In this video I bring you along as I show you again my favorite method for removing broken bolts. Especially exhaust manifold bolts. There are many ways to do this but this is by far my favorite. Especially when it works ☺
Want to see what to do now that the bolt is out but you find out the threads are all messed up? Check out this video:
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Wouldn't be a day less than me without a Chevrolet And this is what we're working on, folks. it's a little shitty I think it's an old one probably or ish 2500 HD It's got the big 6-0 and it's got your common manifold leaks. except this case is a little different because some of these already been here. This has been done before, so we have bolts with, you know, lots of stacked up washers and weird things holding manifolds on.

and you know the like. The rear hole here has. you know, no threads in it at all. The bolt Larry just pulled out and all the bolts are breaking off and I assume uh, you know some of them have been cross-threaded because they're coming out and the threads are coming with them.

This bolt was snapped off also which I got that out and that was kind of. The purpose of this video is what I want to show you is one of my favorite methods for retracting broken bolts, particularly in this case where you know this one here has been sheared off for a long time and the good news is it's sticking out a little bit now. The method I'm going to use is one that I showed. you know, perhaps five or six years ago on some YouTube videos and I just want to kind of just do a refresher on it.

Uh, my favorite method for extraction is using the welder and we're going to clean the end of the stud up a little bit. Usually these GMS come apart quite easily if nobody's been there. I Don't know if this one or this one up front that you can't see which. I'll show you I don't know if they're cross shredded in there, but we're gonna I'm just going to show you the method that I use with the Uh with the torch or with the welder and we'll get these out and we'll have fun doing it.

first thing first. we're gonna mix the end of it a little bit shiny with a classic Studio There it's shiny and yeah, you're gonna see some stuff going to exhaust parts. You just have to get past it. close your eyes when the other.

we're going to stick a eight millimeter nut. You could probably use a 5, 16 or whatever you have that fits somewhat close. Let me use a 13 socket. We're gonna bring her on there just a little bit.

We want to leave a little bit of a gap out here in the end, and then we're gonna fry that sucker on there with some Miller time. We're going to attach our ground really close to where we're working, click right on the valve. No, don't do that. We'll stick them right there in the head.

We'll scrape it back and forth to make it shiny a little bit. If we can, they usually hold there. We go almost There we go. Now we're happy.

Take your MIG welder freeze and a Millermatic it's 211. we got our cranked up nuclear. Give it just a little okay. make sure we got a good connection right.

Close your eyes, and just fry that sucker on your nuclear setting. Oh yeah, and then the important part is is that you wait. give it some time to cool. But before you do that, we're going to fire it up a little bit.

And what we want to do is we want to get in here with the porch. now. Aluminum is quite difficult to keep. We're going to come in and I'm just going to heat near where that stud goes into the head.
Not so much to expand the metal because this is going to cool almost instantly. Once we take the torch away, the aluminum pulls the heat away very quickly. Um, but what I want to do is right next to the hole. There's usually quite a bit of corrosion and heating it up usually breaks out free and oftentimes will break the bond of that bowl that's stuck in the head.

We're gonna fire a bit. We're just gonna jump in here, just tickle this thing, come down just like I say near that stud, just massage it with the flame. I Hear it sizzling, popping away some of the crap that'll be stuck in there. give the whole thing a nice little glow and walk away.

and then don't get the other one right out right away You want to do at this point is either give it a handy with a ratchet, we're going to grab a wrench. Let's see because I'm torch blind right now. Wait till your vision comes back so it's a good time to start. but you can see the head.

it's cool. either that or I'm really strong. This is still pretty toasty, but we're going to give it just a light little wiggle and it might break off. and it might not if you guys weren't my way.

I could actually look and see if the stud's turning. Oh gosh, you guys can't see anything. an enhance I'm just giving it some nice little Wiggles I see white dust dropping down so that's a good. that's a good sign because that means the corrosion is Breaking Free So it feels pretty good and you know what's going to make this thing come out nice and easy? Stuck.

stand back. it might fall out some dub D because you never know there could be a little water up in there. So now we're going to stick the ratchet in it. Now that it feels like it's moving, you might have to.

you know, work it girl. Oh look at that boom oh she comes or the nut just broke free on the sud one or the others. but I'm thinking we won this battle and there you go. you go girl.

look at that I know she comes so easy peasy. So that's one of my favorite methods for bolt extraction in case you've missed it on any other video and there it is and hints this looks like a regular bolt when you're done and you can put it back in your bolt bin if you want. I Was kind of hoping on the uh, maybe on the other side maybe we'll have one broke off the tree sets because some people in the comments right now are like oh, this is a perfect situation which it is I agree if one is broke off, flush or recessed a couple threads still totally doable. same method a little different process at that point, hopefully one breaks on the other side.

I can show you I use a flat washer or a washer. as my mother-in-law would say, do you wash your hands yeah I washed them with soap but uh, you just take a flat washer here. take for example like you would use like a a USS 5 16 you would stick it over there and what I'll do prior to that. this makes sense to you.
if it's broke off flush, take like a 3 8 drill bit so something a little distance eight millimeter here so use like you know, a 10 millimeter, 10 and a half or 5 16 or a three inch drill bit and very lightly on the outside. here. just drill it down a couple threads just to get rid of these outside threads. like the first two until you hit the bolt.

you know, don't be reaming on it and then stick your washer up here. fry the Worcester on with the welder, then stick the nut on top of the washer and just fry the living heck out of this to the washer and that will typically that'll take you home. That'll give you what you need to get. So this one was half sheared off um when we started.

so I barely touched this one. It broke off through its weight so it's a little bit shiny there right now. We can give it a quick little polish, so let's do that. so hopefully that makes sense about the ones being recessed using the drill.

Maybe I can show you on the other side if we're lucky and we'll get something to snap off over there. Of course, this one already had some broken ones. I Got that kind of winch down there and again, this is a very ideal situation. A because it's a Chevy and you can take the fender liner out right in front of your face and B because the studs are sticking out.

Look at that, she's on there. Let's get an old Miller time here. Wow, it's always like an octopus cords over here. I'm gonna shove that right down in there.

That'll get some people parked. Be sure to get a little, make sure you got a good ground. Yeah, that's good. I Don't give her give her beans here.

Ah No. I did it Rookie. Oh freaking jerk. Stuck that right on there because it's over here tapping it.

Come on. All right, cut that off. Boom. She's good now.

Foreign Here we go. Close your eyes. Oh man. she sizzled out on me again because we have to set our nuclear and I'm closing my eyes.

Come on man. Oh, we did it. Now we've done fry that right to the tip. All right, we're gonna set that down.

pretend we didn't see it. Oh, she might have got a little too globby on me. I don't know if we're gonna get the ratchet on their socket on here. Um, maybe naked.

Gosh damn idiot. Now what do you do? All right. Screwed. We're just gonna go next.

Size bigger. Just go with a 14. So in this case, it's an exercise bigger than 13 believe it or not and prior going up there and getting after it. I've got like a triple knot thing going on down here in the courts.

now. process. give that a little Heat and then just give this a little feel we're going to skip the wrench part. Maybe we shouldn't.

Maybe we shouldn't and again, these may be cross threaded in there. We don't really know. but I just felt that good feeling. You know that one good feeling that you get every once in a while? Oh yeah, sometimes that feeling's fault.
So let me tell you I know it worked on the last one. I hope it works on this one. I sure do like the smell of burning WD-40 am I right. Feels like something's happening.

Oh yeah well you can tell by the intensity then I think you're happening. Oh oh she's Skippy on the socket. Now she could be Skippy Let's go back to our 13. let me get it all worn out 13.

and this is a potential problem. from using the welder is you get a little too carried away and it deforms the outside of the nut because yeah, it's so hot. you know kind of glosses off so to speak. Yes, we gave old one in there.

there. We go there. You have it folks. Should we reach up there and touch that? I don't think we probably should give it a try anyways.

how are you gonna know if it's hot or not? Too bad. not too bad. So there it is. there's that one.

you can throw that one in your bolt bin. so there you go and then I guess that answers. Has the angel question what we're gonna do about the hole that has no threads in it? Good question. a we can pretend we didn't see it or B we can fix it which we will but prior to doing that I'm going to take a thread chaser because looking up in all of these holes I'm going to check the depth of them.

Make sure that I'm not being deceived to make sure that they're all around about the same depth. because why did somebody stack up? You know, a bunch of washers? This is our fancy depth gauge. so it's the screwdriver finger trick. Okay, in case you don't know that this way we can make sure they're all going to the same depth.

It's the quick and dirty Death checker. Okay, they all feel like the same depth. Even this guy back here. This thing's not really doing much for us anymore, is it? Let me run a thread tissue through those and we'll come back.

And I'll show you how to put in a helicoil foreign.

94 thoughts on “The best method for removing broken bolts”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jeffrey Strader says:

    Eric my 07 RAM 1500 still has broken exhaust manifold bolts on its 5.7 Hemi. Just waiting for you to fly down to Oklahoma to fix them….😛

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gw Builder says:

    Thanks for reminding me I need to fix the manifold on an 02 Dakota Sport v6.
    Stick welder and MAPP gas are what I have for specialty tools.
    I'm so excited.😶
    Wire feed makes such a difference.
    Run whatcha brung.🤷‍♂️

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars zjgw72 says:

    Congrats on the 800k 👍

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Kathleen Kelly-Simpson says:

    @SouthMainAuto Ray just ran into this problem on a Subaru water pump bolt, and didn't have any luck. It broke off again, recessed. Needless to say, he's a trifle upset.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James Terrill says:

    Nothing like experience! Maybe a little good luck too. Thanks for another useful video…

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars A G says:


  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Allegany2010 says:

    The reason WD-40 and heat work well together??…..WD drives out the water which is vaporized by the heat thereby steam cleaning the threads of rust. You're welcome.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars stevencox75 says:

    i saw someone failing at this earlier <3 good work

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jhinote1 says:

    I think I heard A little Lucky the Leprechaun in “ It’s got the big 6 Ohh” 😆

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rob Peabo says:

    I can wait. It has been a while since we have seen you remove broken bolts from a head. It was a handy reminder. Nust admit i can't believe I heard you say that hopefully there will be one broken flush on the other side – youtube content or not, I would hate for it to be an absolute bugger to get off!

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jeff Winter says:

    "Usually, these GMs come apart pretty easily…"talking about the whole vehicle?!😂🤣

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars youtubesHATESPEECHpolicysucksballs says:

    Plenty of broken bolts in my time, My heart just sinks a little when a bolt breaks.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jerry Hatrick says:

    Extracting n is an art. And a craft. Earned the hard way some times.
    I broke an easy out once and never used one again. Because one they do? Your screwed.
    I use torx bits though. And they also make stud tools small enoughh to grip these small botls if enough is sticking out.
    And the washer trick is money also.
    One needs to know what method to use when to stop and switch. Desstroying an engine is highly avoidable.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jason Shoemaker says:

    Make a trip over to Ray's he needs help maybe he will pay you to get the broken stud out for him so he dont have to buy a new block for his customer

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Epic Rage Gaming says:

    when you say fry it, do you mean turn the voltage up?

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Daryl Morgan says:

    Great tips Eric O. You,re a legend. I think Rainman needs your help.

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ley Braith says:

    Wow, you're so lucky those were probably broken by over torqueing rather than binding and snapped from corrosion.
    "Good enough to put back in the bolt bin", reckon corroded bolts would be put in the other bin for sure.

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ben Ryan says:

    If I could subscribe again I would.
    35 years of engineering and you just taught me something.
    This just made broken bolts a whole lot easier.
    Im a machinist, so i do what I know, drill, easy out, or spark eroder.
    But even I can weld on nuclear amps.

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars floorpizza says:

    Algorithm comment. Thanks for the video, Mr. O.

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars THEDRAGONBOOSTER8 says:

    Please don't show Rainman Ray this video .He is going through a hard time..

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Zippy TheChicken says:

    yeah thats not a fun day but getting it done gives you a smile.

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Shane's Getting Handy says:

    Eric, is the TikTok channel yours, or is someone stealing your content? It just got posted yesterday, and is getting quite a few views already.

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Craig Sowers says:

    You forgot to mention your trick from years before to initially "rock" the welded nut back and forth to break the rust bond … not go full tilt counterclockwise. Also, free teck tip for going nuke on the flush/receding studs … put a "Copper Washer" between the nut and stud which will prevent any unintended weld to the heads (especially if iron heads): "Copper" won't adhere to iron/aluminum. Good job Mr. O !!!

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 1keykneedeep says:

    Nice work Eric. I imagine these situations try your patience.

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jayss10 says:

    I have a feeling at least 2 other holes are badly messed up on that head. If it was my rig I’d be installing inserts in every manifold bolt hole on that head. Granted that’s my position as a DIY guy not a shop owner. 😊

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Posh panda says:

    if the aluminum is broken, like on a motorcycle. Use a Würth bushing, it can fix it…

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mr Clitheroe says:

    Can't tell a lie, I have put "bolts" like that straight back into the holes 😉

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Weekend Warrior Welding & DIY Projects says:

    Im 100% positive he posted this video because of what happened to Ray on the Subaru

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars dwoodog says:

    I've learned some of these videos in general, not just SMA are not geared to the saturday mechanic. No torch, no welder…..good luck.

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dean Sapp says:

    I have a 2007 Buick Rainier with a 5.3 LS V8. Its got exhaust manifold leaks. Its time to drive 270 miles to SMA for repairs

  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dean Sapp says:

    The best way to remove broken bolts ? Thats easy, Have Eric do it

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mr Big Van Life says:

    There is no substitute for years of experience and the confidence… That said, we all know the true secret is the old double ya Dee 😉

  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars M. G. says:

    TIG welding a nut on the stud then staying on without adding metal just heat will get it to break any corrosion or loctite bond without spatter, let it cool just enough that it is no longer soft and it will turn out easily, no flame wrench needed.

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Adam’s Family N Fun says:

    “You go girl” lmao

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ryan H says:

    be a day
    at SMA
    a Chevrolet
    Eric droppin' bars.

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Steven Helgren says:

    Was this for Ray?

  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Patrick Barber says:

    Your just showing off because ray man ray couldn’t do it on the Subaru 😂

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ecleveland1 says:

    Videos like this are invaluable to DIY'ers that don't work on cars and trucks for a living. Knowing how to remove a broken bolt or stud like this without taking the head off the engine and taking it to a machine shop can save you a boatload of time and money.

  39. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars mike nonameneeded says:

    I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you trolling YouTube with the WD 40. It really makes my day. Thank you

  40. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gav says:

    Hey Eric, you really need to give Rainman Ray a call. He's about to scrap a Subu engine due to an unsuccessful attempt at removing a broken water pump bolt.😢

  41. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars localcrew says:

    You’re making bolts! Can’t beat the classic “Whizzy Wheel”.

  42. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Eric Boudle says:

    Thanks for helping out Rain Man Ray's Subaru Broken water pump bolt.

  43. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bruce Hobbs says:

    You brought a whole new meaning to “Miller Time!” Not a sponsor. 😂

  44. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 77 Zrod says:

    When you hear that "crack" ya know its free. I like to use a small battery powered impact gun. Its really easy to quickly rotate rusted fastners back and forth.

  45. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Beto Mendez says:

    800k congrats 👏🎉 well deserved "sma"

  46. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James DK says:

    Hi, I wish Raymond knew the torch step recently.

  47. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mike P says: