It happens to everyone; from the top factory mechanic to the local hillbilly, cross-threading or stripping bolts and nuts is a frightening reality of wrenching on a bike. The only difference between a top tuner’s stripped bolt and your cousin Norm from Alabama’s is the means in which to fix the problem. J- Bone came down to show everyone how he would fix a ruined nut, and trust us–Jeremy has plenty of experience in the area. Mr. Bone claims that he has never stripped a thread in his life, but he sure seemed awful good at fixing one, so we assume that he may have had a little practice at one time or another.
Heli-coils have been the standard for a long time when it comes to thread repair, but J¿Bone says they¿re a thing of the past now. Not only are they hard to work with, but sometimes you can¿t break the little tab off safely (this is common when working with engine cases). The sano way to perform the job in this day and age is to use a Time-Sert. These are small threaded collars that are easy to work with, have a nice finish and can actually make the threads stronger if put into aluminum.
The next time a little bad luck rolls your way, life will be a little easier with this tool. The Time-Sert thread repair kits can actually be purchased through your local Kawasaki dealer, so they’re not too hard to find and are worth every penny. There are different kits for all the major sizes, and they all include detailed instructions for installation in case this article accidentally gets tossed.
Tools of the Trade
There are a few special tools that need to be used for this edition of Race Shop. A drill, tap holder and red loctite will all be needed to complete the task. Time-Sert kits can be bought by visiting www.timesert.com or by calling 800/423-0070.
Fixing Your Nuts
Step 1) Use the drill bit provided in the kit to drill out the old threads. Make sure to keep the bit as square as you can with the hole, as there will be big problems if it gets drilled crooked.
Step 2) Once the old threads have been drilled out, countersink the hole with the special tool. Make sure to use the entire depth of the cutting radius of the tool.
Step 3) Using the tap provided with the kit, thread the new hole. Make sure that the tap goes into the threaded hole deep enough, and blow any chips of metal or other debris out of the hole before moving on. If you are threading into steel, it is a good idea to use cutting oil or multi-purpose spray.
Step 4) J-Bone likes to coat the outer thread of the insert with red loctite before completing the installation. This step acts as a little insurance that the Time-Sert won¿t back out.
Step 5) Screw the insert in a couple of threads with your fingers to get it going, as you have better feeling with your fingers than with a tool. Once the threads have been started and they are lined up correctly, use the installation tool to screw the insert into place. After the installation tap has completely gone through the insert, it should lock into place. If the insert wants to back out with the tool, let it sit for a while so that the red loctite can have a chance to harden slightly and bond.