Valve Cover Stud Mod
(21) 6-32-1/4 Hex Studs and Nuts
(1) 6-32 NC FINISHING Tap (The one in this picture is NOT a finishing tap, be sure yours is!) + (See note below)
NOTE: I RECENTLY GOT A PM FROM 3KGT2NV WITH A GREAT TIP REGARDING THE TAP;
i would mention that the correct way to install the studs instead of cutting the tap which can result in incorrect threading would be to get a taper tap. which is what you originally had and a plug tap (or bottoming tap)which is flat and is used to chase the threads and run them to the bottom of the hole.
this is the correct method of tapping a hole correctly. some people will actually use an intermediate tap which aids in the cutting and cleaning of the original threads.
just a tip since i cant make a note on your thread and the cutting of the tap is a bad idea as it can cause lead in issues and poor thread engagement.
(1) Cylinder Shaped Grinding Bitt (or Equivalent)
(1) #36 Drill Bitt
A dremel OR equivalent (I used a RotoZip with a dremel adaptor)
High Strength Loctite (for studs)
Low/Med Strength Loctite (for nuts)
(1) Center Punch (preferably spring loaded)
(1) Tap Handle Thingy
Authors Note: I wrote this write-up a few months ago, and recently I just got the head assembled so I could test the fitment of the valve cover with the cams and everything else installed, and sure enough, there were issues. Below is a picture of the 5 studs located along the edge of the valve cover, these studs ran into the cam caps and the oil pressure regulator, causing lopsidedness, and would result in a poor seal all around even with the gasket.
Because of this, you have 2 options:
Grind the nubs all the way down
Grind the nubs around the outside so you can still slip them through the holes in the baffle sheet so there is something to kind of keep the baffles in place.
In my case, I just removed the studs AFTER laying down a bead of RTV Black Sealant and letting it set up. This way, the baffles have a seal even after the studs have been removed.
NOTE: This write up is assuming you have already removed the baffles and cleaned your valve cover of any sludge and other unwanted residue. If you have not done so by now, you need to do that before starting this procedure.
Start by using the center punch to create a divot in all the “nubs” that secure the baffles in place.
Use the #36 drill bit and now drill out the centers of all the “nubs”. We do this to make grinding them down fully easier. If you want, you can simply grind all of them down from the start but this is just how I did it.
Once all the “nubs” are drilled out, use the grinding bitt to grind down all the “nubs” ALL THE WAY TO THE BASE.
Now here comes the fun part; the drilling. Now I cannot overstate this enough:
BE CAREFUL ABOUT HOW DEEP YOU DRILL! IF YOU DRILL TOO DEEP YOU CAN POTENTIALLY DRILL THROUGH THE VALVE COVER AND HAVE AN UGLY HOLE WHERE YOU DO NOT WANT IT!
Now use the Tap Handle and tap those holes! TAKE YOU TIME and go at a steady pace. You might need to push down in order to start the threading. Don’t push too hard, but don’t be too tender (…THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!) because you do not want to strip the hole, otherwise you will probably need a bigger stud, or else you just skip it and move on (which is what I had to do for one of the holes). Once you feel some resistance and you think you hit the bottom of the hole, reverse the tap and twist it out fully, then in and out 1-2 more times to get any unwanted shavings out of the threads.
Now that all the holes are tapped, and assuming you took your time and things went well, you might want to take the time to rinse the holes out with some soap and water and a small brush to ensure they do not have any metal bits in the threads that will get in the way when installing the studs. Let the valve cover dry or air blast it before proceeding with the next step.
Okay we are almost done, next step is to take ALL of your studs and thread them in. We do this to make sure the holes in the baffles line up with the studs. A few of mine didn’t so I had to drill the holes a little bigger in the baffle plating and then it was all good from there.
DO NOT LOCTITE THEM IN YET! I MADE THIS MISTAKE AND 2 OF MY STUDS ARE SHORTER THAN THE REST WHICH MAKES ME SORTA KINDA MAD BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF LENGTH FOR THE NUT TO SECURILY GRAB ON TO. THE NUT STILL THREADS ON AND STAYS THERE, BUT ITS BETTER TO TEST FIT BEFORE LOCTITING THE STUDS IN PLACE!
Once you have test-fitted the studs and found a good length for them to stick out (no more than the thickness of the nut for it!) Now comes the High Strength Loctite and, one by one, installing the studs. Make sure to not get any Loctite on the exposed threads that will be used for screwing the nut on. I just dripped some Loctite in the hole and screwed the stud in and out and back in again to ensure the threads that are going into the valve cover “body” were well coated. Do this for the remaining 25 and wipe off any excess that may bleed out.
Let the Loctite cure for a bit and then stand back (or look closely) at the wonderful job you did! Now you can paint your valve cover (shield the threads of the studs) and install the baffles, followed by the nuts.
DO NOT USE EXCESSIVE TORQUE TO SECURE THE NUTS!!! THESE ARE TINY STUDS AND WILL NOT WITHSTAND EXCESSIVE TORQUING OF THE NUTS!!
When installing the nuts, use some Low Strength Loctite. It should be sufficient enough for them to stay on with engine use, but if you ever want to remove the baffles again, they can easily be broken lose using the appropriate socket.