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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I broke the rear strut-to-knuckle pinch bolt. Searched and found several threads. All but one poster were able to remove the broken bolt. Only one person had to replace the knuckle. The statistic is on my side.

QUESTION: I suppose the name of the game is to drill a hole as large, deep and centered as possible. And in-car repair, right? I also read about drilling out the threads and using grade 8 7/16" x 2 1/2" bolt/nut. Thank you.

I used to earn bread and butter dealing with rust for many years. But I admit I have underestimated the thread-jamming power of rust. Another lesson.

2005 Vulcan 120k rear drum
 

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Be sure to use a ny-loc (plastic insert) locking nut. Whichever way you go, slather on the anti-seize liberally!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I am drilling it out. I don't want to take a chance with extractor. As someone wrote, once it breaks, I have to replace the knuckle. Thanks for reminding me of anti-seize.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, it's not sticking out at either end. I was able to unscrew the bolt about 1/2" before it broke. The threaded end is flush and the broken end is about 1/2" recessed.
 

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Cake monster
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No, it's not sticking out at either end. I was able to unscrew the bolt about 1/2" before it broke. The threaded end is flush and the broken end is about 1/2" recessed.
Use some kind of cutting oil on the bit. If you're really good with a drill and you have the room you should be able to go right through the bolt. If you suck at if or if you have space constrictions, you may end up drilling cockeyed :lol2: You need to be able to apply enough force needed to keep the drill straight and to penetrate the bolt, so getting your arms in there is a must.

You were probably twisting the bolt more than loosening it. Lots of times, you can feel the bolt start to twist, that's when you need to start adding heat, penetrating oil and maybe an air tool. Make sure you invest in 2 or 3 good steel bits for the job, something brand name.



That's the bolt, right? Or is it really different on the rear?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, that's the same bolt for the rear. I am pretty sure it will be cockeyed.

I started with 1/8" cobalt drill. I am moving up to 3/16" now. I will report back when done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is the exit wound after 3/16" drill bit. What's next? Continue until all is drilled out? Then I will have a larger bolt hole. Or attempt to extract it after 1/4"? Thanks.
 

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Cake monster
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Yes, that's the same bolt for the rear. I am pretty sure it will be cockeyed.

I started with 1/8" cobalt drill. I am moving up to 3/16" now. I will report back when done.
Helps if you have a side handle on the drill. You have a better chance at starting it straight if you use cutting oil, it'll bite quicker instead of bouncing around on the bolt. Don't do drill it too quickly, use it on a slower setting and apply lots of force down on the drill, apply cutting oil to the hole and bit as you go through it.

Just my 2c.

edit: looks like you barely got it through without touching the threads. It'll be tough to get the bigger bit to drill straight now. Dumb question, is the hole big enough to fit a mini hack saw blade?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks. I broke 1/4" cobalt drill bit. Do I have to cut out the knuckle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, it was jammed. But I cut out the pinch bolt + drill bit in the middle. The opening in the knuckle for the strut was wide enough for the air cutting blade. Now the strut is out and the drill bit is out. What's remaining is the broken pinch bolt.

I am going to a hardware store to find a saw blade narrow enough for the hole. It may work.

I am afraid this work is going to overflow to tomorrow. Thanks for helping me out.
 

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Cake monster
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Yes, it was jammed. But I cut out the pinch bolt + drill bit in the middle. The opening in the knuckle for the strut was wide enough for the air cutting blade. Now the strut is out and the drill bit is out. What's remaining is the broken pinch bolt.

I am going to a hardware store to find a saw blade narrow enough for the hole. It may work.

I am afraid this work is going to overflow to tomorrow. Thanks for helping me out.
If you can't find a blade small enough, you can try a bolt extractor bit on the drill, it'll probably come out pretty easy now. You'll likely have to clean the threads up either way.

That's about all I can think of, it's a bitch to get a broken bolt out. Sorry for your luck. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Job completed. Thanks for the 7/16" bolt/nut idea.

1) If the pinch bolt breaks, you can drill it.
2) If the drill bit breaks and gets jammed, there still is a way. You can cut it in the middle. The gap in the knuckle is wide enough for air cutter. Once cut in half length, the drill bit comes loose.

I will do the other side s-l-o-w. Thanks.
 

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The bolts have some kind of thread locking compound on them from the factory. The thread locker (plus the rust and corrosion) make them a disaster to remove, as you found out. A good heating the knuckle, even with a propane torch (side opposite the bolt head) seems to really help alot, as I think it softens up or burns out the thread locker compound. An air impact wrench after a good heating makes them come out without too much trouble.
 

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The bolts have some kind of thread locking compound on them from the factory. The thread locker (plus the rust and corrosion) make them a disaster to remove, as you found out. A good heating the knuckle, even with a propane torch (side opposite the bolt head) seems to really help alot, as I think it softens up or burns out the thread locker compound. An air impact wrench after a good heating makes them come out without too much trouble.
^ +1 Lots of heat and impact tools are the way to go. Use MAPP gas instead of propane if you can. It gets the heat in there faster.
 
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