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post #31 of 51 Old 07-06-2019, 01:10 AM
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Re: Broken bolts

Aluminum does not cut at all with an ozy acetylene torch. You can melt it and blow it out of the way but cut it like other metals no. I have had some luck heating the aluminum with a nap gas torch and drilling with a left hand bit before the aluminum cooled.
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post #32 of 51 Old 07-06-2019, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken bolts

Well, so far since I started this thread I have had exactly zero minutes to work on it. Not looking good for it until the weekend either.

My "honey-do list" is so long it has chapters.
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post #33 of 51 Old 07-07-2019, 04:40 PM
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You don't want to cut the aluminum. Just the steel. And I have cut plenty of frozen or galled up clevises off of hydraulic cylinders or bearings off of shafts and the like with a torch, but it does take some practice. With that practice it's very easy to do without damaging the steel left in place. Little more difficult to blow a bolt out of a hole unless it's pretty large.

The benefit to heating and then cooling the interface between the bolt and female thread is that the temperature differential moves one more than the other, breaking the bond between. This is especially so with steel on aluminum, as aluminum expands and contracts much further and faster than steel as it heats and cools.
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post #34 of 51 Old 07-08-2019, 10:34 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

A few heat cycles with propane may help too.
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post #35 of 51 Old 07-09-2019, 11:46 AM
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Re: Broken bolts

An older mechanic I knew showed me how he used his arc welder to heat up stuck nuts and bolts without using the carbon arc torch..

He'd take an old welding rod that had some coating that came off ("never throw them away" he'd say)--and was no longer any good for running a bead,turned the welder up to about 150 amps,and he'd stab the electrode onto the center of the bolt head or outside of the nut,so it would "stick"--he'd leave it stuck there about 5 seconds,then shut the welder off.

The bolt would be glowing orange,and he used side cutters to snip off the welding rod,and put a wrench on the bolt and apply torque steadily,and WAIT..he said the waiting part was the most critical...after a minute or two,the wrench would suddenly move,and the bolt would squeak and creak free,then he was able to unscrew it the rest of the way without it breaking--most of the time ..

This trick is good for fasteners you cant get a torch near--which is about 90% of the time on newer vehicles..he told me he once thawed out frozen pipes in his shop once by clamping the welder leads far apart on the pipe and switching on the welder for a few seconds at a time until water flowed out of the open faucet too..
I saw a "pipe thawing unit" for sale at the flea market last Sunday,looked like a battery charger,I wondered if that would work on bolts & nuts too?..but I already have a few arc welders..


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post #36 of 51 Old 07-09-2019, 01:43 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

Super glad this thread caught my eye. Tudor :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. That is slick! The last EZ I drilled out , I used a 3/16 masonry bit sharpened an much oil. I've drilled around a busted bit to get a grab. I sheared 3 out of 4 Y pipe/exhaust manifold studs. Taking the manifolds off didn't enthuse me. I rigged 4 drills with 1/8, 3/16,1/4, and 3/8 and a pump oiler. 10 mm studs
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post #37 of 51 Old 07-09-2019, 01:44 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

Tractor-Holic, that's pretty cool, thanks! I don't have an arc welder, just MIG.

I've never tried it, but I wonder if I could do something similar. Maybe put an old tip in the gun, to avoid damaging a good tip. Retract the wire a bit, and open up the drive roller, so that no wire feeds. Hold the gun tip against the part (remove the nozzle shroud if needed), and pull the trigger. I would think you'd now be flowing current rather like you described, but not adding any metal (which is tricky with MIG, to get heat, but no metal). Has anyone tried this?

Last edited by RedOctobyr; 07-09-2019 at 01:50 PM.
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post #38 of 51 Old 07-10-2019, 11:15 AM
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Re: Broken bolts

I don't know if a MIG would work that way,never seen it done or tried it,I think only the wire gets current put through it ?....--a spot welder would though..

I have seen a guy at a body shop use a stud welder,normally used to spot weld studs to a dent so it can be slide hammered out,to weld a stud to a busted off fender bolt,and he was able to use vise grips on the stud to unscrew it..


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post #39 of 51 Old 07-10-2019, 11:43 AM
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The MIG contact tip would get hot for sure (the contact tip is absolutely electrically hot) but that's a lot of cross sectional area and the tips are copper, not steel. So it won't weld together in any kind of way that would be able to provide much - if any - force transmission. That is a stick welder only method.

The MIG might make a good bolt heater though - it would avoid the problems involved when using a torch (burning or melting anything even remotely close to the area).
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post #40 of 51 Old 07-10-2019, 12:06 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

"I also use the welder on many smaller bolts--weld a flat washer to the broken bolt,then weld a hex nut to the washer,a MIG works best for this..often the heat from welding loosens the bolt and it'll come out fairly easily.."

If your available tools and abilities permit the welding, it is almost certainly the fastest and most effective method. The heat expands the bolt-- loosening the rust-- and it also gives something to grip for turning the bolt. I used welding to remove a broken easy-out from the attempt by others. It removed both the easy-out and the broken bolt-- the ultimate satisfaction.
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post #41 of 51 Old 07-10-2019, 01:08 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

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Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
The MIG contact tip would get hot for sure (the contact tip is absolutely electrically hot) but that's a lot of cross sectional area and the tips are copper, not steel. So it won't weld together in any kind of way that would be able to provide much - if any - force transmission. That is a stick welder only method.

The MIG might make a good bolt heater though - it would avoid the problems involved when using a torch (burning or melting anything even remotely close to the area).
Sorry, yes, that was what I meant. Use the MIG tip to just heat the bolt. Not to weld to it.

I've used the welder conventionally to weld to the broken bolt. But using just the tip, no wire, could be a way to provide heat-cycling, for instance, to try and loosen the rust bond.
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post #42 of 51 Old 07-10-2019, 05:21 PM
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Re: Broken bolts

I read most of these posts but not all. Just a note about extractors that I haven't seen mentioned. Find the square type extractor with four sharp edges. They are far superior to the reverse twist types most often used. Drill the appropriate size hole, tap the extractor into the hole just as any other EZ out and turn. The difference is the square type does not expand the screw nearly as much as the spiral types do. With them, the harder you turn the more pressure is pushed to the remaining bolt making it all that much harder to turn. The Square type does not rely on this as the sharp edges bite into the screw. I would say I had 90 percent success removing hundreds of broken screws wit this type. Other than that, just live with the missing screw. It certainly wouldn't be the only Kohler running with missing screws.
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post #43 of 51 Old 07-10-2019, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken bolts

Certainly some food for thought in all these responses!
I'd really rather not live without these bolts...that side shroud must really rattle when the top too bolts are not there.

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post #44 of 51 Old 07-11-2019, 08:17 AM
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Re: Broken bolts

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Originally Posted by andyma View Post
The last EZ I drilled out , I used a 3/16 masonry bit sharpened an much oil. I've drilled around a busted bit to get a grab. I sheared 3 out of 4 Y pipe/exhaust manifold studs. Taking the manifolds off didn't enthuse me. I rigged 4 drills with 1/8, 3/16,1/4, and 3/8 and a pump oiler. 10 mm studs
For Y-pipe exhaust manifold studs, Heat up the manifold to cherry red with a torch and use an impact to back the studs out before you break them.

Unless the stud is badly corroded, it usually backs right out.

Learned this at a muffler shop. I figure the guys doing it day after day know how. When I tried it at home, it worked like a charm.

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post #45 of 51 Old 07-11-2019, 11:07 AM
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Re: Broken bolts

One of my late friends worked at Midas for years doing exhaust systems..

He got so proficient with the cutting torch,he could blow out a broken stud in an exhaust manifold without enlarging the hole,9 times out of ten he could simply blow the remains of the stud clean thru,and run a 3/8 tap thru the hole to chase the threads and have it ready to re-assemble in less than 2-3 minutes..

The only ones that defeated him sometimes were some manifolds that had a stud in a blind hole ,but he often was able to blow out the broken stud deep enough to re-tap the hole,without having to pull off the manifold to drill the stud out..

I have attempted to do this--rarely had much success though..


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