Sealing Valve Cover Bolt w/ Stripped Bolt
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Thread: Sealing Valve Cover Bolt w/ Stripped Bolt

  1. #1
    beermoney is offline [OP]
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    Sealing Valve Cover Bolt w/ Stripped Bolt

    Hello,

    I recently replaced the valve cover on my GF's 2012 chevy cruze 1.4L turbo due to a ruptured vacuum regulator diaphragm. and the valve cover replacement went smoothly except for one issue: I overtightened the bolt on the top center, passenger side of the cover (image at i.imgur.com/Y1iqvS9.png since I'm a new poster) and stripped out the hole in the head (I mean, I think it did, since it won't catch and when I popped the bolt and casing out of the cover there were aluminum shavings in the threads soooo it's pretty obvious to me). All the other 14 bolts caught and are seated nicely, and there appear to be no leaks around the valve cover gasket itself. I also tried one of the OEM bolts from the previous valve cover and that wouldn't catch either so I'm assuming the soft aluminum head just got chewed up by me idiotically overtightening the bolt. Anyway, unfortunately that top bolt not being able to tighten down has the car slinging oil through the bolt hole in the valve cover like it's got ebola.

    The bolt does sit all the way down in the cover and the head of the bolt casing is flush with the cover, and I can also see the hole in the head when I pop out the bolt so it's definitely lined up right, not snapped off and I don't think the gasket is rolled (especially since I can't see any leaks anywhere around the gasket itself), so since my GF is tight on money right now, for a quick fix last night we used some gasket maker around the point where the casing meets the valve cover and it's currently setting and hardening. I took her to work this morning to allow the sealant to completely set for > 24 hours.

    I'm hoping that just sealing the point where the oil is seeping through will be enough to fix the problem long enough that she can save up and get the valve cover replaced again and get the head rethreaded, or get a new care which she's been planning anyway. My question is...if this DOESN'T work and the oil either seeps through the gasket maker or doesn't set, is there any negative side effect to me just removing the bolt and casing entirely and plugging the hole with a plastic plug and finding a good way to seal it? I know it's definitely not ideal, but it does seem to me that the valve cover is lined up correctly and sealed well since the only place that seems to be leaking oil is that bolt hole. I would love to remove the cover and rethread the head for her but at this point I just don't trust myself to do it since I don't have the right tools anyway and I'd be working in a parking lot w/ no power and crappy lighting, so I'd rather just have a professional take care of it. She just doesn't have the money for a professional job right now, and is planning on ditching the car soon anyway since it has been a major pain in the ass since day 1, so I'm just wondering/hoping that having 14 out of 15 bolts tightened properly and that hole reliably sealed will be enough. I'm not opposed to soldering a piece of plastic on there either, or using JB weld w/ a plug, or whatever...I can find a way to seal it. I just want to know if that's a horrible idea

    Edit: One other question - Is it by any chance possible to rethread that hole w/o taking the cover back off? I'd do it if that were possible but I would be pretty worried about getting aluminum shavings in the valve body/head and also just the complications of getting the tools in there correctly

    Thoughts?

    Thank you!!!
    Last edited by beermoney; 01-17-2019 at 12:44 PM.

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  3. #2
    1st Gear
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    get a thread chaser/tap and fix the threads?

  4. #3
    beermoney is offline [OP]
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    Would that require taking the cover back off? I was trying to avoid doing that because I feel like I'll make it worse taking it off and putting it back on again when 14/15 bolts are already good. I mean I can see down into the hole so if I had a thread chaser that was 4-5" long I could probably just rethread it w/ the valve cover on, it just seems like a hacky/risky solution...not that stuffing it with a plastic plug and sealing it is any less hacky lol
    Last edited by beermoney; 01-17-2019 at 01:29 PM.

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  6. #4
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    It's not something I'd do in a shop, but yes in theory you could perform a thread repair with the cover on place so long as the cover doesn't interfere with the rethreading tools.

  7. #5
    beermoney is offline [OP]
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    yeah that's what I'd be concerned about. I just checked the sealant and it seems to be hardening pretty good so by tomorrow it should be fully set. Luckily it's warmish where I am. If this seals, and we clean it up and then still see oil, it'll have to go to a shop cause I'm not replacing the cover again. I'll pay for it myself to avoid the pain in the ass lol. If it doesn't seal I'll pull the bolt and try rethreading w/ the cover in place, again w/ the understanding that there's a 50/50 chance I might **** it up and it'll end up at the shop anyway. Thanks for everyone's advice!

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