How to Remove a Damaged Bolt

How to Remove a Damaged Bolt

Bolt Extractors

1.

Drill a small hole directly through the center of the bolt. Enlarge this hole by changing to a larger drill bit, continuing until you can insert the tip of your bolt extractor into the hole.

2.

Tap the end of the bolt extractor lightly with a hammer to help the extractor's "teeth" sink into the material of the bolt.

3.

Twist the entire extractor counterclockwise with a wrench or with an electric drill set to low speed. If the extractor is seated fully into the bolt, it should twist out.

Helicoil Method

1.

Drill a small hole directly through the center of the bolt. Enlarge this hole by changing to a larger drill bit, continuing until you pick the remaining fragments of the bolt from the bolt.

2.

Select a helicoil insert that is one size larger than the original bolt hole. For example, if the broken bolt is an 8 mm bolt, select a 10 mm insert.

3.

Enlarge the bolt hole to the size of the selected insert by drilling it with the appropriately sized drill bit.

4.

Insert the included tapping tool into the hole. Twist the tap 1/3-turn at a time, stopping once the tap feels like it is seated snugly against the hole. Then back the tap out slowly to cut new threads into the hole.

5.

Insert the new insert with the included insertion tool. Once the insert is flush with the hole, punch out the installation tang on the insert with a metal punch.

Tips and Warnings

  • Work slowly and patiently when drilling a pilot hole into the bolt. Use a low-speed setting to prevent breaking the drill bit or extractor.
  • Do not break a bolt extractor. The material that the extractor is made out of is extremely hard and cannot be drilled into.
  • Do not rush. Rushing will create problems that will be difficult to fix.
  • For most automobile enthusiasts, time spent working on a car, truck or motorcycle is time well spent. Every turn of the wrench and twist of the wrist is as rewarding as the next, until it happens: a bolt breaks off in one of the various mechanical components, sheared or otherwise damaged and seemingly impossible to remove. This frustrating event happens to even the best mechanics, so don't fret if it happens to you.