Thread Repair: Time-Sert vs. Helicoil

When it comes to stripped out threads, which is best?

What is worse than running into an issue on a project where you need to use either one of these things. I recently, finally, started my Road King Build again and having been sitting for over three years, I have run into some snags as you can imagine. Well what appears to be the last hiccup, fingers crossed, is the transmission hole that the inner primary bolts to has a little issue... the threads pulled out.

Now being a tech for 5 years it may shock you to know I have never had to use a Helicoil or a Time-Sert kit. Coming from the Fleet Center facility all I worked on were brand new motorcycles. Nothing was old enough to have threads pull out. I have had to fix threads that have been cross threaded or mucked up, but that is as easy as running the tap through the threads.

Helicoil thread repair systemHelicoil

Any how I posted on facebook about the threads and the comments started blasting about Time-Sert and Helicoil. I knew about Helicoil I have just never used one. Time-Sert, I can honestly say I had not heard of.

After doing a bit of research it sure seems to me that the Time-Sert is the clear choice for a more full-proof 'permanent" fix. The only advantage to a Helicoil I found, is that it is cheaper. Being in the industry for a little while I have seen time and time again, that cheaper is never better. Do not cut corners, no matter what you are talking about. Tools for purchase, procedures, products etc. Cheaper tools are cheaper for a reason, they suck and won't last. So breaking the two methods down, The Time-Sert is kit that comes with the proper size drill bit to get the old threads cleared out, a tap to make new threads, a counter bore drill to lock the insert in place, the insert itself which is what your bolt goes into, the driver that drives the insert in and lastly some oil that goes on the driver. You will be looking around $70 from what I have seen.

Now Helicoil is a wire spring type insert. The procedure is basically the same as a Time-Sert, drill out hole, tap hole, insert helicoil, thread in new bolt. Now the advantage is in the insert. Helicoil is a wire spring, doesn't sound very secure right? The Time-Sert is a complete sleeve with threads on the outside to thread into the hole and a stop tab to keep the sleeve from spinning inside the hole. For an equivalent kit from Helicoil it will run about $25. That is a pretty big difference in price, but it is also I big difference in engineered product if you ask me.

If I needed to run one of the two, I would go Time-Sert.