10. Use Your Mind Before Resorting To Muscle


Removing Stuck Fasteners

The natural response, when encountering a stubborn fastener, is entering into an escalating battle of wills. A good rule of thumb is: If you’re breaking a sweat, you’re doing something wrong. So, before reaching for that three-foot breaker bar for “just a little more leverage,” pause for a moment to ponder the offending part. Is it corroded? Perhaps you should clean it with a wire brush, apply some penetrating oil (like Liquid Wrench), and then shock the threads with a hammer blow to the bolt head. Is the bolt binding up after turning a little? Treat the bolt like a tap and screw it back in an eighth turn after every quarter turn out until it frees up. And apply more penetrating oil. Could the fastener be held in place by permanent Loctite? Heat, followed by a hammer shock, could help.

  • john burns

    Nice. Say, is that THEE Dean P Groover?

  • john phyyt

    Remember ! Use your mind; very occassionally you will come across a left hand thread: The shift rod on my aftermarket quickshifter has one , so it isn’t just ancient machines either.

  • David Blaska

    Great advice! I just had the same problem, used hex sockets instead of Torx and reamed out the bolt heads. Ordered the Easy Outs and purchased Craftsman Bolt Outs (which did not work). So I hit them with a hammer, squired the Liquid Wrench, and tapped in a one-size larger Torx socket. Voila!

    • Evans Brasfield

      Nice job! Maybe I should’ve added an additional step for persistence.

  • Mark Wagila

    Oh, the joy of snapping off an easy-out!

    • Evans Brasfield

      I feel your pain!