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How to: Hold-A-Bolt Trick...

ExplorerDMB

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Say your under a truck and you need a extremely long extension to reach a bolt with a flex-socket. You get it out without a whole lot of hassle - but then you get back to putting things back together and you have to somehow get that bolt all the way up there on that extension and socket and it keeps falling when you get close to the bolt hole.

Well, a nifty little trick is take a piece of your shop towel (those blue ones) or even a paper towel and put that little piece on a wall of the socket and then put the bolt head in the socket. This should keep it secure enough to allow you to get the bolt where you need it without any issues.

Hope that helps.

-Drew
 


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BrooklynBay

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Another idea is to use a little grease, or vaseline on the inside of the socket. If you could find a small enough magnet (small disk shaped), you could insert it into the bottom of a socket so it comes into contact with the bolt's head. In some cases I've inserted bolts through a hole inside of the truck, grabbed its head with a vice grip pliers, and tightened a nut on the bottom of the truck without the bolt moving on me.
 




JDraper

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Another way is to wrap electrical tape around the end of the socket and just over the edge of the bolt. This is not the way to go if the bolt torque is critical, but works for most other applications.

Along those lines, if you're using a wobbly head and it's too wobbly, wrap a layer of electrical tape around the joint and it will stiffen it up enough that it will hold it's position more readily.
 




94explorer2x4

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Sears sells plastic inserts for sockets that have magnets on them to hold the bolts. Well worth the money especially while working around an open intake or engine valley.
 




JDraper

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94explorer2x4 said:
Sears sells plastic inserts for sockets that have magnets on them to hold the bolts. Well worth the money especially while working around an open intake or engine valley.


Good idea, but not all bolts are magnetic...I used a full set of non-magnetic SST ARP bolts when I built my 289. That's when you need to get creative :) .
 




EMG7895

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Paper towel works very well. I use a piece of solid wire taped to both sides of my u joints so that I can bend them into position and they stay there. Another trick when you are using smaller size tools to get into tight areas I have a line painted down all of my extensions so I can see when its getting to be too much for that tool.
 








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BrooklynBay

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I don't know why the link didn't work for you. I've just checked the link, and it worked for me. Maybe it was down when you checked it. Here is what was listed on the link:

Removing rusted and broken fasteners.
Contents
1 Summary
2 Smack it with a hammer
3 Smack it with a hammer method #2
4 The hot and cold method
5 Metric Method
6 Hot and Cold
7 The heat and paraffin wax method
8 The weld-on-a-larger-nut method
9 Penetrating and lubricating oils
10 Special tools
11 Tips for broken-off bolt heads
12 Miscellaneous tips
13 References

Summary

A list of techniques for removing rusted or broken bolts, nuts, screws, and fasteners.

In all cases it is better to apply steady pressure on the wrench as you try to turn. You also need to pay attention to what is turning and what is not.

Keep in mind that stuff stuck together by corrosion is stuck because the corrosion has expanded and tightly bound the fastener. This means a really stuck bolt will not allow penetrating oils in to do any good.

There are two effective means to break the friction that corrosion has caused. One is through mechanical movement, a proper good whack with a hammer. The other is through differential heating. Making one part expand more than the other.

With heating bear in mind axels and other important structures may loose their strength if they are heated much above 300 degrees. If you have the oil and grease starting to smoke than you are in the 300 degree range.

When taking off head studs look at the base. If you see erosion into the stud at the block surface, odds are pretty good you will break the stud.

Smack it with a hammer

Though this may not be practical for all situations, a stuck bolt can often be broken loose simply by hitting it on the head with a hammer. In such a case, a brass drift may be helpful. Drifts of varying lengths can be made from brass bar, and used to access hidden bolts. Brass is used because it's softer, and thus less likely to damage the head of a fastener. Brass hammers are also available and one about 3 or 4 lbs. in weight is good for this.

Smack it with a hammer method #2

This method is useful when dealing with a bolt that is rusted very tightly. A lot of people will get a wrench or ratchet and push against it with a steady force. Doing this will more than likely break off the bolt head of a rusty bolt.

The best thing to do is to get a wrench or ratchet on it, and either hit it with your hand or a hammer several times. The sudden force will break the bolt loose with less of a chance of twisting off the head.

The hot and cold method

This method uses alternating heating and cooling. The resulting expansion and contraction is thought to break a fastener loose from the grip of rust.

Metric Method

Hammer a close-fitting metric socket tightly on a SAE nut, or vice-versa. Then use breaker bar socket wrench (or longest you can fit in a cramped space) to turn it.

Hot and Cold
With a welding torch, a hand-held propane torch, or a combination MAPP gas/oxygen torch kit, heat up a bolt head until it turns red.
While it's still red-hot, squirt it with water.
Repeat the heating and cooling process again with the torch and water.

When using the "Hot and Cold Method" be sure to follow proper safety procedures. Specifically:
Wear proper safety attire including welder's gloves and safety goggles.
As with any time you use any flammable ignition sources, have a fire extinguisher within arm's reach.

The heat and paraffin wax method
Heat the bolt with a torch.
Touch the threads with paraffin wax. Ensure that the bolt is situated such that the wax will run down into the mating threads.
Remove the bolt.

The weld-on-a-larger-nut method
Place a close-fitting washer over the top of the bolt to protect surrounding material.
Take a nut that is larger than the actual thread of the broken bolt, and weld it to the broken bolt.
Weld in short bursts until the weld fills the nut. This will heat the bolt but not the surrounding material. Using a 6011 welding rod in a stick welder has been reported to work well.
Let the welded nut cool completely without using any water or spray. The bolt will contract and break the grip of the rust.

Some more info on welding on nuts.

A tig welder is the welder of choice.

It is critical to put some penetration oil like Kroil (and not WD-40) on as it cools just low enough for the oil to not just boil off. This will draw oil into the hole. This is the only time I have seen penetrating oil actually penetrate a stuck bolt.

For more information refer to this webpage http://idisk.mac.com/forever4/Public/pages/studremoval.htm

Penetrating and lubricating oils

Penetrating oil is an extremely low-viscosity oil that can penetrate into the area between threads on a fastener. A stuck fastener is often heated, sprayed with penetrating oil, and then tapped with a hammer.

Some comments on penetrating oils. WD-40 is not a penetrating oil, it is a corrosion preventative. There is problem with the idea that penetrating oils can penetrate rusted together parts. I have done some testing. For a whole week I put Kroil on a head studs. I than pulled one stud from the head that felt like it wanted to come. As I suspected, it was dry. If the bolt is free enough for penetrating oil to seap through then it will come out without any oil.

If you really want to get studs out you need to use shock (hammer hits) and or carefull application of heat cycles.

Some penetrating oils that are recommended by hotrodders:
Ferrosol
PB Blaster
Kroil
WD-40
Break Free
Liquid Wrench

Special tools
Flameless heat tool useful for removing rusted or broken fasteners: The Inductor.
Left-handed drill bits, or screw extractors, can be used to remove many fasteners.
For stubborn nuts, try a nut splitter. It will crack the nut without damaging the bolt inside.
An impact driver can be used to loosen frozen nuts or bolts. Hand-held impact drivers typically have slotted and Phillips headed bits, as well as a socket fitting. The bit or socket is placed on the stuck fastener, and the other end of the impact driver is struck with a hammer. The impact of the hammer strike loosens the fastener, the downward force keeps the bit in its place, and the impact driver turns the force of the hammer strike into a sudden torque on the stuck fastener.
When all else fails, get a set of: Craftsman 10 pc. Damaged Bolt/Nut Remover Set, Low Profile Bolt-Out Sears item #00952166000. They are useful for when the bolt head is rounded off, or there is no room to beat a socket or wrench on to it, or when a torch is not available.
Another good brand of bolt extractor is Extractor, has a little bit more "bite" than the Craftsman and Irwin ones

Tips for broken-off bolt heads
If enough of the bolt remains, try to grab it with locking pliers or a pipe wrench.
Try to saw a groove in it, so that a flat-head screwdriver can be used to turn it.
Take a 12-point socket that is just larger than the shaft of the bolt, and beat it down onto the bolt with a hammer. Turn it out with a ratchet. When finished, put the socket in a vice, and tap out the broken bolt.
If a bolt is broken off below the surface, build it up with a welder until there is enough to which to weld a nut. If this brakes off try it again, this method is the best, the heat and cool cycle of the tig weld will loosen the fastener in the stuck piece.

I have also have had good luck by center punching the broken bolt and using a left hand drill bit about half the diameter of the bolt and as it is drilling most of the time the bit will bite and spin the broken bolt out.

Miscellaneous tips
Weld a piece of metal to the top of the bolt, to use as leverage when loosening.
If the slot of a round-headed screw is stripped, file two flat edges in it. Then, it can be turned with an adjustable wrench. Or, use a hacksaw to file a new slot at a right angle to the existing one.
Six-point sockets will grip better on hex nuts and bolts than 12-point fasteners.
Drill and tap the bolt to run another, smaller bolt down the center. A bit about half the diameter of the headless, stuck bolt is usually sufficient. Use a jam nut on the small bolt and lots of penetrating oil.
If it is a stripped screw, either slotted or Phillips, try using a dab of valve grinding compound on the tip of the screwdriver. The valve grinding compound will help with friction to hold the tip onto the fastener when turning.

Use a piece of tubing that fits in the bolt hole (OD) with the center (ID) the size of the drill bit. This will keep the drill bit centered in the bolt, when you use the EZ out.

References
Tip of the day #33, Hotrodders Bulletin Board, December 10, 2005.
Penetrating oil, Wikipedia, retrieved July 15, 2006.
Stuck Bolts, ChevyTrucks.org, retrieved July 16, 2006.
Removing Stuck Fasteners PumaRacing.co.uk, retrieved July 16, 2006.
Loosening Stubborn Nuts, Bolts, and Screws Reader's Digest, retrieved July 21, 2006
 




aldive

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Another way is to wrap electrical tape around the end of the socket and just over the edge of the bolt. This is not the way to go if the bolt torque is critical, but works for most other applications.

Along those lines, if you're using a wobbly head and it's too wobbly, wrap a layer of electrical tape around the joint and it will stiffen it up enough that it will hold it's position more readily.

I have used Jeff's trick for decades; works great.
 




ajrn

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I'm a ER nurse, and find that popping a finger off a "rubber glove" works great for this too..

Sometimes I'll stretch a ripped off finger OVER the socket, to help me get out spark plugs, for instance...
 




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necroooooopost!

...but I had to add, I am surprised noone suggested the rubber hose trick. (NO, not beating the offending part senseless with one, although I can totally understand it.)

I especially like this with spark plugs that are totally enclosed with the head. I get some stiff surgical or fuel tubing, and push it down over the top of the plugs (or the bolt I want to start).

Then, I start the item, and turn it until the tubing pops off, or eventually I just pull the tubing off.

-Shawn
 




rookieshooter

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necroooooopost!

...but I had to add, I am surprised noone suggested the rubber hose trick. (NO, not beating the offending part senseless with one, although I can totally understand it.)

I especially like this with spark plugs that are totally enclosed with the head. I get some stiff surgical or fuel tubing, and push it down over the top of the plugs (or the bolt I want to start).

Then, I start the item, and turn it until the tubing pops off, or eventually I just pull the tubing off.

-Shawn

I keep sections of old discarded hoses just for what your saying. It's amazing how it will start a bolt or plug even when there is a bend in the tubing. :salute:
 




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