How to install a thread insert

Thread repairs often come in for bad press yet there's little justification if you've bought a decent product and installed it correctly. Yes the job is effectively a quick fix to a bad situation but it should never be looked upon as a bodge. Well, not unless the person fitting the insert is a fool or a klutz.

The first and most serious crime against thread inserts has to be trying to do the job in situations without proper access. Drill an oval, off center or angled hole and ask yourself why the bolt or stud you subsequently fit either pulls out or doesn't line up. Wherever possible, take the damaged component off the motorcycle and work of a flat surface with the part to be repaired held down firmly and squarely.

In some instance this this just isn't feasible; cam caps within cylinder-heads, exhaust studs etc. in situations such as these it makes sense to fabricate a guide or pilot block that will ensure the dril enters the damaged thread true and perpendicular. With a block or scrap metal, a little ingenuity, the odd G-clamp, a spare pair of hands or even a tie wrap or ratchet strap it should be possible to get the drill positioned correctly.
Add cutting fluid or lubricant and be sure to remove the resultant swarf. If you drill without the appropriate media the resultant hole may be jagged inside which can lead to issues when the insert is screwed in.

If the hole is true and circular then the tap should naturally follow it but once again be methodical and precise. Use cutting paste or grease, back the tap off or even remove it regularly to remove the chippings or swarf generated. If you don't and the thread you're cutting starts to gail then the end result will be less than ideal.

The quality of the hole you've drilled and the thread you cut determines the veracity of the repair. Installation of the insert should be straightforward but remember not the reverse the direction of rotation. Always run the insert below the surface of the component you'll be pulling the insert out and driving the component onto a protruding thread. A properly installed insert should be stronger than the material it's repairing but only if you read the manual and install the insert correctly.Tag: Thread-Insert Thread-Repair Damaged-Thread Helicoil Recoil Mechanical Repairs Maintenance Technology
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