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Pelican Technical Article:

Removing a Broken Bolt or Stud

Steve Vernon

Time:

1-6 hours

Tab:

$0 to $100

Talent:

***

Tools:

Punch, drill, a really good set of drill bits and extractors, tap, penetrating oil, MAP gas

Applicable Models:

VW Golf (1985-15)

Parts Required:

New bolt or stud, tapping oil

Hot Tip:

Take your time and drill straight

Performance Gain:

Proper sealing

Complementary Modification:

New hardware

If you work on cars long enough eventually you are going to break a stud or bolt off. Usually it is in a place or on a part that is in a location that is very difficult to reach. That was the case with our turbo on the GTI Mark IV. One of the bolts broke off below the turbo mount, and of course the turbo is close to the firewall and engine which made access a little tight.

If you snap the head of a bolt or stud off with exposed threads the best option to try first is to soak the area in penetrating oil. If you can do this and heat cycle it by heating the area with a torch and spraying again with penetrating oil it may help free up the threads. If possible try this over several days. Next double nut, or screw two nuts down on to the exposed threads as far as possible, heat the base around the stud. The idea here is to heat only the base; this will expand the metal around the stud and help loosen its grip on it, then try and turn the one nut back onto the other and walk the stud out of the hole.

If this does not work or you just end up breaking the stud off flush or below the mounting surface you will need to drill and extract the stud from the part you are working on.

First get a good punch. You are going to try and punch a hole in the top of the stud. It is VERY important that you center the punch. This punch hole will be the guide hole when you start drilling so try and get it as centered as possible. I like to use the push punches rather than the old school punch that you hit with a hammer. With a push punch you can hold it in place and just push down on it until the spring mechanism in the punch activates and "punches the stud for you.

Make sure you use a drill that you can plug into the wall. Cordless drills will run out of power before you have finished drilling through the stud. Cover any area that you are working with towels to make sure that none of the metal shavings from the drill get into places you don't want them.

Begin by using a small drill bit and slowly drilling out the stud. Note: you DO NOT want to break the drill bit off in the stud. Take you time and use good cutting oil.

Our stud was broken off at such an angle that we could not get the pilot hole for the drill to be centered. If this happens to you, you can help things by hand filing the center hole.

Insert the extractor and tap it in place with a hammer.

Heat the area around the stud then quickly apply even pressure and try "walking "the stud out. If it moves a little repeat the process of heating and removing. Use the best quality extractor you can find and have patience. If you break the stud off in the part you will probably have to remove the part and have it professionally removed.

Sometime the old stud will break while being removed. You will have to carefully use a combination of pick, vacuum etc to get the remaining metal out. Once everything is out, if you have not damaged the threads too much use a thread chaser along with some cutting oil and carefully cleanout the threads and hole

First get a good punch.
Figure 1

First get a good punch. You are going to try and punch a hole in the top of the stud. It is VERY important that you center the punch. This punch hole will be the guide hole when you start drilling so try and get it as centered as possible. I like to use the push punches rather than the old school punch that you hit with a hammer. With a push punch you can hold it in place and just push down on it until the spring mechanism in the punch activates and "punches the stud for you.

Make sure you use a drill that you can plug into the wall.
Figure 2

Make sure you use a drill that you can plug into the wall. Cordless drills will run out of power before you have finished drilling through the stud. Cover any area that you are working with towels to make sure that none of the metal shavings from the drill get into places you don't want them.

Begin by using a small drill bit (yellow arrow) and slowly drilling out the stud.
Figure 3

Begin by using a small drill bit (yellow arrow) and slowly drilling out the stud. Note: you DO NOT want to break the drill bit off in the stud. Take you time and use good cutting oil.

Our stud was broken off at such an angle that we could not get the pilot hole for the drill to be centered.
Figure 4

Our stud was broken off at such an angle that we could not get the pilot hole for the drill to be centered. If this happens to you, you can help things by hand filing the center hole (yellow arrow).

Insert the extractor (yellow arrow) and tap it in place with a hammer.
Figure 5

Insert the extractor (yellow arrow) and tap it in place with a hammer.

Heat the area around the stud (yellow arrow) then quickly apply even pressure and try
Figure 6

Heat the area around the stud (yellow arrow) then quickly apply even pressure and try "walking "the stud out. If it moves a little repeat the process of heating and removing. Use the best quality extractor you can find and have patience. If you break the stud off in the part you will probably have to remove the part and have it professionally removed.

Sometime the old stud will break while being removed.
Figure 7

Sometime the old stud will break while being removed. You will have to carefully use a combination of pick, vacuum etc to get the remaining metal out. Once everything is out, if you have not damaged the threads too much use a thread chaser along with some cutting oil and carefully cleanout the threads and hole.

Figure 8

Before

After.
Figure 9

After. If you know what bolt or stud is going back in the hole I like to write the dimensions on the part so I don't get all the way to the end and start tapping or chasing with the wrong sized tap.

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:33:43 AM