Broken Bolt Help.

Cluster F

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So when I went to change my ballpoints I snapped the head off this bolt from the knuckle to the bearing. I snapped the head off. The body is still in there and the threads are still holding. I don’t have any experience removing broken bolts and I have gone down the YouTube route. But not sure what I should do. Where the head was I can with a drill in there but I can’t get in there to see what I am doing. It would be blind. The rest of the bolts threats are sticking out. Was wondering if I should maybe file down the end of the threads to a square to try and get a wrench on it to try breaking it loose and turning it out. Or should I try to just drill all the material out blindly. It seems to be pretty good and seized so I’m sure I will have to use a lot of heat and solvent.
 

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mibro

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OK, let's talk about this. You broke the head off the bolt on the INSIDE of the steering knuckle. The steering knuckle is not threaded so you do not need to remove the rest of the broken bolt, you can just hammer the stub of the broken bolt from the back side of the steering knuckle.

The problem you have now is the hub assembly is a little crooked in the knuckle which will make it even harder to remove. Looking at the rust it's going to be rusted together pretty solid anyway.

So, remove or break off the heads of the other two hub bolts and then using a bolt as a drift, hammer the sh!t out of the stubs of the bolts from the back side of the steering knuckle. The other bolts will come out more easily if you wirewheel/brush the exposed threads to remove as much rust as you can before you try and remove them. I might also just cut the protruding threads of the remaining two bolts flush with the hub with a cutoff wheel.

Also, hammer the hub assembly back IN to the knuckle so it's straight. Getting that hub out is going to require repeated hammering in both directions, in and out.

I usually do this job with sacrifice bolts that are longer than the original hub bolts but screw into the hub. That way you have something to whale on with a 5 lb hammer from the back side of the knuckle.
 
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Sweeney

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Remove/snap the other two bolts and remove the unit bearing. From there you should be able get purchase on the bolt shaft with vise-grips and unscrew them. You may need to drift the broken bolt/s from the knuckle to get the bearing off.
 

Sweeney

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The problem you have now is the hub assembly is a little crooked in the knuckle which will make it even harder to remove. Looking at the rust it's going to be rusted together pretty solid anyway.
I don't think the bearing crooked...optical illusion.
 

mtnbiker26

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Price out the bearing on rockauto.com. Might be better to just cut it off and finesse the bolts out if it's only like $50.

If you want to try to extract the bolts:

Use a wire brush or wirewheel on an angle grinder to clean off the loose rust.

Use a hammer and long punch to tap the bolt in various directions to help shock it and maybe open up some teeny cracks for the penetrating oil. Tap it in, tap it up, tap it down, tap it left, tap it right, try to get behind it and tap it out.

Hose it down with penetrating oil. I like Kroil but it's harder to find. Smells much better than PB Blaster too.

More of the tappy-tap-tap game to help open up some little cracks.

More penetrating oil.

Try the pipe wrench or cutting some wrench flats but that one looks pretty stuck.
 

42!

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First off I'm going to assume you meant "ball-joint". And initially I was going to say remove the axle nut, remove the other two bolts. With the hub off the car a little heat and vice-grips might get the bolt out, if not, and you don't want to mess with it, replace the hub/bearing. Be sure to use grade 8 or better bolts.

Then it sank in that you were originally replacing a ball joint and the axle nut is still on, and you were taking the hub off, not the way I'd go about it, and yes I was a mechanic so I've done a lot of them. Most of the time it's remove the axle nut, remove the bolt holding the ball-joint stud, pull out on the knuckle/hub as you push the lower arm down, when the stud is free of the knuckle push the knuckle/hub/strut forward or back out of the way and hold it there with some wire or coat hanger, or something. Sometimes the dust shield will hang up on the ball-joint so watch for that. Replace the ball-joint and reassemble.

I am making some assumptions on the type of ball-joint. That it's the type with a smooth stud that is pinched in the knuckle by a retaining bolt. If it's a tapered/threaded stud, all this isn't necessary. Just remove the nut, hit the knuckle hard to knock it loose, and unbolt or cut (flashback of those dam GM trucks with their riveted ball-joints) the ball-joint from the control arm.
 

dw617

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First thing I would have done was wire wheel those bolts and then let them sit in PB for several hours / overnight.

I am just finishing up the entire front end on an Audi A4. 4 control arms each side, swaybar links & bushings, tie rods and a new freeking steering rack. Many parts had't been off since new, 15 years ago. PB is your friend.
 

appraiser

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I am assuming you are replacing the bearing.

Are you getting a whole hub/bearing assy or are you going to press the hub out?

Some of those bearings are a real bear to get out of the knuckle once you get the hardware out.

And any heat you try to apply is going to soak rught into the knuckle as fast as you can apply it, even if you had a good set of torches or an induction heater.

Believe it or not, Knuckles are not that much money, IIRC Dorman is making complete knuckle/bearing/hub assy's as the cost of the part is cheaper than the labor to R&I a single component

PS wait til you have to get the snap ring out if that is what I think it is... BTW what is it you are working on?
 

BrianWilson

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Break off the other two, pound the bearing assembly out and get a new one. By the time you heat it hot enough to get those bolts, and then pound on it enough ( sometimes they come hard...air hammer hard) to break it loose your going to need a new one anyways. Pro tip...if you do decide to try and save it...leave the axle nut on until after you free the bearing assembly from the knuckle..
 

mibro

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Then it sank in that you were originally replacing a ball joint and the axle nut is still on....
Good catch. That hub assembly is not going anywhere with the axle nut still on.

OP, I hope you have taken away from the comments above that you do NOT need to remove the broken bolt. It will come out with the hub. If you want to reuse the hub assembly you can remove the broken bolt later when the hub is out.
 

BrianWilson

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There is enough give in the axle to break the bearing free from the knuckle. Leaving the nut tight until after you're done pounding keeps the races, ball bearings and hub all aligned, in place and pre-loaded. Obviously you have to take the nut off to remove the assembly. If you take the nut off before breaking the assembly free you stand a fair chance of having the body of the assembly with most of the actual bearing in it in one hand, the hub with one race on it in the other hand, and some of the ball bearings rolling around on the floor at your feet.
 
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So when I went to change my ballpoints I snapped the head off this bolt from the knuckle to the bearing. I snapped the head off. The body is still in there and the threads are still holding. I don’t have any experience removing broken bolts and I have gone down the YouTube route. But not sure what I should do. Where the head was I can with a drill in there but I can’t get in there to see what I am doing. It would be blind. The rest of the bolts threats are sticking out. Was wondering if I should maybe file down the end of the threads to a square to try and get a wrench on it to try breaking it loose and turning it out. Or should I try to just drill all the material out blindly. It seems to be pretty good and seized so I’m sure I will have to use a lot of heat and solvent.
torch? Hub puller ? Im surprised you broke those bolts before stripping the heads. Your U joints look like they need replacing also.
If you have a hub puller pyll the hub from the bearing housing. Then just split the ears where the bolts thread through. Then have fun banging out the hub from the nuckle
 

Picton

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Was I the only one who clicked on this because the thread title made me think a Mosin or Mauser had a real problem?
 

Lsgun1

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Sacrifice the bearing. Try to take the other two bolts out, if they snap who cars it just takes more hammer work.
 

Sweeney

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Good catch. That hub assembly is not going anywhere with the axle nut still on.

OP, I hope you have taken away from the comments above that you do NOT need to remove the broken bolt. It will come out with the hub. If you want to reuse the hub assembly you can remove the broken bolt later when the hub is out.
The axle can pull out with the unit bearing through the knuckle.
 

mibro

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The axle can pull out with the unit bearing through the knuckle.
Edit: wouldn't it be easier to remove the axle nut first? Pull the axle out of the differential and then you have to start thinking about a new axle seal.
 
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Sweeney

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I guess, if you really like doing things the hard way. Then you have to separate the axle from the hub assembly and reinstall it, possibly damaging the transmission seal in the process. Why?
If he's not replacing the bearing then it doesn't need to be separated from the axle. No, it's not the normal order but will work. As far as the inner axle seal goes, the axle is being pulled so the knuckle can be removed to do the ball joints, therefore, risk to the seal remains the same.
 
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