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Old 01-26-2010, 06:16 PM   #1
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Please help! Before I lose my mind!?

Just got my new window hinge light mounts today. So I go to take out the star bolts in the stock window hinge and I get the two that are domed out, but the other six have stripped no matter what I do! I hammered a bigger size in and it keeps stripping! It;s painted over them, it appears, so I dot think wd 40 will do it?!?!

What do I do?

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Old 01-26-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
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I'd put an extractor bit on there before you do any more damage.

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Old 01-26-2010, 06:41 PM   #3
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First, WD-40 is NEVER suitable for loosening stuck bolts. Stick with proven products like Liquid Wrench, Break-Free, PB-Blaster, etc. But no worries, none of those will help in this particular situation.

The safest/easiest way to get them out is by drilling the heads off the bolts. Don't try to drill the whole thing out, just drill the head off itself.

Use a drill bit that is slightly bigger in diameter than the stud's diameter where it is threaded. When the bolt heads come off, the entire hinge or bracket can be removed. The remaining studs will be protruding slightly from the Jeep at this point. Or they should be if you stopped drilling as soon as the head came off. Grab the protruding part from the side with a pair of vise-grips and really clamp them down onto the stud so it can't come loose, then turn it out using the vise grips. It will still be a little snug due to the factory's use of Locktite on the threads so maybe a little heat applied ahead of time via a propane torch might help loosen it. But having drill the bolt head off will already have loosened the stud so you may not need heat.

For the future, all of the torx-head bolts used on the TJ seem to be pretty soft on the head so if you're not extremely careful, they can strip. So be sure to ONLY use high quality sharp (new) torx-head sockets and use something with enough leverage to allow you to apply sufficient torque to unscrew it while using your other hand to keep the torx bit seated squarely and FIRMLY seated into the bolt head. Personally, I use a 2' long 1/2" drive breaker bar with a 1/2" to 3/8" adapter to hold the torx-head bit that is normally a 3/8" drive for that size of bolt. Once I started removing body torx bolts like that, I've had no more that stripped out.
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
For the future, all of the torx-head bolts used on the TJ seem to be pretty soft on the head so if you're not extremely careful, they can strip. So be sure to ONLY use high quality sharp (new) torx-head sockets and use something with enough leverage to allow you to apply sufficient torque to get it out while using your other hand to keep the torx bit seated squarely and FIRMLY seated into the bolt head. Personally, I use a 2' breaker bar with a 1/2" to 3/8" adapter to hold the torx-head bit that is normally a 3/8" drive for that size of bolt. Once I started removing body torx bolts like that, I've had no more that stripped out.
+1 I stripped quite a few w/ a hand wrench and cheapo torx bits in the kits. You seem to start to twist and out of the bolt head before you're able to break it free this way, and once that happens you're usually sunk. Since I got myself a good Kobalt set and use a large wrench (I think mine's over 18"), I haven't had any problems either.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:55 PM   #5
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Thanks Jerry! You are a life saver man!
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:26 PM   #6
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Jerry, What is the problem with WD-40? I do't find Liquid wrench better, but I have no experience with PB blaster or Break-Free.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:08 PM   #7
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WD-40 is so-so at many things and great at displacing moisture... especially in electrical circuits. But where corroded or seized hardware is concerned, WD-40 just doesn't cut it. It's an even worse "lubricant", it's too thin and it completely evaporates within a few days.

Heck, WD-40 even used to be my customer here in San Diego. They used to load me up with all kinds of WD-40 products, I just wouldn't use them for lubrication or loosening up hardwared that has frozen together over time or corrosion.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:23 AM   #8
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So it is really kerosene in a spray can with a chemical additive to change the smell?
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:21 AM   #9
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PB Blaster is god gift to earth. Go get some and enjoy the amazingness of it.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:56 PM   #10
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I had same issue ears back and used a Dremel to notch the stripped torx bolt. After notching it, used a hand impact driver with screw bit and was able to remove them that way.

Once removed I replaced with a cap hex screws
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:26 PM   #11
Knows a couple things...

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So it is really kerosene in a spray can with a chemical additive to change the smell?
While kerosene is the main ingredient for a lot of engine additives, there's not even a drop of kerosene in WD-40.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:39 PM   #12
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Thanks Jerry! You are a life saver man!
Can't think of lifesaver without thinking of this video.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:22 PM   #13
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+1 for the PB Blaster!

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