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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    3,074

    Removing rusted or broken bolts and screws

    Speaking of anything from an 8/32 screw to a 3/4" bolt. How do you do it? I'm on a job where we had a heck of a time getting a 3/8" bolt out of a tapped flange. My usual procedure is to heat the bolt up red hot and tap on it with a hammer while heating it, let it cool down, and soak it with a penetrant like CRC Screwloose. When it cools down, I get on it with some vise-grips, and it usually comes out without much effort.

    On this bolt, we drilled the center and tried two different kinds of screw extractors. Broke off both of them inside the bolt. Had to use a dremel tool with a tungsten carbide bit to grind out the screw extractors, then drill and re-tap the hole. What a pain in the azz!

    Another one we had trouble with was a little 8/32 screw holding a small terminal plate. The screw broke off, and I went to drill it out with a cobalt bit. I broke the bit in the hole. Had to drill that bit out with another one and re-tap the hole.

    Anyways, I was just curious what sort of tactics the rest of you are emplying when you encounter a rusted/seized/broken bolt. I bought a set of Lisle screw/bolt/stud extractors today, and I was also wondering if anyone here has ever used them with any success???

    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,429
    Soak for 15 minutes with a penetrating oil. If it's a larger bolt I go for the impact. Hammer on it and either it comes out or it snaps. If it's a phillips or flat, I'll try it but shortly there after I'm looking for something to cut it off with. Patience, patience, patience! If its broke in a 4x4 box in a refrigerator I just rip it all out and start over.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Near Chicago Il.
    Posts
    116
    I've used the craftsman extractors on lots of things with great success when dealing with stripped bolts. These things were lifesavers on my old Mustang restoration.
    As far as the drill and screw in type extractors, Snap On were the only ones that could really hold up for me without breaking, especially the smaller ones.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    69
    Same tactics. Pen lube and heat normally gets it done. I have welded nuts onto broken studs. The intense heat and new gripping surface really help. Have used the bolt outs like the ones shown from craftsman and have had good luck with them. Never had much success with the screw in type extractors. It would always just seem to make me more pissed when the not so ez out would break.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Richland, WA
    Posts
    238
    I've used transmission fluid mixed with nail polish remover and it works good


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
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    3,429
    Quote Originally Posted by caheiman30 View Post
    I've used transmission fluid mixed with nail polish remover and it works good


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Interesting combo. How did you come up with that? How does that combination work?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,587
    Heat the bolt but don't let it cool, every time I have that problem I get it red hot and get on it right away and as it cools it gets harder and harder to turn.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Richland, WA
    Posts
    238
    Quote Originally Posted by ryan1088 View Post
    Interesting combo. How did you come up with that? How does that combination work?
    I learned that from a instructor when I was in school, that's what he uses out in the field and uses when he is working on his cars and motorcycles on bolts that are rusted


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,074
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie1KRR View Post
    I've used the craftsman extractors on lots of things with great success when dealing with stripped bolts. These things were lifesavers on my old Mustang restoration.
    As far as the drill and screw in type extractors, Snap On were the only ones that could really hold up for me without breaking, especially the smaller ones.
    I looked at that exact same kit when I was in Sears today. I'll pick it up next week. I don't like the "not-so ez out" drill and screw in type extractors either. The only time they have worked for me is when I use them on broken 1/4" NPT and 1/2" NPT pipe nipples. Every time I have used one on a broken bolt, it has broken before before the bolt did. I think I am officially done with those things.

    Quote Originally Posted by caheiman30 View Post
    I've used transmission fluid mixed with nail polish remover and it works good
    Sounds interesting... Although I gotta admit that the idea excites my b.s. detector just a little. What is the mixture ratio? What about it makes it work better than other penetrating lubricants?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joehvac25 View Post
    Heat the bolt but don't let it cool, every time I have that problem I get it red hot and get on it right away and as it cools it gets harder and harder to turn.
    Yup, that works too. If you can get them moving while they're hot, then you're better off that way. Bolts do expand as they heat up and sometimes that can make them harder to turn when they're hot. The heat and expansion is what breaks the chemical bond with the material that surrounds it.
    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Morgan Hill Ca.
    Posts
    1,180
    Quote Originally Posted by caheiman30 View Post
    I've used transmission fluid mixed with nail polish remover and it works good


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I was a boat mechanic for 15 years, seen thousands of broken bolts, this actually works (but I used acetone which is the active ingredient in nail polish remover).

    Incidentally, these are the exact ingredients in Aerokroil... http://www.kanolabs.com/google/

    It just needs a little time to get the job done. Been using this stuff like it's free for years. Keep it next to the Marvell Mystery oil...

    GT
    If a day goes by and you have learned nothing, I hope you got a lot of sleep.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,074
    Not breaking bolts is something that requires a certain touch and feel that only comes with experience. Experience only comes after you need it. I've found if you tighten the bolts a little before you try to loosen it, most of them come out easily. Sometimes you have to just go back and forth with it before it comes all the way out.
    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Richland, WA
    Posts
    238
    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Rob View Post
    Sounds interesting... Although I gotta admit that the idea excites my b.s. detector just a little. What is the mixture ratio? What about it makes it work better than other penetrating lubricants?
    He said a 50-50 mixture depending on the bottle that you are using. I would normally use WD40 but tried this and it worked alittle bit faster than WD40.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,074
    Quote Originally Posted by caheiman30 View Post
    He said a 50-50 mixture depending on the bottle that you are using. I would normally use WD40 but tried this and it worked alittle bit faster than WD40.
    Any particular brand or kind of transmission fluid??? I think I'm going to try this out.
    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

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