Header Studs VS Bolts: Which One To Choose?

By: Saiful Islam | July 14, 2022

Whether you are a mechanic or not, you want your automotive parts to be tightened as firmly as possible. Also, you want the fastener to be less complicated. Header studs and header bolts are two top options available for you. 

When you go head to head with header studs VSbolts, you will see that stud does not have any head while the bolt does. Bolt has one side open for threading, and the stud has both sides open for threading.

The purpose of these two headers is to fasten different parts together. However, they hold some differences in design, torque technique, function, and strength. In this article, we will know about them to understand mechanisms better.

Overview Of Header Studs VS Bolts

Category Header Studs Header Bolts 
Head end No headWith head 
Strength Can be increased Slightly less intense 
Purpose Created for designing Designed for repairing 
Installation  Can fasten by hands Need tools to fasten 
Material Heat-treatable stainless steelHeat-treatable stainless steel
Function Assemble engine, cylinder and gasket Repair engine and other metal components 
Shape Cylinder shaped with double-threaded end Cylinder shaped with single-threaded side 
Torque No direct clamping force needed Twist and vertical clamping force 
Use Heavy materials like tanks and turbinesCan be used in plumbing and electronics 

Similarities Between Header Stud And Header Bolt  

Material: The material of making header stud or header bolt depends on different manufacturing companies. But the primary material they use is strong stainless steel. This type of steel is heat treatable and has a minimum of 260,00 psi tensile strength.

Shape: Though they have differences in having a head end, the standard body of both stud and bolt is the same. They have a cylinder shape like a metal rod. Also, they have an external thread to go through holes. In a word, they contain a similar style as a screw. 

Purpose: As their name suggests, they both are fasteners. The principal objective of these externally threaded fasteners is to hold things together. People use them to fasten or tighten heavier machinery and engine assembly types.

Contrast Between Header Stud And Header Bolt 

Head & No Head: Though we know them as header fasteners, the significant difference between them is related to head. Studs have no aluminum head to support their nuts. Instead, they have space in the middle to use as their point. Bolts have a head at one end to help their nut or ring.

Toughness: Both the headers face heat treatment to develop their structural strength. Withal, you can increase a stud’s tightening power by the roll thread process. Because of two different torque forces, a bolt has limited strength of holding things together.

Thread Design: Header studs have their threaded part on two sides of the rod end. The space in the middle divides the two threaded ends. On the other hand, bolts have one threaded part at the end of the rod. Bolt’s head and threaded portion are opposite. 

Stud: Thread-Space-Thread 

Bolt: Head-Space-Thread 

Torque Technique: Studs do not follow typical tightening. You do not have to use a clamping force to fasten it. The nut will provide the direct clamping force. So the torque load here is evenly distributed. 

However, to fasten Bolts, you need a wrench. This rotation gives vertical clamping force and twisting force to accumulate the load. So, the bolts’ torque system needs to react to two different pressures. 

Use: The primary use of the header stud is to utilize engine designing. Engineers and mechanics use Studs to position the head gasket and cylinders properly. But, they use Bolts for repairing, maintenance, and disassembling an engine.

You can use stainless studs for designing engines and assembling heavy materials like tanks, gaskets, turbines, and cylindrical heads. Also, you can use bolts for joining metal parts in electronics and plumbing.

Pros Of Header Studs & Bolts

Header Studs Header Bolts 
They are modern in design Good design for tightening 
Can hold heavy metal partsCan balance two different forces 
Help to design an engine Help to repair an engine 
Corrosion, and rust-resistant Rust and erosion resistant 
Can be fastened by hands Have easy to follow pattern 
Prevent leakage of fluidsHave component reliability

Cons Of Header Studs & Bolts 

Header Studs Header Bolts 
Not suitable for regular repairing or use Weak for heavy metal usage 
Only designed for engine support Only designed for repairing 
Tend to wreck the equipment Tend to lose quickly 

What Is ARP’s Stand On Header Studs VS Bolts 

ARP is a well-known company for its automotive racing products. They have been providing header studs and header bolts according to their consumer’s preferences for many years. 

People often ask their representatives about which one is better. We will summarise the main points from the answers they provide frequently.

  • It predominantly depends on the installation
  • Regulated by your use and force, the headers will act differently. For example, Studs are for making engines, and bolts are for repairing machines
  • You should use header Bolts for most street-driven vehicles because they are easy to remove.
  • You can easily detach the cylinder heads from the car engine while repairing your car. 
  • Header studs with aluminum threads are recommended for engine application
  • Using studs will provide you with a proper alignment between the cylinder and gasket. Also, the studs will prevent any fluid leakage.
  • In the case of torque loading, studs provide consistent and accurate twisting
  • Bolts have to balance two different forces. So, you can tighten studs in relaxed mode and bolts in force mode.

Screw VS Bolt 

Due to their regular use, many of us get confused between Screw and Bolt. However, they may have similarities, but they are not the same. Let’s see what differences they have.

A versatile fastenerHeat-treated fastener 
To assemble a joint, it must be turned Can be secured in place by using a tool 
Mostly used for lightweight  DIY projects Used for heavy metal projects 
Can form own space inside the material Form should be created when designing 
Have fine tolerance Have coarse tolerance 

How Can You Replace Header Studs On 6.0 Powerstroke 

Installing or replacing header studs on your 6.0 power is not that complicated. By knowing the proper way, you can do it by yourself. 

You will need a thread chaser, compressed air, brake cleaner, and a torque wrench( optional) to install header studs. Let’s see the steps.

  • You have stud holes in the cylinder blocks. Start the installation process by cleaning those holes.
  • Grab the new head studs and wash them with soap and water. Do not forget to dry them properly using compressed air.
  • Lubricate the threads of the engine. Now, start inserting the studs into the engine block in the correct position.
  • Now, start setting the head gasket and cylinder head. Be aware of dropping the gasket and damaging it. 
  • Before your finger tightens the washers, make sure you lubricate the washers and threads.
  • Finally, you need to torque the studs. Maintain accurate torque load, force, and sequence. 

Common Queries 

ARP Header Bolts, Or Studs?

If you are designing an engine or assembling a header gasket and cylinders, ARP head Studs is better suited for you. You can use Blots For nonheavy metal repairing or tightening.

Any Other Bolt Or Stud Options Than ARP?

ARP is most popular in the head stud and bolt field. Trickflow stud and Tricflow bolt or exhaust bolt and exhaust stud can be alternatives to ARP studs or ARP bolts. 

Header Studs Or Locking Bolts?

Header studs are suitable for torque load. Locking Bolts are easy to use. A locking bolt provides excellent assurance against gasket failure caused by loose nuts.

How To Fasten Head Bolts? 

Head bolts face two different forces for their design. So, you should use a wrench while tightening them. Ensure the nut touches the bolt head patch and does not cross the thread.

What’s The Alternative Of Stud And Bolt?

Stud or bolt is the best option for tightening or fastening heavy material parts. Screw, Nails, Washer, Anchor, or Rivet can be alternatives to stud or bolt kit.

What Are The Different Types Of Bolts? 

There are many bolts based on their shape, size, and use. Anchor bolts, copper bolts, arbor bolts, hanger bolts, elevator bolts, hex bolts, rock bolts, lag bolts, U bolts, and shoulder bolts are some of them. 

Why Do Exhaust Manifold Use Studs?

Studs have a more accurate torque load than an exhaust manifold bolt. Also, the exhaust header stud remains more stationary in bolt holes than the exhaust bolt.

Ultimately Studs Or Bolts? 

If you put the header studs and header bolts into their right places, there is no way to choose between them. Most machines, engines, and components come with their stud or bolt set up. You just need to install them.

Again, in the header studs VS bolts game, studs are used for designing an engine or assembling heavy metal components. On the other hand, bolts are mostly used for repairing engines or other mechanical parts. 

The mechanism comes with specific rules and options. After reading our comparison and contrast between these two external threaded fasteners, we hope you will be able to use them accurately. 

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