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Ford Truck Club Forum > GARAGE TALK > Garage Talk: Shop Class 101



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  #1  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Thumbs up How to Repair Damaged Nuts and Bolts

Repair Damaged Nuts and Bolts
Restore stripped threads quickly with a rethreading kit

I've used my sets countless times over the years. My first thread file belonged to my grandfather and now is probably over 70 years old and still works perfectly. I finally purchased a metric version several years ago as metric fasteners became more prevelent. During my years as a 'Shade Tree Mechanic' I also had purchased both the thread taps and dies. One addtional item a person may want to add is an actual thread file. These are designed with a hardened tapered file edge to be used in the bolt pitch. Great for starting the clean-up process on the end of a bolt before using a rethreading die, the rethreading file I use has 8 differant thread sizes. Another tip for using a rethreading die is to install it on a bolt thread before cutting off a length of the thread. You then can remove the die giving you relatively clean threads at the end of a bolt.

Reminder about using rethreading taps and dies; while they are hardened steel, they are NOT designed to cut new internal or external threads. Attempting to do so will damage or break the rethreading die. Always use threading taps and dies for cutting new threads.


A rethreading kit is an important part of any automotive toolbox. Use it to restore stripped threads on old, rusty nuts and bolts when you don't have time to search the stores for a replacement.

Start by finding the thread count
1: File threads
Reset the threads with a thread file before screwing on the rethreading die.
2: Rethreading kit
Rethreading kits are available at auto parts stores and online. Buy a full set for both metric and SAE nuts and bolts.
3: Tap
Use a rethreading tap on nuts and threaded holes.
4: Rethreading die
Clean rusty or stripped threads with a thread restoration die.

No matter how careful you are when you reinstall old rusty nuts and bolts, someday you're going to strip some threads . Of course it will happen on a critical bolt, on a Sunday night when all the stores are closed . That's when a thread restoration kit pays for itself . A full set (metric and SAE) will quickly put irreplaceable and hard-to-find nuts and bolts back into service. The rethreading tools look like traditional taps and dies. But instead of cutting new threads, they reshape them to original condition.

To restore bolt threads, start by finding the thread count (SAE) or pitch (metric). Hold the thread file against the bolt threads until you find the size that matches. Clamp the bolt in a vise, engage the thread file grooves with the bolt threads and push the file. That “resets” the threads enough so you can screw on a rethreading die (apply a few drops of oil first). Use a rethreading tap to restore threads on nuts or threaded engine component holes. Don't try to rethread the entire bolt, hole or nut in one operation. Insert the rethreading tap or die and rotate a few turns, then back it off a full turn. That will dislodge the debris from the teeth.
You can also put some axle grease on the tap to hold metal displaced by the tap.

When I start to do something and it don't go right, driving to the local shop/store is not an option; unless you have 1/2 a day to waste

If you do not have a kit, you can make an Alabama thread repair
two ways to do this (works best on large nuts)
you have to cut a groove into the threads of an appropiate size nut or bolt
use a hack saw to cut 2 or 3 grooves perpendicular to the threads on a bolt, then screw it into the stripped out female counter part useing an in & out motion to rethread the nut/hole
the same can be done for bad threads on a bolt/stud, useing a nut with grooves cut into it, the problem is finding a small enough blade that will fit into the nut (the smallest blade I've found is a jig saw metal blade, but any blade can be modified with a grinder to make it more narrow) and will fit into a 1/4" nut.




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  #2  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 06:13 PM
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A tap n die set or helicoil set or whatever you wanna call it is one of them tools I assumed everyone had. Seems most people don't even know how to work these things.
  #3  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 05:36 AM
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re-threading taps are not the same as other taps


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Last edited by JSoko; January 5th, 2012 at 07:08 AM.
  #4  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 01:30 PM
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This I was not aware of.
Asked my dad and he has some different sets of each though.
  #5  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 08:29 PM
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Looks what I used today
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 11:10 PM
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keep'em clean and well lubed when cutting
AND ALWAYS USE THE CORRECT SIZE DRILL BIT


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  #7  
Old January 4th, 2012, 12:46 AM
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I just chased the thread on a nut for those pedals.
Used wd to lube it up and cleaned when done.
That's a cheap harbor freight kit, but it gets used and works.
  #8  
Old January 4th, 2012, 10:38 AM
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I reckon any oil will do, I use Thread Cutting Tap Oil a little goes a long way


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  #9  
Old January 4th, 2012, 11:36 PM
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theres a passel of them

starting taps - rethreading taps - bottoming taps - pipe taps - acme taps - ase threading taps - metric taps - the list is long...


nightime taps



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  #10  
Old January 5th, 2012, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawaiianF150 View Post
nightime taps

my favorite


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