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Broken/Snapped/Stripped bolt head? Look here

This is a discussion on Broken/Snapped/Stripped bolt head? Look here within the Tools forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; My toolbox is full of bolt extractors of all kinds. Thought I would list some of my favorite ways of ...

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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Broken/Snapped/Stripped bolt head? Look here

    My toolbox is full of bolt extractors of all kinds. Thought I would list some of my favorite ways of removing them.

    Tools that will help:

    Spiral screw extractors Link

    Bolt Extractor Link

    MATCO stud remover



    The shorter bolt extractors (stubby HEX head) in the first link above I have found to work especially well when performed as follows. If a 3/8" bolt breaks, you'll want to use a 3/16" to 1/4" extractor. So select a left handed drill bit around that size(its always possible the left handed drill bit alone will remove the stud) and drill out the center approximately 1/4". Take your stubby multi-spline extractor and smack it in the hole. Obviously, you want the stubby extractor to be slightly larger then the hole you just drilled. Then, turn the extractor with the appropriate size wrench. (Wait until the bolt is completely cool to install the extractor) This method has saved my rear end more times then I can remember and is one of my favorite's. Bolt extractors be it, Hex head, Flute (longer,slimmer) are by nature going to be weaker/smaller in diameter then the bolt its trying to remove. They will break from time to time. Going easy and apply plenty of WD40, or drill/tap fluid will help greatly. Also, a start/stop/reverse/start method is very important. Cant just lug on the thing, need to stop from time to time and restart.

    Same can be applied for the longer extractor (flute design) work the same. They seem to break more often for me.

    The second link I posted above also works great, although I haven't had near as much experience with them. Those are used to remove rounded off nuts or heads of bolt. Usually they require force (hammer) to be installed, then using a wrench to twist the nut off. Works nicely. There is an alternative to this though if your in a bind and need it done quickly. For example,

    You rounded off the bolt head on your LS1 exhaust header. Before cutting the head off with a cutoff wheel try this. The head is a 10MM size. 3/8 is slightly smaller. If room allows, smack a 3/8's socket on the head and attempt to remove. This does work as crude as it may sound!

    Being a former Caterpillar Tech, working on the ultimate rusty machines, this next is my personal favorite and always successful. It really just applies to broken studs in general. We would find a nut that was just slightly larger in size (ID) than the OD of the stud. Weld that nut to the stud, and its almost a guarantee its coming out. Ive seen this done before on Cat diesels heads, but they were all iron

    The last not-so-perfect method that is usually a last resort but has worked for me before is, using a cut off wheel to make a deep "slit" in the bolt/stud exposed area. Make it deep as possible, and use a flat head screw driver to turn. I can find the other tool Im trying to refer to here, see P.S. below and win cool stuff.

    Any of these methods will require lots of penetrating fluid, PB blaster is good stuff. Feel free to add any experiences or other tools to the list guys.



    P.S. To those guys with miscellaneous tools. What is that tool called for removing flat-head/Phillips screws?(it can remove whatever you can attach to it really) You smack the top of it with a hammer, and its geared inside to twist when hit. That thing works amazing every time I used it. Mine is made by Matco, but cant find it on their webpage for the life of me. 10 cool points to whomever finds it online

    And yes, I was bored when I wrote this

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    If I may add... I would use a 12 point socket as your smacker too.. Just my .02..
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    Heat heat and more heat works too. If you can get it hot almost red hot the bolt will expand in the hole. Let it cool completely and go @ it again. The expansion can serve to "squish" the thread sealant and or corrosion that is causing the overly tight condition. When the bolt cools completely it can actually be loosened some from being swelled..

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    Great info Ron -- that Irwin kit looks nice, I may have to add that to the tool box since a lot of the wrenching I do is on 30-40 year old cars.

    I am a fan of the candlewax trick. Heat it up with a torch and then press a candle against the bolt. The wax will wick into the threads and really helps to free things up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Great info Ron -- that Irwin kit looks nice, I may have to add that to the tool box since a lot of the wrenching I do is on 30-40 year old cars.

    I am a fan of the candlewax trick. Heat it up with a torch and then press a candle against the bolt. The wax will wick into the threads and really helps to free things up.
    Does that actually work? ive heard about it many times but never tried it. Sounds cool!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hi-Po View Post
    Does that actually work? ive heard about it many times but never tried it. Sounds cool!
    Like magic. At least most of the time. I recently had two exhaust manifold bolts on our Olds heads that resulted in a trip to the machine shop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hi-Po View Post
    P.S. To those guys with miscellaneous tools. What is that tool called for removing flat-head/Phillips screws?(it can remove whatever you can attach to it really) You smack the top of it with a hammer, and its geared inside to twist when hit. That thing works amazing every time I used it. Mine is made by Matco, but cant find it on their webpage for the life of me. 10 cool points to whomever finds it online

    And yes, I was bored when I wrote this
    The tool is called an impact driver wrench. They are a handy tool to have. I use mine a lot. And just add my 10 cool points to my tab...

    http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/000723.php
    Last edited by Knight; 03-12-2010 at 08:19 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Like magic. At least most of the time. I recently had two exhaust manifold bolts on our Olds heads that resulted in a trip to the machine shop.
    Someday Ill try it maybe
    Quote Originally Posted by Knight View Post
    The tool is called an impact driver wrench. They are a handy tool to have. I use mine a lot. And just add my 10 cool points to my tab...

    http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/000723.php
    10 cool points awarded

    I love that tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Great info Ron -- that Irwin kit looks nice, I may have to add that to the tool box since a lot of the wrenching I do is on 30-40 year old cars.

    I am a fan of the candlewax trick. Heat it up with a torch and then press a candle against the bolt. The wax will wick into the threads and really helps to free things up.
    I can also back up the candle wax method. I've pulled plugs from 40 year old blocks like they were put in yesterday..

    If that fails, I mig a nut to whats left of the bolt and then try the wax again.

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    I've used the impact drive too. I've removed many screws with it and even used it to remove impacted bolts by using one of those things that you insert into a screw driver and attach sockets to it. This works good when you really can't get a ratchet in a cramped in area. It also helps to PB blaster it before loosening.

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