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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Am I screwed???!!! I snapped the middle bolt on the driver side!

I'm thinking tapping the bolt is the way to extract it but I've never done this before. How difficult is it and what do I need? And what's the specs for a replacement bolt?

Or is there another option?

Maybe it's OK with the snapped bolt (asking hopefully but knowing there's no chance)?

Manny
 

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Snapped VC bolt . . .

gtzero said:
Hi All,

Am I screwed???!!! I snapped the middle bolt on the driver side!

I'm thinking tapping the bolt is the way to extract it but I've never done this before. How difficult is it and what do I need? And what's the specs for a replacement bolt?

Or is there another option?

Maybe it's OK with the snapped bolt (asking hopefully but knowing there's no chance)?

Manny
If you snapped it, you're probably "snugging" it up TOO MUCH!

That said, you'll have to remove the VC to do the work in any case. Once removed, determine whether or not there is enough of a stub sticking out of the rail to grab with visegrips and see if you can get it out that way. Else, you'll have to center-punch the stub, drill it and use an appropriately sized easy-out to remove it.

Drill bit/easy-out combos are available at any good hardware or auto parts store and are usually blister-packed so you have the right size drill bit for the job. This will be one of the smallest sets available . . . DON'T get one too large for the job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
tekenaar said:
If you snapped it, you're probably "snugging" it up TOO MUCH!

That said, you'll have to remove the VC to do the work in any case. Once removed, determine whether or not there is enough of a stub sticking out of the rail to grab with visegrips and see if you can get it out that way. Else, you'll have to center-punch the stub, drill it and use an appropriately sized easy-out to remove it.

Drill bit/easy-out combos are available at any good hardware or auto parts store and are usually blister-packed so you have the right size drill bit for the job. This will be one of the smallest sets available . . . DON'T get one too large for the job!
Thanks Otto,

What's the spec for a replacement bolt? I guess I can just take one of the other ones to the hardware store to match it.

Manny
 

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tekenaar said:
If you snapped it, you're probably "snugging" it up TOO MUCH!
Yeah, it's half a turn before it breaks ;)

Once the valve cover is off, you may be able to loosen and remove the broken piece by tapping on it's edge with a small chisel to rotate it out. like Otto said, you may have enough exposed to grab with small vice grips.

Gary
<Getting ready for a nor'easter. Could get up to 3 feet here near the coast. Madhatterpc & Samdog - Get you bread and milk yet?>
 

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Gary said:
Yeah, it's half a turn before it breaks ;)

Once the valve cover is off, you may be able to loosen and remove the broken piece by tapping on it's edge with a small chisel to rotate it out. like Otto said, you may have enough exposed to grab with small vice grips.

Gary
<Getting ready for a nor'easter. Could get up to 3 feet here near the coast. Madhatterpc & Samdog - Get your bread and milk yet?>
Try it, but the smaller the diameter of the bolt, the more difficult this method becomes . . . simply not enough leverage, at least in my experience. :(

Come to think of it, if there IS enough of the broken bolt protruding from the VC rail, you might try sawing a slot in the top of it with a hacksaw and turn it out with a flat-bladed screwdriver! :eek:
 

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hacksawing the top of a bolt works great

i've done this a few times and its usually OK. just cover the head with rags and such to keep debris out of the engine while drill/cutting ect.
 

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Manny, another method that I have used is to take a Dremel wth a cut-off wheel and cut a notch in the top of the bolt, get an appropriately sized flathead screwdriver and it should walk right out (the valve cover bolts are pretty small, so if you try this, make sure you cut it deep enough that the screwdriver won't break the ears off). Always always always keep plenty of PB Blaster on hand. Working on cars for me has gotten to the point where I don't even try to put a wrench on a bolt before I hose it with PB Blaster.

Gary said:
<Getting ready for a nor'easter. Could get up to 3 feet here near the coast. Madhatterpc & Samdog - Get you bread and milk yet?>
Samdog is on Nantucket these days, with "Lake Effect" snow, he is probably going to be on the high end of those estimates. I'm not much better, but at least I'm a couple miles from shore. I stocked up last night, gas for the snowblower, salt, junk food, etc. but I had to drive through town today, and everybody was FUBAR trying to get ready.
 

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Manny, it may sound wierd, but, did you snap the bolt tightening or loosening it? The reason I ask is if you snapped it tightening it, once it broke, the stress was relieved and it should just spin right back out, no problem. If it broke loosening it, then it is bound up on the threads and will take a bunch to remove it. All the suggestions are real good. If there is enuff bolt protruding, vice-grips will take it out. If there's just a nub above the sealing surface, A Dremel with a cutoff wheel can slit the nub for a screwdriver to remove it, if you're careful with the wheel not to slice the sealing surface. At or below the surface, a very sharp center punch can be used to try and tap it around in the loosening direction. If all that fails or is not feasible, I've heard a reverse twist drill will sometimes work. Last resort is an easy-out, because, if it breaks, then the real fun begins, Been there, Done that. To prevent this from happening again, use a torque wrench, the torque on the valve cover bolts is, according to my Clymer's, 30 in. lbs., which is a hair over finger tight. HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to everyone for your tips. I'll try it after work today.

I'm a bit worried about the other VC bolts now since I cinched those down pretty tightly as well. I think I snapped that bolt because it was the easiest to get at with the most room to torque.

What about the replacement bolt? Readily available at hardware store?

Thanks,

Manny
 

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Start by working a little penetrant into the threads, the trick here is be patient. A drop every hour and let it sit overnight. Works wonders. If you have to drill it, by all means use a reverse drill bit. It will probably spin it right out. Masking tape and paper work best to seal off the internals from junk going in.
The bolt will be at any hardware store. Might be wise to replace them all and remember, it's a tiny bolt! Just snug them, they don't have to be tight.
 

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easy fail-safe

I find it tons easier to install valve covers, and particularly the aluminum GT ones with no gasket holders, using studs and nuts vice bolts. You can get some nice grade 8 or such studs for usually less than $1 at almost any hardware store then use brass or softer metal nuts on them. Then, if something is going to give from over torquing it'll be the threads on the nut and the studd will still be easy to get out. Also the gasket can go on first, over the studs to hold it in place, and no worries about gluing it to the valve cover or knocking it out of place while trying to fish the valve cover back into place.

Just my $.02 on the matter.
 

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oldopelguy said:
I find it tons easier to install valve covers, and particularly the aluminum GT ones with no gasket holders, using studs and nuts vice bolts. You can get some nice grade 8 or such studs for usually less than $1 at almost any hardware store then use brass or softer metal nuts on them. Then, if something is going to give from over torquing it'll be the threads on the nut and the studd will still be easy to get out. Also the gasket can go on first, over the studs to hold it in place, and no worries about gluing it to the valve cover or knocking it out of place while trying to fish the valve cover back into place.

Just my $.02 on the matter.
Might not fly on the GT though. Not sure if there will be enough clearance at the rear with the hood catch.
 

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M6 X 1.0mm pitch

gtzero said:
Thanks Otto,

What's the spec for a replacement bolt? I guess I can just take one of the other ones to the hardware store to match it.

Manny
Manny, No one has come up with this info yet, so I went over to my w/shop and checked the rocker cover holes in the head - they are 6 millimeter diameter with 1.0mm pitch. Did not have any of the bolts handy so I will leave it to you for the length.

With the roller rocker kit Samdog sells there are some M6 allen head grub screws included that are used as studs. So if you want to use studs and nuts this is an easy way to get high tensile studs. The grub screws are threaded from end to end and are parallel with no heads as such - the allen head is just in one end. Maybe you can find some M6 chrome or stainless dome nuts too, for a neat custom look.

BTW: I hate to ask this but how on earth did you "wring" the poor wee original bolt's neck??
 
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