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Old 11-11-2010, 03:18 PM
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Alternator bracket broke off in engine head

I was wondering if its hard to drill and tap a broken bolt in the engine head. I have an 1966 Impala hardtop with a 327. I am looking for some suggestions or tips on how to fix this issue. Have never had a broken bolt like this before and have heard that its not easy to fix. Thank you

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Old 11-11-2010, 03:28 PM
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I do them all the time..

Center punch the broken piece. Use a left hand drill bit (Harbor Freight has a full set for about $9.00). Start drill bit carefully and keep centered. Drill thru the old bolt. If bolt doesn't loosen as you go thru it. Use a square easy out to back broken piece out..

If you are lucky it'l take twenty minutes. If not...a few hours.. After you've finished. You will realize why machine shops get $25-50.00 or more to remove broken bolts... Last week I had a new car dealer bring in a newer 6-cyl block with 12 head bolts broken off.. That was fun..
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:32 PM
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Last time I had a broken bolt I just used a chisel to ease it out.
If the bolt is broken flush with the head its pretty easy to just use the corner of the chisel to tap the broken bolt out of the head. Tap it on the top edge of the broken bolt and move around it until you can grab it with some players.
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:40 PM
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There is a tool for this. First you use a punch to make a small hole in the cener of the bolt, then drill it a little, then use a screw extractor to take it out. The screw extractor threads in backwards (left hand thread) and when it gets tight it spins the bolt out. Takes like ten minutes.
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:48 PM
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The problem is if it broke because it is rusted into the head an easy out is most likely not going to work. I would hit it with some PB blaster a few times and let it sit or heat it and cool it as quickly as possible a couple times. This will usually break the bond. If you break the easy out off in the bolt you will have a more challenging job.
After heating or lubing it, I would first try the chisel method mentioned in a prior post. If that doesnt work, drill it and try the easy out but be very careful not to break it.
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:40 PM
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Got a welder? Get a nut a size or 2 bigger than the bolt threads, center it over the bolt, weld a bead from the bolt (focus the weld bead on the bolt itself) through the nut eventually welding the nut to it. This does a few things: the heat loosens the bolt and you just welded a new head onto it. Works more times than not. It usually helps to let it cool before applying too much pressure.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:01 PM
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In this area, there is a man that goes around to all the shops and welds out broken bolts. He does those GM inline 6 heads bolts everyday, they break when you go to remove them. Call some local shops and check around. Drilling a bolt out without any practice can be tricky.

I now copy his technique using a TIG to build up the remaining piece of the bolt and then weld a nut to that once you get it up high enough. It can be difficult if the bolt is broke more than twice the diameter below the adjacent surface.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMatch
Got a welder? Get a nut a size or 2 bigger than the bolt threads, center it over the bolt, weld a bead from the bolt (focus the weld bead on the bolt itself) through the nut eventually welding the nut to it. This does a few things: the heat loosens the bolt and you just welded a new head onto it. Works more times than not. It usually helps to let it cool before applying too much pressure.
I have welded out who knows how many bolts in my many years as a heavy equipment mechanic / welder and the best way by far is to weld a washer one size smaller than the bolt to the broken stub . For example if it is a 3/8" bolt , you would weld a 5/16" washer . You can see what you are doing much better and there is less chance of welding the bolt to the part . Chip as needed to get a clean slag free weld and then you can weld a bigger nut to the washer without worry of welding the bolt to the threads . Stainless steel welding rod will not burn off to the sides if the amperage is correct and I have welded out 3/8" bolts that were broken off 1/2" back in the hole with 3/32" stainless rods. But it takes a lot of practice to be able to do that . If it is flush, the washer and nut trick should work for you using 3/32" 7018 rods . Thanks for the memory of laying on my side welding out broken stainless exhaust studs on a D10N Cat dozer . LOL .....Not fun ! Allan
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