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  1. #1
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    Tapping a thread where depth is restricted

    Here's one for anyone mechanically minded.

    A friend has an outboard where the steering is exceptionally stiff - common problem. It's quite old and not been used much. Our first port of call was to disconnect the steering cable to see if the problem is with the cable or the engine vertical steering tube thingy. ...... And it's the engine bit.

    You really would expect there to be grease nipples so that the inside of the steering bearings/tube could be greased - but there aren't. To get it apart is a major disassembly job. It's obviously lubed for life..... or not.

    Armed with a bit of clever thinking and Youtube, it seems the solution is to drill and tap 2 or 3 holes in the tube, fit grease nipples and work marine grease into it until it frees up.

    I can see a problem, however, and that is, a tap has quite a bit of length of half hearted thread on it, to get it started, before it starts to cut the thread proper. I'm thinking that there will probably be a restricted gap inside the tube which will prevent the tap going deep enough to do a proper thread.

    Does this make sense? Do I start the tap, and then grind a bit off the end, before doing a bit more, etc etc? Any suggestions? TIA.

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    Established TDF Member Doomanic's Avatar
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    What you have described is a home made bottom tap. That's what I'd do in your situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    Seriously, forget about sidemount - it's bollocks.

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    Established TDF Member Doomanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    Seriously, forget about sidemount - it's bollocks.

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    Established TDF Member nigel hewitt's Avatar
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    And the cuttings go into the tube to which you have no access and that's going to free it up?
    I hope I'm misunderstanding the situation...
    Helium, because I'm worth it.
    Waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay sounded like a radical holiday opportunity until I looked it up.

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    Established TDF Member Nickpicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigel hewitt View Post
    And the cuttings go into the tube to which you have no access and that's going to free it up?
    I hope I'm misunderstanding the situation...
    The swarf will mix with the grease and over time, will help to increase the clearance between the shaft and the bearing.
    Proud to be a boring health and softy crap following sissie!

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    Established TDF Member Steve Clark's Avatar
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    Spiral flute bottoming tap.

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    Yay. Brilliant. Once you know what something like this is called, the rest is easy(ish).

    The grease nipples are 6mm, so I'm hoping that the quantity of swarf will be negligible

    Thanks for the help.

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    Established TDF Member Decosnapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tens View Post
    The grease nipples are 6mm, so I'm hoping that the quantity of swarf will be negligible
    Grease the tap as you use it to a) help the cutting process and b) give the swarf something to stick to.

    When you wind the tap out at least some of the swarf will come with it.

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    Established TDF Member jamesp's Avatar
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    Spiral flute tap.
    Calling it bottoming is a bit of a misnomer, as they are generally referred to as machine taps.
    The flute causes the swarf to come "up" the hole.
    There is still a "lead" (taper) on the start of the tap, of generally three thread pitches.

    Nobody ever grinds those off, honestly!

    As you said, start the thread, grind the tap; just make sure you grind it square, or you will have a world of poo open up.

    What size do you need, I may have some part worn ones lying around I can post (M3,M4,M6 most likely) for you to play with.
    Check your grease nipples, BSP are still very common for grease nipple threads.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesp View Post
    Spiral flute tap.
    Calling it bottoming is a bit of a misnomer, as they are generally referred to as machine taps.
    The flute causes the swarf to come "up" the hole.
    There is still a "lead" (taper) on the start of the tap, of generally three thread pitches.

    Nobody ever grinds those off, honestly!

    As you said, start the thread, grind the tap; just make sure you grind it square, or you will have a world of poo open up.

    What size do you need, I may have some part worn ones lying around I can post (M3,M4,M6 most likely) for you to play with.
    Check your grease nipples, BSP are still very common for grease nipple threads.
    It's M6. Thanks for the offer! I don't want to put you to that trouble. I like buying stuff and they're inexpensive enough to get 2 or 3 to play with. Appreciate the offer though.

    One thing, though. You say nobody ever grinds off the lead, but then you say start the thread and grind the tap. Can you elucidate?


 
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