If you’ve ever encountered a broken bolt while fixing a car before, then you probably went through a lot to get it out. Of course, that’s if you actually succeeded in getting it out.
A broken bolt is one of the worst nightmares anyone can have while working on a vehicle or any other piece of machinery. And this is can occur when you rush or handle the car without care.
Unfortunately, in order to carry on with whatever job you’re doing, you need to figure out how to remove the broken bolt.
There are more than one way to remove a broken bolt; the method you choose entirely depends on the tools you have as well as your personal convenience and preference.
In this post, we are going to be discussing the two most common methods which anyone can do, whether you’re an expert mechanic or car owner who likes to do his own thing. Both methods work great and do not require a lot of effort.
How to Remove a Broken Bolt
Method one: (Using an Extraction Kit)
Using an extraction is probably the most common way for removing a broken bolt. Below are the steps you need to follow:
The first thing to do is to mark the center of the bolt in view. You can do this by making use of a center punch and hammer. It is always a good idea to start drilling at the center, as this helps to keep the bolt thread from damaging.
The next thing to do is to actually make a pilot hole in the bolt using the drilling machine. This will help ensure that the bolt doesn’t end becoming tighter. To accomplish this, you need to engage the reverse setting of the machine.
Then go ahead and drill out the center using a left-handed drill. This will help unscrew the broken bolt making it possible to remove it with the extraction kit.
Next thing to do is to actually remove the bolt that has now been loosened. As earlier indicated, you will need an extraction kit. Make sure the kit is one that suits the bolt size. Use the right extracting bit that fits the hole in the broken bolt.
Go ahead and turn the kit counterclockwise until the bolt is out of the surface.
If you plan to replace the bolt with another one, then make sure you get rid of the metal fillings produced from the extraction process. You can use a good magnet to do this, or you can simply blow the area with compressed air.
Method Two: (Welding)
If you don’t have an extraction kit to remove the broken bolt or you simply want to try some other method, then the welding technique is a good alternative.
However, welding is better suited for cases where you have a bolt that is highly corroded. In this situation, using an extraction kit might not work.
The first step in the welding technique is the same as what you would do if you were using an extraction kit. So just like we discussed above, you need to mark the center of the broken bolt you want to remove. To do this, you will also need a center punch and hammer.
The next step is to create a pilot hole in the bolt by drilling out the center. It is also similar to what you do when using an extraction kit.
However, instead of using a left-handed bit, you are expected to use a right-handed bit. But even if you choose to use a left-handed bit, you won’t be doing the wrong thing.
The next thing to do is to tighten a hex nut unto the bolt. Make sure the nut is firmly attached, but lower it just before you get a half turn. This will ensure the nut is not completely even with the surface that is holding the bolt.
At this point, it’s time to carry out a quick weld. Make sure you’re already comfortable welding before you proceed with this step. If not, it’s advisable to get someone more experienced to do it for you.
Or you can simply practice on other things first before going ahead with the step. This method is better suited for surfaces that do not easily melt to steel when they are welded. A good example is aluminium.
Once done, the weld should be allowed to cool. Thereafter, you can get a wrench or socket to remove the broken bolt.
When doing the drill, it’s usually a good idea to go slowly, or else you may end up breaking the bolt shaft or spinning off the bolt.To protect your eyes from the tiny metal pieces flying about, make sure you have your safety glasses on.
To Wrap it up
The two methods we’ve described above represent the simplest and most common ways to safely remove a broken bolt. More importantly, they make it possible to reuse the hole. So in case you still want to insert a new bolt, you’re free to do so.
You can always contact a local welder or any other experienced person to help you out if you think you’re not up for the challenge.