How to Install Helicoil in an Aluminum Head

Updated February 21, 2017

Aluminium heads require strong threaded connections to keep an engine functioning correctly. The soft nature of aluminium allows threads to pull from their base material when under the strain and pressure of an operating engine. When threads strip from connecting points of an aluminium head, new -- stronger -- threads need to be installed to ensure the heads remain securely attached to the engine block. An installed HeliCoil threaded insert provides a secure threaded connecting point for accessories on engines with aluminium heads.

Clean the area where the aluminium threads stripped from the hole in the head with a clean dry rag.

Fill all holes around the hole with the damaged threads with paper towels to keep aluminium shavings from entering the ports of the head.

Install the drill bit contained in a HeliCoil repair kit in the chuck of a drill motor. Coat the drill bit with cutting fluid. Drill the damaged hole to the correct size with the drill bit. Remove aluminium shavings from the hole with the tip of a clean rag.

Secure the tap -- included with the repair kit -- in a tee-handle tap wrench. Coat the threads of the tap with cutting fluid and tap the drilled hole in the aluminium head. Clean aluminium shavings from the tapped hole with a clean rag.

Thread a HeliCoil threaded insert on the end of the mandrel tool included with the repair kit. Coat the exterior threads of the insert with red threadlocking sealant. Set the end of the threaded insert in the tapped hole. Turn the handle of the mandrel clockwise to thread it in the hole. Continue turning the tool until the top of the insert wits flush with the surface of the head. Reverse your turning direction to remove the mandrel from the insert.

Slide the end of the included tang break-off tool inside the installed threaded insert. Strike the back of the tool with a hammer to break the tang from the insert.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag
  • Paper towels
  • HeliCoil Repair Kit
  • Drill motor
  • Cutting fluid
  • Tee-handle tap wrench
  • Red threadlocking sealant
  • Hammer
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author