How to Make a Thread Tap

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Demonstration of Making a Thread Tap

Today we are going to show you a cheat. In some cases you are going to have a hitch that uses threaded holes in the bottom of the frame. Those holes are going to be probably corroded up within a few years of the vehicle being on the road with dirt, grime, salt corrosion, you name it is probably in there inside the fine thread. What you want to do is clean out the threads probably with an existing hitch bolt if it is lightly corroded and you can probably work it in and out a few times and do that. 00:20

If it gets too corroded to do that, you may want to get yourself a thread tap or a thread chaser which this is an actual thread tap. How it works is when you twirl it inside, when it is cutting threads too, the dirt and grime and steel will go into these grooves right here and it gets carried out as it cuts threads. It does the same thing as it goes through corroded threads. The dirt goes in through here. Sometimes the metric sizes are hard to find and you do not want to buy a whole set just for one of these. So what you could do is make your own thread tap with matching the hitch bolt and this is the end result right here. We took a small grinder, just cut off some grooves in it, use about four will work just fine and it works in the same principle. Just thread it in there, the dirt will get in the grooves as it continues to eat its way through. 01:06

To make the grooves in here we are going to use a small dremel tool and we are going to use the cutting wheel that is about 2 millimeters thick and the trick is you want to make a nice straight up and down cut. Light pressure just to go into the steel where you make a nice good cut into it. Maybe a few millimeters deep if that. You can make a straight line and you will not mess up the threads too much either. You do not have to go down too far maybe 3/ 4 inch will work just fine. Just do about maybe four passes over it. You can go deeper if you want no big deal. It is a lot easier and a lot quicker if you use a bigger cutting wheel too. We probably went three or four millimeters deep and that is all we need. Lets use it on the vehicle and give you a better idea of how it works. You just want to start it just like any other bolt. It may take a few tries to catch. You are probably going to knock some stuff loose spray it down a few times and the bolt as well. This one is not going too bad but you do not want to go all the way in. You can see all of the lubricant has gotten dirty while it was dragging out all of the gunk in the threads. When you clean out your threads on your vehicle be prepared to spend about at least a half hour or more on some vehicles that are particularly old. Even vehicles that are about four years old will take quite awhile to clean out the threads. But you will not mess up the threads and you will have your hitch install go a lot easier.

Questions and Comments about this Video

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Erik K 12/14/2012

Ive got a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. Ive already tried cleaning the threads with lubricant and a brush, but that has yet to work. What size thread tap do I need for the Hidden Hitch for this vehicle part 87414? I think its 12mm, but not completely sure. Thanks for the help.

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Patrick B 12/14/2012

The 4 bolts that came with that hitch are M10 X 1.25 X 30MM. If you need the info again in the future, it can be found in the instructions that came with the hitch. Below the diagram is a parts list that outlines the sizes of all the parts included.