[Vwdiesel] Broken Power Steering Bolts (fwd)

Val Christian val at swamps.roc.ny.us
Fri Aug 6 07:15:52 EDT 2004

Lacking a plasma torch in my tool box, I use oxy acetylene.  For the 
bolts you've broken, I'd use a 4 or 6 cfm tip for my torch.  To make it
easier, I'd predrill the bolt, and have a couple of EZouts on hand.
Heat the bolt until it's a dull red, quickly, and then tap the EZout
into it while lightly turning the EZout.  Use a tap wrench on the EZout,
which holds the extractor firmly.  Putting the EZout in while the 
bolt is hot and plastic, helps create flutes in the bolt, which will
give you greater torque capability.  You'll probably be able to use a 
#1 EZout, but you might need a #0.  

After the extractor is firmly seated in the rapidly cooling bolt, you 
want to put light pressure (25 ft lbs max) on it while tapping around
the casting with a small hammer.  As the bolt cools down through 500F,
I start spraying penetrant on it.  You could use something like WD-40,
but the thinner formulations, like liquid wrench, "Let Go" (a Krylon
product which is really great!), PB blaster, etc.  work better, but have
the disadvantage in that they are more volitile and cook off faster.

Keep tapping the area around the extractor.  Light raps, which have the 
effect of loosening the rust matrix, and also have some impact effect
overcoming "sticktion".  

One cycle of this process gets out 85% or better of the bolts the first 
time.  A couple of don'ts: 1. Don't use propane, it just won't heat the 
bolt fast enough, and you can damage things around the area.  2. Similar
to the plasma cutter, don't use a cutting torch for small diameter bolts.
With a skilled operator, it will do OK, on very large bolts, but it's
not an acceptable method for small diameter bolts.  3. Don't over torque
the EZout.  They're kinda brittle.  I have one (a #4) that I managed to 
turn about 30 degrees without breaking.  I keep it round to marvel at,
because generally they will snap pretty easily.  4. Thermal shock and 
mechanical shock are your friend.  Penetrant oil, especially if the area 
is rusted is also your friend.  

The plus of this technique is, where there's access to broken bolts, I've
always been able to remove the bolt segment.  Once or twice it's taken
3 or 4 cycles.  

Oh, a couple of times, working on farm equipment, I've mounted the EZout
in a 3/8" adapter, and put it on a "mouse" (small impact tool).  With the
mouse set to a low setting, I can apply continuous light mechanical shock
while the bolt cools.  The spraying of penetrant will cool the bolt
segment faster than the surrounding area, and helps free it.  Use a straw, 
and expect to make lots of smoke.

Good luck.


Forwarded message:
>  My adjuster bolt was seized allowing the pump to vibrate a little.  
> Could this have fatigued the bolts and caused them to fail?  Has anyone 
> else had this problem?
>   Loose accessory on a diesel cause the bolts to break?  Nah, never!
> (yeah, you bet it will.)  I don't envy you getting them out. :(  We have 
> a guy locally that uses a plasma torch to blow out busted bolts.  Does 
> a really nice job and beats fighting tough ones.  If an e-z out doesn't 
> get it first try or two.
>      Loren

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