Broken bolt in Alum. Wheel...

Discussion in 'Cosmetic' started by A_Bartle, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. A_Bartle

    A_Bartle Stallion Dreamer

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    What's the best way to remove a broken bolt that's holding the center caps on? I have several broken bolts on a set of four rims I purchased a while ago. It looks too small to use an "easy out". Best case scenario, I'd like to get it backed out so I can replace it with the same size bolt, but this time I'll use stainless steel bolts with never seize on the threads.

    Thanks for any suggestions...

    Art
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
  2. Bryant

    Bryant forgot more than learned

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    you can try welding a nut to the broken part. the heat of the welding usually loosens it and it should spin right out.
    you could try drilling it out from the back side of the wheel also.
     
  3. shaunh82

    shaunh82 Member

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    galvanic corrosion, ain't it a bitch, no nice way that I know of, we had a type of acid, don't know what it was back in the last shop I worked at but it would only attack the steel and leave the aluminum alone
     
  4. Rando76

    Rando76 Member

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    Cut the heads off some screws and glue them on the center caps. Then no one knows they're broken! :biglaugh: I'm not much help, am I?
     
  5. Acornridgeman

    Acornridgeman MCCI Wisconsin State Rep Moderator Supporting Member

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    That is not a bad suggestion as long as there are a couple good screws to hold the cap on. Will look great and nobody would know!

    I have repaired this type of damage before - aluminum and steel screws just don't go together. Here is what I have done. Drill out the center leaving only the threads (drill press is a must), then soak it down for a couple days with PB Blaster. After soaking for a couple days, tap on it with a hard plastic or rawhide hammer (not steel hammer). The shock of repeated tapping often breaks the bond between the steel and aluminum. Then a very small hardened easy out will get in there and spin it out. The key in all this is to remove the center of the screw to relieve the internal pressure and then break the corrosion bond with the PB Blaster and shock of the hammer.

    Now, maybe you want to rethink glueing on the screw head to the center cap ............. :idea:
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  6. Dave B

    Dave B I like Mavericks!

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    Now, that would be cool!!
    I have the same issue with one of my wheels, I'm going to let the machine shop do whatever they do, to get it out.
     
  7. Acornridgeman

    Acornridgeman MCCI Wisconsin State Rep Moderator Supporting Member

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    I worked in an aluminum diecast department for 9 years. Concentrated nitric acid will dissolve steel but has no effect on aluminum. This is a VERY dangerous chemical, and I suspect that in this post 9/11 world, getting some would be very hard to do.

    ;)
     
  8. dmhines

    dmhines Dixie Maverick Boy

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    I have had these repaired before due to broken screws. They had to drill out the screw using a drill press ... and then re-tap the holes ...
     
  9. A_Bartle

    A_Bartle Stallion Dreamer

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    The Concentrated nitric acid route would be awesome, but since it sounds almost impossible to get, I guess I'll have to try drilling it out instead. They're not very big bolts, so it will be difficult, and I didn't think they made easy-outs that small, but I'll go looking now that I'm better informed....

    Thanks

    Art
     
  10. Acornridgeman

    Acornridgeman MCCI Wisconsin State Rep Moderator Supporting Member

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    I just looked at my set - The Craftsman #1 is the smallest I have and it goes down to 1/8".

    If it is smaller than that, maybe the whole thing just needs to be drilled out and retaped like Dan said.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  11. shaunh82

    shaunh82 Member

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    I have 4 of those wheels with at least on screw busted in each, not even going to touch it, anyone want some wheels?
     
  12. Rando76

    Rando76 Member

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    Yes I would. Would they happen to be 4 lug?
     
  13. shaunh82

    shaunh82 Member

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    5 luggers:drink:
     
  14. jhossrock

    jhossrock Member

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    broken bolt

    i have the same problem. call QVC ask them about item # v-28297. it is a broken screw removing set. called grabit. i order one last night. cost 20.84. good luck .
     
  15. blugene

    blugene Senior member Supporting Member

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    If the drill goes off center, hope it goes towards the center of the wheel not the outter. If it does no biggie. Using a small drill bit and being on the threads of the seized screw will create a penetrating area and release some stress. The cap will cover it. Be careful...
     

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