Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts
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  1. #1
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    Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts
    My customer was replacing the front wheel bearings on his Suburban. The bolts that retained the flange for the wheel bearing to the knuckle were frozen. His helper rounded the head of three of the bolts. I cleaned up the top of the bolts with a Carbide burr using Foredom flex shaft grinder and some Acetone. MIG wouldn’t work because the hole in the hub was too small for the MIG nozzle. I could have stick welded it but I wanted to camp out on top of the head of the bolt to really heat it up, so I used TIG instead. I used a conventional TIG nozzle to fit through the small access hole in the hub to gain access to the top of the bolts. One bolt was so badly rounded that I had to weld a nut on the top.

    Pictures:
    1. Rounded off head of bolt
    2. Rounded off head of bolt close-up
    3. Nut welded to top of bolt
    4. Using breaker bar to remove bolt
    5. Bolt removed
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by Don52; 01-05-2017 at 07:30 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    The other two were slightly rounded so I just heated the bolts by welding a dome on the top of the hex head of the bolt. I used a little Kroil and the bolts came right out. Welding is a nice way to remove a stubborn bolt.

    Pictures:
    6. Bolts with a dome of weld on top

    Don
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Don52; 01-05-2017 at 07:31 PM.
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport
    Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma Torch

  3. #3
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    Nov 2012
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Wow! Finally a mechanic that knows what he's doing! Good job!

    I wonder how much a stealership would have charged him to REPLACE all of that?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Nice job! "Slightly" rounding off one bolt I can understand, but to continue doing so.... ....he must have been po'ed at his helper!

  5. #5
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldalittle View Post
    Nice job! "Slightly" rounding off one bolt I can understand, but to continue doing so.... ....he must have been po'ed at his helper!
    Yes, Sam was po'd at his helper. Sam was able to get three of the bolts out himself. He torqued the bolt clockwise and counter clockwise and then tapped on the bolt from the far side with a punch to loosen them up. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

    Don
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  6. #6
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    Hamlin, NY
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Been there before. Those don't look like original hub retaining bolts. They are normally socket head screws. You need to heat those spindles up from the backside with a small tip on the OXY torch. They unscrew like butter. CLEAN them before they go back together and some anti seize.
    Ryan

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  7. #7
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Great job!

    And for the bolts broken off below flush, Certaneum used to make a stick rod for the purpose. The flux was said to protect female threads. The head made the broken bolt try to expand, but it couldn't, so it crushed. After cooling, it shrunk a tiny bit. It might take several repetitions to remove a stubborn bolt.

    Willie
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  8. #8
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Been there also.

    always seems to happen when your in a hurry to get the job done.
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  9. #9
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    Fairfield,CT
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    I do this all the time. Just did it on the Escalade rear caliper bleeder screw after I replaced the dreaded rear brake lines. I have not use any type of cutter in 10 year to extract any broken fastener.
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  10. #10
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    Feb 2010
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    Northern MN
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Removed plenty of broken bolts this way, also had a fair amount of luck getting broken carbon steel taps out but that takes patience and stubborness to manage.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    439

    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Wonder if the helpful offsider was using a rattle gun......

  12. #12
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    minnesota
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Probably 12 pt socket. First bolt is a ooops second bolt deserves a kick in the pants. The third one you had better disappear for a while
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  13. #13
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    Jul 2014
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Yea I can't believe that guys use a 12 point socket on an impact gun

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Nice save.

    Seems like it may have been a harder fight than necessary though
    A thought - for the next one why not "take" the head off of the bolt, allowing the flange to be removed, and then deal with the stub once the bearing is out of the way?

    Lotta ways to skin a cat, no doubt.
    Last edited by denrep; 01-07-2017 at 01:35 AM.

  15. #15

    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Nice Repair! This is a repair I did on a 1989 Seagrave Fire Truck.

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    Last edited by k5krawler; 01-09-2017 at 11:10 PM.

  16. #16
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    Oct 2011
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    Elkhorn, WI
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    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    Sometimes a washer welded on, then a nut welded onto the washer. Sometimes a nut just welded on. Sometimes just some weld on it to grab with Vice-Grips or tap on with a Diamond Point Chisel. Kroil is first go to penetrant!

  17. #17
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    Oct 2015
    Location
    South Lyon, MI
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    64

    Re: Using Welder to Remove Stubborn Bolts

    I had a HORRENDOUSLY stuck bolt holding a customers rear caliper bracket on at my last job. The owner heated the knuckle up red, I was using a 3ft breaker bar and broke the Snap-on allen bit. So we almost considered it FUBAR, but I wanted to try freezing the bolt while heating the knuckle. These cans, while held upside down spray out some liquid that freezes whatever it contacts. I sprayed the bolt head while he heated again, and the bolt came out with a 3/8" ratchet. One safety point to consider, I had an off-brand can that DID freeze a stud I had a nut stuck on, however it was a VERY flammable spray.

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