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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for help or advice on the best way to removing a broken engine cross member bolt on my 66 mustang.
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Oh, boy. Faced with that, I would put a heavy layer of duct tape around the bolt, and MIG weld to the center of the bolt, slowly building up a protrusion in the center. Once it was above the surface of the rail, I'd weld a large bent washer to the stump. Let it cool, and spray it with Kroil or similar penetrating oil, and begin working it out. Probably have to turn it 1/16 of a turn at a time, out, in, out, in, adding oil as you go. The heat of welding should cause it to be loose enough to respond to this. Take it slow.
 

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Ditto what 22GT said. Heat from welding does wonderful things to frozen bolts. What ever you do, DO NOT use a easy out. When they break inside the bolt it only makes things worse as they are very hard and you can't drill those out!

When you get the broken bolt out, run a tap through to clean the threads then use Antisieze on the threads of the new bolt.
 

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Don't feel too bad. I did the same thing one time and then compounded it by spinning the frame nut loose from the frame (the female threads are in a frame nut there) ruining it completely.

That was a bad day.

Phil
 

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I had one like that . I drilled and retapped it. Problem trying to weld it is running the risk of welding it to the frame because its so short
 

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I'd try a left hand drill bit before anything else. Soak it heavily with penetrating oil then center punch in the center. You could use a 1/8 regular drill bit to get a pilot hole than shift to a left had bit (probably a 1/4 " or so).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Don't feel too bad. I did the same thing one time and then compounded it by spinning the frame nut loose from the frame (the female threads are in a frame nut there) ruining it completely.

That was a bad day.

Phil
How did you fix it?
 

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With a cutting torch. Had to cut my way into the frame, weld in a new nut from the top and then repair the frame.

Phil
Must be Hoosier thinking as I did mine the way you did. Tried drilling it out first with no luck. Where you at in IN?
 

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Stick a nut over it and weld it on. Might have to try it a few times, but I have never had the method fail. I have literally removed hundreds of them for customers that way.
 

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I'd try a left hand drill bit before anything else. Soak it heavily with penetrating oil then center punch in the center. You could use a 1/8 regular drill bit to get a pilot hole than shift to a left had bit (probably a 1/4 " or so).
Pretty much spot on. Definitely go with the largest left-handed drill you can. I think they're 1/2-13 bolts...... so if you can perfectly center the "pilot" hole you drill, a 3/8" left handed bit is the ticket.
(1/2 bolt minor thread diameter is 0.40")
If you're not centered perfectly, go with the 1/4" left hand bit. You won't get the exact same removal effect but it may be enough.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
 

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22GT posted this. I think this was the thread he was referring to.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks to everyone for all of the help and advice and I did try just about all the suggestions including soaking the bolt with penetrating oil and left hand drill bits and none of that worked. The bolt was broken to far into frame rail to weld to so I didn't try that one. I'm going to use a modified version of HoosierBuddy's method but instead of using a torch I'm going to use a body saw and a cut off wheel.
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Marked the area to make the cut and drilled pilot holes to cut out that section of the outer frame rail and this is where I finished up today, will work on it some more tomorrow.
 

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Plenty of access there. Clean up the nut and rail , then put a good bead on two sides. Weld a nut on top of the broken bolt and with all the heating and cooling, she'll probably spin right out up into the rail.

Had to do something similar to a shock bolt on the lower control arm of truck I worked on over the summer. Was able to get two thin nuts on top of the bolt inside the coil spring and spin it out.
 

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I guess I'm the oddball here. I got all medieval on one 2 weeks ago; grabbed my air hammer and punched it up through the frame, then fished it back out through the hole. I took a new nut, welded it to a flat washer, stuffed it back in the hole and welded it home. Once reinstalled, the brace covers the hole thing and nobody's the wiser!
 

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I had that happen to me in my 66 - probably why the crossmember was missing... I tried the drill and easy outs with no luck, LH drill only made a clean hole. I used a Drexel and chain saw sharpening bits to open up the hole and eventually got a thread chasing tap in there. Installed the ZRay crossmember and life is good now.
 

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I was always nervous about that bolt breaking off. Most folks don't that that crossmember off very often, but I need to take it off a couple of times a year to drop the oil pan or change alignment set up. I replaced the bolts with studs, they are coarse thread for the frame part and 1/2 X 20 for the outer. I use lug nuts to positively locate and tighten the cross member in place. I know this does not help with current situation, but may help out later.
 

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If all else fails, you can use a trailer hitch spacer block, carriage bolt and fishwire. Very secure once torqued down and used commonly for car and truck trailer hitches. You could even use a grade 8 bolt if it makes you feel better and the hole in the frame does not need to be enlarged. I use these for customers who buy 62-65 Falcon/Comet lower engine cross members for cars that didn't come with lower cross members and no frame holes pre-exist.


 
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