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Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas

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andy r
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:40 pm    Post subject: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I was installing a new fuel pump on a Kohler V twin small engine when a 1/4 inch bolt twisted off that holds the fuel pump to the top of the head. The fuel pump runs off of the valve rocker arm. There are 4 bolts total and the other three came loose easily. The bolts appear to have some hardness. Fortunately today I was able to drill entirely through the center of the broken bolt with a 9/64 drill bit. I tried to use an easy out to back out the broken bolt but was very careful not to break off the easy out. It didn't want to back out. Worst come to worst I can just keep drilling on the bolt and re-tap the hole and I might try some left hand drill bits. Here is my question .... what things can I do to help loosen the bond between the aluminum and the steel if I want it to back out with either the easy out or left hand drill bits? I have been spraying penetrating oil on it. Does heating and cooling help and should this be done with a hand held propane torch? Any ideas are appreciated. Thank you.
 
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SVcummins
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

A little heat will break the corrosion between the steel and aluminum.
 
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David G
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Can you hit is with welding rod and nut?
 
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Steve@Advance
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Chances are the bolt has seized in the hole, pulled threads out of the hole and embedded them in the bolt.

If you're sure it's a 1/4-20 bolt, try drilling the remains out with a #7 drill, then carefully tap the remaining threads out. Might check a good bolt, I'm thinking they are 6mm.

If there are good threads left, job done.

If there are no threads left, either step up to the next bigger bolt, or install a Helicoil thread repair coil.

Be very careful, keep everything straight and centered.
 
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SETX
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

An old tractor mechanic always swore on a stuck bolt or nut....or in your case broken one....try to tighten it first.
Theory is it breaks the bolt loose so you can back it out.
 
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ihcarl66
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Guy I know does all tritan broken exhaust studs for Ford dealers in our area mig weld a washer around stub of bolt then weld nut to washer let cool and they usually release
 
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andy r
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Bolt is broken off below the surface. Cannot weld on a nut of washer.
 
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T.R.K.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Well first, unless your Kohler is a K-series or a Magnum, its not a 1/4" bolt, its metric.

Second, that bolt is probably self-threading and somewhat harder than a normal bolt.

Third, you are not alone. That same thing happens to me when I work on those engines at least once a year. Those fasteners tend to seize in the head. I bet you backed it out about 1-1/2 turns, then it broke. What happened is a bit of aluminum froze to the threads of the bolt and wedged tight as it backed out.

While you can try heat-like from a propane torch, not acetyline, your best bet is to just drill it out, run a tap in the hole, and put a new bolt in.
 
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Fatjay
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote


I've had that happen plenty of times. Lots of times the 3 bolts are more than sufficient to hold the pump on. I've drilled a slightly smaller hole inside the broken off bolt, tapped it, and just used a smaller bolt to hold it in as well.

If you're hell bent on getting it out, drill 1/8", tap it, get a grade 8 1/8" bolt, shove some jb-weld in the hole, screw it in. Let it sit for a day or so, then try to back it out. The JB weld should be gummed up in the threads providing plenty of grabbing power. Heat up the aluminum before you try to back it out, the aluminum will heat up much faster than the steel.
 
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Poppa Noel
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Do you have any left hand drill bits?
 
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jtwat
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you have a wire feed welder, you can build up the broken off bolt until it protrudes and a nut welded on.
 
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jeffcat
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:40 am    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Just me...I have started giving things a little squirt of Kroil if you have time to let it work. Electrolysis is a B.....h.
 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:42 am    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Add a little heat to the equation and it should come right out. Don't try to heat the aluminum casting; it's just a big heat sink. Instead, if you have an acetylene torch, put a small brazing tip on it and apply heat directly to the broken bolt. Once you get the bolt to glow a bit, it should come out easily with the easy-out.
 
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ss55
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:02 am    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Bee's wax?
 
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Ken Macfarlane
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:52 am    Post subject: Re: Steel bolt broke off in an aluminum block - need ideas Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Can usually catch them with welder down to 2 or 3 threads below surface.
 
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