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post #16 of 51 Old 07-03-2019, 08:30 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

I was in the same boat last week. To top things off I broke a small drill bit off when drilling the broken bolt out. Try drilling a hole with a broken bit in it....


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post #17 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 01:01 AM
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The very best way to do this is the method mentioned by TH above. Weld a nut to the broken off bolt and unscrew it. If you don't have welding capability, the next best is to get a good solid center punch right in the middle of the bolt and drill at the tap drill size. If you hit the center well, you'll drill out the middle of the bolt and only leave the helical threads sitting in the grooves, which can be picked out as also mentioned above. Then run a tap (use cutting oil!) through the hole to clean up.

Failing those two methods, use an EZ-Out as a last resort. If the bolt isn't frozen tight in the hole with rust they can be handy, but most are just not as strong as the actual bolt. The Ridgid ones are the best I've used as well. They are strong because they have a large cross section - as large as will fit - and they are solid. The helical ones don't have as much cross sectional area so they are weaker and will break easier.
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post #18 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 06:57 AM
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Re: Broken bolts

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Originally Posted by Kbeitz View Post
I was in the same boat last week. To top things off I broke a small drill bit off when drilling the broken bolt out. Try drilling a hole with a broken bit in it....
I've had some success by feeding a light gauge copper wire down through each flute of a broken drill bit and then twisting the two pieces of wire together like a twist tie to wind the drill bit out.

It works often enough that it's always my first attempt for broken drill bit removal.

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post #19 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken bolts

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Originally Posted by Ariens93GT20 View Post
Don't think the PB will do much good in the drilled hole. Some claim heating it up and melting wax into the threads before removal works. I have never tried it.
If I can drill all the way through and hit open space underneath, I should be able to put that PB under the bolt, where, hopefully, the rust is less. The PB should then creep up the threads so it'll get into the rust from the top and bottom. I hope.

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post #20 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken bolts

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Originally Posted by TUDOR View Post
I've had some success by feeding a light gauge copper wire down through each flute of a broken drill bit and then twisting the two pieces of wire together like a twist tie to wind the drill bit out.

It works often enough that it's always my first attempt for broken drill bit removal.
I'ne not heard of doing that before, but you can bet that the next time I break a drill bit off I'll give it a try.

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post #21 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 07:42 AM
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Re: Broken bolts

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Originally Posted by trapster View Post
Every time I used an easyout on a rusted bolt it broke off and then was impossible to drill out. be careful
Use a Cobalt type drill bit they can drill through hardened steel - to drill out the broken bit.

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post #22 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 10:15 AM
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No, not cobalt. Tungsten carbide. A cobalt drill will do nothing. However, tungsten carbide may shatter or snap if you're not very careful. It may also wander outside the original hole when drilling by hand.

Last edited by eKretz; 07-04-2019 at 11:02 AM.
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post #23 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 10:23 AM
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Re: Broken bolts

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Originally Posted by RedOctobyr View Post
I've never had to try it, but I've read that you can make a thread-chasing "tap" (just to clean up threads, not cut them from scratch). You start with a grade 8 bolt, then cut relief grooves lengthwise, with a grinder. The relief grooves provide room for stuff that the tap is scraping loose, so it doesn't just bind up the threads.
I have done that many times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TUDOR View Post
I've had some success by feeding a light gauge copper wire down through each flute of a broken drill bit and then twisting the two pieces of wire together like a twist tie to wind the drill bit out.

It works often enough that it's always my first attempt for broken drill bit removal.
Interesting sounds like a good idea to try.

I like kerosene and atf mix for getting rusty stuff loose.

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post #24 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 12:10 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

I've broken off drill bits and e-z outs many times in a snapped off bolt..it does add to the misery for sure.

I've used a few methods with success to get them out,one is to use a good center punch & hammer to shatter the drill or e-z out,they are brittle compared to the bolt and will usually shatter (wear safety glasses!)...
If that is not possible due to no room to access them or swing a hammer,or your afraid the casting will break instead first--it's time to get the cutting torch out..
You can usually blow out the busted drill or e-z out by heating it up and hitting the trigger,the hardened steel will burn like a sparkler sooner than the bolt will melt in most cases..

Snap-On sells tap extractors,they have saved my butt many times,when I broke a tap off in a blind hole..sometimes they'll grasp a broken drill bit and let you unscrew it too..


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post #25 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 12:20 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

When I worked in a trailer shop we always had to deal with 5/16" hub oiler bolts breaking off as they went thru an aluminum hub oiler cap into an iron hub. We'd blow them out with a torch. The bolt has less mass and heats faster than the iron hub allowing you to blow the bolt completely out of the threads cleanly.

You'd blip the cutting lever to avoid damaging the hub--and to keep from wearing too much slag as the molten bolt comes back at you out of the bolt hole. Wear plenty of safety gear if doing this so you don't shoot your eye out kid.

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post #26 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 01:13 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

That sounds like a nice method.

I've used the MIG welder to weld on a washer & nut for small broken bolts, with mixed results. But that's probably bad technique on my part.

A torch sounds great, but I haven't yet been able to justify one. Maybe some day I'll find a good deal that I can't pass up. Being able to cut, weld, braze, etc, with a single tool, sounds pretty nice.
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post #27 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 02:41 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

If the threads were stuck hard enough that the bolt broke trying to remove it, then you can forget about any type of extractor.
the only way to remove it intact is to weld a rod to it; the heat will break the rust, and expand the bolt. when it cools it will come out easily.
That's a tricky technique though, and not always possible.
So, as suggested above, drill and retap; also tricky.
You need to be dead center with the drill; I've done many, and never quite succeeded. Yet.
You always end up with a crescent of the old bolt breaking loose just in time to jam the tap, so be careful or you'll break it.

Over drill and helicoil is a nice solution if you have a helicoil kit.

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post #28 of 51 Old 07-04-2019, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken bolts

I forgot all about helicoils. I guess because I haven't had the need to use one in ages.

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post #29 of 51 Old 07-05-2019, 12:51 AM
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Re: Broken bolts

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Originally Posted by Alien5044 View Post
If you drill, it is critical that you drill very carefully, and be certain the initial drill is centered in the broken off bolt. I think the block is likely aluminum, and those threads can be easily wrecked by a wandering drill.

Can you face the end of the bolt with a file or small grinder to make it as flat as possible, then use a punch to be sure your drill starts in the center? If you get a good starter hole, soak for a day or two with penetrating oil or home brew to increase the odds of it breaking loose if and when you try the easy out.

In all cases, don't be in a rush. Take your time and be very deliberate with the drill.

Good luck.
GB

The key is centering the drill hole. Start small then go larger bit.
EZ outs work without breaking if you drill out almost to to threads.
I did 5-6 on some Ford V10 heads a couple of years ago. On engine stand so easy to do.
They are 8mm so 5/16 diameter.
Drilled with small bit first. maybe 1/8...then larger, maybe another larger after that.
They all came out fine.

Welding to it is good too. I don't know why the washer is always mentioned. I guess because it is almost flat. I have just welded a little to the top of the bolt that's in there and then sat but on top and weld the inside up. Then let it sit for a minute or two. The steel cools and the aluminum heats and expands. Then slowly apply pressure with wrench.
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post #30 of 51 Old 07-05-2019, 04:00 AM
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Re: Broken bolts

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Originally Posted by kklowell View Post
I'ne not heard of doing that before, but you can bet that the next time I break a drill bit off I'll give it a try.
Note that light gauge means small enough to fit down the flute, but still large enough to almost fill the space in the flute. If the wire is too small, it will pull out as you twist them together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyU View Post
Welding to it is good too. I don't know why the washer is always mentioned. I guess because it is almost flat. I have just welded a little to the top of the bolt that's in there and then sat but on top and weld the inside up. Then let it sit for a minute or two. The steel cools and the aluminum heats and expands. Then slowly apply pressure with wrench.
It serves as a heat shield and weld spatter protection. Most broken bolts are into machined surfaces.

Welding the inside of a nut focuses the heat so that there is a possibility of melting the threads and welding the nut to the object, as well as to the broken bolt. Washers can take a bit more heat before melting than threads can so there is less risk.

The journeymen welders at work always tacked a washer to the broken bolt before welding on the nut, and those were mostly 3/4" bolts, not 1/4", where they could use 5/8" washers to ensure no welding to the casting.

To lance out a drill bit or easy out with a torch, heat it to the point of pulling the trigger on the O2. As soon as the trigger is pulled, pull the tip back two to three inches and shut off the fuel gas. The wash from the O2 blast will blow the offending object out as slag without adding heat from the burning fuel gas. The same trick works for small nuts seized onto studs that you want to save. It blew me away the first time that I saw it done. I've used the same trick many times on bolts and nuts as small as 1/4" over the 45 years since, and never marked a thread on the studs.

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Last edited by TUDOR; 07-05-2019 at 04:08 AM.
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