Broken Strut bolt

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  #1  
Old 09-23-09, 11:34 AM
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Angry Broken Strut bolt

OK...1996 Olds Cutlass...replacing the rear strut bracket and the bolt that connects it to the car broke at the head, we are having a heck of a time getting the thing out. We tried drilling, but the bit just wont bite into the bolt, we tried turning it with a pipe wrench and with vise grips but it wont budge, we dont have access to a cutting torch and it is not drivable to take it to get it fixed. My husband is a former mechanic and he is use to this type of stuff, but this bolt is just sooo stubborn! Any suggestions on how we can get this thing out? If we can't fix this thing soon, an otherwise perfectly running car is going to get junked
 
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  #2  
Old 09-23-09, 01:57 PM
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do you have access to a die grinder with a cut off wheel?
 
  #3  
Old 09-23-09, 06:00 PM
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we have a cut off wheel but no die grinder we have tried heating the bolt and then turning it with a pipe wrench, but it still won't budge
 
  #4  
Old 09-23-09, 07:13 PM
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i am a ford guy. but i am pretty good at suspension in general.can you better describe the situation.
is it one of the 3 or 4 bolts that hold the upper strut mount to the shock tower?
is it that the nut will not turn-or that the nut & threaded part turn together?
is it the center nut that threads on to the actual strut rod?
how much room do you have to get at it?
why is it non driveable?
talk to me -i will try to help
 
  #5  
Old 09-23-09, 07:19 PM
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I'd go buy a few high quality drill bits like Bosch or Dewalt.
Start with 1/8 and move up in size. Use lots of Jig-a-loo on the bit as well. I've drilled out many broken bolts over the years!!
Heating it causes the metal to expand and can make it worse!!
Does he have any easy-outs?
 
  #6  
Old 09-23-09, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Square Head View Post
I'd go buy a few high quality drill bits like Bosch or Dewalt.
Start with 1/8 and move up in size. Use lots of Jig-a-loo on the bit as well. I've drilled out many broken bolts over the years!!
Heating it causes the metal to expand and can make it worse!!
Does he have any easy-outs?
usualy-if you heat the bolt it will become too hard to drill.(sorta like case hardning)
 
  #7  
Old 09-23-09, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by newtofta View Post
i am a ford guy. but i am pretty good at suspension in general.can you better describe the situation.
is it one of the 3 or 4 bolts that hold the upper strut mount to the shock tower?
is it that the nut will not turn-or that the nut & threaded part turn together?
is it the center nut that threads on to the actual strut rod?
how much room do you have to get at it?
why is it non driveable?
talk to me -i will try to help
No, there are 2 bolts that hold the bracket to the the body of the car, its the bolt closest to the rear window, the bolt is broken at the bottom flush with the car body, there is about an inch of the bolt sticking up out of the whole into the trunk of the car, but we can't get it to turn, it is a case hardened bolt if i'm not mistaken and I think it may have some sort of lock tight on it
 
  #8  
Old 09-24-09, 08:53 AM
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OK, from what i saw on the internet, heating the bolt will cause the metal to expand and then extract...loosening the bolt, but it didnt work. We do have easy outs but we cant get a drill bit to even make a dent to get the easy out to work...hubby is on his way to the parts store to see if he can find anything that will work, I will update you guys when and if we finally get it out...fingers crossed
 
  #9  
Old 09-24-09, 09:06 AM
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Question

i am still not clear.if the bolt is broken,what is it that is left-that you are trying to turn?
 
  #10  
Old 09-24-09, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by newtofta View Post
i am still not clear.if the bolt is broken,what is it that is left-that you are trying to turn?
Yes the bolt is broken off flush with the car body, the head of the bolt broke completely off, we were trying to turn it from the top of the bolt that was left that is sticking inside of the trunk. Hubby bought a titanium drill bit made it about 1/4 inch into the bolt from the bottom, but then it wont make anymore progress and its not deep enough to start the easy outs. this is some sort of super bolt or something, lol

By the way its not driveable because we cant put the strut back on it, the bolt that is broken is the bolt that holds the strut and strut bracket to the body of the car
 
  #11  
Old 09-24-09, 12:28 PM
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NEW INFO.....the bolt is a grade 8 metal so you can see why we're having such a dilema with removing it, our worry is even if we can get the drill bit deep enough to insert the easy out is that then the easy out may break as well, then we are truely screwed...going to try a diamond tip bit on our dremel...we'll let ya know the outcome
 
  #12  
Old 09-24-09, 01:02 PM
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Dremel tool didn't work either
 
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Old 09-24-09, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by kcwv9800 View Post
Yes the bolt is broken off flush with the car body, the head of the bolt broke completely off, we were trying to turn it from the top of the bolt that was left that is sticking inside of the trunk. Hubby bought a titanium drill bit made it about 1/4 inch into the bolt from the bottom, but then it wont make anymore progress and its not deep enough to start the easy outs. this is some sort of super bolt or something, lol

By the way its not driveable because we cant put the strut back on it, the bolt that is broken is the bolt that holds the strut and strut bracket to the body of the car
know i understand,i thought you were still tring to get the strut out.
look around at maybe an machine shop-a 'carbide' drill bit is much harder than the titanium bit
possible to look on amazon,if no supply house localy.or a bolt supply house
 
  #14  
Old 09-24-09, 07:37 PM
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A quality carbide bit should do the trick. At least you have a hole 3/4 of the way through. Just keep going up in size in small increments and the bolt will come out.
 
  #15  
Old 09-25-09, 04:32 AM
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Is this figure right?
http://repairguide.autozone.com/znet...52800681bb.gif

If so, is it one of bolts at the top of the shock flange? It seems the bolt should "fall" downwards once the top nut is off. Can you pry it down ?
 
  #16  
Old 09-25-09, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Is this figure right?
http://repairguide.autozone.com/znet...52800681bb.gif

If so, is it one of bolts at the top of the shock flange? It seems the bolt should "fall" downwards once the top nut is off. Can you pry it down ?
this is the right figure, at the top of the strut where the bracket attatches to the car....thats the bolt that broke. We couldnt pry it at all. We were finally able to drill through the bolt, inserted an ez out, which to our horror broke inside the bolt, now we are stuck with a broken bolt and ez out...is this a lost cause now we are at our wits end on a job that should have taken about an hour turned has been 4 days and counting now
 
  #17  
Old 09-25-09, 11:20 AM
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when you drilled into the bolt did you drill all the way through?
if so go to the other side drive easy out out.
do 'not' try easy out again!!
if you did not drill allthe way through,can you acces the other side & start the drill process again?
if so keep goint to larger bit small steps at a time.
is it possible to put a nut & bolt in for assembly,other wise you will need to drill out to the size to rethread this hole ,or possible the next size larger.
a broken easy out is near impossible to get out from the broken end!
becarefull!! a broken tap is harder to get out than an easy out!!
 
  #18  
Old 09-25-09, 07:01 PM
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We got it!!!! unfortunately with the position of the bolt we couldn't go to the otherside and begin drilling again, so we ended up taking a super small drill bit and drilling the metal as close to the bolt as possible all the way around it, retapped and just used a little larger bolt with a washer and nut on the end that protrudes into the trunk, not exactly rocket science, but it got the job done, lol, Thanks to all of you guys for your help and patience Beer 4U2
 
  #19  
Old 09-25-09, 07:47 PM
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Thumbs up

GLAD TO HEAR A HAPPY ENDING TO A SAD STORY!!
 
  #20  
Old 09-29-09, 07:32 AM
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Glad to hear you made it work!!
I've had jobs like that too! 2 hours turned into two days!!
Persistence does pay off everytime!!Beer 4U2
 
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