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Old 08-28-2010, 03:09 PM
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Help with cam retaining plate bolts stripped head

Hello guys I really hope someone can help me out. I am doing a cam swap on a late model 350 chevy with a 1 piece rear main seal with a oem roller cam setup.

I got everything off and when I went to take the cam retaining plate off the stupid bolt's which are a torx type head stripped off and now I can't get them off. I have never delt with a stuck bolt before and don't know what to do to get it out.

They where both loctited last year when they where put on but I could not even turn them. I also ruined my little socket bit cause it just twisted it.

I have a bolt extractor set but I don't even know what size these bolts are and don't know how to use them.Any suggestions on what I can do? Also this engine is sitting inside of my truck.
Thanks
Eric

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Old 08-28-2010, 05:45 PM
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Well a lot of reads but no replys but to update here I have been trying over an hour working on one bolt and I drilled with a small size then tried the screw extractor and by using it it does not want to grab just like I was drilling a hole but drilling too the left. I don't know what to do here Hopefully someone can give me some advice on what they have done before and what worked.
Thanks for reading
Eric
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:26 PM
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You should heat around each bolt with a torch (acetylene) to loosen the loctite they should turn much easier if you can still grab them. If you are drilling them out you may end up helicoiling them. Hopefully you can drill the bolt and " shell" the threads . you know drill the bolts to the hole size that is the pilot size for tapping the original diameter hole leaving the threads and the "shell" threads from the bolt.then you should be able to pick the threads out. Its tedious but do-able
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric32
Hello guys I really hope someone can help me out. I am doing a cam swap on a late model 350 chevy with a 1 piece rear main seal with a oem roller cam setup.

I got everything off and when I went to take the cam retaining plate off the stupid bolt's which are a torx type head stripped off and now I can't get them off. I have never delt with a stuck bolt before and don't know what to do to get it out.

They where both loctited last year when they where put on but I could not even turn them. I also ruined my little socket bit cause it just twisted it.

I have a bolt extractor set but I don't even know what size these bolts are and don't know how to use them.Any suggestions on what I can do? Also this engine is sitting inside of my truck.
Thanks
Eric
As a last resort, you can remove the cam retainer plate- w/o removing the fasteners.

The cam plate is made of brittle cast iron. If a guy was to score the cast iron from an edge, straight over to the retaining bolts- a well placed chisel blow will crack the plate right to the bolt hole.

From that point, it's a matter of removing the broken pieces of cam plate until the fasteners are exposed. Once the plate is out of the way, they will screw out easily.

A new retainer can be gotten from a 'yard, or from GM. Chevy used two different designs, p/n 10088128 for the early-model wide-bolt spread (3.620 inches), and p/n 10168501 for the later-model narrow-bolt spread (3.294 inches) cam retainer plate. The narrow later plate is most common.

You should be able to use an impact driver by slotting the fastener for a straight blade, then pop it w/the driver. Just don't miss, or you'll probably crack the plate, anyway.

Last edited by cobalt327; 08-28-2010 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:50 PM
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Thanks finally someone here to help Well I tried and tried to drill and man I was making no progress. I then tapped lightly with the easy out and it would grab but then just take out some of the bolt head metal and do nothing else.

The stupid torx bolt is a very small size but my dad used red loctite which I now is what is keeping it from coming out. I am going to walmart to buy a propane torch and then heat up the bolts.

After that I am going to take my small cut off tool and cut a straight line through the torx head and try to use a flat blade screwdriver. Or should I not do the cut on the bolt. I don't want to mess up anything. The easy out's are not working for now. They wont grab. I even used the center punch and cant really get it to stick on the bolt. Thanks for help
Eric
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:05 PM
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You know splitting the cam plate like cobalt said may be your best angle. With the plate split apart and out of the way you should be able to grab the bolt stubs that are left and if you heat them good they may turn with vise grips. You are going to need something hotter that propane I think.JMO
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:44 PM
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Why red loctite? Permatex says right on the package requires heat for disassembly. Those bolt only get torqued to 20 ft lbs. They are a 5/16-18 bolt. Just a standard 5/16 bolt. I had trouble with mine before stripping out but I had the blue loctite on them and I clamped a pair of vise grips on the and turned them out that way. If you do cut a slot in the bolt make sure you use an impact screwdriver to try and remove the bolts. Throw the red loctite away. There are hardly any uses for that in an engine, IMHO. The only place I have used red loctite on an engine is installing helicoils in aluminum heads. I agree with cobalt on splitting the plate, if you removed the thickness of the plate from behind the bolts you then could get a pair of vice grips on them, you will still have to heat the bolt up no matter what route you go to release the loctite or you will just remove the head of the bolt.

Last edited by crussell85; 08-28-2010 at 09:49 PM. Reason: spell check
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:00 PM
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I am not talking about the 5/16 -18 cam bolts. I am talking about the small little torx bolts which are a 1/4-20 1/2 inch long which hold the cam thrust plate on. This is a late model 350 roller block. I am going to get a propane torch and try to heat the bolt heads and try to use a large straight blade screwdriver to get them out. I am at whits end here. If all else fails I will have to try the splitting the cam thrust plate method but that is a last resort.
Eric
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:05 AM
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Even so it may not help you at this point, I`ve run into this issue several times and I hate it. If I recall correctly, the last time this happened was on a 4.3 V6. I ended up taking my dye grinder and cutting wheel and cutting a small slot in the bolt on the upper left hand side, from there I took a chisel, wedged it in the slot and knocked the hell out of the chisel with a hammer until the bolts broke loose.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:05 AM
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Well guys getting ready to go get a propane torch and see if heating it up will help me out. I used a cutoff tool to make a notch in the bolts so hopefully if the loctite lets loose I can just use a big flat blade screwdriver to take them out or like posted above a chisel. Thanks guys for input appreciated.
Eric
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:51 AM
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I'm sorry to say that it's been my experience that red locktite was pretty much a permanent fix as far as bolt threads go, but I admit that I've never used acetylene(propane didn't work). Every time I had to drill out the inevitable broken bolt. Easy-outs just made things worse, or broke themselves.
I don't want to get blamed for making things worse, but I'll thro in my 2 cents. I would try to center punch the bolt as best as you can to get it ready for drilling. Start with a smaller drill like maybe a 1/8", and go real slow as far as rpm to get thru the torx bore. May need a cobalt drill, but you have to be real steady as they won't flex before breaking. Once you get rid of the torx ridges and have a smooth pilot hole, use a #7 wire gauge drill to drill .700" deep from the face of the block. Well that's how deep my block hole is anyway. A #7 is whats used for a 1/4-20 tap, as if you didn't know.
You probably still won't be able to get whats left of the bolts threads out, but you can see what you have left to work with. As far as keeping the hole centered on the original hole, use the retainer as a rough guide before drilling out for a helicoil insert. You may want to skip the #7 drill, but they are usually easier to get in cobalt than most others. HSS(high speed steel) drills don't last long in bolts.
Helicoil kits come with a drill for the custom tap that comes with them.
Don't think about using a cordless drill, get a quality electric and be prepared to take your time and be steady. Rig up some kind of prop to support your arms/hands. Put some masking tape .700" from the tip of the drill to rough gauge your depth. May not have to go that deep for your bolt or the helicoil?
for what it's worth.
Good Luck!
ssmonty
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:47 PM
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Ok guys excellent news here. I tried some more on those torx screws and I could not get them to move at all. I used the propane torch and all I did was ruin my cam thrust plate cause I took the temper out of it but I will replace it.

Long story short I had enough and I called my Father who know's just about everything auto and machining stuff wise.

I asked him to take a look and in 2 minutes he had them both out All he did was use a chisel and hammer at the 10 o clock position on the bolt heads and he was able to get them to turn out. I guess he said when doing this it helps to put torque on the bolt to turn it. I guess I was not doing it at a correct enough angle to get it to turn.

Thanks for your help guys much appreciated. As the Three Stooges said on a episode "Success"
Eric
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