Back to basics: Thread repair tools
Sometimes, going back to basics can make the difference between a quality repair and a failed repair. Some tools in the industry are well-known as staples of a good technician. However, not all tools get the attention and recognition that they deserve. For example, thread repair tools may be overlooked by many—but for some, they can be a gamechanger and a life saver.
Every technician has been there: you are reassembling the vehicle, down to the last few bolts, and suddenly, you get one cross thread. Many things can cause this to happen, from a simple misalignment to something being stuck in the threads.
While rethreading taps and dies are nothing new—many technicians keep a set of cutting taps and dies in their cases—there are better ways to go about thread repair.
Cutting taps can actually remove some of the material with the fasteners, causing damage and making the attachment weaker. However, thread repair tools do not do this—instead, they make for a stronger, more secure attachment.
In the last few years, there have been new ways to go about thread repair. For one, the universal thread repair tool now automatically adjusts to any thread pitch. This style of thread repair tool has the advantage of starting in an area of undamaged threads and moving towards the damage. Simply tighten the tool on or in the fastener threads and rotate the tool towards the damaged area. Since you do not need to identify the size and pitch of the threads, this will result in faster repairs—and as a bonus, free up some space in your toolbox.
Before considering thread repair, be sure to follow OEM procedures and ensure the fasteners are able to be reused.
For more information on vehicle repair technology, we encourage you to visit I-CAR Canada’s course catalogue.