Stranded with broken pinion shaft bolt - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-10-2021, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
tuxj
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Stranded with broken pinion shaft bolt

Hi everyone, first post! Looking forward to exploring the wealth of knowledge here. Hopefully someone can help me get my jeep rolling again.

I have a new, to me, '98 XJ and it's already kicking my butt. Reminds me of old times when I had a '89.

Here's the situation. I was attempting to install a Powertrax No-Slip locker in the 8.25 rear end. When I removed the pinion shaft bolt/pin it broke, unless it was broken already. Seems to be a common issue. No problem, I'll just drill it and extract it - Nope. The extractor bit caught and then snapped as it was backing out. I removed what I could with a pick, but couldn't get all of it out of the bolt. Now it's preventing any progress with a drill bit. I've tried several different cobalt bits, but I think I spun the remaining threads beyond the hole threads so it's wedged I think. Oops.

So now I'm into trying to drill into the pinion shaft itself to get access to the bolt/pin to get it out. I can't get anything more than a dimple into the pin; I'm assuming it's hardened steel. I've tried so many different cobalt bits, and oil as I go. You can see my little progress after lots of drilling in the attached photos. You'll notice the housing is a little beat up around the pin. I tried holding a socket on it and beating it with a hammer trying to break the pin, out of desperation.

I'm thinking about getting a Dremel or die grinder to try, but still don't know what bit or wheel would cut it.

Any ideas from the experts, or anyone who's experienced this before? I also purchased one of the kits for this that comes with the cored out screw and long drill bit, but I think the broken extractor bit screwed me on any more drilling attempts.

I just wanted to do a simple lunchbox locker install, and now my Jeep's been on jack stands for a week.

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92FCAE8C-CE85-4368-BF4A-B9E5E16B35D9.jpg   AA6EF04A-3B3C-4383-A915-A862F024D89C.jpg   5E381430-6CD5-45E7-878A-C9145FBE0C25.jpg   94C7B05C-093E-4EBA-8DAE-0454F7EE4ACE.jpg  
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-10-2021, 02:27 PM
Saudade
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Hard to tell from the angle but it looks like your drill wandered off center in the 3rd pic. I can't tell the condition of the threads.

You could try finding a bolt that will thread into the hole just long enough to bottom out. Then take the bolt out and drill a hole through the center. This will serve as a drill guide to ensure you're on center (assuming you drill out the bolt centered). Put the bolt back in and bottom out (not too tight), then use the drill to start a fresh hole. Light pressure, lot's of lube.

I have an easy out set that has straight flutes and comes with matched drill size guides.

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Keep us posted on your progress. Hopefully others who ran into this chime in.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-10-2021, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
tuxj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saudade View Post
Hard to tell from the angle but it looks like your drill wandered off center in the 3rd pic. I can't tell the condition of the threads.

You could try finding a bolt that will thread into the hole just long enough to bottom out. Then take the bolt out and drill a hole through the center. This will serve as a drill guide to ensure you're on center (assuming you drill out the bolt centered). Put the bolt back in and bottom out (not too tight), then use the drill to start a fresh hole. Light pressure, lot's of lube.

I have an easy out set that has straight flutes and comes with matched drill size guides.

Attachment 3992167

Keep us posted on your progress. Hopefully others who ran into this chime in.
What youíre describing sounds just like the kit I got (see photo). I feel like it would have worked like a charm if I started with this. I think my problem now is the piece of broken extractor bit thatís set into the screw. Iím not able to get a bit to drive in anymore. I can feel it grinding on it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-10-2021, 06:48 PM
Fourspeedman
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This is a very common problem. Breaking the hardened extractor I think slammed the door on this adventure. My last gasp remedy: If you are replacing the whole carrier anyway then I once used another pinion shaft to blast the stuck one out with a BFH. A hardened drift will work too. You just line it up so you have a good clear swing and blast that SOB right through to the other side. You would think the cast carrier would break but as it turned out the broken pinion bolt gave up first and we drove the pinion shaft right out. We re-used the carrier. Be aware the shaft will not clear the case on the inside- so try and get it broke just enough to still rotate the carrier. Or you will need to beat it back in to rotate it. But as I said, if you have a replacement- go total ape**** and beat it out.

Mark in Queens- Home of Spiderman and the Ramones
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-10-2021, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
tuxj
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Originally Posted by Fourspeedman View Post
This is a very common problem. Breaking the hardened extractor I think slammed the door on this adventure. My last gasp remedy: If you are replacing the whole carrier anyway then I once used another pinion shaft to blast the stuck one out with a BFH. A hardened drift will work too. You just line it up so you have a good clear swing and blast that SOB right through to the other side. You would think the cast carrier would break but as it turned out the broken pinion bolt gave up first and we drove the pinion shaft right out. We re-used the carrier. Be aware the shaft will not clear the case on the inside- so try and get it broke just enough to still rotate the carrier. Or you will need to beat it back in to rotate it. But as I said, if you have a replacement- go total ape**** and beat it out.

I tried a lighter version of that using a socket and a hammer. Really hard to get a good swing laying on my side on the floor. So didnít do much. I didnít fully commit to that method though.

I got nervous about damaging the carrier so I stopped. Lunchbox locker would reuse the carrier. So Iím nervous about busting it up. Might be the only option eventually. In that case probably going to spring for a full Detroit. I need to regear soon anyway, Just wasnít ready for that expense quite yet.

I agree about the extractor slamming the door. I wish I could start over and be more careful with it. I might have rushed it out with too much speed, and SNAP!


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post #6 of 11 Old 06-11-2021, 09:01 AM
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You forgot the most important tool: a willing helper to hold the drift in place while you make a two-handed swing with a sledge. There is one other option and that is slowly and gradually drilling the entire pinion shaft out from the front. It would require some very sharp Cobalt bits with long shanks. You drill a pilot hole from the front straight through and eventually increase the drill size until you can collapse the shaft. Use plenty of cutting oil. The hardest part is finding the long shank bits.

Mark in Queens- Home of Spiderman and the Ramones
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-11-2021, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
tuxj
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Originally Posted by Fourspeedman View Post
You forgot the most important tool: a willing helper to hold the drift in place while you make a two-handed swing with a sledge. There is one other option and that is slowly and gradually drilling the entire pinion shaft out from the front. It would require some very sharp Cobalt bits with long shanks. You drill a pilot hole from the front straight through and eventually increase the drill size until you can collapse the shaft. Use plenty of cutting oil. The hardest part is finding the long shank bits.

I think thatís what Iím getting to, but not able to even get a bit started on the shaft. I imagine I would only need to drill 1/4Ē into it and then the pin would break apart, releasing the shaft.

Iíve been drilling with new cobalt bits and oil, but canít get more than a dimple.


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post #8 of 11 Old 06-11-2021, 09:19 AM
skjeep
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if you have a dremel or similar tool you could mill the rest out.
Ask your dentist for used dental milling bits These are from slined carbide and hard enough to mill out the broken extractorTakes a lot of time, good cooling and needs high rpm. But is doable.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-11-2021, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
tuxj
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Originally Posted by skjeep View Post
if you have a dremel or similar tool you could mill the rest out.
Ask your dentist for used dental milling bits These are from slined carbide and hard enough to mill out the broken extractorTakes a lot of time, good cooling and needs high rpm. But is doable.

Thank you! Iíll be trying my brotherís die grinder with carbide bits tomorrow.


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post #10 of 11 Old 06-12-2021, 10:10 AM
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A guy on G-body Forum said he once welded a rod to the broken part and used it to unscrew it. Stick the rod to the bolt and tap the ground to the case until it sticks.

Mark in Queens- Home of Spiderman and the Ramones
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post #11 of 11 Old Yesterday, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
tuxj
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Got it!!!

It took a small air grinder with a carbide burr bit dug right into the shaft and severed the bolt. Once I punched out the shaft, I use a magnet to get remainder of pin out of the hole.

Now I can finally get on to installing the locker!




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