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Thread: Suggestions for Removing/Repairing Rounded Off Hex Bolts

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    Suggestions for Removing/Repairing Rounded Off Hex Bolts

    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!

    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.

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    Senior Member Wychaert's Avatar
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    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.
    ''Ginds de Waal, daar weer de IJssel, dan de Maas en ook de Rijn. Geeft ons recht om heel ons leven trots op Gelderland te zijn.''

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    Senior Member TXRog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallflower View Post
    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!

    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/cont...nockloose.aspx

    Let me know how you make out.

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    Senior Member Leonhardt's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhardt View Post
    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?


    Quote Originally Posted by Vindefense View Post
    Is that what Easy outs look like?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wallflower View Post
    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-bol...-pc-bolt-grip-
    expansion-set

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    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.

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    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?

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