A stripped bolt can serve as a metaphor for many different types of maintenance tasks. It’s intended to go one way as part of a straightforward chore, but instead, it devolves into an all-day nightmare that has you pacing irrationally to the end of your driveway in a fit of rage. Here we will discuss why this can happen and how to remove a bolt that is stripped.
Table of Contents
What Conditions Make Some Bolts Difficult To Remove?
Here are the four most frequent reasons for stripped bolts, including screws. Avoiding them is essential, but they also provide information about the fixes, so please at least browse through them.
1. Untied Bolt
Most likely, this bolt was overtightened (over-torqued). The bolt’s threads or the threads of the hole where it is inserted have become stripped. Or the removal of the bolt can be hampered by a stripped nut. Although the fastener can be turned, it won’t release.
2. Corroded Bolt
This bolt is most likely a component of a corroded assembly, possibly an exhaust system component. The bolt is stuck in place due to corrosion. It cannot be turned in the conventional sense. The worst-case scenario is frequently when the bolt head has broken off and you are left with a rusted cylindrical pin. Hopefully, there will be sufficient threads visible for removal.
3. Inconsistent Material Grades
Problems can also arise when the bolt and the fastener are made of different materials and grades. For instance, some fasteners have a layer of galvanised protection to keep them from rusting, but this layer also increases size, so your bolt or screw won’t fit correctly, the fit will be too tight, and this might cause it to seize and get stuck.
Use a hole designed to fit it instead of just anyone if you’re utilising something with an extra seal. Also, think about whether you need to clean the screw or bolt heads of rust.
4. Bolt With Round Ends
The wrench flats have occasionally been rounded off during removal attempts. This typically occurs when using a socket or wrench that is the incorrect size. Almost every garage should have a decent socket set and wrench set.
Oil drain plugs that have been rounded off seem to occur far too frequently. Typically, this occurs when a person uses the next closest size socket because they are unable to find the correct one.
How To Remove A-Bolt That Is Stripped
We made an effort to arrange these techniques in the order that you would want to try them before moving on to the next phase. Check out your options, and good luck!
1. Substrate Fluid
A nut or bolt is held in place by rust or other dirt, which a penetrating fluid like PB Blaster is intended to dissolve. It could be possible to loosen the bonded areas and lubricate the bolt by applying penetrating oil to the rusted parts and letting it soak.
2. Clamping Pliers
Use a pair of vice-grip pliers to hold the bolt head or shank. Due to their greater ability to apply a grabbing force, larger vice grips perform better than smaller ones. A longer tool will also provide you with better leverage. Be mindful that while employing vice grips, they may have a tendency to slip off the bolt, which might cause it to break off or progressively wear away.
A greater gripping surface for the vice grips can be achieved on bigger bolts by filing or grinding a pair of flats that are adjacent to one another on the bolt shank. If there is enough room, a pipe wrench can be used to grasp and turn the bolt in place of vice grips.
3. Pliers For Locking
Everyone should have locking pliers like Vise-Grips in their garages; they’re a terrific option. The teeth may be able to offer enough grip to turn the bolt if you can exert enough force on it.
4. Rotating Tool
Make a straight groove through the top of the bolt using a rotary tool (such as a Dremel tool) and a thin grinding wheel. You should be able to try turning the bolt with a large screwdriver if this groove is wide enough and around 1/8′′ deep. The ideal screwdrivers for this are those with square shanks (or ones with hex flats close to the handle), as you may use an open-end wrench on the screwdriver shank to improve turning power.
5. Make A Slit
Make a slit in the bolt head using a Dremel tool or another form of cutter or grinder. Then, try to utilise that leverage to free the bolt with a flathead screwdriver or something like that will fit into the slit.
6. Remover Of Bolts
Using an external bolt extraction tool is a very good way to grasp a broken bolt, nut, or stud. Such devices are reasonably priced and are provided by reputable manufacturers like Irwin. These sockets are composed of high-strength steel and contain internal spiral teeth with a small internal taper.
The extractor needs to be hammered firmly into place when it is fitted onto a broken-off stud or rounded-off bolt head. After that, you can spin it with a standard 3/8″ or 1/2″ drive ratchet or breaker bar. To prevent spinning the grip socket on the bolt and rounding it off, gradually increase the torque applied to the bolt.
With any luck, you now know how to remove a bolt that is stripped threads, a screw with a stripped head, or any other reason why a bolt or screw just won’t budge.
When it finally comes loose and you’ve got it out of the way, it feels so good. Additionally, I hope that by sharing this information you can better comprehend why this occurs in the first place and learn how to prevent it from happening again.
You can use simple household objects in addition to products that can aid with this (like the rubber band trick.) At the risk of repeating myself, your main concern should be preventing further damage to the bolt or screw. Avoid ripping off the head and refrain from stripping it even more.