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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Omaha, NE
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    Default Any other Heli-Coil junkies in here?

    I was just digging through some bolts looking for info for another post here and came across my "heli-coil box". It's a little plastic storage tote with nothing but heli-coils, the tools & taps for installing them, the taps for the size hole they are repairing if i just want to make a new hole and thread it and the drill bits for all the above combos. I do mainly metric so i keep m6 x 1 ...M8 x 1.25 and M10 x 1.25 and of course i have a few standards 3/8 x 24 .. 7/16 x 18 and one other one.

    When I build an aluminum block or head engine if the customer is up for it and knows what i do about aluminum and threads I'll do a complete block or head if they have the money for it (some do) and then i just feel like it's "built ford tough" LOL

    Personally on my car i do as many as i can in spurts when i have something off or have a head machined or anything like that. aside from wishing i could find an easier way to bore the new hole straight, it is for some reasom, something i absolutely love to do...kinda weird i gues but oh well

    So anyone else nuts over heli-coils ?????
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
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    3,535

    Default

    I cannot even imagine it. I would spend my hard earned money on studs LONG before I wasted my time cutting out sevicable threads only to install repair threads right back into aluminum, only bigger.

    Once you have installed a heli-coil and it strips you have a real problem.

    As far as doing all of an entire assembly by hand after it was done by a precision mill?? Even if you was to do this with a bare block in a big mill it would need to be designed into an assembly because you are cutting so much meat out of an aluminum part only to still impart a twisting force on it.
    Studs eliminate twisting force and have to be pulled out vs stripping.

    IMO user installed heli-coils are a method to simply "get by" when something goes bad wrong. Factory installed steel thread inserts are application specific and are the correct length for the bolt and installed during production. It just is not the same.

    If I was gonna do something THAT crazy I would drill/thread the block out to accept bigger STUDS and then drill out the heads to accept them.
    Just my opinion tho...YMMV
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Central NJ
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    73

    Default X2

    HC's are used by me only when I have no other choice at the moment. I usally remove them and effect a proper repair when I can.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    220

    Default

    I hate threaded inserts (Helicoil is a brand...like Kleenex), I only use them when the hole is stripped or cross threaded, otherwise they're never used. I couldn't imagine drilling out a perfectly good hole to put a threaded insert in.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
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    Default

    ****, I guess i'm the only one then :P I won't even put a exhaust mani on a turbo car untill the threads have been heli-coiled unless it's a new casting (your "perfectly good hole" then i wouldn't either). But from the years i worked on road race cars (porsche club 944's 928's 911's etc.. ) The rules of the shop i worked in were that we wouldn't assemble a used block without thembeing used on all the exhaust mani and block bolts for the brackets, turbo supports, cooler lines and cooler housings on the block. Half the time the holes in the block after some 5-8 even 10 years of service are so worn out in the threads that you can't even torque half the accessories to spec. before they strip out. Maybe it's just that the cars i've done them on lead very hard lives, running maxed out about 95% of the time and being stripped, inspected and repaired/re-assembled every season

    I've never had a heli-coil strip (and yes i know it's only a brand name) but then again i always torque things correctly and use anti sieze on everything aluminum.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,376

    Default

    I can see good use for them especially where repetitious use is required. I too have seen threads in alum give up after a couple times. I like EZ-lok better than helicoil though but in alum I imagine heli's are good, maybe even better as they have less thermal mass of dissimilar materials????

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    447

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    I can see good use for them especially where repetitious use is required. I too have seen threads in alum give up after a couple times. I like EZ-lok better than helicoil though but in alum I imagine heli's are good, maybe even better as they have less thermal mass of dissimilar materials????
    Yea, i just stick with heli-coil brand because thye've never let me down and are claimed to be stainless steel. PLus i dn't know much about the EZ-lok.. are they made by the company that makes EZ outs?

    OH and helicoils can be taken out if there's issues with their threads.. Take a 90* pick, cut it short on the elbow, stick it down in and use it to back the coil out.. It takes time and patience but it can be done ( i've stuck the wrong ones in before by accident because some of the inserts got mixed up once and i stuck a few standard thread ones in metric holes)

    Fusion king.. I use studs on as much as i can, but i still heli-coil the stud holes If the holese are too thin walled to heli-coil then I would fill them up with AL weld and retap them once they became weak.. I guess there are palces you can't use them feasably, but i use them on as much as i can when i can.
    Last edited by turboglenn; 11-14-2008 at 11:22 AM.
    Dynasty 200DX
    Hobart Handler 135
    Smith MB55A-510 O/A setup
    Lathe/Mill/Bandsaw
    Hypertherm Powermax 45
    Just about every other hand tool you can imagine

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,376

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Glen N.Y.
    Posts
    902

    Default

    If I need to repair threads with an insert before I use a helicoil I would use a Keensert (sp)?. I have had WAY to many Helicoil failures. In the concrete block business that I'm in the molds have to Indore extreme vibrations and stress and helicoils just don't stand up.
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  10. #10
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    Sep 2008
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    Omaha, NE
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    Default

    I guess i have just had good luck with them the whole timei've used them. Aside from getting a hole drilled crooked when i'm in an odd position doing the work, I haven't had hardley any issues with heli-coils. It sounds like some of you use them in much more rigorouse enviroments than i do though.

    keensert? I'm going to have to google that one. i'm still trying to find the inserts that the japanese motorcycle makers put in their subframes. The tubes are hollow and the inserts look similar to some of the ones on the ez-lok page but none of them that look right are for the application i'm needing. I need something that will slip in a hole in hollow box stock. Even if i have tto tack the edge to keep it from spinning it wouldn't bother me at all. But i havent' found a good insert for hollow aluminum structures yet.
    Last edited by turboglenn; 11-16-2008 at 04:55 PM.
    Dynasty 200DX
    Hobart Handler 135
    Smith MB55A-510 O/A setup
    Lathe/Mill/Bandsaw
    Hypertherm Powermax 45
    Just about every other hand tool you can imagine

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