The Civic weirdness continues…

Finally receiving a Heli-Coil kit for the Civic’s stripped threads, I set about to working on the aborted repair project.

My first step was to dig right in and get those threads fixed.  Only, I thought I would run the M10x1.25 tap into the hole to see what happened.

Well, I encountered resistance almost immediately.  Strange.  After backing the tap out, I flooded the hole with some brake cleaner.

A black blob/hunk of something came floating out.  Along with several smaller pieces of said hunk.  Huh.

I guess that is why I had an issue with the head bolt in the first place.  Something must have fallen down  into the hole while I was working on reinstalling the head, after I had already cleaned it out.  It wasn’t hard like metal, but was some unidentified gunk that fell in there from who knows where.

Cleaned out, I ran the tap in there again, as far as I could get it.  I got hardly any metal shavings, making me wonder what condition the threads actually were in.

I needed a test.  I didn’t want to put the head back on without a gasket, so I found a combination of a socket and two crow’s foot wrenches that equaled the thickness of the cylinder head.  For good measure, I stuck an aluminum crush washer on the bottom of the stack.

Then I tightened it down.  14 ft/lb.  36 ft/lb.  50 ft/lb.  Just like the regular tightening sequence for head bolts.  I even added a little extra past the 50 ft/lb.

The bolt held.


I was still somewhat wary, but I also figured I could try it out with the head.

Long story short, the cylinder head is now torqued down properly, and reassembly has progressed to where I now have the timing belt and valve cover back on.  I have to reattach the intake and exhaust manifolds, reattach all the cooling lines along the side, refill the fluids, and we’ll have a first start later this afternoon.  👍

Do I return the Heli-Coil kit?  I can return it for up to 45 days, so I’ll see if the bolt holds.  If I don’t have any issues after a month, I’ll ship it back.

Yeah, I know.  I could have discovered this just prior to the rally and gotten the car going.  But we all reach that point of fatigue and disgust where we just need to walk away from a project before things get ugly…

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