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Why Special Tools are Required for Time Sert Inserts

9:13 am TIME-SERT Kits Summary: Special tooling is required to properly install Time Sert inserts. I know sounds like it’s either a no brainer… or a sales pitch to make customers buy expensive thread repair kits. Well apparently it’s hard for some to understand that proper tools for the installation of Time Sert inserts are necessary. That’s the reason for this quick auto tool blog.

Maybe it’s the economy. But lately we have been inundated with customers that are really trying to save money. Hey there’s nothing wrong with being frugal or as I like to say “being conservative”. However this is a line that can be crossed. The problem with trying to skimp on tools and just trying to get the job done as cheaply as possible is that “sometimes the job is not a success“. A failed repair ends up costing more in the long run. It’s takes more time, it may damage components beyond repair, there’s more down time, the repair may not last or it may not work at all.

Some customers want to purchase just the insert. Read on to hear how some of the conversations go.

Joe Frugal – I need an insert.

DennisB – OK, what kit do you have?

Joe Frugal – I don’t have a kit, but I’ve got plenty of taps already.

DennisB – Every piece in Time Sert kit has a purpose. There’s more to the process of preparing the hole and installing the insert than tapping the hole. Do you know how a Time Sert insert is held in?

Joe Frugal – I’ve worked on cars many years…

DennisB – I’m sure you have, but let me explain. Well, the Time Sert is locked into place by the installation driver cold rolling the threads and locking it into place. The bottom of the insert is expanded during the cold rolling process which locks it from the bottom. Without the driver, the insert will not be installed properly and it may back out. Then you would possibly blame the Time Sert insert, when actually the installation manner would be at fault.

Joe Frugal – OK, how much for the tap and the driver?

DennisB – I’m sorry, we don’t sell pieces of the kits unless you have purchased an entire kit from us previously and want to replace a missing or worn tool. Selling pieces for a job that does not use all the proper tooling and processes, only sets our customers up for failure. And we will forgo the sale rather than knowingly provide our customer’s with only part of what is needed to be successful.

Guide (also called a fixture) Plate and Drill Bushing – if Applicable

Guide or Fixture plate – Well it should be obvious by the name, guide. The guide plate that comes in some Time Sert kits are bolted down with at least two bolts and align a drill bushing for the hole to be drilled. This is common with head bolt thread repair kits made by Time Sert. Without the fixture and drill bushing, the hole may be drilled off center. This includes not only the TOP of the hole but also towards the bottom of the hole. Basic instructions are: Install the drill bushing into the largest hole in the plate. Place the plate on the block with the drill bushing into the hole to be worked on. After ensuring that the drill bushing is centered and fitted properly, bolt the fixture down using two other head bolts. This process is repeated on the other head bolt holes where inserts are to be installed. At least two bolts are needed to secure the plate. The plate can also be flipped over if needed.

Stepped Core Drill Bit (also known as a Reamer)

Time Sert Kits without a guide plate typically use a stepped drill bit for straight drilling. The bottom part of the drill bit is smaller which helps to guide the drill bit in straight. For example; The Time Sert 5553 uses the stepped drill bit which allows it to be used on multiple applications. Unlike the competitive brand Calvan 38900 which uses a line-up guide that fits in the spark plug well of certain 4.6, 5.4 and 6.8 Ford engines.

Installation Driver

As explained before: The installation driver cold rolls the bottom threads of the insert which locks it into place. The bottom of the insert is expanded during the cold rolling process which locks it from the bottom.

Big Serts are Oversize and have an extra locking feature.

Big Sert inserts are Time Sert’s line of oversize inserts. Oversize inserts are needed when there’s been a previous repair done, like a Helicoil or other competitive brand that has failed. Big Sert inserts also have an extra locking feature. There’s a tiny embedded pin that comes with every Big Sert. You may not see it unless you look closely. When the insert is cold rolled with the driver and the bottom expands the pin helps to lock the Big Sert in place.

Joe Frugal – Can I just purchase the cheaper Helicoil or Calvan kit and use the Time Sert inserts?

DennisB – No. The size of tooling differs between brands. Also, the other brands don’t use the same process (or tooling) as Time Sert.

There are more tools included in Time Sert kits than what I covered here today. But hopefully the article has provided a basis of how the Time Sert thread repair system works, how it’s different and why purchasing pieces of kits is not a viable option. Any questions? Feel free to comment below.

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