Stripped allen bolt?
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Thread: Stripped allen bolt?

  1. #1
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    Default Stripped allen bolt?

    Let me start by saying, I knew this would happen before I started. I was trying to take the exhaust off and put on another one. I got the other allens out, but they were a pain and full of rust. I babied this bolt, put wd-40, and tapped it with a hammer. I turned it successfully about 4 times then it started getting harder to turn. I thought it broke loose, but nope. It slowly started stripping. I can't get any hold with vice grips. Anyone know which extraction tool I need? Even with an extractor I run the risk on it breaking off the head. I guess pb penetrate will get in there better than wd-40? I sprayed one of the other bolts to get it out and the entire bolt was wet with wd-40. I will be replacing all of these garbage allen bolts and use anti-seize
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    Very Active Member Metalman's Avatar
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    There are several ways that you might be able to remove that bolt. If you check YouTube (Removing Broken Bolt), you will find several videos showing several methods. This one for instance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EfLTszAr7w

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalman View Post
    There are several ways that you might be able to remove that bolt. If you check YouTube (Removing Broken Bolt), you will find several videos showing several methods. This one for instance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EfLTszAr7w
    I pretty much already know everything in that video, but some of it is wishful thinking if you have a really stubborn bolt. I got a bolt extractor and got 3 more turns out of it before it broke. Penetrating oil does absolutely nothing. I hit one of the bolts from the front and back with liquid wrench and it is still froze solid. I haven't stripped it yet, but it will strip because I have all the torque I need and won't budge. There can't be that much thread left on the stripped bolt. I cut a slit in it and tried to use a flathead, but it still won't move. I guess I'll try heat next? I'll probably end up finding someone to weld a nut on it.
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    Very Active Member JUDAH-9's Avatar
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    It sounds like someone failed to apply some anticease to those header bolts. I had this same exact thing happen to me, around 4 years ago. I was removing and selling a Shorty SideBurner exhaust from my 07’ model 9 to a guy in Australia, when I realized the guy who had installed the exhaust for me years prior, failed to apply some anticease to the header bolts. After trying everything I could think of to remove the one that had definitely ceased up, I finally took the bike to a bike mechanic who was a friend of mine. He welded a nut to the stripped head of the bolt, and was able to remove the header bolt. Just last month, after first having some customization done to the exhaust, I installed a brand new Hard Krome VPR Short exhaust to my 14’ model 9. I made very sure that I saturated each header bolt with anticease before installing and tightening them down.

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    I hope that you have been able to remove the bolt. As a last resort you could make a jig act as a guide so a small hole can be drilled in the center of the broken bolt, then enlarge it both in width and diameter with a left hand drill so an easy-out can be used. If that doesn't work, the hole can be drilled to the correct tap drill size and then rethread the hole. I had to do just that laying flat on my back in the winter under a Corvette to replace a broken exhaust stud. Not fun, but it had to be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalman View Post
    I hope that you have been able to remove the bolt. As a last resort you could make a jig act as a guide so a small hole can be drilled in the center of the broken bolt, then enlarge it both in width and diameter with a left hand drill so an easy-out can be used. If that doesn't work, the hole can be drilled to the correct tap drill size and then rethread the hole. I had to do just that laying flat on my back in the winter under a Corvette to replace a broken exhaust stud. Not fun, but it had to be done.
    I ended up getting the other bolt off without any heat. It was hard, but I kept working it back and forth until it finally came out. I think 10% of liquid wrench helped to break it loose. The exhaust is removed now, but I have the one bolt still stuck in the head. I don't want to retap or rethread the hole. I'm going to have some mobile guy come out and weld a nut on it. There can't be more than 1/4 of an inch left in it because I got most of it out. If i knew to keep working it back and forth it would have never broke in the first place. I guess you live and learn? Patience is king when doing this type of job.

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    Some months ago, I decided to re-paint my Cobra black exhaust , which was 7 years old and was already showing signs of lost paint in some places .
    I had no trouble at all taking out the exhaust bolts , although I was expecting some problem since the exhaust was installed 7 years ago, when the bike was bought new at the dealer.
    The bolts were in like new condition , with no rust at all , so everything went fine , but still , when I installed the exhaust back on I put abundant anti seize grease on the bolts to make sure I would have no trouble next time , just in case .

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    I have removed the exhaust several times and never had any issues, here's what I do.
    When the bolts are removed I run an M8 tap down the holes to clean the threads, the Alan bolts are stainless so I oil or grease the threads and then tighten to the specified torque.
    I don't use any grease or anti-seize compound containing copper because stainless, copper and aluminium is a recipe for electrolitic corrosion.
    Always apply oil to a stainless bolt regardless of application as stainless has a tendancy to gaul (pick up) the threads on dissimilar materials.
    That's how I do it, right or wrong, but not had issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prospector View Post
    I have removed the exhaust several times and never had any issues, here's what I do.
    When the bolts are removed I run an M8 tap down the holes to clean the threads, the Alan bolts are stainless so I oil or grease the threads and then tighten to the specified torque.
    I don't use any grease or anti-seize compound containing copper because stainless, copper and aluminium is a recipe for electrolitic corrosion.
    Always apply oil to a stainless bolt regardless of application as stainless has a tendancy to gaul (pick up) the threads on dissimilar materials.
    That's how I do it, right or wrong, but not had issues.
    Good advice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prospector View Post
    I have removed the exhaust several times and never had any issues, here's what I do.
    When the bolts are removed I run an M8 tap down the holes to clean the threads, the Alan bolts are stainless so I oil or grease the threads and then tighten to the specified torque.
    I don't use any grease or anti-seize compound containing copper because stainless, copper and aluminium is a recipe for electrolitic corrosion.
    Always apply oil to a stainless bolt regardless of application as stainless has a tendancy to gaul (pick up) the threads on dissimilar materials.
    That's how I do it, right or wrong, but not had issues.
    That's the problem. Removing it several times makes it easier. The exhaust I removed probably was on since 2006. The last owner left it outside in the rain for years. I had to change all the handlebar bolts when I bought it because the rust was an eyesore. Maybe you have been lucky so far, but you would have had problems with my bike guaranteed. Seasoned muffler mechanics break and strip bolts all the time. The last owner also told me that the spark plugs and oil change had already been done. I didn't trust anything that he said. The spark plugs were very bad looking and the oil was jet black. Every mobile mechanic wants to charge too much to weld a nut on so I might just end up drilling it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdirving View Post
    That's the problem. Removing it several times makes it easier. The exhaust I removed probably was on since 2006. The last owner left it outside in the rain for years. I had to change all the handlebar bolts when I bought it because the rust was an eyesore. Maybe you have been lucky so far, but you would have had problems with my bike guaranteed. Seasoned muffler mechanics break and strip bolts all the time. The last owner also told me that the spark plugs and oil change had already been done. I didn't trust anything that he said. The spark plugs were very bad looking and the oil was jet black. Every mobile mechanic wants to charge too much to weld a nut on so I might just end up drilling it out.
    I would recommend Wurth Rust Off penetrant and the left hand drill bit mentioned above. It's been my experience that a lot of times when drilling with a left hand drill bit the broken bolt will come out while drilling. Good Luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdirving View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Prospector View Post
    I have removed the exhaust several times and never had any issues, here's what I do.
    When the bolts are removed I run an M8 tap down the holes to clean the threads, the Alan bolts are stainless so I oil or grease the threads and then tighten to the specified torque.
    I don't use any grease or anti-seize compound containing copper because stainless, copper and aluminium is a recipe for electrolitic corrosion.
    Always apply oil to a stainless bolt regardless of application as stainless has a tendancy to gaul (pick up) the threads on dissimilar materials.
    That's how I do it, right or wrong, but not had issues.
    That's the problem. Removing it several times makes it easier. The exhaust I removed probably was on since 2006. The last owner left it outside in the rain for years. I had to change all the handlebar bolts when I bought it because the rust was an eyesore. Maybe you have been lucky so far, but you would have had problems with my bike guaranteed. Seasoned muffler mechanics break and strip bolts all the time. The last owner also told me that the spark plugs and oil change had already been done. I didn't trust anything that he said. The spark plugs were very bad looking and the oil was jet black. Every mobile mechanic wants to charge too much to weld a nut on so I might just end up drilling it out.
    I understand your problem, my own bike was in a similar condition when I bought it, I was just trying to give a little advice to prevent issues in the future.
    Welding a nut on is a good start as the localised heat can help and trying to tightening before loosening is also helpful and you would certainly want to run a tap down the holes before refitting.
    Hope you resolve it successfully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prospector View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jdirving View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Prospector View Post
    I have removed the exhaust several times and never had any issues, here's what I do.
    When the bolts are removed I run an M8 tap down the holes to clean the threads, the Alan bolts are stainless so I oil or grease the threads and then tighten to the specified torque.
    I don't use any grease or anti-seize compound containing copper because stainless, copper and aluminium is a recipe for electrolitic corrosion.
    Always apply oil to a stainless bolt regardless of application as stainless has a tendancy to gaul (pick up) the threads on dissimilar materials.
    That's how I do it, right or wrong, but not had issues.
    That's the problem. Removing it several times makes it easier. The exhaust I removed probably was on since 2006. The last owner left it outside in the rain for years. I had to change all the handlebar bolts when I bought it because the rust was an eyesore. Maybe you have been lucky so far, but you would have had problems with my bike guaranteed. Seasoned muffler mechanics break and strip bolts all the time. The last owner also told me that the spark plugs and oil change had already been done. I didn't trust anything that he said. The spark plugs were very bad looking and the oil was jet black. Every mobile mechanic wants to charge too much to weld a nut on so I might just end up drilling it out.
    I understand your problem, my own bike was in a similar condition when I bought it, I was just trying to give a little advice to prevent issues in the future.
    Welding a nut on is a good start as the localised heat can help and trying to tightening before loosening is also helpful and you would certainly want to run a tap down the holes before refitting.
    Hope you resolve it successfully.
    I just tried to drill it out and I am getting nowhere. It is like the bolt has welded itself to the threads. I tried my regular drill and the impact drill, but it drill bits won't go any further into the bolt. I tried heat before drilling it, but that did absolutely nothing. I need some kind of sharper drill bits because this Harbor Freight stuff ain't cutting it. I beat the extractor in with a hammer but it still won't grab. I thought I would be done by now because this isn't my first time drilling a bolt.Click image for larger version. 

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    Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a real good drill bit . The Harbor Freight stuff is chinese garbage

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    You need a genuine titanium drill bit, not a cheap rip off

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prospector View Post
    You need a genuine titanium drill bit, not a cheap rip off
    I already did but I still can't get it drilled out. The Milwaukee drilled deeper, but I think it is dull at the tip. I've been drilling for hours.
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    Are you starting off with a small drill bit then going progressively up to the size you need? Most drill bits don't like to drill a larger hole with one shot.

    Try starting off with something like a 5/64" then going up a size or two at a time. Just be careful as smaller bits do snap off easier if you don't hold them straight.

    Those bolts, like most others on this bike, aren't really hard bolts. That's why the head stripped out so easily. And if you just hold the drill and keep trying even though it's not going anywhere, you're just dulling the bit and work hardening he metal.



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    Very Active Member JUDAH-9's Avatar
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    Also, heavily saturating the screw and threads with WD-40 could/would help as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
    Are you starting off with a small drill bit then going progressively up to the size you need? Most drill bits don't like to drill a larger hole with one shot.

    Try starting off with something like a 5/64" then going up a size or two at a time. Just be careful as smaller bits do snap off easier if you don't hold them straight.

    Those bolts, like most others on this bike, aren't really hard bolts. That's why the head stripped out so easily. And if you just hold the drill and keep trying even though it's not going anywhere, you're just dulling the bit and work hardening he metal.
    Yes, I started small. The bolt is extremely hard to drill. I've never struggled like this in my life. It looks like I'm going to need at least 4 more brand new bits to break through. The wd-40 isn't helping. I'm making progress but every bit I use is getting dull.

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    Perhaps if you have made some a small hole by drilling on the bolt , you may try to insert a small flat head screwdriver into the hole , hammer it in a bit and try to unscrew the thing . I tried that once and it worked ... you may get lucky too .

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    Next time spray PB Blast on it and leave it over night. Guarantee it will come out easy. That stuff is magic.

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    Very Active Member JUDAH-9's Avatar
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    What does the acronym “PB” stand for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JUDAH-9 View Post
    What does the acronym “PB” stand for?
    It's just the product name. Probably the company initials. They have a whole line of spray lubes. I never do a job without it.

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