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Removing broken bolt?
Old 11-04-2016, 08:21 PM   #1
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Removing broken bolt?

Took my pickup truck over some rough dirt roads and when I got back home and popped open my tonneau cover I noticed one of the bolt heads had snapped off on one of the clamps holding the cover down near the tail gate in. It broke off flush with the threads so my plan was to drill a hole into the screw and use an ez out screw extractor. No problem drilling a hole in the screw but when I inserted the extractor and started turning it with a wrench the damn extractor snapped off inside the hole and I'm not able to get a grip on it. Any suggestions on where to go from here?
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Old 11-04-2016, 08:29 PM   #2
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nut over the bolt, weld from broken bolt to inside of nut. turn out nut with broken bolt attached. the heat is your friend
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Removing broken bolt?
Old 11-04-2016, 09:09 PM   #3
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Removing broken bolt?

How seized up are the threads? Do the other bolts turn? Put lots of penetrant on there and let it soak awhile. I would think you could get a replacement clamp from the mfr. my cover has cheap clamps but the bolts are stainless.
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by zinger1457 View Post
Took my pickup truck over some rough dirt roads and when I got back home and popped open my tonneau cover I noticed one of the bolt heads had snapped off on one of the clamps holding the cover down near the tail gate in. It broke off flush with the threads so my plan was to drill a hole into the screw and use an ez out screw extractor. No problem drilling a hole in the screw but when I inserted the extractor and started turning it with a wrench the damn extractor snapped off inside the hole and I'm not able to get a grip on it. Any suggestions on where to go from here?
It sounds like you accidentally created the bolt version of one of those nested Russian dolls.

The weld-nut-on-top sounds like a plan. Just one thing, gotta weld. A skill and tool not everyone has handy.
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:18 PM   #5
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Maybe chisel a slot in there and use a screwdriver but you still gotta loosen up the threads somehow.
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:28 PM   #6
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Can you re-drill with a larger bit and then use a larger EZ out? Along with a lot of penetrating oil.
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:50 PM   #7
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nut over the bolt, weld from broken bolt to inside of nut. turn out nut with broken bolt attached. the heat is your friend
Yep.... I have worked miracles using this method. For more details, go to thebugshop.org -> Tech Help -> Tool Techniques. Old web site of mine, but lots of how to there...
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:52 PM   #8
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"I inserted the extractor and started turning it with a wrench the damn extractor snapped off inside the hole"

Wow, THAT'S never happened before.......
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:03 PM   #9
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I have taken the corner a chisel and managed to back a broken easy-out out of the hole by tapping on the chisel.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:04 PM   #10
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nut over the bolt, weld from broken bolt to inside of nut. turn out nut with broken bolt attached. the heat is your friend
Sounds like a good idea but no welding equipment and skills, will have to see if I can find someone who does.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:06 PM   #11
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Can you re-drill with a larger bit and then use a larger EZ out? Along with a lot of penetrating oil.
I've tried both and broke a few drill bits in the process, that ez-out is very hard metal.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:12 PM   #12
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How seized up are the threads? Do the other bolts turn? Put lots of penetrant on there and let it soak awhile. I would think you could get a replacement clamp from the mfr. my cover has cheap clamps but the bolts are stainless.
This happened to be one of the clamps that uses one of the existing bolt holes in the side of the truck bed so the clamp is fine.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:39 PM   #13
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nut over the bolt, weld from broken bolt to inside of nut. turn out nut with broken bolt attached. the heat is your friend
If welding isn't possible/convenient, I wonder if a torch and plumbing solder might work to get the nut adhered to the bolt temporarily. I've never tried it. The heat alone might help free up those threads.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:59 PM   #14
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At this point it might be easier to call some body shops and ask them how much to get the bolt out. As with many things there is a point when it is easier to have a pro fix things. I suspect the body shop might charge an hour of labor or so but not much more.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:11 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by zinger1457 View Post
Took my pickup truck over some rough dirt roads and when I got back home and popped open my tonneau cover I noticed one of the bolt heads had snapped off on one of the clamps holding the cover down near the tail gate in. It broke off flush with the threads so my plan was to drill a hole into the screw and use an ez out screw extractor. No problem drilling a hole in the screw but when I inserted the extractor and started turning it with a wrench the damn extractor snapped off inside the hole and I'm not able to get a grip on it. Any suggestions on where to go from here?
Been there - done that!

I have always been amazed at the problems that a Machine Shop can solve for a few $10s of dollars if you can get the part of the vehicle.

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Old 11-05-2016, 06:12 AM   #16
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Take it to your local friendly body repair shop. I was pretty amazed when they repaired my cars under engine cover for free.
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Old 11-05-2016, 07:38 AM   #17
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I googled it and there seems to be some consensus that it can be Dremeled out, but it takes awhile.

Here's How You Remove A Fractured Bolt Extractor Tip From Inside A Broken Bolt
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Old 11-05-2016, 07:59 AM   #18
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You can try to drill the extractor out with a carbide drill bit. But you'd really be better off taking it to someone who can weld a nut on it.

Next time, use a left hand drill bit with the drill in "reverse" or counterclockwise direction. Works like a charm. I keep a set of left hand drill bits around for exactly this situation.
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Old 11-05-2016, 08:01 AM   #19
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............
Next time, use a left hand drill bit with the drill in "reverse" or counterclockwise direction. Works like a charm. I keep a set of left hand drill bits around for exactly this situation.
This often works. Harbor Freight sells an inexpensive set of left handed drills. Too late now, though.
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Old 11-05-2016, 08:14 AM   #20
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Depending on how loose the threads are, in the past I have cut a deep slot in the top (Dremel again) and used an impact screwdriver.
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