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Removing broken bolts: any special tips?
#1
Yeah, in removing the water pump with bolts I'm sure hadn't been touched since being installed in May 1973, 3 of the ten broke.  Two nearly flush with the block, one with about one inch showing.

I know how, I've got the finest collection of left-hand bits assembled and Kroil Oil at hand (lol).  It's hard work boring directly into steel, but I know what I've got to do.  I haven't learned anything new from a slew of How-To vids.  I'm rather stuck at the part of keeping the bit in line with the bolt long enough to dig in -- I will try again to make a better dent with a punch, but I'm also thinking I don't want to hit so hard I just re-tighten the bolt.

Just posting this in case there are any special "been there, done that" tips from the hive mind.
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#2
Start with a small drill bit. I doubt if left hand bits will remove the bolts, they are rusted tight, not broken off by over tightening. I prefer easy-outs. Hitting the center punch hard may loosen some of the rust, it will not make it tighter unless you hit the threads.

I would also let them soak with penetrating oil over night, and apply more before you start trying to remove them.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#3
I agree with Don. I have a set of tungsten carbide bits I keep aside just for drilling broken bolts. There's no easy way just have to use the tools you got.

Kilgon


"The only dumb question is the one not asked"
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#4
A hammer and pin punch is a good first step. I would grab a pin punch that is the size of the minor diameter of the thread or a little smaller and give the broken bolt a few good raps with the hammer and pin punch - with the pin punch square to the broken fastener.

Next I'd get a center punch and do your best to punch the broken fastener right in the center.

Drill the broken fastener with a pilot bit, then choose a drill about 2/3rds the diameter of the broken fastener. IE- use a 1/4" drill on a 3/8" bolt. Drill the pilot all the way through the broken fastener, that way you can squirt some penetrating oil in there and get it working in from both sides of the fastener. I've never used a left hand drill bit because 95% of the time you need an extractor anyway.

Buy some good extractors - you can get some from McMaster-Carr. You don't want to skimp here since this is what is going to make the difference between extracting the bolt, or having to drill it out and helicoil it.

Use lots of penetrating oil.

Use the extractor to remove what is left of the bolt.


https://www.mcmaster.com/extractors
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#5
+1 on the good extractors, if you break one off in there you'll have real problems, you won't be able to drill it out. Which brings up another point, make sure you don't apply a side load, you want to apply torsion directly down the extractor. Don't use the extractor to support the wrench when you turn it.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#6
I rarely drill them anymore. I weld a nut to the stud sticking out. And use a ratchet to remove like a normal bolt. Even if the bolt is broke almost flush I can usually get my mig welder down into the nut and fill it with weld to penetrate the broken bolt. The high heat helps loosen the bolt also. Works for me almost every time.

Kevin

1971 Mach 1
408C Stroker
C4 w/3,000 stall
8.8" Rear w/3.73's
Disc brakes all way around.

[Image: 044.jpg]

https://youtu.be/SoW1fhaFPzY
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#7
Anyone seen that movie "The Money Pit"? *sigh* That's what you step into with old cars, right? You shouldn't get into the hobby if you're not realistic about that, but the enduring mystery is "how deep?"

I was spending a small fortune eating up cobalt bits and making no progress, so I brought in some professional help for a better assessment of the remaining two broken bolts. It wasn't good. Well recommended local guy said besides that both bolts are deeply jammed (one embedded with a broken bit, the other with a well-embedded broken tap), I'm now past the point of accomplishing much with just hand tools. But more importantly, now both the cover plate and start of the hole is buggered up, and it's going to take a machine shop to be able to re-align and re-bore the holes. That means pulling the engine and a brand new set of... ahem... "adventures".

So he took a few photos and sent them off to a well-known machine shop down the valley and got an answer pretty quickly: nope. Even in a machine shop the worst of the two is past the point of working on because the tap went off center. Replace the block.

Pardon me for a few minutes will I ponder that.

Replace the block...
Replace the block...
Replace the block...

And all that was really necessary to replace was the leaking radiator and power steering pump but I thought "while I'm at it, let's do alternator and water pump, too!" Live and learn.
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#8
I wouldn't give up yet. "Professionals" and machine shops don't take chances, they don't want to be blamed.

By tap, do you mean that you were trying to re-thread the hole or do you mean an extractor? If it's an extractor I hope it the type that has the tapered shallow reverse threads and not the fluted, drive-in, type. Is it just off center, or did it go into the block? How did the bit get jammed and broken? Is any of either one broken off above the block?

Maybe some pictures, straight on and oblique, would help us come up with something. A lot of us learned things the hard way and/or have had to fix other people's screw-ups.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#9
(11-06-2019, 05:11 PM)Don C Wrote: I wouldn't give up yet. "Professionals" and machine shops don't take chances, they don't want to be blamed.

By tap, do you mean that you were trying to re-thread the hole or do you mean an extractor? If it's an extractor I hope it the type that has the tapered shallow reverse threads and not the fluted, drive-in, type. Is it just off center, or did it go into the block? How did the bit get jammed and broken? Is any of either one broken off above the block?

Maybe some pictures, straight on and oblique, would help us come up with something. A lot of us learned things the hard way and/or have had to fix other people's screw-ups.

I'll get you some photos, but no not an extractor, a tap.  Close to impossible to drill out with hand tools it seems.  It's about 3/4" in. The hole itself is problematic because we attempted to drill down *beside* that tap in the empty part of the X shape of the tap itself.  How it went off center, I dunno.

Photos pending. Thanks --
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#10
How did you end up with a broken tap?
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