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Thread: Easy Out Fail

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    Default Easy Out Fail

    I busted off a bolt head in my elliptical machine, so I tried to remove the remaining part by drilling a pilot hole and then using a #2 screw extractor. I drilled a little over a 1/4" before my cobalt bit gave out. Then I tapped in the screw extractor and tried turning out the bolt, counter clockwise. It never seemed to really bite, and soon it just turned freely. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Either the wrong diameter hole or not drilled deep enough.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    1/4" is seldom deep enough for an extractor to bite into the metal and then "screw" in to get a good bite on the bolt.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Low RPMs and cutting oil is the trick to not have drill bits fail. Depending on the size, I may drill a small hole first and follow it with a larger bit.

    I have square tapered shaft extractor that I like to use instead of those reverse helix easy-outs.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    Well, a bit of cutting oil allowed me to drill down an additional 1/4 inch, and the ez-out was able to bite into the bolt. Unfortunately, the ez-out snapped when I tried to turn it out, using only a t-handle and minimal force. I guess I should have used a vice grips from further down.

    Any suggestions on how to remove the broken ez-out or is this thing toast?

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sometimes they use a left-handed thread on rotating joints to ensure it doesn't come loose with constant rotation. You sure you aren't trying to tighten it accidentally?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    Not in this case.
    The original bolt head snapped off by tightening it "righty-tighty".

  8. #8
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Is there enough of the easy-out protruding that you could cut a slot in it with a dremel skinny disk and then use a screwdriver on it?

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    E-Z outs, like taps, are hardened metal. They are almost impossible to drill, or "chop" out. If the bolt snapped while you were inserting it, then it must have been VERY tight, either because of cross threading or bad threads, and if so you may NOT be able to take it out, even if you can get the E-Z out removed.

  10. #10
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Impossible to drill out an easy-out, but not impossible to grind a slot into it. After the easy-out has been removed, what's left of the bolt can be drilled out and the treads chased with a tap. If it isn't a through hole, it will be more work.

    I have seen where flakes of chrome come off a bolt and bind it up but good, making it near impossible to remove with an easy-out.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    The bolt wasn't cross-threaded. It was a little bit loose (causing the elliptical machine to rattle a bit), when I put a socket wrench on it and busted off the bolt head.

    I tried slotting the initial bolt with my dremel, but it was too recessed. Same with the ez-out.

    I read where some people have had luck hollowing out the ez-out with a burred carbide dremel bit, but others said that didn't work for them. I also read where you could chisel it out with a good center-hole punch or drill it out with a carbide drill bit.
    Last edited by Kiko; 03-21-2011 at 08:36 AM.

  12. #12
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Maybe a diamond core bit?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Something caused the bolt to be "tight" so that the head snapped off instead of tightening, and if it was because the bolt was "bottomed out" it will be too tight to remove, so you may have to drill it out and retap the hole.

  14. #14
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Can you post a pic of the failed bolt? If there is enough meat around the edges of the easy-out, perhaps a series of small holes drilled around it may liberate it. It may result in an oversize hole that needs to be tapped out to a larger bolt size.

    Maybe abandoning it and drilling a new hole beside the existing one could be an option.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    I'll be messing with it again over the weekend.
    Drilling one or more smaller holes next to the ez-out and then prying it out with a sharp center punch is one of the options I have been considering. Then I may just drill out the remaining bolt as suggested.

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