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Unread 07-01-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
zchris87v
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To Heli or not to Heli(coil)

First off, let me apologize for the terrible pun.

Like many, I've now joined the "stripped caliper bolt" club. Have been considering the options as to what I can do about this. From what I hear the helicoil kit is the commonplace fix for this issue. But it seems to be debated whether or not it's actually worthwhile to repair it this way. My initial thought was to bore out and rethread to a slightly larger size, which an 11/32" would work perfectly because the nominal major diameter is slightly over the nominal major diameter of an M8 bolt (if that's indeed what size I have, need to check again to be sure.

The problem with this is that a tap and specialty bolt would run me more than anything else. So if I'm left with the option of the standard bolt sizes, the next up would be a 3/8" (off the top of my head I know this is 9.53mm). An extra 0.75mm seems to me to be harmless enough, but I don't know the ODě of the bolt hole on the calipers and whether this will cause any adverse effects or weaken the caliper integrity (would obviously have to be drilled through both sides).

Has anyone attempted this or come up with any alternate solutions to buying new calipers or using the helicoil?

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Unread 07-01-2013, 08:05 PM   #2
SeanB95YJ
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another option - depending on your equipment availability (and skill level) would be to weld-fill the hole, then redrill and tap for a fresh set of m8 threads
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Unread 07-01-2013, 08:11 PM   #3
zchris87v
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Excellent idea, Sean. I do have access to a MIG at work. I'd only be worried about getting the centering right after filling it in. But would the weld temperatures degrade the strength of the surrounding material? It is a 1987, after all.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 08:14 PM   #4
superj
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How much is a new caliper? Seems like a lot of work
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Unread 07-01-2013, 08:57 PM   #5
bigbossd1030
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A new caliber is only 70bucks at quadratec. Those are cast, so when welding you need to make sure you heat it and cool it right. To get a proper weld the cast needs to be heated,
Then welded, then slow cooled. Too much work, I would spend the 70 bucks. Quadratec part number 56204.07 (or .06)

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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:23 PM   #6
mudsweatNgearz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbossd1030 View Post
A new caliber is only 70bucks at quadratec. Those are cast, so when welding you need to make sure you heat it and cool it right. To get a proper weld the cast needs to be heated,
Then welded, then slow cooled. Too much work, I would spend the 70 bucks. Quadratec part number 56204.07 (or .06)

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As a machinist I have found that when cast iron is welded it becomes virtually non machinable because of the hardness. Not that there may be some filler that could be easily machined but I have never been able to find anything that would work. Tried many kinds of rods for arc welding (even when sales rep swore that their new rod will be machinable). Tried mig, fluxcore.....no deal.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:35 PM   #7
bigbossd1030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudsweatNgearz

As a machinist I have found that when cast iron is welded it becomes virtually non machinable because of the hardness. Not that there may be some filler that could be easily machined but I have never been able to find anything that would work. Tried many kinds of rods for arc welding (even when sales rep swore that their new rod will be machinable). Tried mig, fluxcore.....no deal.
I have had to tap holes in welded cast (mud flap hanger bracket on back of winch tractor) many times before. Sure I go through a drill bit each time from all the sharpening and I have to use a retarded amount of rapid tap. And do literally 1/16" turn then back each time so I don't bi*ch my tap. But it can be done. I have done it. I wasn't the one who came up with the idea, I simply stated some of the work involved to deter away from it, then I suggested an alternative route. Don't try and give me a teaching lesson here, it would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if I sounded like a d bag, but if I wanted to learn someone's 2 cents I would have asked for it.

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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:59 PM   #8
JohndKc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbossd1030 View Post
I have had to tap holes in welded cast (mud flap hanger bracket on back of winch tractor) many times before. Sure I go through a drill bit each time from all the sharpening and I have to use a retarded amount of rapid tap. And do literally 1/16" turn then back each time so I don't bi*ch my tap. But it can be done. I have done it. I wasn't the one who came up with the idea, I simply stated some of the work involved to deter away from it, then I suggested an alternative route. Don't try and give me a teaching lesson here, it would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if I sounded like a d bag, but if I wanted to learn someone's 2 cents I would have asked for it.

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Your age and pride are more than showing.

I had to use helicoils on my starter motor mounting bolts. They worked fine and were painless to install.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:22 AM   #9
UZI4U
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I wouldn't trust my life or my passenger's lives to a stinking helicoil. Fix it right the first time and replace the part.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:24 AM   #10
TSEJEEPERS
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We are talking about the steering knuckle not the caliper here.
I have never done this so just thinking out loud.
I wonder if you could JB Weld the hole shut and retap?
The torque spec for them is only 132 inch lbs.
Otherwise I would hit the pick and pull yards.
I would think the Cherokees would have the same steering knuckles.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:37 AM   #11
JeeperDon
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I would not hesitate to use a helicoil on the bracket for the caliper slide bolt. That bolt hardly gets any forces, definitely not braking force. On some vehicles, not Jeeps I've seen though, the caliper hanger bracket bolts onto the knuckle, so it replaceable. It would be nice to have that on Jeeps.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
Siva283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeeperDon View Post
I would not hesitate to use a helicoil on the bracket for the caliper slide bolt. That bolt hardly gets any forces, definitely not braking force. On some vehicles, not Jeeps I've seen though, the caliper hanger bracket bolts onto the knuckle, so it replaceable. It would be nice to have that on Jeeps.
Newer jeeps do have now. I just replaced one last night on the ball and chains 01 wj limited. It sucks that our older wranglers dont have them though
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Unread 07-02-2013, 05:03 PM   #13
zchris87v
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The JB weld idea is not a bad one, better than what I have now. At least, a good temporary fix. My daily driver is a ragged-out Nissan Altima, and I JB welded the hole in the radiator about 20,000 miles ago. Still doesn't leak a drop.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 05:13 PM   #14
JeeperDon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zchris87v View Post
The JB weld idea is not a bad one, better than what I have now. At least, a good temporary fix.
Why temp fix it when the helicoil is a permanent fix! What are you afraid of with a helicoil?
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:10 PM   #15
jjlaw72
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I just had to helicoil mine, the upper one stripped out 2 years ago the bottom was tight. I drove like that for awhile , didn't want to replace the knuckle because I have the jb4x4 bracket drilled and tapped on the knuckle its been 6 months on a daily driver/ hard wheeler no problems with the helicoils
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