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Rich
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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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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.
 

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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. :tango_face_grin:

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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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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?
 

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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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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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"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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