REDwire Four simple steps to installing a helicoil that won’t retract

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Loctite 2620 Threadlocker can keep helicoils in place.

It’s not uncommon for stripped threads to occur in assemblies that have experienced wear and tear. In these instances, installing a helicoil can create a new thread for a fastener to attach to. Helicoils that have been in use for a long period of time, however, often retract — a common issue that can be avoided. 

In a recent blog, Henkel’s Thomas Buckley, a global technology/segment engineer, describes how he was able to prevent helicoils from backing out in just four simple steps when he repaired the header bolts on his 1949 Ford F-1’s 239 flathead V-8 engine.
Step one: Drill the stripped hole

First, drill the hole based on the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure a proper fit. The suggested drill bit size will depend on the size of the thread needed, as well as the parent material. However, be sure not to drill deeper than the hole’s original depth. Once the drilling is complete, use compressed air to clear the hole of any debris.

Step two: Tap the drilled hole

Tapping is what cuts new threads into the hole. Make sure the tap is perfectly straight so the threads align properly. Then, gently turn the tap. Once you feel resistance, slowly back the tap out and use compressed air to rid the hole of any debris.

Step three: Apply Loctite 2620 Threadlocker into the helicoil

During this step, Buckley attached the helicoil to the insert tool provided and then applied Loctite 2620, a red, high-strength threadlocker, to the outside of the helicoil. Loctite 2620 was the best option for this application because it can handle the high temperatures the headers will face. However, another Loctite threadlocker may be the better choice for a different application.

Step four: Insert the helicoil 

With the red threadlocker applied, you can now insert the helicoil into the freshly tapped hole. The cure time for Loctite 2620 depends on the temperature at the time of the application, but Buckley recommends waiting 24 hours to ensure full strength.

“And that’s it,” explains Buckley. “A helicoil installed with Loctite 2620 won’t ever retract if you need to remove the fastener.”

To learn more about the lineup of Loctite threadlockers, contact Henkel


Henkel Canada Corporation

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