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1997 Civic DX Hatch
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984 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
so i found that atleast one of the holes for my cam cap has pulled almost all the threads out.

i need to helicoil it and as far as i can tell that will be good enough. if heard of people helicoiling head bolts so i think it should be fine for cam cap bolts.

so my question is would it be okay to do this job with the head still on the block?

i would much rather not take the head off just to do this job. is there oil passages or anything like that that go through the bolt holes?

im pretty sure i can mask off most the engine in a way to keep most the shavings out but if there is a passage through them or anything like that it may be best i take the head off.

thanks for the help. any tips would be welcome from anyone who has had to do this before.


Pic just because
 

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Meat Popsicle
91 CRX Si
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2,936 Posts
Yup, I’d totally trust a helicoil on that. I did a helicoil on one of my transmission bracket bolt holes, which I’m sure is torqued more than the cam cap, and it’s holding as far as I know.

If you’re super careful about masking it off and cleaning it up, I see no reason why you couldn’t do it with the head still on the engine.
 

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Meat Popsicle
91 CRX Si
Joined
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2,936 Posts
awesome. ive heard helicoils can even be stronger than aluminum threads though im not sure how as they are threaded into aluminum threads but oh well if it works it works.

i think the hardest part will be making sure i drill it straight.
Yea just eyeball it as close as you can; maybe have another pair of eyes to look at it from 90 degrees to help you keep it straight. It’ll eventually follow the existing hole.

If you have a spare cam cap, you can use it as a guide.
 

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93 Civic HB SI
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389 Posts
awesome. ive heard helicoils can even be stronger than aluminum threads though im not sure how as they are threaded into aluminum threads but oh well if it works it works.

i think the hardest part will be making sure i drill it straight.
Yup, the Helicoil will work perfect. They are the best repair for stripped out aluminum threads.

You are completely right to think that it won't be a "stronger" repair, because it does still go into aluminum. Obviously it can't provide more strength than the material it is in!

BUT, what a Helicoil does BEST for aluminum components where threads are needed is provide a thread surface that is more tolerant to the grinding/twisting/shear forces created when tightening a fastener.

See the attached pictures for a better visualization!

99% of the time it's a Helicoil to the rescue for an almost permanent repair!


To help keep out metal shavings during drilling and tapping:

1. Place rags all around the area to be drilled. Use duct tape to hold them down.

2. Use a shop vac and keep it on with the suction hose right beside your drilling area. This should extract almost all shavings as you're drilling.

3. When tapping the hole (giggity!) fill the vertical slots of the tap with white lithium grease or anti-seize paste. Shavings will stick to this stuff, and not fall into your engine when you remove the tap. Wipe the tap clean and reapply grease/paste if you have to go back in.

4. Vacuum the entire area well, the suction can remove hard to reach aluminum shavings



Hope this helps!
 

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08 H-D Ultra Classic
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987 Posts
I'm with everyone else I don't see why it would be a problem to use them or do it while on the car still.
I would use painters tape over duct tape to keep from having to clean all of the adhesive off of the head once the tape is removed.
I would place rags down first followed by cardboard with cutout for the area your working on then painters tape over that.
Basically 3 layers of protection then I would use compressed air to clean the work area up before removing any of the coverings.
I'm not sure if a shop vac would give the suction needed to remove oily or greasy metal shavings.
Keep the tap well lubed and you should be fine!
 
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