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stripped head bolt hole

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stripped head bolt hole

Steve56chevytruckUK Steve56chevytruckUK
New User | Posts: 42 | Joined: 01/10
Posted: 08/05/13
02:48 PM

Help needed please, I am rebuilding my 283 chevy and it was going fine until installing the second head the second to last bolt won't tighten up it just keeps turning. Before fitting the head I cleaned all the bolts with a wire brush and ran a tap and die on all the bolts and the head thread before fitting. Is there any easy way to repair this. On the hot rodders forum it says to epoxy a stud into the hole and then use a nut on top which I had not heard of before, I understand using a thread insert can be a problem if the hole is not drilled and tapped straight and would this work in a cast iron block. Any ideas please?


waynep712222 waynep712222
New User | Posts: 48 | Joined: 04/13
Posted: 08/06/13
10:13 PM

ask the engine rebuilder if they have any 3/8-16 self tapping solid thread inserts..

you drill the hole to the exact size...  please NOTE THE drill SIZE from the package the self tapping insert comes out of.. or from the catalog ..  this is important..

take a long bolt.. thread a nut on it..  thread the insert on til the bolt sticks all the way thru.. then run the jam nut down to lock the insert on the bolt..

inserting some other LONG bolts into the good intake mounting holes so you can see the alignment.. this should also be done for drilling..

you can now.. place the self tapping insert and long bolt against the hole.. use a combo wrench to turn the JAM nut to spin the self tapping thread insert into the hole.. these work so great if you can find them..

you will really want to pull the heads.. as its messy..  i like these so much better than a heli coil in this application..

silver seal sells them to engine rebuilders..

Self Tapping Threaded Inserts 886767  

Steve56chevytruckUK Steve56chevytruckUK
New User | Posts: 42 | Joined: 01/10
Posted: 08/07/13
12:36 AM

Hi Wayne

Thanks for replying.

I was rebuilding the engine myself. Having done a bit more research it looks like I should have used new head bolts because I have no idea how many times they have been used before, so that was a bit of a rookie mistake. I am going to pull the head off anyway as all the other bolts torqued up correctly and try and see what is going on. I did read that GM designed the heads for the bolt threads to fail before the threads in the block but the bolt looks ok.

I will definitely have a look at the silver seal link.


waynep712222 waynep712222
New User | Posts: 48 | Joined: 04/13
Posted: 08/07/13
09:31 AM

the area where the intake manifold bolts go thru the head is not very thick.. there are probably only 5 or 6 threads in there...

people have incorrectly  tightened the intake manifold bolts before installing them all a few turns first and cross threaded them..  

i worked in an engine rebuilding shop. and ran the cylinder head department in another..

i ran into stripped threads in these about every 200 to 300  small block heads i built...

i ran into broken off bolts a LOT more.. almost daily..

all depends on if the intake has ever been off before..  its NOT your fault..  and i am not blaming you for anything..

heli coils will work... i just prefer the self tapping solid inserts... when available..  

Steve56chevytruckUK Steve56chevytruckUK
New User | Posts: 42 | Joined: 01/10
Posted: 08/07/13
03:57 PM

Thanks for your help Wayne. I will pull the cylinder head off over the weekend and have a look what is going on with the threads in the engine block.

When using the inserts do you have to apply sealer to them before fitting them as they will be between the head bolts and the water jacket.

I have a new Edelbrock inlet manifold and bolt set for when I get that far as I am replacing the stock Rochester carburettor so I hope the inlet manifold will not cause any problems.


waynep712222 waynep712222
New User | Posts: 48 | Joined: 04/13
Posted: 08/08/13
01:23 AM

i WOULD NOT use sealer on the inserts.. as you want to be able to get all the shavings out..

you can use sealer of some kind on the end two bolts but i cannot recall.. for some reason if the first and last two manifold bolts go into the water jacket in the head..

i think only the coolant passage is exposed.. and the bolts go thru into the crankcase..

since you have not started the engine... and had fresh head gaskets..

you might be able to REUSE the torqued once head gasket if you coat it with a thin layer of Hylomar .. on both sides of the head gasket and then let it hang to evaporate the solvents from the hylomar..

if new head gaskets are easily available... you might want to pick them up.. they are usually available individually..  

hint.. i also use hylomar on both sides of the intake manifold gaskets..

darn stuff never dries.. but also never leaks.. i won't install cylinder head gaskets without hylomar.  i don't have time to do it again for free a second time..

i understand hard to find parts..

my family had a few english cars..

1. 70 rover 3500s 3.5 v8 auto
4. 67 to 69 2000 TCs..
1. 68 2000 SC..
2 austin americas.
1 71 series 2A 109 SAFARI 2.6 petrol.. assembled in guatamala..
1 74 series 3  88 santana 2.25 petrol. assembled in guatamala..

my sister drove the various 2000's..some became parts.  she reported a problem with one.. that her college books would slide from side to side on the what i call the package tray.. the flat areas inside the windshield and rear glass.. i had her take me for a ride.. she came up to the signal.. it was still green.. she did not slow down.. just spun the wheel and went around almost on 2 wheels...  she must have been going 35 mph..  i had forgotten her previous boyfriend had taught her to drive.. and he learned on an atari grand prix coil arcade machine..  where he would wedge his arm into the inside of the steering wheel palm up and rotate at his shoulder..  i made the mistake of riding with him one day..  as he merged onto the freeway.. he put his arm into the steering wheel and spun the wheel so fast to make a single lane change that the front tires actually squealed..  i walked home on that day..

the austins were driven by my foster brother..  he removed all but the drivers seats .. its almost like Dr Who's tartus.. bigger on the inside than on the outside.. i think i still have 1 carb for the austin americas..
i loved the hydroelastic springs..  the land rovers are being restored and will be probably put to work in British Columbia.. for a LR tour service..

i saw my mom put the 3500S up on two wheels..  i was awaiting a new master cylinder for it from england.. she jumped in it to move it as it was parked on the street.. she dumped it in gear and mashed the gas pedal.. i had yelled that that car has NO BRAKES.. that i would move it.. she waved and off she went.. down hill..  she realized that she really did have NO brakes.. and spun the wheel left and hooked it hard into the first driveway on the left. but she like my sister was probably going 30... it went up on two wheels then smashed down into the driveway..  she thru it into reverse.. once i got the master back on it.. i had to rebuild the BW35 transmission again..  that was NOT fun.. taking the transmission out the bottom of the car.. by unbolting it from the bell housing. leaving the converter and bell housing on the engine.. and yes.. i was able to stick it in and align the converter all in the same move.. i don't know how i managed to perform that act..  i really hated the under the car transmission filler tube..

i could never find a decent manufacturer who would make sub axles for the deion tube  IRS.. twisted the splines off a small pile of them.

oh well.. thats enough for the night..  

Steve56chevytruckUK Steve56chevytruckUK
New User | Posts: 42 | Joined: 01/10
Posted: 08/08/13
01:57 PM

Thanks for the tip about the hylomar on the head gasket, they are new ones so I will re-use it.

My father in law used to have Rovers all the time and he swore by them but there were a lot of people in England who kept away from them as they got a reputation for poor workmanship in the 70's but them again so did most of the main manufacturers. I used to have an ex military land rover to do a bit of off roading it was what they called the air-portable as they could be dropped from a C130 on a pallet with a parachute attached. Not at all comfortable or economical so I got rid of it. I suppose the same could be said for a stock 56 chevy truck which is what I an restoring at the moment but this one is for keeps.  

waynep712222 waynep712222
New User | Posts: 48 | Joined: 04/13
Posted: 08/09/13
12:27 AM

i have a feeling that its partially some mechanics fault as to the rovers having poor workman ship issues..

where mechanics either did not understand rover tech.. or tampered /broke something to be able to charge to fix it..

one of the 2000TC models was cared for and a really nice car.. it was sent in to a rover mechanic here in the los angeles area.. yep.. there were a few.. this was just for an oil change and a tune up.. the mechanic said the timing chain had failed.. the car owner showed up with a tow truck and took it home.. where my sister bought it for cheep.. hmm.. what was strange is you could look thru the oil filler cap opening an see the timing chain turning the cam.. but the distributor was not turning..  hmm.. after a few minutes.. several flat washers were found under the distributor hold down clamp that held the keyed drive flange up above the drive gear.. so the distributor was just free to spin..

several of the other rovers were also tampered with or just outright lies told to the owner about their cars..

this was criminal..  but i have worked on other  cars like jags.. an 88 Xj6 that the bulb failure dash display would not go off.. i actually took the relay boxes at the 4 corners of the car apart and resoldered the relay and interconnect pins. fixed that car in 2 hours... another shop after the one i worked at closed had that same car.. they ask me where to find a good used ECM as they kept burning out as soon as they plugged them in..  i just walked away...

an 76 XJ12.. the fuel injectors would not fire properly.. only six would fire.. so the shop had replaced all 12 injectors and had the same issue..  they had also ripped apart the dual fuel pumps in the boot floor to see if they were causing the non working injectors problems.. that took hours to piece back together..  turned out that a fix had failed from many years before..  where the ECM is behind the rear seat in the trunk/boot.. the harness comes up to plug into it and makes a TIGHT 90 degree bend..  one of the wires on the outside of that bend had been stretched to the breaking point previously.. so somebody extended that one wire and just soldered another piece over it to splice it.. but they did not bend the harness to see how tight the wire pulled.. after years of service.. the splice came off on one end.. and since the V12 had a pair of relays up front to trigger either injectors  bank A or injectors bank B only one side was being triggered..

what a night mare.. if they had ask me first.. there would have been much quicker fixes.. with more diagnostic time.. but this shoot first is way too common in repair shops..  i have been fired by several name brand repair shops as i would not play the game.. i would write a real estimate .. and get the jobs.. but when my estimates went to other techs.. or got called in by the service managers.. there was a LOT of ups and extras on the bill that i did not put down..

i have gotten flamed a long time ago by several mechanics for doing this.. and relating how to fix cars .. saying that i am taking money out of their mouths..

they just don't seem to understand.. that if you are honest with your car repairs.. that there will be cars lined up around the block trying to get into your shop..

95 percent of people don't really care how much it actually costs.. as long as it is really whats broken..  and you have fixed the problem..

a friend called me with a tire shake issue..  his tires were worn. so he bought new ones.. the mechanic wrote a 400 buck estimate to fix the front suspension.  i looked at it.. 30 bucks in bushings and an hour labor..  since when are tie rod ends 200 bucks each..  the last guy who dove in to change the inner tie rod bushings which is what i replaced.. broke 200 bucks worth of parts.. took out a plastic heater hose and broke off the fuel line...  and still sent the car out of the shop..  don't worry about the fuel smell.. it will go away...  i am sure they were hoping for flames and smoke to appear before it ran out of coolant from the leaking heater hose.. and he buggered up the installation by crushing the bushings during installation so i had to change them again..  i am sure the gasoline spraying on them for a day did not help..  

Steve56chevytruckUK Steve56chevytruckUK
New User | Posts: 42 | Joined: 01/10
Posted: 08/11/13
01:41 PM

Hi Wayne

it just goes to show that if you do a good job at a reasonable price people will always come back and this is true for any profession.

Rovers were fine as long as they were looked after. Some people bought them because they could not afford a Jaguar but wanted something better than  a ford or Vauxhall. It was a bit of a status thing. I have just spent the weekend at a car show and there are plenty of hot rods here fitted with a Rover V8.