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Unread 03-30-2004, 05:10 PM   #1
Sandibar
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One way to remove a stripped Torx bolt

First let me say that this isn't for everyone, as you'll need access to a welder . . . but hear me out.

Yes, I was a victim of a stripped windshield hinge bolt while trying to put on the mirror movers. Last bolt of the four, thought I was home free. Once I realized that it was game over for the T-40, I tried a bunch of things - T-45, impact wrench, etc. Wasn't ready to try the EZ out or drill as everyone I talked to said they can make a mess, and don't always work as planned. I went to the dealer to see what trick they had. The trick was $80 and a drill. Pep Boys offered to drill it out for $40. Other internet solutions seemed unlikely or damaging (fill it with JB Weld, insert a snug allen wrench, let it set, then twist it out, or use a Dremel and cut a long slit in the head, and use a large screwdriver).

Anyway, not wanting to have her torn to pieces I called on a Jeep neighbor with an extensive garage. His air tools did no better. He was going to fashion a small T handle out of steel rod, file the end and insert it into the bolt head. Then he was going to weld it on, and twist it off. Well, it sounded good but he and I were worried about paint damage. Then we hit the right idea.

He set a small magnet (any size will do) under the bolt, and set a nut (see pic) over the bolt head. This nut matched the bolt head in size. He created a shield of cardboard, cutting a small hole out around the bolt where he was going to perform surgery. I'm not a welder, but apparently this thing throws off paint damaging metal residue. Disconnected the positive battery cable, and grounded it to the frame. After double and triple checking the ground, he welded the inside of the nut to the bolt. Took about 3 seconds.

Waited a minute, grabbed a wrench, and turned it right off. No damage whatsoever.



Anyway, just wanted to document this as I've seen a bunch of messages relating to stripped Torx, as this is the mirror mover season -

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Unread 03-30-2004, 05:21 PM   #2
Dragonmaster
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Great idea, now I just need to spend the $1000 to get a welder and all the gear required and I'll be all set...


Oh wait, I already have a drill and bits, and a $20 easy out bolt remover and the torx head is toast anyway, why not wreck it further
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Unread 03-30-2004, 05:23 PM   #3
Scafone
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Now that's a good idea Sandibar!
I plan to at least (try and) remove all of my bolts and coat with anti-sieze if not replace with a normal phillips head, but I'll have to remember that when I find the inevitable frozen one.
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Unread 03-30-2004, 05:27 PM   #4
Scafone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonmaster
Great idea, now I just need to spend the $1000 to get a welder and all the gear required and I'll be all set...


Oh wait, I already have a drill and bits, and a $20 easy out bolt remover and the torx head is toast anyway, why not wreck it further
I guess you missed his opening statement eh
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"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
--Thomas Jefferson
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Unread 03-30-2004, 08:52 PM   #5
Sandibar
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Dragonmaster, you choose to drill your bolts out, fine. No one I spoke with, including the Jeep dealer, was confident in drilling out the recessed hinge bolt w/o damaging the surrounding paint or the threads. So, we came up with this.

My bad, though - I thought this forum was a way to share unique ideas. Some of us aren't born with all the answers.
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Unread 03-30-2004, 09:19 PM   #6
AldoD
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Nice job...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandibar
Dragonmaster, you choose to drill your bolts out, fine. No one I spoke with, including the Jeep dealer, was confident in drilling out the recessed hinge bolt w/o damaging the surrounding paint or the threads. So, we came up with this.

My bad, though - I thought this forum was a way to share unique ideas. Some of us aren't born with all the answers.
...I myself think it's important to maintain the integrity of the paint job. Functionally, you're preventing possible future rust spots. Plus, it's nice to have a "nice" -looking car, I don't care if it's a Yugo. (Wouldn't be, though ). That's just my $.02.

I also agree in your idea of a forum. Thanks for the info, I'm about to put on some mirror movers myself (for a CB antenna mount).

AldoD
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Unread 03-31-2004, 05:57 AM   #7
paul olllllllo
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thanks for the idea

sandibar where the hell were you and your idea like 6 months ago when i needed it, i spent like 3 hours getting my stripped bolt out (i took my sweet time so i didnt damage paint) and your idea would have saved me like 2 hours and 50 minutes ( i happen to have a welder too) anyway i thank you for taking the time to tell us all how to save time and stress in the future as i am sure we will all face many more stripped bolts/screws during the rest of our lives, both on and off our jeeps.

i hope dragons rudeness doesnt discourage someone else from posting what could be helpful info in the future.

thanks, paul.
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Unread 03-31-2004, 07:15 AM   #8
cwbyup
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I don't think dragon knows how to read seeing as he said this may not be for everyone.
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Unread 03-31-2004, 09:03 AM   #9
btolle
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DELETED by author.

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Last edited by btolle; 05-30-2004 at 10:11 PM..
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Unread 03-31-2004, 09:51 AM   #10
Sandibar
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For anyone who is going to try this, let me add in a few details. First, the welder was (or similar to) a smaller commercial one, the kind you use for serious joining. He built his CJ with this thing. All this means is that if you use a hand torch from Home Depot for $60 I can't tell you for certain what this will do, but I suspect that you'll be keeping the mirror mover on permanently to hide the marks.

Also, preparation is the key. We laid a large blanket over the hood for protection, and when I say we used cardboard as a shield, this was a substantial piece. Not thicker than an average box, but it was like 4'x5' or so to protect the rest of vehicle. May have been overboard, but better safe than sorry.

Finally, it takes a decent welder to hit something that small and tight. Not something you can't do at home, but it wouldn't be my first weld! Practice on a mock setup would be wise.

Enjoy -
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Unread 03-31-2004, 09:55 AM   #11
TJBoomer
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Nice one... I like it. I think everyone should post their ideas no matter how trivial. There is bound to be someone somewhere that will benifit from them and isn't that what this forum is all about. Cool.

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Unread 03-31-2004, 11:55 AM   #12
_(o)IIII(o)_
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OK, here is my "stupid question" of the day.

I do not have access to a welder. The idea is a good one, and yes, I am victim of the stripped torx. Would a superglue or bonding adhesive of some kind work? Would it be strong enough to hold while you cranked at it? Heck, I suppose if I tried it, and it didn't work, it wouldn't do any more damage to the bolt and as long as I keep my work clean, nothing on the body would be damaged. I'll try it and post what happens. If anyone can offer up a brand of really strong adhesive, I'd appreciate it.
The last question. I take it after you remove the said welded torx head, you have to replace it, correct? ( i guess that would be 2 stupid questions, huh?)
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Unread 03-31-2004, 12:00 PM   #13
Sandibar
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Once the bolt is out, you can replace it with most any same size bolt (Home Depot, etc.). I went to the dealer and bought a replacement for $2.40. I'm a glutton for punishment.

I don't know about the glue. One thing I know about welding is that you need a very clean metal to metal contact, so once you mix in the glue you might not be able to clean it sufficiently to get a good weld. Then again, I may be way off base here.

JP
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Unread 03-31-2004, 12:16 PM   #14
Gator
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go to sears, they have what some call a slam hammer, or hammer drive set
its about a 1.5" around all black like impact sockets, you can get the torx bit impact bits as well... while your at it buy a 2.5lb hammer
its spring loaded, you put it on the screw of nut or whatever, kinda twist it to the left & hit it with the hammer... every hit of the hammer puts like 250 ft lbs of tourque on the screw/nut/bolt
its a 1/2 " drive , so sockets or just about anything can fit on it,
i've got a couple of small & larger phillips head tips, plus torx's bits
it weighs about 2 lbs in itself... i learned long time ago use that thing before anything else! no more stripping torx heads & when i replace it, i replace with standard screws or nuts/bolts.... da hell with TORX BITS! they SUCK LOL

oh you can also you the drivehammer to install to... just turn it to the right

for about 25 bucks you cant beat it
the reason the torx are so hard to get off, the factory puts lock tight on them, thats why hardly any torx bits last, they always break or twist

Last edited by Gator; 03-31-2004 at 12:21 PM..
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Unread 03-31-2004, 04:19 PM   #15
DouginTN
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Guess I have to ask, is everyone hitting the torx bit, prior to turning? Method I learned years ago when removing torx bits, especially if the torx screw has Loctite, is to insert the torx bit into the bolt, and hit with a brass hammer to set the bit into the head. Then attach the ratchet. I just installed light brackets and not one torx bit stripped out.
Also, on some vehicles where the torx head is stripped, the stripped hole acts as a great drill bit guide, that prevent the drill bit from floating off and causing any nearby damage. I have drilled out quite a few torx bolts; so far, never on a Jeep though.
As for the welding of the nut to the torx screw, I have done that on some large suspension bolts where the bolt head has been stripped off due to an impact, or a cheap socket. However, drilling works great with torx head bolts.
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