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Old 01-16-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
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It's always the last bolt!

So I spent a good part of this evening removing all of the rear seatbelt/seat bracket bolts in preparation for my rugged ridge cargo mats that are on their way. I have been spraying them all down with PB Blaster for the past day and a half prepping for it and it was all going great until the last bolt. At first my cheapo Torx bit was getting worn from all of the other bolts so I ran to Home Depot to get some better ones to help the process. Unfortunately it didn't do any better and I ended up stripping the bolt pretty bad. What are my options from here? I doubt I can really hut the head off and drill it out because of the gas tank being right underneath. Any ideas?


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Old 01-16-2013, 10:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwolfer
So I spent a good part of this evening removing all of the rear seatbelt/seat bracket bolts in preparation for my rugged ridge cargo mats that are on their way. I have been spraying them all down with PB Blaster for the past day and a half prepping for it and it was all going great until the last bolt. At first my cheapo Torx bit was getting worn from all of the other bolts so I ran to Home Depot to get some better ones to help the process. Unfortunately it didn't do any better and I ended up stripping the bolt pretty bad. What are my options from here? I doubt I can really hut the head off and drill it out because of the gas tank being right underneath. Any ideas?
Its done for, better sell it now and cut your losses!


Kidding. Maybe you take one of your cheap bits that werent working and weld/put on some type of liquid metal or adhesive to bond the bit and the bolt and then use that to crank it out. Then replace with something other than a pain in the but torx.

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:34 PM   #3
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Its done for, better sell it now and cut your losses!


Kidding. Maybe you take one of your cheap bits that werent working and weld/put on some type of liquid metal or adhesive to bond the bit and the bolt and then use that to crank it out. Then replace with something other than a pain in the but torx.
I don't have access to a welder so maybe I'll try epoxy or something. Would the epoxy be strong enough?
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jwolfer

I don't have access to a welder so maybe I'll try epoxy or something. Would the epoxy be strong enough?
Im not sure. Ive come really close to stripping out several torx bolts but have always lucked into getting them off.

The problem is youre going to need something strong enough not only to bond to the bolt but to fill in the gaps and bare the load as well.

Ive heard good things about JB weld but have never used it, something like that may work - but im not speaking from experience, so I have no idea.

Maybe someone whose run into this problem before can chime in.

I would think most shops would have the tools (welder, etc) to be able to remove it for you in less than 15 minutes if it comes to that. I wouldnt think it would be overly expensive.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:05 PM   #5
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Try one of these. Amazon.com: 8 piece Easy Out Screw Bolt Extractor Set: Home Improvement

Most of the other options are limited by that bracket.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:21 AM   #6
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Just drill it out compleatly and get a grade 8 1/2 bolt and nut and washer to replace it that's what I did never had another problem.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:05 AM   #7
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Just drill it out compleatly and get a grade 8 1/2 bolt and nut and washer to replace it that's what I did never had another problem.
Is it safe to drill into considering where the gas tank is in relation to the bolt?
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:28 AM   #8
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dont use a 8 inch long bit and go commando on it, but you'll be fine, the tank is not flush underneath the floor there, theres a gap.

I'd buy a really good drill bit (bad bits just frustrate you even more) and a MATCHING extractor, like the pictured ones.

The bolt is about 1 1/4 long so mark the bit and get a good 1" depth into it with the drill bit. Place the extractor in it nice and vertical and use a wrench to slowly start it, the flutes on the extractor are reverse cut so as you lefty loosey on the extractor the flutes dig into the bolt
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:35 AM   #9
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dont use a 8 inch long bit and go commando on it, but you'll be fine, the tank is not flush underneath the floor there, theres a gap.

I'd buy a really good drill bit (bad bits just frustrate you even more) and a MATCHING extractor, like the pictured ones.

The bolt is about 1 1/4 long so mark the bit and get a good 1" depth into it with the drill bit. Place the extractor in it nice and vertical and use a wrench to slowly start it, the flutes on the extractor are reverse cut so as you lefty loosey on the extractor the flutes dig into the bolt
I will have to invest in some today. Any idea how much they generally run?
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:44 AM   #10
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cheap, cant remember how much but i don't usually shop at any high dollar places. I think most auto parts stores, almost all hardware stores, and your discount places like harbor freight carry them. Mine is a set that I have added to over the years, but you can buy just one at a time, or a set that covers most sizes.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:51 AM   #11
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Put some heat on it.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:16 PM   #12
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I would be extremely careful using any extractor drill bits on the torx screw. There's a good chance it may break in the torx screw then you will be screwed(no pun intended). I would get a dremel with a cutting wheel and square off the bolt to fit a wrench around it or square it enough to tightly fit a socket and a breaker bar.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:43 PM   #13
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I would be extremely careful using any extractor drill bits on the torx screw. There's a good chance it may break in the torx screw then you will be screwed(no pun intended). I would get a dremel with a cutting wheel and square off the bolt to fit a wrench around it or square it enough to tightly fit a socket and a breaker bar.
Well I don't have a dremel and I got the extractor already so I'll try that tonight. If I run into any issues I may just go pick up a cheap dremel at Harbor Freight since I need one anyways.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:49 PM   #14
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a left handed drill bit will probably take it right out.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #15
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You'll be fine with the extractor, not sure why torx matters as you drill it first. It's a pan-head bolt, you've got plenty of meat, and you now own one of my favorite "oh shit" tools.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:58 PM   #16
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Well 2 broken drill bits and a broken extractor bit later and the damn bolt still wont budge. The extractor bit broke inside the bolt as well. Now what? I might just take it to the auto hobby shop tomorrow.

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Old 01-17-2013, 08:48 PM   #17
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Ouch.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:56 PM   #18
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ouch is right... did swearing at it help? i can't imagine you made it through all that without swearing...
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:20 PM   #19
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This is exactly what I was afraid would happen. Try the dremel cutting wheel to square off that round head to fit the closest wrench size or try to hammer a socket size a tad smaller on it after squaring the head. You can also cut a groove across it to fit a large screwdriver bit with an impact. Dab some penetrating oil on it. If all else fails, you will have to take it to a machine shop. GL..
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:47 PM   #20
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If I can be honest with you....your not the first to loose to a TJ torx bolt. The only magical thing a shop will do is exactly what you can do at home. No fancy machines or anything for removing that bolt. You will probably end up drilling the bolt out (and extractor) slowly and successively getting bigger with the bits. until you can can run a tap down it to clean it out...and if you get over zealous with the drilling, you can tap it out bigger.

You need high quality bits, not that you have to drop 50 bucks on anything, but not some cheap set (I've got a aircraft mechanic friend that gave me some bits that were "junk and wore out" to him, they are better than anything new I have bought, hands down). Some light oil...like 3 and 1 or light cutting oil, hell, any oil to help keep the bit cool.

I tackled the same problem you are having, but it was a bolt for the hitch , underneath, with crap falling in my eyes, I took a lot of "I better walk away and calm down" breaks...but it will come out, just don't let the frustration get to you.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:53 PM   #21
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If drilling has to be done, somebody mentioned there was a gap between the body and the fuel tank. Try to get a piece of metal that will fit in there to block the drilbit from hitting the tank, just for piece of mind if you manage to get the drill bit too far.

Also Kevbz mentioned getting stuff in his eyes, even though you are not working underneath it, stuff getting in your eyes is always a pain. Stop by walmart, or something that has a hunting section with bb guns, or air soft guns in it. Snag a cheap pair of clear eye protection glasses. If you are drilling there is probably gonna be some metal bits flying around.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:40 AM   #22
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man... I feel your pain. I was once trying to remove a broken bolt from a motorcycle frame that was pretty rusty and seized up. I used an extractor and it broke off way down inside the freaking bolt! I was so pissed and it took me about 3 days to get the SOB out. I ended up using a dremel tool 90% of the time. The colbalt drill bits did nothing to that extractor.

Good luck man!
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:07 AM   #23
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If I can be honest with you....your not the first to loose to a TJ torx bolt. The only magical thing a shop will do is exactly what you can do at home. No fancy machines or anything for removing that bolt. You will probably end up drilling the bolt out (and extractor) slowly and successively getting bigger with the bits. until you can can run a tap down it to clean it out...and if you get over zealous with the drilling, you can tap it out bigger.

You need high quality bits, not that you have to drop 50 bucks on anything, but not some cheap set (I've got a aircraft mechanic friend that gave me some bits that were "junk and wore out" to him, they are better than anything new I have bought, hands down). Some light oil...like 3 and 1 or light cutting oil, hell, any oil to help keep the bit cool.

I tackled the same problem you are having, but it was a bolt for the hitch , underneath, with crap falling in my eyes, I took a lot of "I better walk away and calm down" breaks...but it will come out, just don't let the frustration get to you.
I do need to invest in some better bits. For some reason my $5 Harbor Freight bits don't seem to be strong enough Luckily I had a couple other things I was working on so when I would get annoyed with the bolt I would just work on the other things instead.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:44 AM   #24
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I don't know how many time something only required a few bolt to come out to work on a project and I end up investing more time and money than i thought just to get those bolts out.

I like to think of it as a little game me and my jeep play with each other! I usually win but it always puts up a good fight.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:57 AM   #25
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Yeah, I am tempted to start replacing every torx bit I have to take out to do something, with a standard hex head bolt.

What genius engineer came up with the idea of a bolt with easily breakable little points anyway. It is a garbage design that I can only think was designed by the automakers to break so they can get more money on replacement parts.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:07 AM   #26
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If you have a dremel you can slot the screw and you a flathead screwdriver and a hammer to try and loosen.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:17 AM   #27
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I don't know how many time something only required a few bolt to come out to work on a project and I end up investing more time and money than i thought just to get those bolts out.

I like to think of it as a little game me and my jeep play with each other! I usually win but it always puts up a good fight.
You can say that again. It's funny how easy all of the other bolts were and how fast I was going and then of course the last one has taken this long.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:18 AM   #28
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oh yea those damn things are on tight! happen when I took my back seat out. I brought an extended wrench for the extra torque and that worked...
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:45 AM   #29
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Never try to remove Torx bolts without an impact driver. Should never have a problem when using one of these.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #30
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Never try to remove Torx bolts without an impact driver. Should never have a problem when using one of these.
I have one of those, but cant seem to ever find a torx set that will fit it...they always seem to come with a couple philips and flat blade tips, but not T-30 thru T-55.

Someone asked the purpose of the torx, I believe its because of the more surface area the bit makes in contact to the bolt, torque can be applied easier without tip damage and less cam-out (meaning the tip has a harder time slipping out when higher torque is applied) great for when factories need to install fasteners with limited wear on their tools and to a specific torque...horrible for us years later when rust and grime have set in and threads have seized together!

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