You may be wondering why automotive enthusiasts from all over the world come to the States to attend SEMA.  I believe it is because of our wonderful, unique in the world, American culture.  The Germans, French and Italians, as well as the English, began building automobiles at about the same time or earlier than we were in the U.S.  What is it about the U.S. market that is so appealing?   I believe it is the unique laissez-faire (in French it means leave us alone) attitude of the American car culture. The American hot rod industry is the very essence of individual creativity and innovative engineering . . .  sometimes good, sometimes not so good, and much of the time extraordinary, and always interesting and exciting.  I believe that is the allure for automobile enthusiasts from all around the world.  When one buys a chopper with all its garish chrome and loud engine, they are buying American culture. The same is true with a low rider bouncing up and down or going low and slow with music blaring, or a Corvette going 220 mph at Le Mans. All these folks have a commonality of interest in creating something unique and wonderful and it is what ties all of us together.  That, my friends, is a very good thing. By the way, did I mention Lichtenstein?  See ya soon!   Maybe at the next SEMA show.

Super Cruise XIII, Sunday, February 7, 2016

Thank you to everyone who attended our Super Cruise XIII event held on Sunday, February 7.  We were blessed with great participation and beautiful weather.  Our featured cars this year were vintage Japanese imports ( and they added a whole new perspective to our show.  Several photographers and bloggers have told us that our Super Cruise Sunday is the most diverse show they attend and, because of that, they look forward to it every year.  This year's event was no exception.  Folks brought everything from dragsters and off-road trucks to vintage Lamborghini's and motorcycles.  It was a fantastic show!

A big thank you to our fantastic Hillco staff for all of your help in making the show this year a huge success.  Malinda, Thai, Andy, Jesse & Cody, we couldn't host this event without your efforts.  A special thank you to Gary Brown, OC Car Guy, for all of  his stellar emceeing on our behalf.  His family's snack bar and the world famous Hillco hamburgers (available only once a year) were, as always, outstanding!

Our raffle ticket sales enabled us to make a $1,000 donation to the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Thank you to our raffle sponsors, Gary Brown of OC Car Guy, Superior Automotive, Hoist Services, Suzette's Exclusive Hair Salon, Hotchkis Performance, Alpha Tools, Cars, Inc., and Chris Licata of Beach Coast Insurance for your generous donations.  Gary Sinise Foundation is an outstanding organization that provides support to veterans, first responders and their families, and we're very proud that your donations give us the opportunity to support such a worthy cause.

Thank you again to all of you who participated in our show this year.  We appreciate the hard work and commitment that goes into creating your rolling works of art, and we look forward to seeing you again next year for Super Cruise XIV!

Drifting Along

I was born in Illinois in 1938, and I’ve always loved automobiles. One of my tricks, to impress girls as a teenager, was to close my eyes and accurately identify any car just by hearing the engine. Automobiles are movement and sound as well as many other things to me. During the 50’s the roar of a flathead Ford or the rat-a-tat of a stovebolt Chevy 6 were music to my ears.

 When I came to California, courtesy of the U. S. Marine Corps in 1957, I started attending road racing events. At these events the 283 c.i. Corvette bellowed around the courses at a speed that was in the “Oh My God” category. I was also introduced to the baleful whine of a Porsche twin cam, the rip of the A.C. Bristol and the scream of a Ferrari V12. There were many others too, but I think you get the point.
A few months ago, courtesy of Kyle Mohan and Matt Hill of KMR Racing, I attended the Formula Drift Competition at Irwindale. Although I’ve been around as a fan and occasional participant in road racing, I must say the spectacle of drift racing hit me like being dropped into a cage of roaring lions. The sight and sound of these races is a visual and audible feast!

The fabrication work on all of the cars was absolutely top rate. These cars are high tech in every way and, unlike us older guys who thought “Make it bigger, it will go faster,” these builders use sophisticated computerized engine management systems that will make a 3.5 liter Toyota 2JZ put out a cloud of tire smoke large enough to hide a tank battalion on the attack. With that thought in mind, I began to wonder “What do we call these techno-geniuses squeezing all of this power and sound out of these relatively small motors?” It was then that it hit me! When my computer at home won’t work, who do I call? The Geek Squad! That used to be an offensive name, but today it’s used to describe someone who is intelligent, specifically regarding the use of computers and technology. So it came to me: “Thunder Geeks!” When these “Thunder Geeks” apply their expertise to these high-performance machines the result is ground-pounding, tire burning music to these 77 year old ears. You like sound, drama, power and technology?  Don’t miss the next drift event!
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