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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks. I'm replacing the head gasket on my 2001 Sportsman 500. I torqued it down and then found that the hole in the jug for one of the small bolts has stripped. I tried running a thread chaser in there, but it didn't take. How important is it for that bolt to be tight? I assume it's pretty important, but wanted to be sure. Second question - should I try some more thread chaser or do y'all have a better suggestion? And finally, can I still use the new gasket even though I've toequed it down once?
 

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There are inserts you can use in stripped threads. One type is like a spring, made of wire shaped to replicate a thread. It need a special tap to tap the stripped hole and then another tool to insert the spring. Those are called helicoils.
The other type is a hardened sleeve with threads on the inside and the outside. The sleeve ones just have to have the stripped threads drilled out and then the sleeve cuts it's own threads as it's wound into place. It can be wound in using a bolt with a locknut. The advantage of the sleeve ones, apart from their ease of use, is that they come with fine or course outside threads, and because of the different threads, different outside diameters. It's an advantage to use the course thread in aluminuim because it gets more grip, but if space is limited you can use a fine thread one. The fine threads are fine in aluminium or cast iron or steel... Unfortunatly.. I don't know what they call those ones..haha. I've been using them for about forty years and always just ask for a rethreading sleeve and the local engiineering supply shop know what I'm talking about.

If it's a long head bolt you are talking about here then you need to be very careful to align the drill and then the sleeve when you wind it in, or the long bolt might not want to start into the sleeves thread afterwards without crossing. I've done it before by brazing a long shank onto a drill and then using the barrel and head as a guide to ensure the drill went in straight down the required line. Then I used a long bolt and locknut and again wound it into place at the bottom of the barrel and head using them as my guide.
If it's just an upper end short sort of bolt then it's not so critical and you will get it right by eye if you use a long bolt and locknut to wind the sleeve in.
And, if you haven't put any sealant on the new head gasket, or run the motor yet, then yes you can reuse the gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are inserts you can use in stripped threads. One type is like a spring, made of wire shaped to replicate a thread. It need a special tap to tap the stripped hole and then another tool to insert the spring. Those are called helicoils.
The other type is a hardened sleeve with threads on the inside and the outside. The sleeve ones just have to have the stripped threads drilled out and then the sleeve cuts it's own threads as it's wound into place. It can be wound in using a bolt with a locknut. The advantage of the sleeve ones, apart from their ease of use, is that they come with fine or course outside threads, and because of the different threads, different outside diameters. It's an advantage to use the course thread in aluminuim because it gets more grip, but if space is limited you can use a fine thread one. The fine threads are fine in aluminium or cast iron or steel... Unfortunatly.. I don't know what they call those ones..haha. I've been using them for about forty years and always just ask for a rethreading sleeve and the local engiineering supply shop know what I'm talking about.

If it's a long head bolt you are talking about here then you need to be very careful to align the drill and then the sleeve when you wind it in, or the long bolt might not want to start into the sleeves thread afterwards without crossing. I've done it before by brazing a long shank onto a drill and then using the barrel and head as a guide to ensure the drill went in straight down the required line. Then I used a long bolt and locknut and again wound it into place at the bottom of the barrel and head using them as my guide.
If it's just an upper end short sort of bolt then it's not so critical and you will get it right by eye if you use a long bolt and locknut to wind the sleeve in.
And, if you haven't put any sealant on the new head gasket, or run the motor yet, then yes you can reuse the gasket.
Awesome!! Thanks!
 

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If you use the sleeve, you will find after you've taken the bolt and locknut out that the bottom of the sleeve is full of swarf.. best to blow that out to be sure the head bolt doesn't bottom out, or gall on it.
 

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Man I'd throw a helicoil in that puppie in a minute. That looks like 6mm or so and once you have the tool you're going to use it again and the inserts are easy to find and inexpensive.
Just an old farts opinion.
 
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