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Old 11-07-2010, 11:53 PM
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Default bolt extractor snapped

Say you broke the head off a seized bolt. Next you drilled out the center of it with the hopes of using a bolt extractor to back it out. But once the extractor was hammered into the bolt, it too breaks off, leaving it's tip inside the bolt. What would you do next?

I've tried drilling out the center again, but presumably that bolt extractor is made of some kind of extra hardened steel that doesn't respond well to generic metal drill bits. Is there a super hard drill bit that could drill through the extractor?

At this point I just want to drill the whole thing out and re-tap the hole, but the drill bits aren't penetrating....
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:39 AM
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yeah, it's going to be a bear to try and drill the extractor out. They are usually tool steel of some sort, and when you burn up a bit going into it it work hardens. You could try to buy a carbide bit and see if that'll get through it, that'd be your best bet in terms of conventional means.

I have not really ever had any luck drilling them out though.

What size bolt is it? where is it located? is it in cast iron or aluminum? Can you bring the part to me?

In the past I've had luck either welding a nut to the broken piece, or torching out the broken piece with the oxy-acetalyne rig... that is if the bolt is big enough. Torching it out can work if you're careful, even if it is a blind hole....
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:58 AM
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I've gotten a broken one out before by loosening it somehow (beating on it) and I was able to grab it with a vice grips or something and back it out (turn it clockwise). I will never try to use an extractor again, I would much rather drill through the whole bolt and clean up and retap the hole.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:59 AM
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Where is the bolt?

I snapped the bolt heads on most of my rear tail light brackets. The ones that thread into a capture nut on the back side of the frame. I used a chisel to remove the captured nuts and then a punch to get the rest of the bolt out. Replaced the works with new bolt, washers and nut.

I watched Robbie use a small hardened steel punch and ball peen hammer to remove a sheared knuckle stud. If you were successful in braking the bolt loose, this might be something to try.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:00 AM
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It's an M8 (2 of them actually ) on the rear frame near the tire (sway bar bracket and bump stop). It's easy to see the bolt stub, but you can't get to the captive nut behind it because its inside the boxed frame. There's nothing sitting "outside" the hole - it snapped with the bolt remains recessed in the frame which will make welding to it nearly impossible.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:13 AM
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stop the snap on man when you see him. Their quality bits go though almost anything. They also make broken extractor kits. you can also try a chisel since the extractors are usually hard and will break up. can also try a punch
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:13 AM
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how recessed into the frame is it? more than like 1/8"?
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:15 AM
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Cool. If you aren't too fussed with keeping the captured nut - put a punch on the stub and go to it with the BFH. If it is anything like mine, the whole works will push out. New bolt, washers and nuts and you are done.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:35 AM
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It'll be hard to replace a nut that's inside a boxed section of frame...I would try a small chisel to try and break up the extractor, then drill and clean the threads.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:54 AM
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or we could torch it out pretty easily...
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