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Break a bolt?

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by TacoBow, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Nov 18, 2010 at 7:05 PM
    #1
    TacoBow

    TacoBow [OP] Intentionally cosmetically incorrect.

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    Well, I wasn't trying to.

    I must admit that I've broken quite a few over the years and I knew better when I put the pain to it. Figured since I did it, and in this case it was broke off in a captive location, this would be a good time to share a few things you may do to get a broken bolt out as well as a few things to prevent you from breaking one to begin with...

    So I get this box in the mail... it had these tubes in it.

    [​IMG]

    I know, they ain't no good for rocks, but it's my daily driver. The closest thing to wheelin' I do is a tram path, stripping cut, or farm / timber job access lane when I go out scouting for archery season. Mud tires would be better suited for me... plus my wife, being vertically challenged, approved the purchase. :thumbsup:

    [​IMG]

    Pretty straight forward install... brackets x 3 for each side, that use the stock mounting points under the rocker panel.

    [​IMG]

    I remove the factory plugs from each attachment point and begin loosely installing the mounts. Each bracket has two bolt holes for a M8 x 1.25 metric bolt that is supplied in the kit. They are grade 5. This is going to be both good and bad for me in short order.

    I find that the upper bolts start freely in the captive threaded bolt holes under the rocker panel designed to accommodate the OEM running boards. I also find that the lower mounting holes are slightly rusted and have a bit of grime in the threads. The M8's start, but run a wee bit snug by hand. I assume they will spin in place with a little help from a 3/8 drive ratchet. All but two on the drivers side cooperate.

    I back out the first of the two tight runners and try some WD-40. Nope, same deal. So, I try to clean the threads up a bit with a bore brush (rifle) chucked in a cordless drill. Add some anti-seize and run the bolt back in. It runs a bit tight on the last few turns and I notice the lock washer has yet to compress. I don't want to break it off, knowing there is a slim chance that I can get to the other side of that captive fastener up in the rocker panel, so I decide to back it out.

    Set the ratchet to lefty loosey and start to remove it... SNAP!

    Oops. Too late.

    The grade 5 bolt, having already been stressed by me twisting its face trying to use it to clean out the threads, is now weaker that it was, and its broken shank improperly stuck fast well beyond flush in that captive fastener.

    [​IMG]

    Wow... that ain't no good. I can barely see it up there... and I sure can't get anything like a Vise Grip on it. Nope, this ain't no good at all.

    So, I get to the wishful thinking and open the drivers door... remove the sill plate in hopes to find access to the other side of the captive fastener by looking down through a non existing slot in the upper rocker. Nope.. ain't no holes in there. Ain't coming out that way easy. How about that plan B thing.

    This is where the bad grade 5 bolt becomes good... in that I can drill it much easier than say, a grade 8 bolt. The trick now is to make a hole through the broken bolt, as large as I can, without hitting the threads of the captive fastener. Get that Taiwan drill bit set outta here Joe... dat ain't gonna git 'er done. 7 bucks on one of these is $ well spent...

    [​IMG]

    So after saying a little prayer, I sets to drillin' (SLOW) and got a nice clean hole through that broken bolt without boogering up the fastener. Hit that one about 1/32 off the center, but hey, who's counting rc hairs.

    Fortunately I've a set of MAC EZ Outs and after spinning the 3/16 in place, was golden. Out she comes.

    [​IMG]

    I'll admit that I was really skeered, in that the pressure I had to apply to the EZ Out was so great that it could have broke off in the drilled out bolt. Had that happened, knowing the hardness of the MAC tool easily exceeded the hinges of Hades, drilling on it would have been outta the question. Panel cutter or torch, both not an good option IMHO.

    So, I'm super happy that it worked without damage and without heat, but I'm still mad at myself for letting that happen. All that was needed to prevent that was about 30 seconds on each dirty / rusty / tight thread in the fastener with a M8 x 1.25 tap.

    [​IMG]

    Don't get me wrong, I don't mean that I wanted to tap new threads, only to use the tap the clean the existing ones. Which is what I did with all of the remaining mounts.

    [​IMG]

    The tap, by design with its channels, allows the dirt and rust particles to fall away from the threaded hole as opposed to becoming friction building lock tight resulting in my broken grade 5 bolt.

    Sometimes a blast of compressed air will suffice, or running a bolt back and forth slowly to chase the crud from the threads in combination. However a tap in the proper dimension is the best first choice.

    Ok, so you don't have a metric tap on hand, the parts store is closed and you want to get your project installed tonight. If you have an extra bolt that is the proper size, you can make yourself a thread cleaner... take for instance a taps design -

    [​IMG]

    Pretty big tap! Good for illustration... and for making big threads.

    The flutes on the side of the tap can be easily ground into an existing bolt. Depening on the size, a basic bench grinder, dremel style tool or even your garden variety hand file can make the necesary reliefs in the bolt so it functions much like a tap! Work the device in the threads slowly gaining and removing to clean any debri in the fastener in record time!

    Ok, maybe not record time, but it'll save ya a bunch of time compared to breaking off bolts that you can't readily reach from the other side. ;)

    Befo -

    [​IMG]

    Afta -

    [​IMG]

    Tune in tomorrow, (well maybe next Thursday), when my stock rims come back from the powdercoaters. I'll see if I can snap off a wheel stud or two during their install so I can show ya how to change out one of those!

    That would be TITS!

    (Note to self... broken bolts aren't tits. :D)
     
  2. Nov 18, 2010 at 7:21 PM
    #2
    brutalguyracing

    brutalguyracing BIG DADDY

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    F.U> GUYZ
    broken mods
    great write up rep to u
     
  3. Nov 19, 2010 at 2:05 PM
    #3
    TacoBow

    TacoBow [OP] Intentionally cosmetically incorrect.

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    Well thank you kindly...

    Now allow me to reciprocate a "Get outta Jail Free" card to you sir.

    :D
     
  4. Nov 19, 2010 at 2:07 PM
    #4
    Mark C.

    Mark C. If you want it bad, you usually get it bad!

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    Super job! Let us all know how they wear and hold up! Thanks!
     
  5. Nov 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM
    #5
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    getting there....
    nice write up man! im liking the step bars as well.....they look great, and seems like they fit right where they need to. way better than nerf bars or running boards!
     
  6. Nov 19, 2010 at 5:26 PM
    #6
    blackbox

    blackbox Well-Known Member

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    Excellent advice and write up. I have used taps a number of times to clean threads, if the threads are dirty, rusty or otherwise questionable it is a good practice. The time spent is much less than dealing with a broken bolt. It also works to restore (at least partially) threads that may be partially stripped, depending on the particular application, it can be a good solution.
     
  7. Dec 1, 2010 at 7:40 PM
    #7
    TacoBow

    TacoBow [OP] Intentionally cosmetically incorrect.

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    Hey thanks guys...

    Oh and a very good point from BB, re: " It also works to restore (at least partially) threads that may be partially stripped, depending on the particular application, it can be a good solution."

    That fit perfectly here. :thumbsup:

    *********************************

    Almost forgot to share this recent endeavor... when it rains it pours right? LOL -

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/su...ock-removal-alternate-method.html#post2441425
     
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