Time to Tap Out [Tech Center]

Time to Tap Out [Tech Center]

When I removed a screw from my car’s aluminum bulkhead, all the threads came out with it. Is there any way to re-thread it?

There are two fixes for a stripped screw hole. One is to simply run a longer screw all the way through the part, then use a nut to hold it. When that’s not possible, the only fix is to tap new threads in the hole. However, you’ll have to go up to the next size screw, since the material you need for the correct size thread has been stripped out. Dubro offers metric and standard drill and tap sets as well as a tap handle just for this job. Use the supplied drill bit to clean out and size the hole, then thread the tap into the hole to cut threads. Be sure to lubricate the tap (WD-40 will do, but a tapping lube such as “Tap Magic” is best) and remove the waste aluminum as you go. Do this by backing the tap out one-half turn after every full turn. Once you’ve reached the bottom of the hole or passed the tap through the part, remove the tap’s T-handle and thread it out by the shaft. This will prevent you from damaging the threads as you remove the tap.


A stripped hole in an aluminum part can be re-threaded using a tap.


Dubro has what you need to drill and tap holes. This well-worn tap belongs to our master builder, Kevin Hetmanski.

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Updated: February 3, 2017 — 10:30 AM
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