helicoil - the best thing since sliced bread

Marc Swanson marcswanson at mediaone.net
Fri Jun 22 05:30:21 EDT 2001

In the process of R&R'ing my subframes a few weeks back I noticed that one of
the subframe bolts in the rear of my 4ktq was SHEARED off.  After
miraculously being able to extract the broken bolt, I got that sinking
feeling in my stomach when trying to chase the threads in the captive nut
that is held in by the body.. wasn't too sure of the strength.

After taking the car over to Huw's for an "Italian Tuneup" by a few eager
drivers, Brendan barks out as I was test driving his NF powered 4kq that he
can see a red bolt off to the side of the road.. "Hey Marc, isn't that a part
of your car over there?".  Hmm...  At least we've got the color codes down:

Yellow = Huw
Blue = Brendan
Red = Me

Yup, bolt  popped out, threads were toast.  CRAP.  Getting at that nut is
impossible without severe surgery in the form of either cutting the support
bracket on the body (moderately thick steel) or cut into the trunk (DOH!).
Not liking either of these options I gave helicoil a shot.  I've been in
Florida for a few weeks and I'm up in NH to visit family and of course catch
the races at Mt. Washington.. so I only had tonight more or less to do the
job.  Being the lazy man that I am I really didn't like the prospect of
dropping my subframe AGAIN, and to my surprise I was able to get a straight
shot at the stripped nut by just taking out the *three* subframe bolts and
pushing the subframe out of the way.  A bit awkward:  I was pushing on the
rear wheel with my legs while attempting to hold the drill straight.
Probably should have recruited a helper for that but at this hour of the
morning they are hard to come by ;-)

In any event, a bit of drilling later, some tapping, and a helicoil insert:
VOILA, all four bolts now firmly support the subframes.  Three cheers for

See ya'll at the mountain!

87 4ktq
88 90q


Marc Swanson
MSwanson Consulting

Phone:  (407)827-7490
Fax:    (603)868-1730
Mobile: (603)512-1267

mswanson at mswanson.com

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