Ball Joint Pinch Bolt | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Ball Joint Pinch Bolt


January 28, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Chester, Pa
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 xlt sport
Any ideas on how to get out a rounded out pinch bolt? Went to change out my front u-joints on my 93 Explorer and wound up rounded the pinch bolt on the left side. Right side came out fine. Any help on this would be appreciated. I tried to use PB Blaster, Heat , and hammering a 1/2 socket on it but all it does is slip. Again any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks Victor

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smaller socket? drill a small hole through it and put somthing through it?

yeah you got lucky both of my sides rounded out.. this is what i did, i just too a cut off grinder snd grinded it off, did my ball joints and u joints, and then i just stuck a grade 5 nut and bolt in there. works out fine any other questions just ask.

Irwin(brand name) makes extractors that you use with a standard ratchet. They have a spiral thread the grabs the bolt to get it out. You will have to replace the bolt, but the Irwin tool should get it out. You can pick a set up for about $20 at Advance Auto Parts or at O'reilly Auto Parts, and probably other places as well. Good luck!

The bolt is covvered so going thru it is impossible. I have tried a smaller socket to the point it wont go on. thanks Victor

How is it covered? The Irwin tool works just like a socket, but it will not slip off. The more you try to loosen the bolt, the tighter it will grab so it doesn't slip.

1st I would use a wire wheel to ensure the pinch bolt threads are as rust free as possible. Rust and scale can add a lot of resistance when trying to remove a stuck fastener so the more you can remove the less force you will need to apply and the less likely you are to bogger up the bolt head.. Spraying it with penetrating oil now will help loosen things up even more..

If the bolt head sticks out far enough you can use the specialized vice grip pictured below.. You clamp it on a fastener with lots of force and not damage it. It works great for damaged fasteners as well. You slip a length of pipe over the end to give you good leverage.


If the pinch bolt is not accessible then you would need to try either an easy out like pictured below or try and weld another nut onto the head of the pinch bolt.


see thread Removing Rounded bolts for some more info and pics.