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Old 07-27-2003, 08:43 AM
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Re-tapping aluminum manifold

On my intake manifold the bolt that holds the distributor down has stripped a bit. Should i just get a helifix kit? (ive never used one) or just use a tap with some Wd40? im going to have to pull the distributor but thats no biggy. Thanks

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Old 07-27-2003, 08:47 AM
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That would depend on how much of the threads are left. If you have atleast 1/2 of the original threads, you may be able to just run a tap through it and be OK. If there are more than that missing, like less than about 4 complete threads, you need to install some kind of insert. Just make sure that you cover the hole for the distributor before drilling or taping.
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Old 07-27-2003, 08:50 AM
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chances are you can use some oil, a tap, and a longer bolt to get by but i would probably put a heli-coil in it. to just go out and buy a kit with the tap and installation tool can be fairly expensive. if it is off of the car check with some machine shops around your area and see what they would charge to do it. it could range from a few bucks to probably around twenty to be done. if you think you have a deep enough hole then go with a longer bolt. just make sure you get the right size tap to do this. if you go with a longer bolt and it ends up strippiong out then you will have to go with a heli-coil insert.

kevin
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Old 07-27-2003, 09:05 AM
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The 5/16-18 threaded hole is a very common size used throughout the typical sbc motor. A HELICOIL kit will run about $30.00 for that size including the drill bit, inserts and insert tool. I have a set of every size from 1/4-20 up to 1/2-13 and I find them invaluable when I really need them, especially on a weekend when no machine shop is open.
The machine shop suggestion is a good idea if you have no plans to ever strip out another threaded hole again, and especially if you have the manifold off the motor. The HELICOIL installation should not be intimidating, but you do have to have a good drill, sharp bit and maintain the drill at the correct angle.
My suggestion would be to use a stud/nut in place of a bolt if you do not repair the threads in some manner. The stud will always be seated to the bottom of the hole in strong threads and by removing just the nut to work on the distributor, the chances for damaging the threads more will be non existent. Use some LOCKTITE on the stud, double nut it to seat it to the bottom and be done with it.
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Old 07-27-2003, 10:32 AM
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That bolt hole would be a 3/8-16 on a Chevy. There is a good chance a drill won't fit due to firewall clearance issues. The stud and nut may be the only option without pulling the intake. I would have to think, a bolt that was too short was used in the first place. The location of that bolt would make it near impossible to strip from over tightening if the threads went full depth. Dan
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Old 07-27-2003, 10:58 AM
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Ok about the stud/bolt idea..DONT LAUGH lol, a stud is just a bolt with threads, but without a head right? You are talking about screwing that in the hole, then slide the bracket down over that and take a nut and screw it down tight, correct?
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Old 07-27-2003, 11:05 AM
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do this only if you can get into good threads in the bottom of the hole, a stud will then take the wear instead of the softer aluminum
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Old 07-27-2003, 11:11 AM
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You dont want to use oil or wd40 for cutting lube or tap lube. It will lubricate the cutting edge making it much harder to cut the threads or the hole. If you dont have any cutting lube, use soapy water. It will carry off the cuttings and keep it cool.

Chris
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Old 07-27-2003, 11:51 AM
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i removed the bracket and screwed the original bolt down in and there are good threads in the bottom, i guess i could go with a longer bolt, but the stud idea sounds good to me.
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