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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All of the star bolts holding my tailgate hinges are stripped so I tried to drill them out and use an extractor but I broke off two extractors. Now the bolt is too hard to even drill through with the hardened extractor broke off in it. Lesson learned. How would a professional get this out?
 

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All of the star bolts holding my tailgate hinges are stripped so I tried to drill them out and use an extractor but I broke off two extractors. Now the bolt is too hard to even drill through with the hardened extractor broke off in it. Lesson learned. How would a professional get this out?
Been there! Need to heat them till they are glowing. If there is any way to get a reverse drill bit pounderd in you should be able to back them out. I had someone pound on the bit with a hammer while I turned. Finally broke loose. Other option is to just drill the heads off and let the backing plate fall. You can reach up through the wheel well and grab the bracket. Buy new bolts without torx heads. . . It's a pain but you'll eventually get it.
 

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X2 on heat being the key which is all that will break the Locktite's hold on the bolts. Transfer heat into the bolt by heating the Torx adapter with a torch or heat gun after inserting it into the bolt head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thought I was the only one with this problem *grin!* I'll try some heat. First I'll try to get my money back for the broken bits.
Thanks,
Art
 

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Thought I was the only one with this problem *grin!* I'll try some heat. First I'll try to get my money back for the broken bits.
Thanks,
Art
By the way, those Easy Outs by Riobi won't do it. The threads are too fine and the crescent end is too small. Get the industrial style that look like drill bits.

Some of the door Torx were just as difficult. Use heat. Makes a huge difference. Just know you are going to destroy the paint. I used this to my advantage. I took every hinge off, stripped to metal, etched, primed, and painted black. Very cool look on a gold TJ. I also purchased new non-torx bolts from mcmaster-carr.
 

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I got an aircraft rivet gun with a screw buster. Worked great on severely stuck torx bolts on my full doors. May be a good investment for future works.
 

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Tried heat on mine. Only got 3 loose. The other 5 stripped out. Tried drilling with reverse bits with no success. The first one I tried to drill I broke the bit off in and I haven't touched it since. Going to try and weld a bolt on. I have minimal welding experience and a loaned MIG welder. Anyone have guidance on settings or technique? Should I fill the stripped head first or get the bolt into the stripped head and then weld it? My other option would be to cut off the hinges since I have replacements and try a set of vice-grips
 

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One additional suggestion that I forgot about. If you remove the inner wheel well on the passenger side rear wheel you can see the bracket that those torx are screwing into. You may find it easier to apply some PB Blaster to the back side. Also make sure that you hammer on that easy out as you are turning (you'll need a buddy). When I did mine one of the Torx heads actually broke off when I was drilling into it. Drilling the heads off will get the same results. Just use a bit bigger than the thickness of the threaded bolt. Look at one of the ones you've taken out for reference. Of course that broken off drill bit is a game changer so keep wrestling with it. Seeing it from the backside might give you some ideas.
 

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Bought the quadratec quick disconnect mirrors for riding with doors off. When trying to remove the stock bolts from the pillar, the fourth one stripped out and would not budge. I was mad as hell because I had my doors off already and was excited to hit the road for the first time topless and doorless. Then I remembered that I had a screw extractor set so I figured I would give that a whirl. Sure enough, I too broke one off...and it was now embedded in the head of the bolt. I didn't think to use heat, and glad I didn't as a previous poster noted it would hose up the paint. I was able to use a small screwdriver and hammer and work the extractor loose. I actually ended up using a smaller extractor than I originally thought I needed. Once you get the piece out (patience grasshopper, it will eventually come out!) here is what I would do (what worked for me):

1. use a drill bit that is the same size as the threaded part of the bolt, or slightly larger, and drill until the head pops off, leaving just the threads in the hole.
2. Using the "drilling" portion of your extractor, drill as deep into the body of the bolt as you can.
3. Jam the reverse threaded extractor side into this new hole as far as possible with some force and S-L-O-W-L-Y engage your impact driver to get it to bite.

Take your time, it will eventually work. BTW: I may have skipped a few steps in there that may or may not have involved lots of cursing a little bit of throwing things and a few kicks. Good luck, hope it works as well for you as it did me.
 

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Some of you REALLY making this job seem WAY more difficult than it really is. Read posts #3 & 10 above. No, heat will not harm the paint if the bolt is heated like described in post #10. You don't point a torch at the bolt head, of course that would ruin paint. Instead, you heat the Torx bit with a torch or heat gun after it has been inserted into the bolt head. The heat will readily transfer into the bolt.

When sufficient heat makes its way down to the threads, it softens/releases the Locktite's grip on the threads. Give it time, it works. This is how the dealer techs get those bolts out, they don't waste extra time welding or drilling and using ez-outs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't have the tools so I took it in and a body shop got them out and put my new hinges on. Tailgate opens now! Next project...
 
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