Time-Sert VS Heli-Coil Thread Repair Kits – Which one is better?April 13, 2012 8:14 am Head Gasket Repl., TIME-SERT Kits
© DenLorsTools.com Summary: Article by a master auto tech on the differences in two very popular thread inserts used for restoring damaged threads. Some commonly asked questions are answered like – How are they held in? And which one stays in better? Which is better, Time Sert or HeliCoil? After reading the article and seeing the video be sure to check out our Time-Sert Kits.
Denlor’s sells several different brands of repair kits to fix damaged threads for a variety of applications. Since many engine blocks today are made of aluminum, a common thread failure is the for the head bolts.
HeliCoil for Head Bolts
I remember years ago, guys using small Helicoils which were the right diameter and thread pitch but shorter in length. They would double them up. Then they would run the headbolts in even though they had to be cross threading them when they reached the second helicoil insert. This was a make-shift way of replacing the threads that would work most of the time, if they didn’t have to remove the bolt again. Now, Heli-Coil makes a kit that has the 11×1.5mm common thread size which is 30mm long – no need to double up the the shorter coils. The kit number is 1130. Heli Coils are are held in by the spring action of the coil outward on the tapped hole… that’s it. Once the bolt is installed it helps to hold the coil of wire in place as well. One issue with this method of holding the coil in place is the possibility of the coil traveling further down the hole with the bolt – unless it bottoms out; or having the coil come out with the bolt when it is removed.
Time-Sert Inserts for Head Bolts
Time Sert inserts for head bolt applications are much thicker than the Helicoil brand. They are more like a solid metal bushing which is threaded on the inside and out. The Time Sert brand insert is installed with a special driver. You see, the bottom part of the TS brand insert, by design is not 100% completed until fully installed with the driver. The driver runs the insert down into the hole, it also finishes making the threads while pushing outward on the bottom portion of the insert. That’s what holds it in. When an insert is held in from the bottom it naturally stays in better. And with Time-Sert’s oversize inserts which are called “Big Serts” they take it a step further. Time Sert uses a cam lock method which further assures the insert is held in for good.
Can I use my Helicoil tap to install a Time-Sert Insert?
No, they are completely different. Installing a Time Sert insert without the proper tooling will most likely result in not being able to install the insert to begin with. If for some reason it was possible to install it without the driver, the insert threads would not be completed and the insert would not be locked in place as it was designed. Then the bolt threads might be damaged when installed.
Can I use permanent Loctite on Helicoil and Time Sert inserts?
Since the Heli-Coil is not solid, it actually is just a thin coil of wire, it would allow Loctite to contact the bolt threads. So, it’s not a good idea to use permanent Loctite on HeliCoil brand inserts. Since Time-Sert inserts are solid, permanent Loctite can be used with no problem. Of course it’s best to be careful to NOT allow the permanent Loctite to come in contact with the bolt threads themselves. See the video below showing the HeliCoil brand and the Time-Sert brand 11×1.5 mm inserts. You be the judge.
Click to see the product listing for the Helicoil 1130 Kit for sale now.