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Stripped Threads on engine cylinder

vinaypaivinaypai Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Nissan

I have a Nissan Stanza 92,(bought 3rd hand or so).
A couple of years ago, while I was in Florida, I
noticed that when I tried to replace the head
gasket on the engine, the screws on the cylinder
head would not tighten in. Only 4 of the screws
would tighten. The result: oil leaks out from the
top. I end up adding about 1 quart between regular
oil changes. The FL Nissan dealer said that the
oil add-ups were the easiest solution, and my
engine would be fine.
I have moved to Maryland now, and the number of
screws which tighten in have gone down to 3. The
Nissan dealer out here is saying that they can
rethread the cylinder but it would cost me $1000
for this. All the other non-dealer mechanics I
have gone to have refused to touch the job.

How safe is it to drive the car with the head held
on by 3 screws? Every mechanic I talk to seems to
think (not very confidently) that I should not
have trouble, but I will have to go on adding and
checking oil regularly. Is there an cheaper fix
than the $1000 one, but stronger than just daily
oil checkups?



  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    ??? Are you referring to the cylinder head gasket or the valve cover gasket? Any engine with only 3 head bolts tight will have a head gasket leak, causing MAJOR coolant leaks into the cylinders, oil leaks, low compression, and overheating.
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    valve cover screws. He could try the old trick people used on the screws of wooden screen door's hinges, put a toothpick or match stick in the hole with the screw. In this case, however, a piece or two of solid copper wire about 16 ga might be all he needs. If there is enough metal around them, he can have them "Heli-coiled".

  • hengheng Member Posts: 411
    Any real machine shop that does engine work can do it. Like oldharry said, if there is enough metal to put the slightly bigger hole needed for the inserts. The shop should tell you yes or no.

    I had an aluminum engine block way back which I had to have heli-coil inserts put in for the main bearing caps. These hold the crank shaft in. The engine went to 140,000 miles by which time the rest of the car was junk.
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