I have an assembly where I am trying to see the stress profile developed through various bolts within my assembly. The issue is that I can't figure out how to accurately model the pre-load. If I use the bolted connector, then I get total reaction forces on the bolt but can't see how the stresses are distributed within the bolt. If I model the bolt & nut then I am unsure how to accurately apply the pre-load. If I know what my pre-load clamping force should be, is it fair to apply that as an axial force on the end of the bolt? My thought process is that any force acting against the bolt would decrease the clamping force while maintaining the total load on the bolt - thereby mimicking a pre-load. Does this seem fair? The pitfall is that when I do this, I get vastly different results from using a bolted connector. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!