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  #1  
Old 01-17-2002, 01:58 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 1,989
Help, broken bolt siezed in aluminum

Went to change the thermostat in my wifes car and broke the head off one of the two bolts that hold the cover on. There's enough left to grab with vise grips and I've been soaking it with liquid wrench and banging on it but it won't turn. Is there anything else I can do besides keep at it and pray?

BTW the liquid wrench is 20 years old, does that matter?

TIA
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5 speed '91 190E 2.6 320,000 mi. (new car, fast, smooth as silk six, couldn't find any more Peugeots)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.5l Turbo Diesel 266,000 mi. (old car, fast for a diesel, had 2 others)
5 speed '01 Jetta V6 (new wifes car, pretty quick)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.2l Turbo Gas 197,000 mi. (wifes car, faster, sadly gone just short of 200k )
5 speed '83 Yamaha 750 Maxim 14,000 mi. (fastest)
0 speed 4' x 8' 1800 lb Harbor Freight utility trailer (only as fast as what's pulling it)
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2002, 02:04 AM
TurboTurbine
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use an easy out extractor if the vise grips fail. yu drill a care full hole in the centre of the broken bolt and the reverse threaded extractor will remove the broken bolt no problem. be care ful to only use a tapwrench on the extractor. be very careful not to break the extractor in the broken bolt cause you are in BIG TROUBLE if you do. only EDM can get it out. extractors are cheap at your auto store. $5-10
email me if you need more specific details.
good luck. 20 year old liquid wrench should work unless separation has occured.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2002, 03:15 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
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I have used easy outs and I did break one I used a narrow chain saw sharpening stone on a Dremmel tool (and a mirror) and lots of time to get it out. I was hoping for something easier
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2002, 07:41 AM
Registered Diesel Burner
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
I had the exact same thing happen last fall on my GM product. There was a pretty good amount of bolt left to work with, as just the head twisted off. I alternated between the propane torch and soaking it with penetrating oil for awhile. At least one overnight soaking with penetrating oil too. Because there was plenty of room to work with tools around the bolt, I took an angle grinder and ground "flats" on two opposite sides of the bolt. I had to use a flat file to touch them up a bit. This gave me the possiblity of a good grip with locking pliers.

I have a set of long-nose locking pliers that are not particularly heavy duty. I used those (because they have flat gripping jaws) to grip the bolt. Then I took a heavy-duty set of locking pliers and gripped that from the top (same axis as the bolt). Then I think I took some really big adjustable pliers (the kind that have multiple tracks to set different working jaw openings) to grip the heavy-duty locking pliers and twist.

It finally broke loose and came out.

During the process, I repeated the following mantra several thousand times:

I will not insert a steel bolt into aluminum without using anti-seize.
I will not insert a steel bolt into aluminum without using anti-seize.
I will not insert a steel bolt into aluminum without using anti-seize.
I will not insert a steel bolt into aluminum without using anti-seize.
I will not insert a steel bolt into aluminum without using anti-seize.



Ken300D
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2002, 11:11 AM
moedip
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I agree with the squaring of the sides for a wrench. The following is going to sound stupid - BUT I learned it from a mechanic -and so far it really works most of the time where penetrating oil has failed. Heat the stud and housing with a propane torch gently - DO NOT SUPER HEAT PARTS - JUST HOT ENOUGH TO MELT WAX---when the parts are hot enough - melt candle wax around the stud - the heat will draw it into the threads. LET COOL - then try to extract. I have used this method on rusted suspension bolts and was amazed that it worked where oil didn't. I know it sounds stupid -but hey! - it is cheap and quick enough to try. If you do it - let me know your results.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2002, 01:06 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antone
Posts: 408
Sorry to read about your broken bolt. Same thing happened to me on my 300D right after I acquired it and needed to R&R the thermostat.

Hopefully, you can remove the broken bolt with vise grips or some other tool to grip the shank - as others have suggested. The penetrating oil and a bit of heat from a propane torch will help.

However, if you have to use an easy out tool I suggest using the straight sided type (some call them straight fluted easy outs). I have done 100's (if not 1,000's) of broken screw/bolt/fastener extractions when I worked as a professional technician and the straight sided screw extractors are the best because they will really grip the inside of the broken bolt (using the hole you drill through the broken bolt). My extractors are made by Proto and worth their weight in gold for this operation (another company making them is Ace from the Hanson line of drilling tools). The extractors that look like a spiraling reverse thread do not work as well in my opinion because they do not grip the bolt as well - but if they are all you can find . . .

The procedure I use is similar to what some of the others have written and you are already doing - soaking the bolt and then using some heat. However, if you have to drill the broken bolt to use an easy out I suggest this procedure:

1. use a small file, a dremel tool, or other grinding tool to make a flat spot (as large as possible) on top of the broken bolt and as close to perpendicular to the bore as possible
2. use a small very sharp center punch to make a starter indention for the drill bit - this is a crucial step because the drill hole needs to be as close to center as possible so the ensuing drill hole is through the center line of the broken bolt, plus you are dealing with a 6mm shank that is pretty small - so precision is the key word
3. begin drilling with a small diameter drill bit (1/16" or 5/64") keeping the hole as close to perpendicular as possible, use new or very sharp drill bits, add a bit of oil after starting the drill hole - you want to make sure the drill hole is as close to center as possible and if it is not you can re-punch with the center punch to get a better start position, using oil right off makes it harder to see how centered the drill hole is
4. using the first drill bit, drill all the way through the broken bolt, this will relieve the bolt's force on the threads and as you drill with progressively larger drill bits the bolt's force on the threads should lessen
5. use progressively larger drill bits to enlarge the hole and drill entirely through the bolt (being careful not to remove aluminum from the housing, or the least amount) until you reach the drill bit size recommended by the manuf. for the easy out tool you are going to use (for a 6mm bolt usually the easy out tool requires a 1/8" or 3/64" drill bit)
6. take the easy out tool and insert it (if the straight sided type I tap the extractor in until it fully contacts the ID of the bolt), apply a bit of heat to the aluminum around the bolt (not much heat) and back out the bolt - follow the directions if you use the reverse thread type of extractor
7. if this fails, then you may need to remove the extractor (do not break the extractor as one member warned) and drill out the bolt until the threads just show - this is another reason why the beginning drill hole must be centered, take a small chisel and break out the old bolt in pieces, I know this sounds radical, but I have done it lots of times and had to do so on my 300D because the corrosion was so bad the bolt could not be removed with the extractor. If you have to do this procedure and are very careful, then the threaded part of the aluminum housing may be in good enough condition to reuse a 6mm bolt after using a tap to clean up the threads, if not then you are in a good position to tap the hole to use a 7mm or 7/16" bolt (both with fine threads, not course) with a minimum of effort.
8. as was written, use anti-seize compound (or at least a bit of high temp grease) when reinstalling the bolts, use flat washers on the bolts (not lock washers) and then torque the bolts to the proper spec (10Nm or 7.4 ft lbs or 88.8 in. lbs.). Use an inch pound torque wrench to gain better accuracy - 88 in. lbs. is like a strong wrist tight #3 Phillips head screw. In other words, these bolts do NOT need much torque because the o-ring on top of the thermostat is the sealing point and a new o-ring does not need much compression to form a water tight preassure seal to keep the coolant from leaking.

I am sure others will have their own methods and suggestions to help. My procedure has been developed over many years as a professional to remove broken fasteners, but I am always on the look out for other's input that may make the job easier and more successful.

Good Luck!
Tom
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America: Land of the Free!

1977 300D: 300,000+ miles

American Honda: Factory Trained Technician & Honor Grad.
Formerly:
Shop Foreman;
Technical Advisor to Am. Honda;
Supervisor of Maintenance largest tree care co. in US for offices in Tex.

Last edited by tcane; 01-17-2002 at 01:19 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-22-2002, 06:01 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
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Worst of the worst

What it was exactly: My wife has a 1985 Peugeot 505 turbo 2.2 liter four with 150,000 miles on it. I had gotten a thermostat a while ago and was looking for an excuse to put it in. She was complaining about not getting any heat out of it and mentioned the engine temperature wasnít warming up. I thought nowís my chance. It looked easy, right on top, in front, similar to my M103 that I had just changed, should have it done in an hour, NOT. I took the first of the two bolts off and it turned pretty hard but it did come off. I tried the second, harder to get to one and it seemed harder but it did turn a little. Itís been a long time since Iíve turned a rusty bolt and mistook the movement to the bolt turning when it was really just the head. Afterward there was enough left to grab with vise-grips but it still didnít turn and I really couldnít get to all sides to really attack it. So much for my one hour job, now time to re-schedule a two car family as a one car family, feasible but not pleasant.

Plan B. The thermostat was mounted on this thing with lots of stuff on it and bolted to the head so off it came. I put in a vise and squared the bolt remains off with a dremmel. Broke that off too.

Plan C. I brought it into work and gave it to one of the rocket builder machinist motor heads. He ended up breaking off an ez out in it. The server wonít let me quote him directly, or me either.

Plan D. Schedule a bunch of time. I used a drill and a dremmel with a chainsaw sharpening bit got about 80% of the bolt (and old ez-out) out, and a propane torch and some wax for the threds. Tried another ez out. Broke that too.

Plan E. Being careful of the aluminum threads I used a variety of drill bits, dremmel stones, lights and magnifying lenses to take out as much as possible of the old bolt and dug out the remnants of the bolt, it looked more like a spring. It was still hard to get out.

Morals of the story:
When doing a one hour job, reserve the rest of your life just in case.
Another reason for keeping a proper mix of coolant (with corrosion inhibitors)

Results: The car still doesnít put out any heat.
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2002, 06:33 PM
moedip
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Man - what a story! You heard of Murphy's law -right? Well, I'm afraid you have been victim to Nicodemus's Law which states "Murphy was an optimist"
If engine heat is normal - feel the hoses to the heater core. If they both are not hot - try disconnecting them from the block and putting water from a garden hose under pressure through the core - first one way then the other. Do this several times reversing the garden hose to the other heater hose to make sure you get a good flush and backflush. If you see crud coming out of the heater core continue until clean. This might do it for you. It has worked on my N.A. cars many times and here on the Canadian Prairies - we need heat!!
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2002, 08:14 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antone
Posts: 408
Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, I've seen the same nightmare waaay tooo many times. Glad you finally got the old bolt out and now you know why I emphasized not to break the easy out in the bolt - I had do things similar to what you did to get the d**n easy out out that using a chisel to break out the old bolt was a lot easier and avoid breaking the easy out (which is not easy to get out - I know, very bad joke!! ). Broken drill bits can be worse - so there is a very, very slight upside that a drill bit was not broken in the old bolt. Now I know you are a believer in using anti-seize (I've used high temp grease for years with no problems). Also, you have joined the select few who have successfully removed a broken easy out without ruining the component the easy out was broken in - Congratulations!!

Good luck repairing your heater. Hopefully, fixing the heater will be easier and a lot faster.

Tom
__________________
America: Land of the Free!

1977 300D: 300,000+ miles

American Honda: Factory Trained Technician & Honor Grad.
Formerly:
Shop Foreman;
Technical Advisor to Am. Honda;
Supervisor of Maintenance largest tree care co. in US for offices in Tex.
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2002, 08:30 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 1,989
Its getting pretty chilly here, sometimes down into the 40's, but I can tell the hydrolics are working cause the heater box and water lines get warm. Its probably some vacuum widget under the dash which I've chased after before (vacuum motor came loose.) Hopefully Murphy is happy now

I've been down this road before. I did the same thing a while ago on an engine block, with a mirror so I keep lots of those chain saw sharpening bits around. At least that was in iron.

Do they use anti-sieze when a car is first put together?
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