Jerry's Tap and Die to the Rescue Again

68/70Vette

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Jerry's installed inserts into my bellhousing several weeks ago.

Latest problem. I bought Tom's Differentials CNC billet caliper brackets for my rear wheel spindle bearing housing assemblies. They are really a beautiful replacement for the stock cast iron brackets. I was bolting up a Stainless Steel Brake Corporation (SSBC) caliper to the bracket and as I was tightening up the bolt, it of course had the expected torque build up to tighten the bolt. Just when I almost got the bolt to the desired torque.....it started turning effortlessly. My heart sunk. Did I strip the threads? I backed the bolt out and inspected the caliper bracket. Being aluminum, it had steel inserts. The insert head had broken and snapped off. Actually I had also installed, but not fully torqued in the other caliper bolt. When I removed it I also had insert damage. I didn't want to repair this myself. If I buggered up the aluminum caliper bracket it'd mean removing the rear spindle axle..no way I wanted to do this. So I removed the two trailing arms (and strut rods, and spring attachments, and half axles) and took the assemblies to Jerry's. (The owner is Tom Grafton, Jerry passed away)

It turns out of the four inserts, two per side, only one had been properly installed by the machine shop that built the calipers for Tom. They had drilled and tapped the aluminum for the inserts, then screwed in the inserts, and then only used the final installation tool on one of the inserts. The installation tool flares the end of the insert to lock it into place. Three of my inserts had not had their bottom ends flared. When I was screwing in the 7/16X20 bolt, it ran up against the unflared end of the insert, jammed the insert, and then my turning the bolt caused the insert to begin screwing in deeper into the aluminum. Thankfully the stress broke the head of the insert instead of stripping the threads of the aluminum. If the insert is installed correctly, ahead of time you should be able to run a bolt all the way through it with finger pressure only. I called Tom and he checked his inventory and reported back that all the inserts in inventory are correctly installed. I think what happened is that during production someone was screwing in the inserts, finished one properly, then maybe when to lunch,etc, came back and forgot that three inserts had not been finished properly.
 

Kid Vette

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Santa Cruz, CA
Glad to hear you got it fixed. I was thinking about getting those brackets myself. After seeing how the front steel brackets somehow got bent I decided against it.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
 

68/70Vette

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Glad to hear you got it fixed. I was thinking about getting those brackets myself. After seeing how the front steel brackets somehow got bent I decided against it.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

The brackets I'm talking about are on the rear wheels. No problem of them getting bent with road rash.
 

68/70Vette

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Torrance, Ca.USA
....another comment about "Jerry's Tap and Die." Since they are in Santa Ana California, people geographically remote might tend to dismiss them as a machine shop to go to. However, they specialize in broken bolt, broken tap, broken drill removal. I think they are a point of last resort. For broken bolt situations looking like terminal death, they remove the broken bolt, tap, drill, etc with an electric plasma etching machine. I've seen one in their shop, when I go there next week to pick up my trailing arms, I'll ask them how this thing works. After etching out the stuck bolt, they also rebuild the threads. According to their website, they can do their broken bolt removal service at field locations, you don't have to bring the part to them. And once again, the proprietor is Tom Grafton.

One part you can ship them. Try to unbolt the windshield wiper door from an early C3. Lets assume it's never been removed. I'd guess there's a 98% probability that one of the bolts will shear and leave a remnant behind. I went to J&D Corvette, and after looking at about 50 windshield wiper doors, I found one that had all four bolt holes clear of a broken bolt. Here's an item with a broken bolt that could be easily shipped to them.
 
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SuperBuickGuy

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Seattle, WA
for decades, I'd take my broken bolts to a machine shop to have them removed. Now I live in a place that doesn't have a good machine shop - fortunately, when I was last at my favorite shop, I was bemoaning my fate and the owner showed me the two tricks he used to get bolts out. Heat, and failing that, candle wax. Since then, I've yet to fail to get a bolt out/apart.
 

Corvettes White

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Feb 17, 2009
Messages
181
As someone (me) who breaks it three times before he gets it to bolt together, I can also attest to the skills of Jerry’s T&D. It is a small shop, but if you need a wiper door bolt removed (done that also, WITH the paint still on) or if you have $100,000 invested in a casting when a tool break off inside and you do not want to toss it all in the smelter, call Jerry.

Also one of the best metal polishers around is a few doors down in the same complex. Charles does the polishing and prep., sends it out for dip and then finishes it to perfection.

This is not a paid political announcement nor was it endorsed by the candidates.

George
 
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