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TIP: Removing broken studs / bolts

2238 Views 10 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  KRS
This might be an old trick, but, I just figured it out. I had some bolts broken off on my brothers tractor. Broken off flush and really rusted. Sprayed and left them sit for 3 days, spraying every time one of us walked by. Then drilled and started with an easy-out. I have never had much luck with easy-outs and not this time either. The (^%#@) easy-out broke off. Looking at it I could see that the one we were working on was completely broken off flush. One of the other ones had about a 16th of thread sticking out. Knowing it wouldn't work, I sit a burr on the top to see if I could grab a thread. Nope. While sitting back and looking at the nut sitting there, it hit me. I left the nut sitting on top of the stud and got the wire-feed welder out. I welded inside the nut and attached it to the stud bolt. The combination of the spray, heat, tapping on the top of the stud and all the swearing worked. Put the vise grips on the nut and started to wiggle it. Tapping on the top, wiggle and spray and wiggle and spray. I got them all out this way.
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I'll file that one away for the next time.......Thanks!
and all the swearing worked.
See, cursing does work!

I'm glad you got it out.

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my welding teacher told me this a few months ago and I forgot it. I will have to try that. welding the nut to the bolt heats the workpiece and gives you a grip. its simply brilliant!
Its a good method,but dont always work as good when the busted bolt is in steel or cast iron,its pretty easy to end up welding it to the peice that it broke off in,if its iron or steel..--in aluminum heads and engines it works really well though,because the weld wont stick to anything but the bolt...

I have put a thick washer over a busted bolt ,then filled in the hole in the washer with the welder,using fairly high heat to ensure good penetration into the busted bolt,then I'd weld a nut to the washer--and let it sit several minutes ,till the heat from welding has soaked into the surrounding metal and expanded it,before attempting to use a wrench on it to loosen it...its easier weding a washer ,than trying to weld inside the deeper hole in a nut most of the time....

Our shop teacher showed us how the most important part is waiting until the broken bolt and the washer & nut you welded had cooled enough,so the heat would expand the peice they broke off in...he'd put a wrench on the nut,hold firm pressure,and within a minute,it would suddenly go "sqeeeeeeeeak" and turn free..get impatient,and you'll twist them right off,usually leaving a much worse "mess" to fix,and a second attempt dont always end sucessfully...

I hate using E-Z outs,more often than not I snap them off and end up ****** and create a worse problem than I had before!...

I never have much luck drilling busted bolts out either,especially if they are in aluminum...I can never get the drill centered,or if I do,it always drifts off into the casting instead of drilling the bolt...if I think my skills aren't good enough,I bring parts to a local machine shop to get things "disintegrated" with a special machine they now have...its costly,but cheaper than buying a new head,etc,if your going to end up ruining it trying to get busted bolts,taps,or E-Z outs out of them..they can litteraly vaporize the busted parts out without damaging any surrounding metal...
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Yeah, been using the ole welding trick for years when possible. I gave up on e-z outs ages ago, seems like they always break off and make that much more effort for something that should have been so simple.
Yep, I was a heavy truck and diesel mechanic for over 30 years and I learned a long time ago the spiraled easy-outs are worthless. The best out there are Snap On's tapered square design. They grip WAY better and they're hard to break if common sense is applied.
I've had some luck with easy-outs and more luck with the stubby screw extractors Sears sells.
Welding a nut on reminds me of back 40 years ago. I was working in a machine shop and at morning coffe break one Friday I was livid. I had spent the week on one part and in the last operation, I broke off an 0-80 tap.
Geno, the welder asked why I was so peed and I told him my sad tale
He told me, after break, to bring the part and the rest of the tap to the welding shop.
10 minuted later I showed up with the part and the tap. He went in a cabinet and came out with a helmet he kept in a wooden box and in a felt draw string bag, sat at the welding bench, fiddled with some settings and welded the tap back together. He clamped the part to the bench and handed me a tap key and a loupe. The sucker came right out!
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I bought a set of reverse drill bits. Left turning i believe they're called. They cut in reverse so as your drilling you are also trying to back out the bolt. 9 outta 10 times the bolt comes out while drilling. I got the bits from Grainger a few years ago but I'm sure they still make them.
Here's something that works in situations where you can heat the area and there is a way to grab onto the broken bolt/stud . When you have the area heated up apply a candlestick on the area where the bolt/stud threads in to melt some wax and allow it to cool . Many times it comes out like butter .

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If you're worried about welding into the surround material; use a stick machine with a piece of vacuum hose on the end of the welding rod, it'll keep you centered while you burn into the broken fastener real good. Reduces worries about ruining the casting.

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