Sheered valve cover bolt

Old 01-10-2012, 10:11 AM
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Unhappy Sheered valve cover bolt

So like title indicates, I sheered 2 of 5 valve cover bolts while re-installing cover after valve adj yesterday. I was shocked since i am always so careful making sure socket is properly seated and not over torqing (speced at 8.7 lbs.) In respect to this job, I even followed the honda's specified tightening order. In any case, I used a "Grabit Pro" (screw extractor kit) and was able to get one of them out.

Now I am left with only one where the "grabit pro" bit walked from center and bored a hole I cannot use....



One thing I have learned? Always trust your instinct! I should have used a scribe to start a hole. The Grabbit, though, claims it does not "walk" which it did not for the first. The second was likely sheered off in a less even fashion so bit ended up walking. Now, my instinc tells me to drill another hole symetrically 180 degrees from that one. Then try to find or fashion a driver with a fork like end to remove? Think thread damage will stop me from replacing bolt? Should I Dremel a slot for removal, likely damaging valve cover and top bolt seal?

Love to hear what you guys think. I would hate the thought of brining it to a mechanic for removal. What happens if the thread on receptacle is no longer usable? Anyone think its just a bad idea to drive without it? About 40 miles put on car in this situation and no leaks of any sort yet...

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:47 AM
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dremel would be mine. little stuff like this is always "tight enough" when i work on things, no torque wrench for me.

cam caps? sure. valve cover, etc.. not so much.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:59 AM
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Can you take a Dremel and carefully grind a hole on center deeper than the first? If you get a good center hole you can also try using a reverse drill and once a hole is made you can use a easy-out. Just some other ideas...

Good luck.

Last edited by Silverstone_Ryan; 01-10-2012 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:16 AM
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+1 on the dremel. Best of luck Stray!!
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:34 AM
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If you attempt another hole use a center punch to anchor the bit before drilling. Buy some anti-seize for future use, it's saved me many times.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:43 PM
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Thanks guys. I have three options I am going to sleep on for a few days...

1) Use small Dremel grinding stone to bore a hole in center slowly and avoid sliding in first hole. Then use my easy out kit.

2) Use dremel cutting disc to cut a slot in bolt for removal with flat head. (This bolt was not siezed btw, this happened upon tightening)

3) Drill/Dremel second hole and fabricate a 2 prong driver (probably more trouble than it is worth)

I will let you all know what I end up doing. Remember- always trust ur instinct! I should have scibe punched that bolt- not be swept away by marketing that insisted bit did not "walk" grrr
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by StrayS2k View Post
not be swept away by marketing that insisted bit did not "walk" grrr
Ya, ANY drill(or the like) can very easily 'walk'. A broken bolt is not flat. A drill will walk even on a perfectly smooth surface so expecting one to stay put on a surface like a broken bolt is just too much to hope for. In manufacturing we use center-drills(very stubby and rigid) to start holes on flat surfaces and even then they can walk a very small amount.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by StrayS2k View Post
Thanks guys. I have three options I am going to sleep on for a few days...

1) Use small Dremel grinding stone to bore a hole in center slowly and avoid sliding in first hole. Then use my easy out kit.

2) Use dremel cutting disc to cut a slot in bolt for removal with flat head. (This bolt was not siezed btw, this happened upon tightening)

3) Drill/Dremel second hole and fabricate a 2 prong driver (probably more trouble than it is worth)

I will let you all know what I end up doing. Remember- always trust ur instinct! I should have scibe punched that bolt- not be swept away by marketing that insisted bit did not "walk" grrr

I would vote with the same order you listed... you should be able to do #1...just go slow at high rpm.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:08 PM
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Hey Silver- the Grabit Pro actually uses center-drill style to bore the extraction/rescue hole. Again, my instinct told me to punch but i went ahead and it worked out for the first hole- which I presume was flatter. Tryin not to beat myself up too bad- been sick as hell for four days so I will blame it on that hehe

Lesson learned, experience gained
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by StrayS2k View Post
Hey Silver- the Grabit Pro actually uses center-drill style to bore the extraction/rescue hole.
The difference is that we use equipment that weighs a half a ton plus to keep the center drill in place. It's impossible to do that by hand. I'm not knocking you for trying(I'd do it myself), just saying that their marketing hype is just that. Even a center punch can be difficult if you're working with a high grade bolt. If I'm 'free handing' a repair sometimes I use a dremel to make a small dimple in the top of the broken bolt that the drill bit can follow until it really gets going. I feel for you. I've been there and I've done that. Don't beat yourself up!
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:43 PM
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The picture makes it look like it didnt break flush with the head . If thats the case pop off the vc and either use vise grips or if its to tight for that get the size nut and weld it on the just remove it while its hot. I would have to imagine it should come out easy since it broke while installing it. I just went through this while trying to replace the intake manifold on my truck broke 3 manifold bolts and 4 ez outs trying to remove them in the end I bought new heads and put them on haha.
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