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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2000, 11:13 PM
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Help! Drilling out a steel bolt

Hey all knowing wise ones... I spend much of the evening trying to remove the windshield hinges so that I can have the body painted tomorrow, while I have the hinges refinished etc... Problem however is the removing of the lower windshield bolts... The nuts on the back of the bolts have broken free, and there is no way to get anything on the back of them... Hence I was planning on drilling them out. (I seem to recall a few of you guys recommending that at one time, and I thought it a great idea). I don't seem to be able to get through them... No drill bit I've tried works. Who can help me with ideas on getting through the steel bolts. Do I need to find "special" drill bits, or should I find a hand held grinder tool? Would some type of local shop, have the tools I need to get through these. Ideas all welcome...

Thanks,

CJ

Rusty beat-up old junker with many problems.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2000, 11:26 PM
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Re: Help! Drilling out a steel bolt

I just finished taking off my windshield on my CJ-7 and I had the same problem as you. I don't believe the bolts were ever actually welded to the frame as every one of mine came off. It was easy for me to get them off because I had the dash off. With the dash off you can get a socket back there and then you are all set. If you can't do that and really need to drill it out...
Get a brand new carbide drill and go with a bit just smaller than the torx hole. Drill that all the way through, then take a larger bit and drill it down into the hole and what hopefully will happen is the head will break off. Yes I wanted this to happen. You should then be able to use a good screw extractor to back the rest of it out pretty easily. I had to take two of them out like this before I realized I could get a socket on the back. Hope that helps.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-12-2000, 12:51 AM
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Re: Help! Drilling out a steel bolt(LONG)

Okay, it is possible to get a wrench back behind the dash to hold the nut and undscrew. You're going to HAVE to do this when you reinstall them. But I'll give you some tips. I used some cheap ass drill bits, and they worked for one side. Then I broke them so I got some more cheap ass drill bits. Don't worry, the first set was about 10 years old and had been through hell. I don't know what size bit I used, but I know the bolt is a 5/16. If you go too small, you'll have to re-drill cause it won't weaken it enough. It really doesn't matter how big you go cause you're gonna have to replace the bolt and nut anyway. Now drill in quite a ways. All the way isn't neccasary. Take a punch and put it in the hole you drill and hit it a few times with a hammer. You should have drilled away enough to weaken the bolt and it'll break and fall right through. Also, make sure the drill is not in reverse. This may or may not be from my experience Okay, so I drilled for 5 minutes(acutally making progress) with the drill in reverse. Partially the reason I snapped a bit. After you've knocked all of them through, have a beer(or other drink) and be proud that you got the easy part done! Now, here's the pain in the ass part, installation. I used new hex bolts for my hinges. I only had a few problems. First, don't use 5/16 washers with them, they don't completly fit around the presunk hole for the torx bolts. Second, I noticed that I had to shave one of the bolts on the side cause my door hinge got caught on it. If you're using torx bolts, stop reading this, and slam your head against the screen til you realize that torx = sh!t! Okay, now a tricky part I found was putting the nuts on the back side. Get a nut with a lip on it so it won't fall through your wrench, or super glue a washer onto the nut(what I did). If you don't, your wrench will keep falling off the nut(hard to explain). I also used lock nuts and that made it harder to thread. The passenger side is a piece of cake. There's plenty of room to put your hand up with a wrench and put the nuts on. Make sure you adjust your hinges for the doors. Now, this is the VERY sucky part. It IS possible to do, but very hard/painful. For the drivers side, you have to squeeze and monkey around and do everything to get your and up in there. Some people said they removed the e-brake assembly, but I didn't find that neccasariy. It helps to tape the nut to the socket so it won't fall off. This took me about an hour to install the drivers side. The hardest part is the damn speakers kept catching my wrench with the magnet. Also, since you have CJ this may be easier or may be hard to do. I did this on a YJ. I do know that it'll be rustier. But since you're drilling them out, it really doesn't play a roll. Hope I've helped and hope this isn't TOO long. If you have any questions, respond to this or e-mail you. I'd be glad to help you out some more!

"James and the Giant Jeep"
1993 Wrangler 4.0/5spd, Herculined Interior
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-12-2000, 06:49 AM
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Re: Help! Drilling out a steel bolt(LONG)

Thanks for all the info guys... I'm gonna get a "newer" bit today. That was most likely my problem, the old crappy ones that I've had here for years just can't do it... Maybe I'll remember to oil as I drill this time too... I actually got new torx bolts if you guys want a good laugh, but instead of using a normal nut, I'm planning on trying a butterfly nut so I won't need to get a wrench up in there. I tried like a mad man possessed to get a wrench up in there, and have already run the problem of the speaker magnet (ha, ha... who would of figured!) Also, there is this sprayed in insulation up there, which coats the nut heads, so that it's impossible to get a wrench on it, much less figure out what size to use... Hence I'm drilling today... I kind of wish someone I knew had one of those "dremmel" tools and I could try to grind out the head of the bolt. Oh well... Wish me luck, and I'll let you guys know how it turns out. Thanks...

CJ

Rusty beat-up old junker with many problems.
post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2000, 09:15 AM
 
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Re: Help! Drilling out a steel bolt(LONG)

On the lower hinges, the nuts are *not* welded in place. You need to get a wrench/socket/whatever back there to hold them. Even if you do somehow manage to drill them out, you'll have to get a wrench or whatever back there in order to put the new ones in. I've done it before...as a matter of fact, I think it was one of the first Jeep mods I ever did 10 years ago (broke a factory hinge folding the windshield down to wire up a light bar and replace the hinges with chrome ones...that was a mistake...nothing but stainless now) so it couldn't have been that difficult [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2000, 09:31 AM
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Re: Help! Drilling out a steel bolt(LONG)

NO DON'T DRILL THEM OUT!!!!!!!!

You have to get behind there with a wrench and hold the nut on the other side. What you have done is loolend the bolt up just enough so that the nut turns inside all of the body sealant that got sprayed in there when your jeep was put together. Mine didn't want to come out either. Then I took a screwdriver and chipped away enought of the white insulation crap to get at the nut with a wrench and then it came out easily. You are going to make it too hard on yourself and may even mar up your hinge in the process.

Hope I'm not too late[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2000, 10:59 PM
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Re: Help! Drilling out a steel bolt(LONG)

The insulation crap is what caused me the most trouble I must say... Not to mention that everytime I stick the wrench up there it slams into and gets stuck on the speakers.

I was able to remove some of them with little or no effort, and I drilled out a few of them with a new bit, slow speed, high pressure, and lots of 30wt. on the bit... The hinge is shot, so I wasn't worried about messing it up. The top flange of the hinge bends before the hinges operates the way it was designed to. (I needed to replace).

I found it also took me much less time trying to get up under the dash with a wrench. With putting them back on, I can simply tape the nut inside the wrench untill it's tight, vs having it slip off every half turn because of the spray in insulation.

Thanks for everyone's advice...

CJ

Rusty beat-up old junker with many problems.
post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2000, 11:24 PM
 
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Re: Help! Drilling out a steel bolt(LONG)

I have not done the windshield ....YET.
But what I did with my door hinges because I could not be inside and out at the same time was to take a flat bar stock mark where the holes match up, drill and tap the holes in the bar stock then when you tighten them up it wont turn like to seperate nuts will,as long as you dont Neandertal them in there they won't strip and use some locktite and they will not loosen.
Hardware stores seem to carry a much better selection of fasteners, including stainless steel than the home depots do.

Ray
Learn to let go of what does not serve you ,but forces you to serve it
why does everyone ask if I am gonna paint it ?
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