How Do I Remove Broken Studs?
It’s happened to all of us at one time or another, a broken stud or bolt, a pain in the backside of auto restorers, not to mention any other types of mechanical repair. You are not going to get any further until the fastener is removed. What do we do? What alternatives are there to get the bolt out?
There are, in fact many different ways to get broken bolts and studs out. Which method depends on the tools you have available at the time.
We would recommend you have a set of left hand Drills Out, a set of Stud Pullers, also an Impact Stud Extractor, which can be a godsend.
Before we look at the methods of removing damaged and broken studs, we must look at dismantling sprays and rust busters. Rust Buster, Free & Easy, Plus Gas Dismantling Spray penetrate down the threads and after quite a long period of time loosen rusty bolts and studs allowing them to be unscrewed.
First lets assume part of the shaft is protruding from the metal surface. Get your “mole” grips and clamp them tightly on to the bolt or the stud and attempt to turn it out, in many cases this will do the job and is well worth trying.
If the stud or bolt won’t budge we can then try heating it up using a blowlamp, this in most cases will break the molecular bond between the threads on the bolt, allowing you to turn the bolt out, with the mole grips. Heat also expands the metal a little, and all this helps. Too much heat softens the metal and it can break off, so don’t overdo it.
If the heat method didn’t work you can try using an Impact Stud Extractor, which you can use with air tools or standard hand tools. Or alternatively use a Stud Puller all you need to use this is a 1/2-inch ratchet drive. In both cases the bolt or stud is clamped in jaws of one kind or the other, either tool should remove fasteners without too much effort.
Lastly removing broken studs and bolts where not enough thread is left to clamp into the normal extractor. Firstly grind the bolt or stud level with the metal; the best method is to use left hand drill outs these can be bought as individuals or in a set of 4 Drills Out. All you need is a reversing multi speed drill with a 3/8-inch chuck, the left hand self-centring drill cuts down into the damaged bolt, then the tapered collets bites into the hole and unscrews it all in one speedy operation.