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View Full Version : Suggestions for Removing/Repairing Rounded Off Hex Bolts



Hesse
Sunday, April 17th, 2011, 09:14 PM
I ended up rounding off the corners of a hex bolt head I have been trying to loosen from mistakenly using the wrong size socket to begin with, and looking to see if anyone here is familiar with rounded out bolt ends and has any suggestions for removing or repairing the hex end once it's corners have been rounded if its possible to do so.


The other day while attempting to remove a stuck on, rusty bolt on the brake caliper of an oldcar (it is rusted in there like Helheim, not an easy removal)., I ended up rounding off the corners of the hex bolt, and no size socket will turn the head, since the tool cannot grip the rounded head and hence loosen it. Actually I thought I had some success turning it when really the all the tool was doing was stripping the corners and not loosening it at all! :P

Anyway, the corners of the bolts are rounded and no size socket will grip them.

Can someone please advise/recommend what to do here? Any ideas?

Thank you in advance.

Wychaert
Sunday, April 17th, 2011, 09:23 PM
just drill two little holes in it,grab a big nail and make those two holes a little rougher so you get more grip. Then grab a Combination Pliers.

TXRog
Sunday, April 17th, 2011, 09:24 PM
I ended up rounding off the corners of a hex bolt head I have been trying to loosen from mistakenly using the wrong size socket to begin with, and looking to see if anyone here is familiar with rounded out bolt ends and has any suggestions for removing or repairing the hex end once it's corners have been rounded if its possible to do so.


The other day while attempting to remove a stuck on, rusty bolt on the brake caliper of an oldcar (it is rusted in there like Helheim, not an easy removal)., I ended up rounding off the corners of the hex bolt, and no size socket will turn the head, since the tool cannot grip the rounded head and hence loosen it. Actually I thought I had some success turning it when really the all the tool was doing was stripping the corners and not loosening it at all! :P

Anyway, the corners of the bolts are rounded and no size socket will grip them.

Can someone please advise/recommend what to do here? Any ideas?

Thank you in advance.

Here are a couple of ideas...

1. Weld a bolt onto it and then use standard crescent wrench to remove
it or
2. Cut a slot in it and powerdrive it out.

In future I would suggest before trying to force the bolt loose with any tools you first go to a hardware store for a penetrating oil:

http://www.crcindustries.com/ei/content/news-knockloose.aspx

Let me know how you make out.

Leonhardt
Sunday, April 17th, 2011, 09:32 PM
Similar to what TXRog said, I would just take a dremel and cut a slot in it, and then use a large screwdriver to loosen it.

You could also use a vice grips jammed on tightly.

Ralf
Monday, April 18th, 2011, 12:11 AM
With screws and bolts that are stuck, its a good idea to actually tighten them first just to break the hold, is the hex rounded off completely or might you be able to do this?

If you havnt completely rounded it off, you might find a six rather than twelve sided socket will grip on whats left, you might find if you have differant sockets, like whitworth or metric, that you can find a socket that is just a bit too tight to fit, but can be hammered onto whats left of the rounded off bolt enough to grip, dont forget to tigheten it first though.

Vindefense
Monday, April 18th, 2011, 12:31 AM
Cover it with Coca-cola (soda) let it sit for a bit then use a torch to heat the metal a bit and that may free it enough to remove it with vice grips. Easy outs may work too. If you've never used them, you drill a hole in the center of the bolt head, screw them in tight and then back them out. Sometimes it works better to cut the head right off the bolt. Just remember the two rules; Don't give up and extracting bolts is fun.

http://images.yuku.com/image/jpeg/4231671d0d3a1837654c958351e2f2ab8c29fe61 .jpg

Hesse
Monday, April 18th, 2011, 02:57 AM
Similar to what TXRog said, I would just take a dremel and cut a slot in it, and then use a large screwdriver to loosen it.



So then would that be like cutting a flat head screwdriver slot for it with for example, a hacksaw? Or is there a better tool for this?

Essentially just taking the rounded off bolt end and modify it into a screwdriver slot, then unscrew?



http://images.yuku.com/image/jpeg/4231671d0d3a1837654c958351e2f2ab8c29fe61 .jpg

Is that what Easy outs look like?

TXRog
Monday, April 18th, 2011, 03:11 AM
So then would that be like cutting a flat head screwdriver slot for it with for example, a hacksaw? Or is there a better tool for this?

Essentially just taking the rounded off bolt end and modify it into a screwdriver slot, then unscrew?




Is that what Easy outs look like?


Yes, wallflower, just cut a slot across the top of the bolt - you are basically making a slotted head screw from the original bolt. A hacksaw would work, but a Dremel tool would make it much easier.

And yes again - the image you posted are "Easy Outs." This would require a bit more work than cutting a slot across the top of the bolt head, but will also work.

I just found this online - looks interesting:

http://www.bt-andf.com/products.php

Here is something else that is supposed to work well:

http://www.irwin.com/tools/screw-bolt-extractors/5-pc-bolt-grip-
expansion-set

Leonhardt
Monday, April 18th, 2011, 08:04 AM
So then would that be like cutting a flat head screwdriver slot for it with for example, a hacksaw? Or is there a better tool for this?
With a Dremel tool you can even make a cross cut for a Phillips screwdriver.

Ralf
Monday, April 18th, 2011, 09:44 AM
I thought the bolt had siezed?
How on earth do you think you are going to achieve the torque to unscrew using a screwdriver?
Even if you could get some leverage to twist the screwdriver enough, you would probably find the screwdriver blade bends before the both will break free.

Unless of course it is a tiny little bolt like a 2BA or something?

Leonhardt
Monday, April 18th, 2011, 07:36 PM
I just noticed it was a rusty car bolt, that is probably torqued in there pretty good.
He will probably need to use some WD-40, or a blow torch or something to help it.
Perhaps even the largest size Phillips screw driver may not be enough.

Ocko
Monday, April 18th, 2011, 08:10 PM
Seems to me too that if you couldn't open it with a wrench/nut you might not be able to open it with a screwdriver type tool.

Don't know whether you have the space to drill it to put an easy out in, but that worked fine the times I had to use it. As the easy out turn in the opposite direction a screw turns in, you can use it well with lots of force. the only problem is that there is a leverage between the impact of the easy-out (basically the screw) and the end of the easy-out (usually a four cornered end for some tool to turn the easy out). So be careful not to put the easy-out into an angle but keep in in line with the screw. Wear heavy gloves because it might break loose and your hands may hit some metal.

WD40 is universal and a good method, I tried it and was helpful often but not always.

To loosen the screw you can also hammer it (not full force but with 'feeling').



If you can take the caliper off than put the screw into the vise-grip and turn as heavy as you can, than use the caliper to turn, when you don't have enough force use a leverage like a crowfoot.



Hammer an impact nut on it and then give short shots on the gun, might work or not.

the ultimae ratio is to drill the screw out and put a new thread into it, slightly bigger than the one which was in there before.

Hesse
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011, 05:58 AM
I thought the bolt had siezed?
How on earth do you think you are going to achieve the torque to unscrew using a screwdriver?
Even if you could get some leverage to twist the screwdriver enough, you would probably find the screwdriver blade bends before the both will break free.

Hehe. I guess you're right about that. Yes the bolt is seized in there pretty good. I'd probably just end up busting the screwdriver in the process. If you cannot get it with a wrench or socket, then a screwdriver ain't going to do jack.

Probably the next method to try would be the vice grip locked on tightly as a means of turning the nut as Leonhardt recommended. And of course, industrial amounts of penetrating oil.



If you can take the caliper off than put the screw into the vise-grip and turn as heavy as you can, than use the caliper to turn, when you don't have enough force use a leverage like a crowfoot.


Wouldn't a handheld vice grip pliers that would work just as well without having to remove the caliper?

Ralf
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011, 09:27 AM
Wallflower, have you not tried the idea I mentioned in my first post?
Get a 6 sided socket http://www.google.co.uk/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&channel=s&hl=en&q=6+sided+socket&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1141&bih=666 or get a socket thats marginally too tight to fit the bolt, then hammer that socket onto the bolt, it will even slightly reform the deformed hex back into the shape of a hex.

Nothing will give you as much grip as the above, vice grips will just round your hex off even more, belive me, I was a mechanic for many years.

AS for WD 40, whilst it does have some penetrating properties, its primary purpose was as a water dispersant, it used to be called Rocket WD40, and was used by the war department to prevent water damage on rockets.
The best product for this application is, funnily enough, called penetraiting oil.

flâneur
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011, 04:06 PM
I ended up rounding off the corners of a hex bolt head I have been trying to loosen from mistakenly using the wrong size socket to begin with, and looking to see if anyone here is familiar with rounded out bolt ends and has any suggestions for removing or repairing the hex end once it's corners have been rounded if its possible to do so.


The other day while attempting to remove a stuck on, rusty bolt on the brake caliper of an oldcar (it is rusted in there like Helheim, not an easy removal)., I ended up rounding off the corners of the hex bolt, and no size socket will turn the head, since the tool cannot grip the rounded head and hence loosen it. Actually I thought I had some success turning it when really the all the tool was doing was stripping the corners and not loosening it at all! :P

Anyway, the corners of the bolts are rounded and no size socket will grip them.

Can someone please advise/recommend what to do here? Any ideas?

Thank you in advance.

My advice is to weld two pieces of steel together as in the picture below and then weld the bottom of the tool to the head of the nut,and then having more room to move the bolt should come off.
Coca cola is pretty good at loosening the bolt.

Hesse
Sunday, April 24th, 2011, 01:32 AM
Thank you guys for offering your ideas, I was finally able to remove the bolts, but they had to be torched out. No socket could be hammered into the nut, and just as Ralf Rossa indicated, the vise grip method only further rounded the hex. Torching was the only successful method of removal. This was accomplished by heating the bolts with the torch, then using a ratchet, socket and extention with a pipe at the handle end to torque them out. And of course, industrial amounts of penetrating oil.