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dculberson UltimaDork
3/10/18 5:43 p.m.

$500 should sell it quick as is on Craigslist. 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/10/18 6:29 p.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

Smart choice on the car, I think. Sorry about your day, but I'm very thankful for all first responders and knowing you all are standing by when the call comes in. 

hvoxi New Reader
3/11/18 12:06 p.m.

If it's out & you have access to it, isn't it worth trying to drill out for <$30-100 in quality  drill bits? Assuming you buy what you need, vs a set? Sorry to hear about the trade for the cayenne. 


*another idea, if it's easy to transport, is to drive it to a couple reputable machine shops & ask for a quote to remove the bolt. You seem to be very capable of setting up a plan of attack & following through; it seems like it's financially attractive (especially since you already have the parts), to get it back together for a $2000+ sale price.

I'm not a machinist, & don't know much about drill bits, but I have heard 135 degree split points recommended in brands like Chicago Latrobe, Norseman, Champion, Morse and I troll ebay once in awhile for them. Seems like if the machinist is too expensive, then it's worth gambling some patience, lubricant, and a drill guide on. Set yourself up for success like with your other projects.

The silver lining is that you have space, time, tools, knowledge, spare car, etc. (: 

TED_fiestaHP Reader
3/11/18 12:24 p.m.

     Cobalt drill bits.   Mcmaster carr   But it could be a few hours of work, broken bolts are never fun.   After the bolt is removed, might need to helicoil the aluminum.    

Crackers Dork
3/11/18 2:30 p.m.

That's a good spot for heating actually. Heat along the top of the ear and spray the bolt/hole with penetrant until cool. Heat it again and it will probably come out with the vise grips. 

At this point, your scrapping it anyway, what's it matter if your screw it up? 

It might be worth doing it for the experience so you can handle it on something you care about. 


Stefan GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/11/18 2:42 p.m.

Can you cut a slot on the end and attack it with heat and an impact screwdriver?

Billy_Bottle_Caps GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/11/18 4:07 p.m.

Offer it up on CL cheap, and let them come get it so you don't even have to bother dragging it to the junkyard. Less hassle. Well should be, but you know, CL.



TRoglodyte UltraDork
3/11/18 4:53 p.m.

Get a nut slightly smaller than the bolt and Hammer it onto the bolt. Leave enough of the nut sticking off of the bolt to weld to, turn the welder up to 11 and weld it solid. Let that cool and weld another nut to the top of the first one very very solid. Spray with weasel p, drink a beer and then try to impact it out.

AAZCD New Reader
3/11/18 4:57 p.m.

Thanks for the comments and ideas. I am having a hard time just giving up on it. Not that I care about the car, but I don't want to let that bolt beat me. I tried a heat gun on it. For a while it seemed like it would work, but the area of the bolt just won't hold heat. The whole end of the transmission warms up. Now it has had some heat cycles and penetrating oil, but Vice Grips still don't get it to rotate.

If it was flush, I'd drill, but I don't want to ruin what's left of the bolt stub. Here's my plan: Tomorrow either buy a welder, or take the transmission to 'Danny's Muffler & Tire' and have one of the guys weld a nut on for me. At this point, with the heat from welding and a large nut to wrench on, I'm sure it will come out.

TRoglodyte UltraDork
3/11/18 5:24 p.m.

In similar circumstances I have found that welding on the bolt will contain the heat and help break the seal of the Loctite. Acetone and Dexron for good measure. Beer does nothing for the Bolt helps my attitudesmiley

Wally GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/11/18 6:29 p.m.
Patrick said:

Remove vin tag, put gas can in hatch with lit candles in front seat, push off cliff.  Take video

Road flares work better than candles. 

TED_fiestaHP Reader
3/12/18 9:36 a.m.

    Welding a nut on it might work, but if it doesn't the welding could make it harder to drill.   I would just grind it off flush, less to drill, and then start drilling, but it won't be easy.....   I would have a bunch of cobalt drill bits handy, as soon as the cutting slows down, replace the drill bit.

     Last similar job I recall, studs on a exhaust manifold were to rusted to be used to connect the manifold to the exhaust pipe.  Hit the studs with a grinder, figured after I ground it flush it would be easy enough to drill thru and just use bolts.   Don't know what those studs were made of but they were tough to drill.  Of course I later had to replace the entire manifold but that is another story....


edizzle89 Dork
3/12/18 12:13 p.m.

would drilling it all the way through and using a bolt with a nut on the back side be a possibility? that could save some of the headache of trying to get the rest of the seize bolt out without having to worry about keeping the threads intact.

Agent98 Reader
3/12/18 1:09 p.m.

you can always try the candle wax trick





Blasfamous_1jz New Reader
3/12/18 1:31 p.m.

Your best bet in this situation is going to be drill/tap. Heating the aluminum wont help much, the temp you'll need to reach will be high, the aluminum will melt by then. Best bet, starting with a sharp 1/8" bit...slowly drill right through the bolt. To save some time, cut that exposed area of the bolt off so you're not drilling thorough it for nothing.  gradually increase drill bit size. Eventually you'll get to aluminum, at that point you'll probably have to tap for the next size up bolt. 

jfryjfry HalfDork
3/12/18 6:05 p.m.

With that much showing, you should definitely attack with a decent welder and an appropriate pair of nuts. 


but the method Trog described should work.  I would personally quench it after welding, (to try and break the loctite seal) and then heat up the aluminum around it and THEN try turning it.  You can even try a little clockwise first and then try to remove   

If it fails, you can cut and grind it all off and drill it out.   

But disregard my earlier post and hold off on the drilling until after you've properly welded a nut on it. 

AAZCD New Reader
3/12/18 9:33 p.m.

Here's what happened today:

I took the transmission to the muffler shop to have a nut welded onto the bolt. They only do gas welding with torch and said it wouldn't be a good idea. I checked welding shop nearby. They were busy. I could have dropped it off and picked it back up in a day or two, but didn't want to wait. I wanted action.

I tried drilling just to see how it would go. The answer came back, "Very slowly." It could work, but drilling almost 2" of grade 8.8 bolt is not fun. Welding is kind of fun. My old Harbor Freight welder was about the cheapest you can buy and the wire feed is jammed. I read about welders online and decided to get a Lincoln, Miller, or Hobart. I found a new Lincoln "Handy MIG" that is flux core and gas at Lowes for a little over $300. I figured that it might be too weak to weld the bolt, but it would be good for a lot of other jobs I have in mind.

It didn't work. I went through over a half dozen nuts. Different steel, flush, raised... Every time, the only thing that broke free was my weld on the bolt. It was good practice and I got better with the welder. I even tried slagging up the bolt for a better grip with the Vice-Grips, but the bolt wouldn't turn. If I was desperate, I would have kept working at it, or dropped it off at a shop. Instead, I reached the point where I wanted to do other things instead. I cleaned up my tools and slid the transmission back under the car.

Some sunny day a month from now, I might feel like putting the new clutch in that car. Right now I just want it out of the way. I live in a sub-division neighborhood in town. I have a 1.5 car garage and about a dozen cars. Nobody has complained, but it's a situation where something has to go out before anything else come in. This VW is blocking up the works. This evening, I'm really favoring the idea of stripping the easy to sell parts from it and scrapping the rest by Friday. ...If I do, I'm keeping the transmission. I will get that bolt out even if it's that last part left of the car.

Next month, I'm buying a small hangar at the local airport. Having that for shop space, will change things. wink

Dirtydog GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/12/18 9:58 p.m.

Since I'm a hack anyway, and know nothing about welding, I have an observation.  Since the project is FUBAR at this time, can you cut part of the ear off with a wiz wheel, and attack the bolt with half the threads missing.  Then re weld the ear back on?   Make a Van Gogh out of it.

TED_fiestaHP Reader
3/13/18 6:41 a.m.

   What method did you try for drilling....   I would use cobalt bits, start with 1/8 size, then 3/16, then work up in steps.   It can be a slow process, for sure.

      First grind off as much as possible, harder to drill thru weld.


         Might not have to remove all of it, if you can go maybe 3/4 inch deep, add a helicoil insert, that will be plenty for the bolt.


     Selling a complete working car should be easier than selling parts or a project car.


Torkel New Reader
3/13/18 7:08 a.m.

Reg welder: Flux core wire isn't very easy to work with. I would have opted for a 110V welder that can handle gas. Sooooo much easier to make strong and pretty welds with that.

Sometimes, the placement of the ground clip is more critical then you'd think. As you have it now, the power has to overcome a greasy ALU-surface, pass thru the aluminium, passed the loctite and into the bolt. When doing this (and I have toooo many times) I try to hold the nut with the welders ground clip. Turn her up to 11 and fire away. Pre-heating the bolt before welding also helps.

Take no prisoners! Failure is not an option! Die, bastard bolt, diiee!

Blasfamous_1jz New Reader
3/13/18 7:57 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

The weld isnt holding because you're trying to burn through the zinc coating on both the nut and whats left of the bolt. Also, welding coated parts is highly toxic.

Will UltraDork
3/13/18 6:05 p.m.

I'm watching progress on this stupid bolt like it's a kid that fell down a well. I need to know how this ends.

fasted58 MegaDork
3/13/18 6:13 p.m.
Blasfamous_1jz said:

In reply to AAZCD :

The weld isnt holding because you're trying to burn through the zinc coating on both the nut and whats left of the bolt. Also, welding coated parts is highly toxic.

Muriatic acid will burn off the zinc. Not popular around here tho. indecision

Crackers Dork
3/13/18 9:38 p.m.

You might try a piece of 1/4x1" flat bar with a hole drilled in the middle. 

If you taper the hole you can probably get more surface area to weld to and use the bar as it's own wrench. 

AAZCD New Reader
3/14/18 2:58 p.m.

It is done. The bolt is gone.

Will said:

I'm watching progress on this stupid bolt like it's a kid that fell down a well. I need to know how this ends.

Little Timmy has been rescued from the well.

A simple process in the end...

The idea that I didn't have a good ground for the weld made sense to me. I really wanted to fix this by welding a nut onto that bolt. I put the ground in position to contact both the nut and bolt and gave it a try. No good. My lack of skill and a welder that isn't made to work on metal this thick just won't get it.

Last resort: Drilling.

At this point taking it to someone else to fix would count as a failure. Welding was out. I would have to drill. My first attempt at drilling was with a standard high-speed steel bit - just to see what it would do. My garage is not well organized. I have a lot of tools, in a lot of old toolboxes and started looking around for something better. I found a good extractor set with drill bits and a full set of titanium nitride bits that I have never used. I started with a small bit from the extractor set. It went nowhere. Then I realized it was a left hand bit and I was rotating it backwards. Using it correctly, it cut right through the steel bolt. I stepped up a size, then tried an extractor. No good. It might have gone with enough torque, but I have broken an extractor before and I'm a little 'gun shy'. Larger and larger and all the way through. That bolt is now completely gone. The hole is tapped and I found a bolt to fit.


Oh E36 M3, now I'm back to replacing the clutch on this car and not even half way through....

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