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cam seal retainer bolt hole stripped

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Changing the cam seals, I was tightening the bolts on the retainer. I forget the proper torque, something like 6 or 7, but using a torque wrench to set the torque, one bolt on each cam tower never reaches the set torque, they just turn. I removed the screw and looked in the bolt hole; the threads don't look bad, no aluminum filings inside and bolts do get fairly 'tight', but I'm worried that they might work loose. What should I do:

 

1 Tighten them as far as they will go and call it good.

 

2 Use some thread locker. How hot will the cam tower get when engine is running?

 

3 Use thread inserts.

 

I don't really feel like going back to the junk yard for some cam towers, and who knows they could have the same problem?

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Remove the cover. Put a few pieces of small (26-30 gauge) solid copper wire into the hole parallel to the bolt, with enough length to bend into a "L" over the edge of the hole. Get the bolt started, then snip the wires flush with the top of the hole. Screw the bolt almost all the way in, then remove it. Put the cover on, and tighten all bolts to spec.

This trick has saved me many times with questionable threaded holes.

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I remember grossgarry said that you can use a longer bolt since there are some threads left in there.

 

I hope it will work as well.

 

Good luck,

Sam

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I remember grossgarry said that you can use a longer bolt since there are some threads left in there.

 

I hope it will work as well.

 

Good luck,

Sam

 

this, i've done it countless times including on those exact same cam cap bolts.

 

ideally you do this:

1. clean the threads in the hole with a tap and the threads on the bolt with a die.  obviously you'll skip this step if you don't have a tap and die set.

2.  get a longer bolt - there are threads below the depth of the original bolts, you want to grab those.

3.  if the bolt it too long - cut it and use a die to clean the cut end - or just use washers under the bolt head.  use the washers if you don't have a die to chase the cut bolt.

 

it's the standard subaru bolt - there's a billion bolts with that thread pitch on a subaru - 10mm head and M6x1.00 bolt thread diameter.  If you go to a hardware store or auto parts store get M6x1.00 bolts the size you need.  of course just take one of the original bolts with you to verity thread and length of the bolt you need.  the timing cover bolts, valve cover bolts, many power steering pump, fender hold down...are all 10mm with M6x1.00 thread pitch.

 

you can stick a nail down the hole to judge how deep it is.

 

the copper wire trick sounds nifty too.

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Get another cam tower at the junk yard.  You can replace a cam tower faster than you can fix a stripped hole that you can never put enough tension on to stop the oil leakage.

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