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Need help with a tough screw!

I am replacing the cam gaskets. It is all apart expect for one last cam housing screw!

I have 14 of the 15 screws out of the cam housing. There is one screw that is in there good. The best wrench I had to if into those small plug holes was a long neck 6mm Allen wrench. Then a small pipe on the end to break them. This one will not break for anything. I tried taping it with a hammer through the wrench and I went back to it a handful of times to try to get it to break. I have the wrench head in the screw head good and solid and I know there was no striping of the head. Good thing for socket head cap screws.

I am going to go to Sears in the morning and get the 1/4" drive 6mm Allen head socket. I have the 3/8" drive and it's a little too big. I looked at my pedestal grinder. I was going to take some off the sides to squeeze it in there but the 3/8" is a little too tight to take anything off the sides and still get some decent torque out of it without breaking it. I think the 1/4" drive will give me a more rigid setup to get some better leverage on it.

What's the worst case scenario? Broken head of the screw? Striping the screw head? Buy a new cam housing and cut a section of this one out to get the screw out? I think I am going to have nightmares tonight.

Dies (I am a die maker) are a little more forgiving than car engines. If we break the screw head then we either tap it out with a punch or have a welder weld a new, bigger screw onto it. There is never a screw we can't get out, even if we have to EDM it out. But I do not have those options in my garage at home, and taking it to work is NOT an option either.

Any suggestions??? And it had to be a screw that is inside the housing!!!

Thanks for any help, suggestions, or ideas!

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Old 05-23-2007, 08:03 PM
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what about cutting the allen wrench off and using a 6MM socket on it. also, you might try putting the bolts to either side of this one back in, nice and snug, to give this one some breathing room.
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:25 PM
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I am going to get the 6mm 1/4" Allen head socket in the morning. That will pretty much duplicate what you are talking about. I have been canablizing (spelling??) too many tools for this car lately.

I like the idea of putting the two screws back in around it. That may help some. I have never worked with Al, it's always steel. Maybe Al has some unique features to it!

Hopefully the more rigid setup will help too.

Thanks for the info. All info is welcome!!! I am thinging about getting a cut off wheel and cutting the cam housing open at this point!!!
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:31 PM
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i think cutting the housing is a tad drastic... i used a crescent wrench to add more torque to the top of the allen wrench. i saw that you used a pipe. its worth a try. mine were pretty stiff, especially on my 83. keep in mind that these bolts are pretty stout. i'd be more concerned about stripping the threads than breaking the bolt.
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:23 PM
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Drill the head of the bolt off and then use a pipe wrench on the stub? Only if nothing else works of course

good luck

nate
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Old 05-24-2007, 02:45 AM
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I would put screws back in around the cam tower and tighten it back down to the head by turnin the screws so the cam tower moves evenly. Make sure the cam did not turn more than a couple of teeth. You did set the motor at TDC right and lock it down with a flywheel lock?

After the tower is seated now use your socket and crack the stuborn bolt. After it is loose turn all the bolts evenly so the tower releases straight up and not twisted. Think of all those valvle springs which is putting pressure on the tower.

Those bolts should only be torqued to 13 or16 ft/lbs if I remember correctly (verify this before reassembly) so it shouldn't be a pain cracking it loose.

Speedy
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:47 AM
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Thanks for all the info. I just got back from the store with more tools. I got a long 6mm Allen head socket with the 3/8" drive. A much more rigid setup than the Allen wrench alone. That setup and a 12" pipe broke it loose. It would have been nice if they made those plug holes a mm or two bigger so you could fit a larger tool in there!

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:36 AM
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A quality extended 3/8" drive 6 mm hex bit is worth the expense of buying. I prefer SnapOn or MAC tools.
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Old 05-24-2007, 07:23 AM
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That's what I got. I don't mind buying the tools, some are just used more than others. And I must have never had a need for this one at home yet.
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Old 05-24-2007, 07:41 AM
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If the bolt head is not stripped, an impact wrench might help. However, if you don't already have one it can be expensive. After I bought mine, I found that it's great for lots of projects.

Also, I don't know if this will help but if the car can still be started (after putting all the bolts back) you might try warming up the engine. Steel bolts and aluminum heads expand at different rates and warming the engine may expand the head & block a bit.

Vern
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Last edited by Tidybuoy; 05-24-2007 at 03:33 PM..
Old 05-24-2007, 02:16 PM
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Thanks for all the input! Got it off with a much more ridgid setup. All back together, and I started! And ran well! No belt tenioner though. I wonder about the tension of these belts. Maybe it will hit me in the head like a ton of bricks! It has new belts and they were tensioned at the dealer. I got a real good feel of it and put it back feeling the way I found it. I personally feel comfortable with that. This is the first time I ever took an engine down that far. It was a little stressful. So it was very nice that it started once it got fuel. I changed the oil while I was in there too. The presure was at 0 for the first second them poped right up to where it normally is. She ran great todey. Took my son out for new ice skates, beat on the car some, and put about 60 miles on it. Hopefully it says this way!

Thanks again for everyone that offered advice. Sometimes hearing others logical thinking gets you back on track.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:51 PM
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I feel ur pain, i'm suffering from the same problem. i got a extened 6mm 3/8 but found it striped the bolt. =O. i think i'm gonna try to shove a 7mm in..... and does pelican sell any replacement tower bolts? kinda curiuos
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:54 PM
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If the 7MM trick doesn't work, you may try to get those special sockets for bolt heads that are stripped to see if it would help. When you put the bigger wrench in there make sure you take a hammer and drive it in as far as you can. You may also want to consider a SAE wrench although I didn't look up sizes to see if there is one between a 6 and 7. Good luck with that one...that's not a good situation. Those would be hard bolts to drill out. If it comes down to it, you might be able to find an ez-out with the right size tip to drive into the bolt if the larger allen wrench doesn't work.

Also make sure you put the other bolts in around it as previously mentioned. Let us know how that all works out.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:51 PM
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Find the next size up in inch sized allen keys and hammer it into the head of the bolt.

One thing you need to remember when taking these bolts out is to do a little bit at a time on every single one. Removing all of them but one will have that one bolt holding back all of the tension on the valves and make removal extremely difficult.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:51 AM
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Hi, I would get your belts retensioned somewhere soon if it were me. Hate to see all that work go down the drain if your timing belt slips or if too tight then puts extra stress on waterpump bearing causing the pump to leak down the road.
Old 03-04-2008, 03:44 PM
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i think the SAE wrench won't fit in the cam tower, the one bolt i have is inside the tower, first one right by the cam gear. when i was loosing them i just broke the tension in a figure "8" motion, and this one is not being nice.. =/

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Old 03-04-2008, 05:52 PM
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