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I was watching a video on how to prevent cross threading a nut. Guy in was saying rather than start by turning the nut right, keep turning it left until you hear a click, then go right until right.

I tried this with a plastic bottle cap and what I found was it cross threaded most of the time and so I thought twice about trying it on a car.

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  • Plastic threads are wider and may need to be turned to a slip position. Metal nut threads are finer and must be axially aligned and CCW turning generally balances this when stopped between threads – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Sep 24 '20 at 13:59
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Turning left means you “feel” for the rise and sudden drop as you encounter the end of the thread.

If you don’t feel it then try again.

Once you find that point you gently turn right or clockwise to engage the threads.

Obviously, if these are left-hand threads then it is all reversed...

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It's the right idea but you have to keep the nut square-on to the bolt, don't let it rock or tilt. If the nut is in a socket, especially a deepwell, that helps you keep it square-on.

When you do it right, the whole nut just "drops in" by a whole thread pitch. You really feel the bump if you are paying attention.

While it's useful in threaded steel bolts, it's far more useful with screws going into wood or plastic. If you inadvertently cut a second thread there, you'll chew up the wood or plastic. Go at least twice around... sometimes you get a double-bump, little bump then a big bump. You want the big bump.

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  • Seen too many steel nuts cross threaded onto their bolts or bolts cross threaded into threaded plate etc. – Solar Mike Sep 25 '20 at 6:06

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