How to Safety Wire
By Rob Robinette
Safety wire is used to secure fasteners to prevent them
from coming lose. It's used a lot in aviation and racing. To safety wire fasteners you
will need safety wire, safety wire pliers, wire cutters (dykes) and needle nose pliers.
The hardest part of safety wiring is drilling the holes
in the hardened fasteners. There are jigs available from Summit Racing and Jeg's to hold nuts and bolts so they can be drilled easier. You may be
able to purchase pre-drilled fasteners and save yourself some time.
I used .025 safety wire on my brake rotors below.
There's one basic rule in safety wiring, always wire your fasteners so the wire is pulling
the fasteners tighter, not loser--note in the pictures below both bolts are being pulled clockwise
(tighter) by the safety wire.
Start by looping the wire through
the fastener, use a little extra wire, you don't want to be short
Loop the wire coming out of the
bottom hole around the bolt head clockwise and pull the wire tight with needle nose pliers
in the direction of the second bolt
Start the twist by hand (two to
three turns) then bring the two wires together and clip the safety wire pliers on the
wires next to the hole it will go in on the second bolt, keep the two wires next to each
other in the pliers jaws (no gap between them)
Pull the safety wire pliers
twist-knob to twist the wire, hold the pliers to keep it from twisting backwards and let
the knob retract, then repeat until the desired twist is reached
Unclip the safety wire pliers, put
one wire through the second bolt (using needle nose pliers helps), loop the other wire
around the bolt head, start the twist by hand, clip on the safety wire pliers and twist
Ready to cut the wire--leave about
1/4 inch of a tail