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Stripped bolt

Melalvai2012-09-01 09:18:35 +0000 #1
I am lightening my bike for Bike Across Kansas. I started by removing all the lights. So I darkened my bike to lighten it.

I took off the front fender. I got the rear fender mostly off except for one bolt that is down near the bottom bracket. That bolt faces the tire so it gets the full force of all the nasty gunk that the fender is protecting my bike from. I haven't removed the fenders since I put them on the new bike in 2008. So there is the gunk of 4 winters.

The bolt requires a 5 mm allen wrench. The bit that the wrench is supposed to fit into, was packed with gunk. I scraped some of it out carefully with a flat head screw driver. I sprayed some of the tri oil stuff on it. And on the back side of it, as near as I could get to that part of it.

I got it to budge a little. Then I couldn't get it any more. I got my husband to try. He got it to budge a little. Then he couldn't get it any more. Of course by this time we had stripped it although we were trying really hard not to.

We got it almost the rest of the way using vice grips. Then the teeth on the vice grips were too worn down and wouldn't grip tightly enough anymore.

Now the darn thing is almost all the way out, won't go either way, and I can't put the tire back on because that bolt is sticking out.

I hope I can get someone to help me with it tomorrow. I'll have to walk tomorrow and probably Thursday (I'm leaving Thurs night for Kansas).

FRUSTRATING. and more than a little worrying. It's not quite last-minute for something like this to happen but it's awfully close.

No bike shop in town, I've got a message in to the guy who does free lance bike repair (and makes house calls, isn't that nice!) but I don't know if he has the tools to deal with a stripped bolt. Do you think an auto mechanic would be able to help? Maybe even an auto parts store? I took my repair stand to an auto parts store to get the pipes unscrewed from each other when they were rusted together and they had a clamp right there to put it in and a big wrench that got it taken apart in about two seconds.

Muirenn2012-09-01 09:25:31 +0000 #2
I'm not sure I can exactly picture what state it is in now. But do you have any locking pliers (not vice-grips, can't remember the exact name, but they are adjustable)? Or needle nose? Or perhaps a tin-snipper? It seems like once I used my small vice-grips for something, it didn't work, so I switched to my full-sized pair, and it was easy.

Edit: locking pliers.:
OakLeaf2012-09-01 09:27:11 +0000 #3
Do you mean you stripped the head? If the threads are stripped it should come right out (and you'll need a helicoil to replace it, which any auto mechanic should be able to do).

I've never heard of anyone stripping vice grips! but can you use a piece of old inner tube as a gripping surface (like one of those jar opener mats)?

It sounds like all you need to do is drill it out. You should be able to do that yourself (just make sure you use a bit that's appropriate for the type of metal the fastener is made out of, and wear eye protection). Or if you don't feel comfortable doing it, any auto mechanic can.

But if it's most of the way out and it's just a matter that the threads are corroded, try putting a penetrating lubricant on it overnight and try it in the morning. (And make sure to put anti-seize on the new one.)



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