Video: 4 of the best ways to remove stuck bolts

https://www.youtube.com/embed/J4u928H_qgw

What is the best way to remove rusted hardware?

Grassroots Motorsports Publisher Emeritus Tim Suddard shows us a few easy techniques to get those bolts loose.

preach
preach GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/2/23 3:40 p.m.

I have to deal with similarly stuck fasteners daily for work, though for most of them rust is not the issue and some are much bigger than anything on a car.

Some of my favorites not mentioned:

Weld a nut or a bolt to the fastener. One it gives you heat, two it gives you a good purchase for a real wrench.

If it is a stud, I have pairs of vice grips that I welded a nut (various sizes as needed) to, then split the nut. This way you can adjust the vice grips to clamp on the stud without ruining the threads and twist it out (ok, ok...or snap it off).

For the easy out, some times you need to shock the fastener/tool with a hammer as you turn CCW. Tap/whack the end for the easy out while trying to turn it.

Not one of my favorite ways to do it:

Progressively drill the center of the fastener to the root of the threads, you may need a 1/8" end mill in your dremel tool to get there. Then you peel the threads out of the hole with an pick and pliers or start with a GL (ground low) tap and progress to a GH. It works but it berkeleying sucks.

Anyway, we all will get this at some point. Embrace the suck and just do it.

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
8/2/23 3:45 p.m.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EdeG2SfWkAMFDYP.jpg:large

lnlds
lnlds Reader
8/2/23 8:52 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

laugh I just crawled under my car to do endlinks and decided I need an angle grinder.

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
8/3/23 3:36 p.m.

I was unbolting the brake caliper from the hub on our W123. Can't get an impact on it so I had a long breaker bar. I felt it turn easier then it snapped off. So I finagle a drill with a reverse drill bit in there and to nobody's surprise snap it off. Hardened steel in the middle of the snapped off bolt in the caliper. After hours and many attempts I gave up and went hunting for a junkyard with a w123. Turns out that was easier than removing the bolt.

BuzzF5R
BuzzF5R New Reader
10/27/23 2:11 p.m.

Could not get the vid to play. For nuts and bolts, I heat and thenpress a candle to the fastener. The wax wicks down the threads and adds some lube to the rusted threads, never failed me yet. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
10/27/23 2:23 p.m.

Best way to get a stuck bolt out? Sell it to someone else.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/27/23 4:59 p.m.

I watched the video.  When I saw the impact driver come out for this windshield frame my first thought was, "here comes the part where he breaks the glass.". 

I guess that's why I'm an amateur and you are a professional.  

husky450cr
husky450cr GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/28/23 9:29 a.m.

I've found another technique before I use the EZ-out...drill the appropriate size hole with left-handed drill bits, as they drill they are turning the direction the screw needs to come out...often the drill will bite enough into the screw to turn it loose.  

Advan046
Advan046 UberDork
1/26/24 10:01 a.m.
husky450cr said:

I've found another technique before I use the EZ-out...drill the appropriate size hole with left-handed drill bits, as they drill they are turning the direction the screw needs to come out...often the drill will bite enough into the screw to turn it loose.  

I most often get success with the left handed drill bits after penetrating oil and heat have failed me. Oddly the more recent issues I have had on my 20 year old car are more that the heads of the bolts are already unwilling to hold on to the rest of the bolt. With almost no torque they just fall off. I don't even feel any torque rise up to a point to yield. So I have to make grind the remaining shaft flat then make a center point with a dremel bit, penetrating oil, MAP flame, Freeze Off (which has been great as I can hear the parts click and groan), then finally left hand drill and so far they come out. 

I gave up on EZ-outs, as despite watching numerous youtube videos with people getting them to work. I never have had it work for me but once, a loooong time ago. 

MiniDave
MiniDave HalfDork
1/26/24 2:11 p.m.

Seems to me all an ez-out does is expand the remains tighter into the hole.

I've had some good luck with left handed drill bits, but mostly I get out the oxy-acetylene torch and get it cherry red - haven't had one that would release doing that.

You'll need to Log in to post comments.

Our Preferred Partners
lEKRNC4YPEh4cIHCEnahwAOzV0nnJkECCJ4qjKjtqqdXDjc28pdbgkwWNHB4Dl2J