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Discussion Starter #1
I can't figure out how to keep the starter motor bolts from loosening on my 90s vintage Ariens 824. The threads in the block, admittedly, are not in perfect shape, although I did clean them up with a tap.

I've tried two types of Loctite, lock washers, and both Loctite and lock washers together. My next step, out of desperation, is to JB Weld the bolts in there, but I thought I'd see if anyone had any ideas before going to that extreme.

Thanks!
 

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Monster glue? A drop of Super Glue? Toothed washers
 

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I can't figure out how to keep the starter motor bolts from loosening on my 90s vintage Ariens 824. The threads in the block, admittedly, are not in perfect shape, although I did clean them up with a tap.

I've tried two types of Loctite, lock washers, and both Loctite and lock washers together. My next step, out of desperation, is to JB Weld the bolts in there, but I thought I'd see if anyone had any ideas before going to that extreme.

Thanks!

Helicoil. Problem solved, and a much better/stronger way to thread in.



The bolts were probably a little loose and beat the snot out of the threads, causing this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks - at this point it will probably be spring before I tackle it. Fortunately the unit starts easily, usually on the first pull. I'm thinking either helicoil, or if there is room I may glue a stud in there and then use a nylock nut.
 

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for my 30+yr old 10hp blower it was easier to just do the one pull on the rope to get it started than find my extension cord, unwind said cord, plug it into outlet and then plug it into machine.
then rewind what i just did to put the cord away.
odd that my lawn mower is harder to pull start it
 

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I'm thinking either helicoil, or if there is room I may glue a stud in there and then use a nylock nut.
Helicoil is probably the most robust solution, but its riskier. If drilling goes wrong, if it blows through the side of a boss, etc, you might create a different/bigger problem.

Red Loctite or JB Weld, and putting in a stud is an interesting idea. I don't know what's near it, but red Loctite requires a torch, if it ever had to be removed.

If you went that route, maybe put in the adhesive/Loctite, thread in the stud, then snug a nut against the engine. The nut will keep the stud pulled away from the engine, and tight against the threads, as the adhesive dries. That way the stud will already be "in position", the way the stud will be pulled during use, once the starter is reinstalled. Rather than sitting one way in the loose threads, hardening, then be pulled differently once you mount the starter.
 

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By using a stud you may not be able to slide the starter out, you may be able to flip it outward.
 

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I was thinking clearance with the tank above the starter but using studs you might have to pull the recoil/shroud to get the starter in and out if as mentioned above you can't angle it in there. Not that it would be that often you'd be replacing it.

.
 

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Blue removable Loctite should work. I would suggest getting a new tube. I have had Loctite go bad on the shelf. It never fully dries. Make sure the threads on the bolt and hole are clean. Spray some break cleaner or alcohol in there to clean out any oil and blow it out with compressed air to dry it. You can even use a hair drier to help speed the curing as it is pretty cold out now.


But, if the threads in the alum block are really worn you best go with a Helicoil or similar. If you are only catching 10% of the thread or something ridiculous like that it is a problem.

You want it removable unless you go with the stud concept. Other have well explained the down side of that approach. But it will work.
Good Luck.
 

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Or carefully see if you could use slightly longer bolts if there are any unused threads in each bolt hole. Make sure they don't bottom out before the starter is tight. An extra washer or two could fill up the gap, if this is the case.
 

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I've had the same issue with a starter coming loose. The thread depth into the engine block is not much . . . maybe 3/8". I would imagine that the bolts come loose because of previously being over tightened and threads stripping out. JB weld would be an extreme, maybe Gorilla Glue would be better.


I think the helix coil as a thread repair is the best approach.
 

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3/8 isn't a lot of depth. OP, if you take the Helicoil approach, make sure you mark the drill depth with tape not to go too deep .
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, I think much of the problem is that the threads had been damaged before I got the machine, and 3/8" depth is not a lot to work with. Fortunately the setup does not seem to require perfect alignment. I will see what I can cook up in the spring.
 

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Possibly you can rig, make, a metal bracket to hold it upright and in place attached to engine bolts.
 

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With only 3/8 depth of thread and the condition in question I agree with Woodie. Helicoil it and be done.
When I worked in custom machinery the rule of thumb with thread depth in Aluminum is 2 x the bolt diameter. With a stainless steel helicoil you can really improve on the strength and tighten them down so much better with out worrying about stripping the alum.
 

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Do the Helicoil kits include bottoming taps? With only 3/8" of depth available, and being a blind hole, a normal tapered tap might only cut full threads into, say, half of that.
 

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Try a time sert. I fixed a starter that would not stay on with these inserts. The kits are a bit pricey but they work great for stripped out threads in aluminum.
 

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Do the Helicoil kits include bottoming taps? With only 3/8" of depth available, and being a blind hole, a normal tapered tap might only cut full threads into, say, half of that.

I believe they are available but don't generally come with a bottoming tap. You could always grind down a standard tap to make it a bottoming tap.


Timeserts are stronger but I am not sure you will know the difference on this application. I would not buy the kit just for this repair but if you have other projects in mind for its application it may be worth it.


Let us know how you make out.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The kit I got came with a standard (non-bottoming) tap. I will see how it goes. The tap is marked 1/4-20 but obviously it is larger than that, as it fits the outside of the helicoil. Does anyone happen to know the size? The drill bit is 17/64. I use 1/4-20 all the time so having a full repair setup is worth the investment. Thanks.

As mentioned, unless we get a thaw it's unlikely I will get to this repair until spring, but I will keep folks posted.
 
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