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  #1  
Old 09-28-2011, 03:55 PM
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Need advice, Broke off bolt in exhaust manifold to head!

Well i had an exhaust leak on this F250 and so I started torqueing the bolts on the manifold to the head. (45 ft.lbs) A couple were very loose so I was thinking "Great, this may fix my problem!"

My first mistake was probably the Harbor Freight Tools torque wrench.

I am on the driver side, second from the rear and then bang! I see a gaping hole where the bolt used to be. Bolt on the floor. I cant see up in the hole to the head, I think it broke flush with the head.

How do I solve this problem. I am really no expert mechanic, but I think this may be a real pain in the a$$ and I'm a little worried.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:11 PM
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pull the manifold off & hopefully there is enough of the bolt to get vice grips or a small pipewrench on. I'd soak the devil out of it with PB Blaster or Kroil before I started trying to get it out. If it's broke off flush to the head you're gonna have to drill & easyout it. Good luck
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:08 PM
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I got snapped off bolts/studs out twice before without removing the manifold. I made up a bushing that had the same OD of the bolt (or ID of the manifold hole). In the center of the bushing i drilled out the ID of the bushing with a 1/8" drill. The bushing was my drill pilot for center drilling. I drilled the broken bolt with the 1/8" drill about 3/8" deep.
Then i drilled the ID of the bushing for 1/4" dia. And drilled again the broken bolt using a LEFT handed drill bit 1/4"dia. While drilling it, in reverse, The drill grabbed the broken stud and backed it out for me. The second stud i wasn't so lucky and continued to drill to 3/8" deep using the 1/4" lefty drill. I then made a new bushing with an ID of the "easy out" OD diameter. The new bushing was to ensure i was straight with the "easy out" and to help against side loading. I got that bolt out as well.. Lots PB on both.

Be careful not to snap off a "easy out" If you snap it off you will have a bad rest of the day.. They are so hard that you can't drill out and you are done

I did this on a old f150 gasser 302ci. 4x4 mudder. Not sure if our trucks have room for a drill through the wheel well.

Just tossing out the bushing idea. I am always making bushings to aid in such things.. 10 minutes on a bridgeport or a lathe making such helping tools can save hours.
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:52 PM
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Great tip Dan. Spend a little time up front to save what could be many hours at the other end of something that went wrong and didn't have to.

Reps Sent.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:21 PM
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i have used a "center drill." we use them in my metal shop class. after ordering them for the school and using them with the kids, i knew i needed a set. i also use a LEFT HAND drill bit. most of the ones i did were on the 5.4 and v10 which both are natorious for leaking and /or bolts breaking due to heat. takes a little patience, but i think the left hand bit it the key...if it bites into the bolt, it begins to break it loose. we used them on jim's (rat49f6) bolts he broke off on the head of his motor...think they were injector hold down bolts. get a good set of them...i have almost as many lefties as righties...good luck
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:06 PM
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Thanks to all for the help, still trying to figure out my course of action on this one.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:09 PM
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This is why I never touch exhaust manifold bolts anymore. I feel for ya, brother!

But anyway: once I was successful grinding two flats on a stuck bolt and using a wrench on it. They say heating with a torch helps, but I've never had a on-vehicle situation where that seemed safe. Back in my starving student days I broke an easy out in a rusty bolt, discovered I was doomed, and so I simply JB welded the bolt head back in place on thhe manifold and drove the car for a year that way. O wait, that was my roomies crappy Nova...

In your case I'd get the manifold off to see what you have. If there is something to grab onto you need three tools; PB blaster, a hammer, and patience. Bathe it liberally with PB blaster and let it sit for as long as you can. Once in a while tap it lightly with a heavy hammer to help break the grip of the rust and help the PB blaster creep in there. Then either visegrips or the flats-n-wrench idea. If nothing to grab onto it's drill and easy out time, which will pretty much require removing the head, after which I'd save the cost of the easy out set and take it to a machinist and use my debit card tool.

And don't stress, just walk away and have a cold one. It'll be ok.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:19 PM
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If you remove the manifold you can weld a nut on the end of the broken stud. Even if it broke off flush or below the surface a little.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:13 PM
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na na na boduke01yeehaw na
i would like to add some ideas to welding the bolt out i work at a john deere dealer ship and we have alot of broken bolts and the only way i get them out is weld them out i use a 3/16 stainless steel welding rod because of the high tensile strength its the only stuff i use i get a few nuts one size bigger than the broke off bolt and stryke an arc and build the old bolt up into the nut with out welding the nut to the bolt let it cool a tic and keep doing till bolt is built up to the top of the nut then i burn the newly formed bolt into the nut and then after it cools to a slight glow slowly work the nut and bolt back and forth be gentle and patience is key take your time you will prob break the nut off a few times but all the heeting and cooling will break the rust loose and it winn eventually come out i have never not been able to get a bolt out
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:06 AM
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I don't know if this will help Studawg now, but it might be of use to those following the thread. I had heard a number of mechanics mention the breaking exhaust manifold bolt problem and I didn't want a piece of that. I sent my truck with the leaky manifolds to the shop, but I hit the bolts with PB blaster twice a day for a week before the appointment. The mechanic said he had no problem getting the old bolts out.

Studawg - You already have an exhaust leak, so this shouldn't be a big problem for a short time until you patiently work the problem out with some of the great suggestions here. Just don't get your EGTs too hot until this is done, that missing bolt might allow a warp before you solve the problem. If you have a second vehicle to drive, this might be the time to use it.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:13 PM
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Update:I found a good diesel mechanic and he was able to get it out,, not even sure how he did it exactly, he replaced all the bolts actually, sold the truck, (not the EX) but thanks to all for the help.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:52 AM
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I have a couple of idea's to add to this myself, I work at a heavy truck shop and exhaust manifold bolts come in broken daily. Some times they just wont come out the last one I got would not. First off your going to need a metal deburring (sp) set, a die grinder or straight grinder and a good pick set. Maybe both grinders depending on where you have to get in to. So I carefully drilled through the bolt centered of course slowly stepping up to I think a 1/4 so the deburring bit will fit in the hole. then slowly ground the bolt out. This took awhile, I had to be care full not to get into the threads on the head but take out enough material so I could start to see the treads all the way around. Then I took a couple of picks and started pulling out the threads this took some time to but it did work, ran a tap in the hole and almost perfect threads.

This is how I am going to do it from now on givin that the bolt is big enough for the deburring bit to fit in it without goofing the threads up. I am looking for smaller bits for the smaller bolts. Maybe Dremel makes some.


Another thing about easy outs is do not use them in a hot piece of metal they will always snap. They can be drilled, you can buy special bit and cutting oil or have a drill doctor and sharpen your bit every 30 seconds.

I keep hearing about the crayon trick but have never seen it, supposedly the cat dealer here has boxes and boxes of crayola crayons to get broken bolts out.

Anyway just thought I'd share.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:29 AM
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Good thread here for broken bolts. I have had great success a number of times with the left handed drill bit trick. I don't have access to a metal lathe but the local hardware store has a number of bushings in various sizes. The one time I needed to have a bushing to keep the bit centered I lucked out and they had a bushing which did the trick.

And the remark about the 'debit card tool' is great.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:29 AM
 
 
 
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