I replaced the valve stems in my bathtub yesterday. When screwing in both the cold and diverter stems, they slowly got tighter and tighter as I went (as expected). However, with the hot stem there wasn't much resistance until I basically hit the end of the threads. I wasn't too worried except that when I turned the water back on, there was a small leak on the hot side at the seat. We're talking 1 drop every 30 seconds. I tightened it up more (didn't want to turn that much) and that seemed to fix it but I'm a little concerned it might come back.
Obviously, I'm not a pro, but why is did the hot side stem screw in differently than the cold side? Because it was hot and the metal had expanded? And does that have anything to do with the leak? And most of all, should I do something about this like put some teflon tape on the hot side threads?
Here is a photo of where the water was dripping:
It's the very back part of the valve stem where you screw it over the valve body inside the wall. Here is the same point on the old stem: