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Stripped oil pan bolt

The easy-out, I'll bet, will break in place.

Heat, an otherwise excellent solution, has its problems in the
application in question.

Sounds like it's time for Shade Tree Mechanics 101: Give Me A Lever Long
Enough, And I Will Get That &*$^%# Bolt Off

1.  Get a fast-cutting mill bastard file and reduce the distance between
the flats on that bolt to the next smaller size (see Note).

2.  Don't bother with the air tools, get a loooooooong hunk of pipe, a
breaker bar, and use THAT.  Buy a 1/2" drive breaker bar from Sears (if
not a Craftsman, then any other lifetime-guarantee tool will do).  Then
go to the hardware store and purchase a 3-foot length of steel pipe of a
sufficient size that it will slip over the end of the breaker bar. 

3.  Lie on your back, with the bar held on your lap and your legs
against the RF tire.  Then straighten out as if doing a leg press.  (You
may want to get an assistant to keep the socket pressed upward against
the oil pan bolt.)

I don't know about you, but the last time I was on a leg press machine I
could easily press over 300 lb (you don't have to be that strong to get
high numbers on the leg press); multiply that times the length of your
breaker bar/pipe and you basically have enough lb/ft torque to rip the
center section out of your oil pan (but let's hope it doesn't come to
that), let alone break the threads free.


You may not have to file down a full millimeter across all the flats. 
Take a look at what SAE wrench may be a hair smaller than what you've
got.  For example, a 17mm wrench and an 11/16 are close to the same
size, I think; check them with another bolt the size of the oil pan

Then, obviously, you can use this new socket to take the bolt out next
time! :-)  (Don't laugh... I've owned cars where the previous owner did
stuff like that.) 

The three best tools a home mechanic can own are:

1 - a Really Big Hammer.  We're talking about something that you might
reasonably use to kill trolls, or drive steel through a mountain in a
race to the death with a steam drill, depending on your folkloric
upbringing.  I have a 4-pound engineer's hand drilling hammer (named
Mjollnir, of course; why do you ask?) which is indispensible.  One of
the best things about a Really Big Hammer is, paradoxically, you can be
much more gentle with it than with a teeny little girly-man hammer,
because each tiny little love-tap with Mjollnir will transfer a LOT of
mass at low velocities, with far more accuracy (and net transfer of
impact) than using a wimpy little 1-lb hammer and whanging away with
loss of accuracy and control.  

2 - a Really Long Hunk of Pipe.  See above, but this is equally
important.  The first time I used one to separate two mild steel
fasteners that had last been connected 30 years before in an old leather
coat factory converted to a sports-car assembly line in Oxfordshire, I
composed a couplet for the occasion which I have had opportunity to
repeat many times since:

   I'm greatly indebted to Archimedes:
   Thanks to him, I don't have to eat my Wheaties.

Seriously, the few problems that Sufficient Mass cannot solve,
Sufficient Leverage can.  It makes the weak strong and the strong

3 - a Double-Headed Machinist's Scribe.  This looks like a double-ended
Roman javelin scaled to fit Centurion Barbie ("Hey kids, let's go
conquer the Helvetii!"), with a 90-degree bend about 1 cm from the end
of one of the points.  It's... wonderful.  Need to punch holes in
fiberboard for the new door-panel backing plates you've just
manufactured?  Line up the 90-degree bend and press gently, it goes
right through.  Need to pick pieces of rusted-in screw out of a tapped
hole after drilling most of the bits out with a Dremel?  Same thing. 
Need to hook that itty bitty spring inside your fuel pump relay back
over the tab of the lever that, when energized by the main coil, closes
the circuit to the fuel pump?  Presto.  

Oh, sure, screwdrivers and wrenches and air tools are great, too, but
y'all KNOW about them.  Hardly anybody knows about Big Hammers, Big
Pipes, and Little Scribes, and they're the three tools that I rely on
when nothing else is quite right.

--Scott Fisher
  '83 Coupe GT, '67 Alfa Romeo, and MANY other weird old cars 
   that have come and gone...