“Screw”-Ups and Equipment Failures

On Wednesday, Dad and I stopped by the house of our good friend and gearhead Rob to pick up his click torque wrench before heading to the garage. Years ago, Rob rebuilt a ’65 289 that he dopped into his ’84 Mustang.  Rob decided to join us at TLG with his two kids. Now that we had an accurate torque wrench, I applied Lock-Tite to the thrust plate bolts and tightened them down. However, I had never used a click torque wrench before, and was under the impression that it would slip and cease to tighten when the desired torque was reached. Next thing I know, the head snapped off, with the bolt itself still embedded in the screw hole. Good thing we doused it in Lock-Tite first!

Had Rob and his children not been there, I definitely would have had to endure the wrath of my father. Dad grabbed a bolt extractor and attached it to his power drill, but the clutch on his 13-year old drill picked a bad time to conk out and the suddenly useless drill wouldn’t spin the bit. Then we tried using his impact drill to drill a hole in the bolt with our carbide-tipped Bad Dog drill bits, and then gave the bolt-remover another go. With a spectacular display of smoke plumes and much effort on the part of the power drill, the bolt finally gave up and came out. I cleaned the metal slivers off of the block while Dad put the tools away, and we kept the other thrust plate bolt for reference when we buy new hardware. We then finished tightening the main cap bolts and packed up for the night. At home, Dad ordered the hardware, a new water pump and a camshaft degreeing gauge. There will be no blog posts this weekend: Dad will be away on a three-day racing class at Infineon Raceway/Sears Point.