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Re: [TowerTalk] Aluminum Towers

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Aluminum Towers
From: Dennis W0JX <>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2006 14:24:43 -0700 (PDT)
List-post: <>
I've owned various aluminum towers (all Universals) since 1976 and currently 
have an 80 footer with TH6DX on top.
  I definitely recommend stainless steel bolts, washers, and nuts. I switched 
to these after finding consistent rusting of the plated bolts supplied by 
Universal. You can buy
  a stronger stainless bolt from various suppliers.  However, for my bottom 
section, I did
  use plated Grade 5's which I painted with antirust paint.
  I coated the legs between sections with the anti-oxidizing compound usually 
used to
  put antenna tubing sections together. This is important to prevent seizing.
  K4XS is absolutely correct.You must put some type of grease on the bottom 
legs before inserting them in the steel stubs or you will never get them apart.
  When you tightening the bolts, a bit of compression or distortion of the 
tubing is
  mandatory. The Universal factory calls this "crush."  If you have hole 
elongation, it
  is usually because you did not have the bolts tight enough. The factory told 
me that
  the holes can be drilled out one size more MAX, that is, to 7/16 rather than 
3/8. I've
  not tried this because it means that the two sections cannot be used with 
other sections unless those are drilled out too. I think a very talented TIG 
welder could
  fill up the holes with new material. An the aluminum tower can be successfully
  repaired within limits by a skilled TIG welder.
  Lastly, according to the factory, the Universal tower can be successfully 
guyed like
  any other tower BUT it cannot be overloaded in any configuration.

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