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Stripped bolt, what now?


DavidE373
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The nut holding my gear lever stripped while trying to loosen it. I didn't overdo it either, the thing is on there so tight it just wouldn't budge, and eventually the inevitable happened.

 

any ideas on how to get the damn thing off now?

Edited by rac373v2
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Stripped nut or stripped bolt?

 

If it is a stripped nut, you simply split it and replace. Or, strip it completely and pull it off.

 

If it is a stripped bolt, it should also just pull out. However, these bolts turn into aluminium and it is probably the thread in the lever itself that is stipped. Helicoil is the only answer.

 

Whilst on the topic of Helicoils, someone phoned me asking about a helicoil for a left crank. However, the voicemail was so bad that I could not return the call. If you are reading this...I have a solution for you.

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Sorry, should have been stripped bolt. and it's the allen key slot that stipped, not the thread.

 

I have tried knocking in a groove to use a screw driver but that didn't work either.

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You don't say what the bolt is made of and whether the head is recessed or not.

 

Removing stripped bolts, nuts and studs is a field all to itself and each case is handled on its merits.

 

But let me make some assumptions:

 

The bolt is alu or soft steel, and is recessed.

 

Jam a torx bit of suitable size into the hole and turn. Torx bits are available in many incrementsa nd a set can be bought for a couple of rands. Most electric drills come with an abundance of them. For instance, brake disc bolts require a T25 torx. See if you need smaller or bigger and buy one. Hit it in with a hammer and turn.

 

Alternatively, if the bolt is not recessed, you can saw a slot and use a flat srewdriver.

 

Drilling is a last resort since this requires some good skills to keep the hole centred and straight.

 

If you don't draw blood, you're not doing it right.

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I was going to suggest gving Lance a call regarding your nut problems.....

 

Seriously though, if you have stripped the hex part where the allen key goes in, try and get an imperial allen key that is the next size up from your metric tool. Tap (read: force) the imperial hex into the stripped hole by tapping with a hammer. The tapping with a small hammer will also help loosen the bolt in some cases. try turning while tapping. Sometines this helps.

 

PS Is this on a road or MTB?

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The bolt is indeed made of some soft crap (otherwise it wouldn't have stripped!) and is recessed.

 

I will try get my grubby paws on Torx bits and see what happens, not keen on drilling, so hope it doesn't come to that.

 

@Grebel, not sure lance can help with nut issues, I seem to recall he lost his!

Is a mountain bike.

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Yeah, stripped bolt heads can be a pain, especially if they are recessed. I would also soak the bolt in penetrating oil for a few hours, even overnight before trying the Torx bits, be generous with the oil, 'cos if that fails, you will probably have to drill it out, which has its own set of issues.

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Just a thought, have you got an impact driver.? That will shift it, but could also have its own set of problems, maybe try it gently and see.

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The bolt is indeed made of some soft crap (otherwise it wouldn't have stripped!) and is recessed.

 

I will try get my grubby paws on Torx bits and see what happens, not keen on drilling, so hope it doesn't come to that.

 

@Grebel, not sure lance can help with nut issues, I seem to recall he lost his!

Is a mountain bike.

 

Hehe! I though he could give advice on dealing with the trauma of having a nut that didn't work!!

 

Is it one of the bolts clamping the shifter to your bars? Try some release lube on there first then try the torx (Good ides by the way) Use a slightly bigger one so there is more meat to grab.

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Is it one of the bolts clamping the shifter to your bars?

 

Yup!

 

thanks for the advice, will only get round to doing this over the weekend. Will post feedback after I've tried everything.

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What sort of Hex keys are you using? The quality of the tool can save you some frustration later on (and how I have learnt this in life!) !

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Just a thought, have you got an impact driver.? That will shift it, but could also have its own set of problems, maybe try it gently and see.

 

Along the lines of Grumpy's train of thought...

 

You need to do the following very carefully so as to not damage anything else...and you will need an extra pair of hands:

 

Take a soft face hammer (pefferably copper) and place it behind the head of the stripped bolt head. Use a pin punch that will fit inside the stripped part of the head and place it firmly into the hole. Hit the pin punch firmly but not too hard (You don't want to break the gear selector) the copper behind has weight and should absorb most of the shock. The shock may help "crack" the thread and make loosening it easier. Before you do this, use the penetrating fluid. Brake fluid works as well but carefull your paintwork Use penetrating fliud/oil not normal oil.

 

An impact driver with an oversized torx bit and a descent sized drift behind the bolt should do ity as a last resort...

 

Good Luck!

 

What shifters are they by the way?

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I have a Dremel tool. I ask my dentist to keep all his burrs that is scrapped. Some of these are diamond coated and easily cut steel. You can easily cut a slot in what you are trying to remove with these.

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An eeze out should work can buy them in sets at a tool shop .They have a tapper and an anticlockwise thread which locks in the allen key hole when turned anticlockwise ,at other times you can grind a pyramid tapper on the hardened steel of an old ezee out and that also works

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