2.3L 4cyl or 3.0L V6, 6th Generation

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How do I fix a stripped starter bolt?

I'm replacing the starter on my 1999 Honda Accord (2.3L 4cyl MT). However, the bottom bolt holding the starter on has been stripped. This bolt is 4 1/2 inches long and goes through the transmission housing and into the engine. Only the last 1 1/4 inches at the tip of the bolt are threaded - the part which treads into the engine. The hole in the transmission housing is not threaded.

It appears that this bolt not only holds the starter, but the transmission as well. Not sure how I'm supposed to tap and engine with the transmission in the way. That's a deep hole.

I thought about just tapping the hole in the transmission and using a larger/shorter bolt, but that might not be good if the bolt is missing for the trans/engine.

Any thoughts?

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There are only two choices I can think of...

1: Re-tap the hole as you've suggested. This means at minimum an "engine drop" to reach the hole to tap.

2: Find a way to check the depth of the hole and if it looks deeper, get a longer bolt. Supposedly the manual transmission bolts are longer then the auto ones, so if you have an automatic tranny you might be in luck there. IF you go this route, you're going to want to try to have a bolt that can thread as much as the old one. So for example if the old bolt had say 4" of unthreaded bolt and .5" of thread (which are stripped in the hole), you will want a bolt that is 4" of un-threaded bolt and 1" of thread. This way you don't increase your risk of stripping. A torque wrench may also be a good next tool box purchase ;)

Of course there's the band aids as well, JB weld and thread locker...I can't imagine these being bad in conjunction with a full "repair" (retap or longer bolt) but I can't condone using just these as the only "fix".

Hope this helps and let us know what you end up doing, I'm curious!

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The only thing I can think to add to this answer is that generally speaking, you only need AT MOST 1.5 bolt diameters worth of good thread to adequately hold the bolt. I would start with a bolt that is long enough to bottom out +1/4" or so, then grind it down that distance plus 1/16" so I have room to tighten it. If you don't have that much thread left to work with, well, all of your remaining options start with dropping the engine. :(


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