How to Fix a Stripped Aluminum Bolt Hole?

Bolts are used as fasteners on aluminum machinery in places you will need to access for repairs. Installing a bolt means putting just enough torque on the fastener so that it will hold without leaking or coming loose, but not so much that it strips. aluminium machineryaluminium machineryAluminum is used in machinery because of its light weight and low cost. Unfortunately, aluminum bolt holes are notoriously soft and easy to strip. You can fix a stripped aluminum bolt hole with a double-threaded insert that will allow you to reuse the original bolt.

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Answers

You have just described the age old solution for heavy handed mechanics: the Heli-coil. 

1.  Drill out the stripped hole being sure to use plenty of tack-3 grease.  Tack-3 has the property that it will catch all the filings caused in the drill-out process.

2.  Tap the hole using the tap called out in the helicoil manufacturer's data, again lubing the hole with tack-3.  It will be the same pitch as the original hole but will be incrementally larger.

3.  Clean the hole again using tack-3 grease and then remove the tack-3 with the provided solvent.  If you run out ordinary kerosene will work.  Vacuum extract all the solvent and filings.

4.  Using a thin layer of aluminum base cement, thread in the helicoil, and allow to set.  Remove the setting tool, snap off the tab on the bottm of the helicoil, and heat to harden the adhesive.  It will form a stiff weld between the helicoil and the base metal.

Trim and return the item to use.

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