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Old 04-08-2006, 08:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Removing broken bolt extractor?

I run into this at work and at home all the time. I have used extractors from Snap-on to Harbor Freight and they all suck! But how the hell do you get the broken extractor out of the bolt that you are tring to extract. I have trashed many a good drill bit tring to drill a new hole around the broken extractor. Is there a superduper drill bit that can drill through tool steel? This can also apply to a broken drill bit. Arrrrrrrrrggggggg!!! Any helpful ideas are appreciated.
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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EDM machine, Thats how we burn out taps all the time at work.
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtoy302
EDM machine, Thats how we burn out taps all the time at work.
works great...too bad most people have no access to one...
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Old 04-08-2006, 12:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70cyclone
works great...too bad most people have no access to one...
Yeah, I think he was looking for a more availible sollution
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Old 04-08-2006, 12:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I know a place in San Dimas but I can't find his phone #. Hes a great guy and might be able to do it while you wait. If you want I can give you his location and you can drop by and see what he says.
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Old 04-08-2006, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Never EVER use a screw extractor. just drill out the bolt and retapp the hole.
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Old 04-08-2006, 07:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Since most of us don't have access to a EDM or even if we did, pulling the engine to get the bolt that broke off in the block aint exactly the best option

I've had good luck with a carbide dremel bit (1/8" bit round nose cost about $8 at walmart, lowes, etc) with a dremel tool or die grinder to cut harded steel i.e. a broken drill bit, tap, or "E-Z- out" That little carbide bit can zip through some pretty tough steel!

Give that a try and see if that works for you. I've rarely had good luck with an EZ-out extractor. They rarely work (unless the bolt just broke not frozen or rusted) and usually snap off at the worst time leaving you with a broken bolt with a chunk in hardened steel in the center.

Better to drill out, then chase/rethread the threads with a tap.
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Old 04-08-2006, 08:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have heard of people using a masonary bit for that.. I personally have not tried it but will next time I break one..
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Old 04-08-2006, 08:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hy_desert_4wheeler
I have heard of people using a masonary bit for that.. I personally have not tried it but will next time I break one..
It works on spring steel.... but an easy out?

That might be worth a try just as a bench experiment.
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Try a chisel or punch to break the extractor. They are difficult to drill out but are more brittle. Not fun but can be done.
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Here is a little trick we use at work.

Get a nut just a little larger than the bolt that you broke off and set it over the broken piece. Get your welder out and weld that nut to the end of the broken bolt. This works great in 2 fold. The nut gives you a place to wrench to and the heat from the welding helps loosen the rusted bolt. If you break the nut off (this happens all the time) just grab another nut and weld it on and try it again.

If you really wanted to drill HS steel bits you need a Carbide drill bit. They are spendy and very brittle. If you drop it on the cement it could break!
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbnRgr375
Is there a superduper drill bit that can drill through tool steel?
The drill bit would have to carbide.
If the surface is uneven(like where the extracter broke off) the bit would more than likely chip due to it being very brittle.
Another choice instead of EDM would be to place the part on a mill(part clamped in vise if allowed)and use a carbide endmill to remove broken extractor.
I do this at work to remove broken taps.Endmills hold better than drills.

I would also try using a punch and hammer.Sometimes the hardend material (extactor)will chip into peices.
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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heat up the broken ez out red hot then let it cool then you have plain old steel
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Old 04-09-2006, 08:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groundloopdog
heat up the broken ez out red hot then let it cool then you have plain old steel
not exactly....but what he is talking about is annealing the tool steel. it will make it softer and will allow you to drill through it easier. the reason you cant drill out the easy out is because both the drill bit and easy out are of an equal hardness. to cut or drill something, you must use a tool that is harder than the material youre trying to cut. if youre gonna try to anneal it, DO NOT dump water on it to make it cool. you msut allow it to slowly air cool.

on a side note, i never had too much trouble with easy outs. if you use them properly theyre great. you want to use the biggest one you possibly can. you always want to the drill the biggest hole you possibly can. you will also want to use some penetrating oil or rust breaker-offer. also you can feel when an easy out is about to break, and if you see its under alot of tension, back off a little bit.

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Old 04-09-2006, 09:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rory Bellows
Try a chisel or punch to break the extractor. They are difficult to drill out but are more brittle. Not fun but can be done.
Be CAREFUL with this method. I tried it with a broken tap and still have a chunk of HSS tap in my chest. It hit an artery and I bled real bad, real,real bad.
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Old 04-09-2006, 09:35 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the ideas. I have tried the hammer and chisel method and I have used the weld the nut on the remaining bolt when it is possible. If I have one break at the house I will try the rosebud on the O/A. However when at work some of the suggestions would be impossible to use as I am a on the road forklift tech. and dont always have access or ability to use an EDM, mill or things along those lines. I would prefer not to use extractors and drill out and retap the hole but not always possible. I am gonna have to try the carbide tip on the dremel. Once again thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 04-09-2006, 04:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I've used the welded nut approach many times. Sometimes you can't get at it with a nut in the way, or can't hold it in place, or even a bit below surface level. In those cases I have actually managed to build up a bead on broken bolts as small as 5/16 till I get it above level, then grab it with a vicegrip to turn it out. Did this recently on a D60 knuckle steering limit bolt that was broke off about 1/16 below the surface while trying to back it out. Took about 3 tries before it came out clean. Last one before this one I broke an ez-out off and just welded both pieces together to remove it. This combination of “heat shock” (much more violent than torch heating) and giving you something to hold onto will get out most any bolt in my experience.
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