How to Remove a Helicoil

Updated February 21, 2017

Due to the design of the Helicoil insert, you need a specialised tool to remove it from the repaired hole. The tool compresses the insert to allow you to remove the insert. Even with the specialised tool, it will take some effort to unthread the Helicoil. If a thread locking fluid was used during the Helicoil installation, you will need to heat the area around the Helicoil with a torch to break the bond between the locking fluid and the base metal.

Inspect the area between the Helicoil insert and the threads installed in the base material. Look for colouration in that area. The common colours for tapping fluid are red, blue and black. If there is no thread locking fluid found around the Helicoil insert, skip ahead to step four.

Light the torch. Adjust the torch to produce a neutral flame. A neutral flame will emit no black soot and have a consistent blue outer flame with a light blue centre. Do not set the flame hot, as this will damage the metal that holds the Helicoil insert.

Heat the area around the Helicoil insert. Apply the heat evenly so the part expands consistently, this will break the bond between the thread locking fluid and the base material. Turn off the torch and let the part cool.

Place the end of the removal tool into the Helicoil insert. Strike the end of the removal tool with a hammer to lock it into position.

Apply downward pressure to the removal tool and turn the tool counterclockwise to remove the Helicoil insert.

Dispose of the Helicoil insert after removal. The insert cannot be reinstalled due to the tang being removed during the initial installation.

Things You'll Need

  • Torch
  • Hammer
  • Helicoil removal tool
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