Home Main Category Clubhouse

- - - -And the hits just keep on coming!

TeachTeach Senior MemberPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
How can a simple auto repair turn into a bucket of worms? Since my back problems don't allow me to bend over a fender for more than a few minutes., I found someone I considered to be skillful enough to swap a cylinder head on the car I use for most of my road trips. I provided a reconditioned cylinder head, gaskets, new bolts, and virtually all of the bits and pieces to complete the job. No problems so far- - - - -

Fast forward a few days- - - -a head bolt broke off in the engine block during disassembly, and required some creative machining of a jig to drill it out without doing any damage to the block- - - -"Cheer up- - -things could be worse!" So I cheered up- - - -you guessed it! Things GOT worse! The reason the bolt broke in the first place was the result of a previous thread repair, something called a Heli-Coil! It had jammed up and locked the bolt when he tried to remove it. Apparently the engine had been patched up before, which was probably the reason for the bargain price and low mileage when we bought the car.

Now I've got the task of making a non-standard thread repair device which involves drilling and tapping the aluminum block for an oversize thread insert about 2 1/2 inches long, with an internal thread that matches the head bolt. I'll also have to make a drill guide to be sure the hole gets enlarged properly, not off center or crooked. That's not impossible, but it's something maybe one in 100 automotive machinists would attempt. Fortunately, I've got the machinery and experience to do that. This is the last attempt available before looking for a complete replacement engine, which doesn't appeal to me at all!
:bang:
Jerry

Replies

  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    :angry: :yikes:
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    I remember in Kansas (near Fort Riley) during the winter time my ole 69 Buick Skylark needed a thermostat, simple I'd replaced plenty over the years, what 2 bolts... remove and replace.........one of the bolts snapped first little bit of pressure I used on it to loosen it. Had to take it to a garage/machine shop and get it tapped and fixed.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,037 Senior Member
    Jerry, I have no doubts you'll be able to save it.

    I had a broken exhaust manifold stud, rear one on #4 cyl. on a 360 dodge, ended up making a drill guide from a piece of 1/2" x 2" x about 7"L , drilled it dead center and got lucky, used an easy out to remove it.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    What's the proper cartridge and rifle to go hunting a GM engineer? The blasted thread is metric- - - -and NON-STANDARD! It's almost, but not quite- - - -the equivalent of a 7/16-14 thread, an 11MM X 2MM thread pitch. This one is getting more frustrating by the minute. I found, and ordered the taps and dies to make the repair insert, but it looks like I'm going to have about $200.00 worth of tooling invested (plus labor time) in correcting an engine design mistake! I guess that's a product of our throwaway society. Nothing is designed to be repaired- - - - -wear it out and scrap it!
    Jerry
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,033 Senior Member
    Join the club. My beloved MBZ turned into a novel that would have made Leo Tolstoy gape in awe. Thank Goddess much of it was under warranty...

    So somebody Helicoiled the (aluminum) block? Joy. Just pure joy!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,068 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    It's only one bolt. There's plenty of extras holding it down. :tooth:

    Just put some extra form-a-gasket RTV silicone in that area, right?
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    Join the club. My beloved MBZ turned into a novel that would have made Leo Tolstoy gape in awe. Thank Goddess much of it was under warranty...

    So somebody Helicoiled the (aluminum) block? Joy. Just pure joy!

    There's nothing wrong with using a properly-installed helicoil in an aluminum block, bot here's the kicker- - - - -the thread engagement is just under 1 1/2", and I don't know of a Helicoil that long. I'm also wondering if someone used the wrong one, since the thread pitch is so oddball. I'm going to guess somebody tried to repair the hole with a 7/16-14 helicoil and forced the bolt into it. Making a long properly-threaded steel insert and installing it into the block with Loctite looks like the solution to the problem, but I'm a little worried about the other 13 threads now!
    Jerry
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    What you're saying makes me think the engine was built 'somewhere in Europe'. With this global economy mashup stuff there's no telling where the parts come from now. You're probably right about that helicoil insert, too. Somebody put in a close enough for government work coil and cranked the bolt in and hoped it didn't break.

    Fingers crossed on any of the other bolt holes not being diddled with in the same manner. :silly:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,033 Senior Member
    Helicoils can be a Godsend. Or not. Then there's always the "next time" and one *can* end up with a mess like this. I'm looking forward to the rest of the story as it unfolds, its edumacational!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    There is a dedicated thread insert and tooling package for the engine that is intended to re-thread all 14 head bolt holes- - - - -for around $600.00! However, it doesn't look like it would be possible to do that with the engine in the car due to working clearance problems. I'm hoping that isn't going to become necessary, particularly if there's already been a botched attempt at fixing it previously!
    Jerry
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    I have a friend who bought a water damaged SUV in TX for a song from a dealer disclosing it was from a Midwest flood. Some new carpet and a couple wiring harnesses he put in, his wife had a good ride for many years.

    I imagine after the recent hurricanes/flooding there will be plenty on the market, just don't get duped if you are looking for a 'Deal'.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    If the water gets above dash level, it would be impossible to chase me fast enough to GIVE me a flood car! I've had to deal with too many of them with chronic mechanical and electrical problems. If the water gets inside the engine, transmission and/or rear end, count on replacing or rebuilding all of those components. Computer(s)- - - - -spit on the sidewalk three blocks away and some of them croak! Sort of like a Jag XKE in a heavy rainstorm!
    Jerry

    Jerry
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    Jerry, there's a reason you have these skills.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,068 Senior Member
    Jerry, there's a reason you have these skills.

    4a3e4f9e2c8194f18e6a0ed55ba9b0ccee9469efdb0a6fa08e51a282c0e0e200.jpg
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • KMT2KMT2 Member Posts: 373 Member
    Teach wrote: »
    What's the proper cartridge and rifle to go hunting a GM engineer? The blasted thread is metric- - - -and NON-STANDARD! It's almost, but not quite- - - -the equivalent of a 7/16-14 thread, an 11MM X 2MM thread pitch. This one is getting more frustrating by the minute. I found, and ordered the taps and dies to make the repair insert, but it looks like I'm going to have about $200.00 worth of tooling invested (plus labor time) in correcting an engine design mistake! I guess that's a product of our throwaway society. Nothing is designed to be repaired- - - - -wear it out and scrap it!
    Jerry

    nnote not a gm designer, but our friend toyota designer.
    If you think OHSA is a little town in Wisconsin you may be in trouble!
    Peace is firing my guns or 60 feet below the surface of the water.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,912 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    There's nothing wrong with using a properly-installed helicoil in an aluminum block, bot here's the kicker- - - - -the thread engagement is just under 1 1/2", and I don't know of a Helicoil that long. I'm also wondering if someone used the wrong one, since the thread pitch is so oddball. I'm going to guess somebody tried to repair the hole with a 7/16-14 helicoil and forced the bolt into it. Making a long properly-threaded steel insert and installing it into the block with Loctite looks like the solution to the problem, but I'm a little worried about the other 13 threads now!
    Jerry

    I don't know if this information is useful to you or not, but I know the 'Fastenal' hardware chain has all kinds of oddball Metric and SAE hardware available. If you don't have a local store, you can find them online and perhaps call them if you don't see what you want.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,632 Senior Member
    I don't know if this information is useful to you or not, but I know the 'Fastenal' hardware chain has all kinds of oddball Metric and SAE hardware available. If you don't have a local store, you can find them online and perhaps call them if you don't see what you want.


    Fastenal can be a God send when dealing with stuff that isn't too far into uncharted territory, but unlikely to have this particular item. OTOH, it doesn't cost anything to ask...
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I've got a couple of the repair inserts roughed out- - - -I'm using a 5/8" NC Grade 5 bolt as the basic repair sleeve, center-drilled for the head bolt thread. Now to see if the tap I ordered is up to the task of threading it. If not, there's a place I can order custom-ground taps in non-standard thread pitches. If I have to do that, I'll order more than one, for certain!
    Jerry
  • DanoobieDanoobie Member Posts: 95 Member
    There's three different types of threads, with metric bolts. Fine, medium, and coarse.
    Standard bolts only have fine and coarse.
    Depending on the size of the bolt, you may be able to find a replacement at
    an Ace or True Value hardware store.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Good try- - - -no seegar! This one's the metric equivalent of "extra coarse" and it's unique to General Motors engine cylinder head bolts. The engine is coming out of the car so I can install repair sleeves in all 14 head bolt holes. Yes, I did have to order custom-ground taps!
    Jerry
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,886 Senior Member
    Ain't this a Geo Metro? Them's a rebadged Suzuki. So problem may not be due to GM itself. Problem is when you get these "world cars" with their metric and standard measurements and parts mashups...
    I'm just here for snark.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Ain't this a Geo Metro? Them's a rebadged Suzuki.

    Nope- - - -it's a 4.2 L inline six with dual overhead cams, 24 valves, and variable cam timing. It's in a Buick Rainier, which is a gussied-up Chevy Trailblazer. The head bolts are "torque to yield" design- - - -use 'em once and throw 'em away. Cadillac Northstar uses the same thread on their head bolts, and they have similar problems. Virtually every engine produced in the past 15 years, regardless of brand, is a throwaway- - - -very difficult to repair or rebuild. If it lasts through the warranty period it's time to sell the customer a new car!
    Jerry
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Nope- - - -it's a 4.2 L inline six with dual overhead cams, 24 valves, and variable cam timing. It's in a Buick Rainier, which is a gussied-up Chevy Trailblazer. The head bolts are "torque to yield" design- - - -use 'em once and throw 'em away. Cadillac Northstar uses the same thread on their head bolts, and they have similar problems. Virtually every engine produced in the past 15 years, regardless of brand, is a throwaway- - - -very difficult to repair or rebuild. If it lasts through the warranty period it's time to sell the customer a new car!
    Jerry

    So... What happened? Success?

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,912 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Nope- - - -it's a 4.2 L inline six with dual overhead cams, 24 valves, and variable cam timing. It's in a Buick Rainier, which is a gussied-up Chevy Trailblazer. The head bolts are "torque to yield" design- - - -use 'em once and throw 'em away. Cadillac Northstar uses the same thread on their head bolts, and they have similar problems. Virtually every engine produced in the past 15 years, regardless of brand, is a throwaway- - - -very difficult to repair or rebuild. If it lasts through the warranty period it's time to sell the customer a new car!
    Jerry

    Part of the conspiracy of car makers to make sure the general public cannot fix these rustbuckets themselves and they have a pre-planned self-destruction period after new. Luckily you have enough knowledge to bypass their plans.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement