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Old 10-08-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
kbarkilr
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Attention HELP - ECTS Disaster

Ok guys, I did exactly what you think I did . . . I broke the sensor off while tightening it! Anyways, I bought an extractor kit and was able to get it out easily enough, the problem is that the new sensor won't thread in the hole. Now I've asked some friends for advice and the best advice I was given was to go to SEARS and buy the individual tap for the thread size of the sensor and slowly re-tap the hole. Questions: Where can I find the EXACT diameter size of the sensor threads? AND How do I know if it is Metric or American? AND How do I find out what type of threads I'm working with here (coarse, fine, etc...)? Damn this is a mess! Any answers or other advice (including smart-***** remarks about what an idiot I am) are more than welcome!
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:14 PM   #2
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Happy Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

It is 1/8"NPT. I think it is 27tpi, but there are no options anyway, just ask for a 1/8"NPT tap and you should be just fine.

Almost any hardware store or automotive parts store should have them. They are really common. It is not metric, don't worry...

It is however, a tapered thread, so only tap as deep as you have to to clean up the threads, no deeper.

No worries, I'm sure we all have done things like that ourselves at least once in our lives...

Kudos for tackling it yourself though.

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Old 10-08-2008, 03:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

This question is often asked by people installing a newer ('96+) engine in an older (up to '95) car, which requires tapping another sensor hole. Do a search on "ECTS thread NPT" to find the answer (it's some plumbing [NPT] thread size). And as to breaking it off, join the club. A number of us have done it over the years, each one usually coaching the next on how to get the sensor out with the extractor. Usually it's done cleanly enough not to damage the threads, though.

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Old 10-08-2008, 03:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

You need an extractor to get it out? Huh, guess I got lucky when I broke mine... lol
Didn't have to do anything to the threads, or anything special to get it out. I kinda think it was broken before I attempted to install the ECTS but it was defiantly broken after

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Old 10-08-2008, 03:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

You sure you got it all out. I've never seen a post from anyone that had this problem and I've broken off one myself.

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Old 10-08-2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

DIYGuy: Ok . . .great info! So to clarify, I only want to tap as deep as the threads on the sensor??? What happens if I tap it too deep? And to the other posters: I am sure I got it all out, it looks like the whole thing is still on the extractor. Thanks for the responses!

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Old 10-08-2008, 04:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

Um NPT is tapered. You can tap it as deep as the tap, as long as the hole is deeper than the sensor. Tapered=interference fit=deeper is not a problem, it will tighten and seal anyway.

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Old 10-08-2008, 06:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarkilr View Post
DIYGuy: Ok . . .great info! So to clarify, I only want to tap as deep as the threads on the sensor??? What happens if I tap it too deep? And to the other posters: I am sure I got it all out, it looks like the whole thing is still on the extractor. Thanks for the responses!
Take the tap and turn it in by hand without a wrench. When it gets as tight as you can turn it then put a tap wrench on it or a 1/4 drive socket and carefully and slowly turn it 1 to 1 1/2 turn and then back it out. Now take your brand new sensor with nothing on the threads and screw it in the new hole. Count the turns and if you get 4 1/2 or so you are good. You don't want more than 5 complete turns on the bare parts. If it stops at 3 then tap a bit deeper. After all of this fiddling take the new ECTS and pit one wrap of teflon tape on the threads and screw it in. It will stop about 1 1/2 turn less than where it stopped bare. Tighten it about 1/2 turn. Refill cooling system. Check connector for corrosion and reconnect.

2003MercMaraude is correct. You can run the tap in all the way and it will seal, however, it will be too deep. This is not an ideal condition.

Last edited by OldNuc; 10-08-2008 at 06:46 PM..

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Old 10-09-2008, 12:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster


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Old 10-09-2008, 04:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

The best way to make sure your tap will match the threads in the hole would be to examine the sensor you are screwing into the hole. They have pitch gauges to narrow down the exact diameter and pitch. You might be able to borrow one at the hardware store or a kragen. It looks as if everyone has given you some sound info already though. Good luck.

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Old 10-09-2008, 06:36 AM   #11
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Question Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

what is the torque on the sensor. if u installed with a 3/8 torque set at ?? lbs-inch, that would surely save twisting off the sensor, i would think. do u need to use a thread sealant on the threads?

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Old 10-09-2008, 09:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72gssaturn View Post
what is the torque on the sensor. if u installed with a 3/8 torque set at ?? lbs-inch, that would surely save twisting off the sensor, i would think. do u need to use a thread sealant on the threads?
72 inch pounds I think.

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Old 10-09-2008, 09:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

It is a tapered pipe thread. There is usually no torque spec associated with a tapered thread. They are designed to seal by mechanical interference. By design you tighten them until they are tight. The problem is that "tight" is not defined by torque.

Use of a torque wrench will not preclude disasters. There is wrench operator involvement required to preclude failures.

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Old 10-09-2008, 09:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: HELP - ECTS Disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72gssaturn View Post
what is the torque on the sensor. if u installed with a 3/8 torque set at ?? lbs-inch, that would surely save twisting off the sensor, i would think. do u need to use a thread sealant on the threads?
Depends on where you get the sensor from. If from Autozone/napa/etc, then yes. If from the dealer, then no

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