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Valve cover bolt broken.

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Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Location: Saint Louis, MO

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Valve cover bolt broken. Reply with quote

Stupidly I over tightened one of my valve cover bolts (4.0L) and it is broken, its the one in the front on the right side. Anyway I guess i can use an easy out to fix and just use a new bolt, will I have to rethread it? Thanx for responses.
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Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry no one's answered, I saw your post days ago but I don't really know how to fix your problem. HOWEVER, I'll answer anyway.

Your best bet would probably be a tap and die set.

The whole process starts when you drill a hole directly in the center of the broken bolt. Make sure you don't drill too far (if that's possible) and definately don't drill to close to the side of the bolt because you may ruin the threads in the head (and a new head would set you back a lot). Next, using the die set (I think) you screw the reverse threaded piece into the freshly drilled hole. As you screw in the piece into the old bolt eventually the old bolt will start to back itself out of the hole. As long as you don't drill through the threads in the head, all you should have to do is replace the bolt. You might think about replacing all of those bolts (if one breaks more might break). Oh, and the valve cover bolts only get tightened to around 10ft/lbs.

As far as I know that's all there is to it but don't quote me on that. I just thought since no one answered I'd give it a shot.

Let me know what you end up doing.
-1997 Stock XJ
-4.0 L
-4-speed automatic
-130k Miles (and counting)-> let me know of any preventative maintenance you guys can think of. PM me.
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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have lucked out...the bolt may have broken off above the head. Meaning if you rmove the valve cover, maybe the bolt is sticking up out of the head far enough that you can use vise grips to remove the bolt.

If the bolt is flush or below with the top of the head... you can try an extractor. You do use a drill bit to make a hole first (center punch would help keep it centered) . It would be really good to get a reverse drill bit for this (you may luck out and remove the bolt with this alone, but don't count on it). Then put the extractor over the hole you drilled. Tap on the extractor lightly with a hammer and slowly start turning it. It will probably slip off, just tapp it back into place & try again. Repeat this process as many times as needed.

When you do get the bolt out. You may want to go ahead & use a tap to chase the threads. (taps & dies are made for cutting threads, when used properly)

If you don't get the bolt out you can....
A. Leave it alone
B. Install a GARD CERT (or is it sert?) You drill out the bolt completely, then screw in the gard cert (self tapping). Now you have new threads.

Installing gard certs is not hard, but you do need to do it properly. So you will need to get more info on those.

Sears has extractor sets. I guess they also (maybe) have reverse drill bits, although I have not found them there. I know Snap On has extractor sets with reverse drill bits(not cheap). I have gard certs at work in the machine shop, we repair threads on machines a few times a month. I'm not exactly sure where to buy Gart Serts right off hand. But a google search should be helpful. Also gart certs are better than heli coils. They make thin wall & standard wall gard certs.

Oh Yea! Good Luck, been there done that! LOL
89 or 90? XJ
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