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Old 08-19-2014, 07:51 PM   #1
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Warped bolt...HELP please!

I'm trying to remove the front drive shaft to replace the u joints but I have a problem. I have loosened all but one bolt...I can't fit the socket over it because it's misshapen. Not stripped or rounded, just misshapen. Like one of the sides of the bolt head is at a weird angle compared to the rest. The socket won't fit over it and a larger socket doesn't work either.

This is the end that connects to the tc. I would just use a bolt extractor on it but I'm afraid that I will have to remove the skid plate do that and it sounds like a lot of work just to remove a bolt. How do I get this bolt out?! So frustrated. I'm a newb at this and it seems none of my fixes have been straight forward and everything that can go wrong has.

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Old 08-19-2014, 08:02 PM   #2
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Use vice grips on it and replace it when you get it out.

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Old 08-19-2014, 08:03 PM   #3
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If the vice grips allow you to break the bolt free, make sure you hit it with penetrating oil and work it back and forth until the threads are loosened up. Then back it out until you feel resistance again. Then work it back and forth until it loosens up again. Repaat the process until the bolt is all the way out.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:04 PM   #4
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Ok cool. I have vice grips. I'll give it a shot!
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:30 PM   #5
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Not working. Can't even get a good grip on it.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:37 PM   #6
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This is the bolt...looking straight down the front drive shaft to the t case. No space to even turn it.

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Old 08-19-2014, 08:43 PM   #7
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Weird lip on bolt

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Old 08-19-2014, 08:46 PM   #8
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grinder or dremel the head till a socket fits?
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:03 PM   #9
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I like Timberwolf's idea. Use a 6 pointed socket not a 12 point. If it were me I might try using a socket that fits the other bolts and tap it into place using an extension. Once in place if it works, then carefully put the wrench onto the socket and try breaking it free. I sometimes use a breaker bar handle in this situation instead of a ratcheting one.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:14 PM   #10
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Am I missing something here....why can't you use a wrench? That should only contact 2 sides of your strangely shaped bolt.

Get the wrench on 2 sides of the bolt, and give it a few sharp wraps with a hammer to give it a pseudo impact blow....should spin right out.

Worst case, grind the head off, and go at the bolt shaft with vise grips (plenty of clearance with driveshaft out)
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:21 PM   #11
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I'm not a big fan of the open end wrench especially hammering on it which is likely how the bolt got rounded. But in this situation I suppose it may not matter. I agree with the worst case of the previous post which is grinding it off and going after what is left with a vice grip after pulling the shaft.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:53 PM   #12
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I don't have a grinder...is there another way to get the head off? I've got all the bolts out but this one. Thought I could twist the strap around but it won't budge. This bolt is up inside the skid plate so there is no room for a wrench except a socket wrench with extensions.

Can I use a bolt extractor on it without removing the head? I absolutely MUST A get this drive shaft pulled tonight!
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:36 PM   #13
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Maybe take a file and file it so you can get a socket on it. If you have access to a welder, weld a piece of metal on it, the heat from the weld will help break it loose and use the metal to turn it
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:59 PM   #14
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Is it time to drop the skidplate?

Have you tried a crowfoot open end wrench on a socket extension?

There are some destructive ways you might get it out.

Is the other end of the strap loose? You may have to sacrifice the strap and then pull the bolt when the shaft isn't in the way.

Use kneadable epoxy or JB weld and glue the smallest socket that will fit over the misshapen bolt to the bolt head?
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:12 PM   #15
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I'm new to working on my own vehicle so I don't have a lot of tools yet. I've tried needle nose pliers, open ended wrenches and vice grips but because of where the bolt is in relation to the drive shaft, u joint strap and being up in the skid plate, it's impossible to get any torque on it.

Took a mini crow bar and used it as a lever on the strap and hammered the crow bar hoping to break the strap loose and at least pull the shaft and deal with the bolt later. No luck. The strap is set as tight as the bolt. This was after several application of penetrant oil today, plus I've sprayed it 2 or 3 times in the last few weeks. Going to try the bolt extractor tomorrow. If that fails I have a guy coming over evening with a torch.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:25 AM   #16
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My advice would be to save the $ you will pay the guy with the torch, and go buy a dremel or grinder and take the head off the bolt. Straps and bolts are cheap, grind through the strap, pull the shaft, then if need be you can pull the yoke to get access to the bolt with vice grips. I justify buying tools because I do my own work, everyone needs to start there collection somewhere, buy a cheapo grinder and face shield are harbor freight and a set of grinding discs and have a tool you will use once a week!
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:45 AM   #17
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You've tried metric sized socket, also?

When you mentioned bolt extractor, are you talking about the one that looks like a socket and has the grabby teeth inside that you hammer down onto the bolt head?
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:07 AM   #18
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Yes to metric socket.

I also have the extractor sockets that you hammer on to the bolt. Even the smallest socket is too large. I've also got the kind that reverse thread into a hole in the center of the bolt and that's what I plan to try this evening.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:55 AM   #19
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There were lots of good ideas but when it comes down to it your the man on the ground so its going to have to be something your comfortable doing. Personally I like the idea of running to walmart or wherever and picking up a $40 dremel or a low priced 4" grinder. Cant be a lot of metal keeping you from being able to tap a socket onto the offending bolt. We have all been in your shoes and it can be aggravating as hell. Good luck with whatever choice you make.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matroshka View Post
I'm new to working on my own vehicle so I don't have a lot of tools yet. I've tried needle nose pliers, open ended wrenches and vice grips but because of where the bolt is in relation to the drive shaft, u joint strap and being up in the skid plate, it's impossible to get any torque on it.

Took a mini crow bar and used it as a lever on the strap and hammered the crow bar hoping to break the strap loose and at least pull the shaft and deal with the bolt later. No luck. The strap is set as tight as the bolt. This was after several application of penetrant oil today, plus I've sprayed it 2 or 3 times in the last few weeks. Going to try the bolt extractor tomorrow. If that fails I have a guy coming over evening with a torch.
Not picking on you, or trying to be a douche, but BEFORE you work on your vehicle, get the proper tools!!!! NEVER use pliers on vice grips on a bolt/nut that was a good on. You will do more damage & cause yourself a boat load of avoidable headaches. Get some proper tools! Or if you don't want to spend the $$$, then spend it and pay someone else to do it. Sorry...no free lunches!
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:49 AM   #21
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I DO have the proper tools if you actually read my original posts. I just dont have things like dremels, torches and grinders. The bolt is warped and the socket doesn't fit. Lots of people have recommended vice grips/needle nose since the bolt is already damaged and those tools can potentially grab 2 sides of the bolt that aren't misshapen. But there's not enough space for that to work. You would know that if you had actually read through all the posts. So yeah you are coming off like a douche...
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:47 AM   #22
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hard to tell from the picture, but it kinda appears the shaft is installed backwards..the slip joint section should be closer to the diff not the t-case if I recall correctly.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:53 AM   #23
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If you took the upper bolts out, there is probably a lot of pressure on this bolt. Put the other bolts back in, then try to take this one out.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:04 AM   #24
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hard to tell from the picture, but it kinda appears the shaft is installed backwards..the slip joint section should be closer to the diff not the t-case if I recall correctly.
Backwards? If that's the case, what kind of damage can that do to the tc/front diff?
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:06 AM   #25
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If you took the upper bolts out, there is probably a lot of pressure on this bolt. Put the other bolts back in, then try to take this one out.
I originally tried to pull it out the the other bolts in. Took the other bolts out to try and rotate the strap but it won't budge. I will reinstall the other bolts before I try the easy out this pm, if it'll lessen the pressure.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:28 AM   #26
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Yep the driveshaft is in backwards. The slip yoke should be towards the axel end. As far as damage I think it would damage the U-Joints or drive shaft before it would damage the tc or axle. Once you get the strap off (I would cut it) Install some new U-joints and centering yoke and reinstall the drive shaft the correct orientation. I would consider installing some new straps/ bolts and dont forget to locktight the bolts.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:39 AM   #27
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Yep the driveshaft is in backwards. The slip yoke should be towards the axel end. As far as damage I think it would damage the U-Joints or drive shaft before it would damage the tc or axle. Once you get the strap off (I would cut it) Install some new U-joints and centering yoke and reinstall the drive shaft the correct orientation. I would consider installing some new straps/ bolts and dont forget to locktight the bolts.
That is what I'm planning to do. Change the u joints and straps. The front shaft is loose on the joints and the joints look ancient (and cheap) so I'm replacing them with Moog super strength u joints. The rear joints looked solid but because I have to replace a cracked tail shaft housing, i figured i might as well replace the rear u joints too and have peace of mind. I was going to try pulling the joints out myself but as much of a clusterf*** as pulling these shafts has become, I'm just going to take the shafts to a machine shop and have them pull the old ones and put in the new ones.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:05 AM   #28
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I didn't realize you were in Raleigh, if you need a hand, let me know....I am in N. Raleigh.

Don't pay someone to do u-joints, this is a basic skill set that will likely come in hand on a trail. I can walk you through the process, and I can bring a grinder and my bolt extractors if need be. The most important tool in your toolbox is experience, so don't let the opportunity to get some pass you by (I prefer to learn in the driveway vs. the middle of nowhere rock pile ujoints like to pop in.)
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:17 AM   #29
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Wow that would be awesome! I'll pm you. I don't have a press or a vice big enough to do u joints but I do have a c clamp. Not sure if that'll work on these tho.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:42 PM   #30
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Now that's what I like to see, good going Shelby987. Looks like your problems going to be solved and you may have met a future trail riding bud, Matroshka. LOL
Wish you had been in GA when I installed my lift though Shelby! JK

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