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Old 21-06-2019   #1
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Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Evening all, I'm hoping someone can help please. I need to change the rear discs on my 2010 500 1.4 lounge as one is warped however I have got as far as every part loose apart from the top caliper carrier bolt. I struggled to get the Allen key bit in due to the internal hex being corroded and damaged. I did try tapping it in with a hammer to get better contact but to no avail. I've since tried undoing it but it is gradually rounding off the inside of the allen bolt. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas how I could remove it please. Many thanks
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Old 22-06-2019   #2
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

If there's enough room, you could try using a pair of vice grips to grab the head of the bolt
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Old 22-06-2019   #3
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

I might just get in with vice grips and will try but I'm not sure how effective they will be with that bolt as it has thread lock on and the other one that is easier to get to required a long torque wrench to break the sticktion.
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Old 22-06-2019   #4
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Quote Originally Posted by m33ksy View Post
I might just get in with vice grips and will try but I'm not sure how effective they will be with that bolt as it has thread lock on and the other one that is easier to get to required a long torque wrench to break the sticktion.
Why has the carrier bolt got thread lock on?
It really isn't required in this situation they only need to be torqued up sufficiently

Anyway can you get a bigger Allen key in?
Or alternatively a socket on the outside if they have a hec head?
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Old 22-06-2019   #5
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Could you get a picture,

Also if you can get the vice grips on super tight, -- for more leverage grab yourself a steel tube, say 600mm or so and put it over the viceys
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Old 27-06-2019   #6
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Quote Originally Posted by llamallama View Post
Could you get a picture,

Also if you can get the vice grips on super tight, -- for more leverage grab yourself a steel tube, say 600mm or so and put it over the viceys
I've been out of the loop for a few days sorting out my laptop which I thought might have "caught a cold", so sorry for the some what belated entry here. Yup, a picture would be helpful for those of us who don't have a 500 with disc rears. I've had a look at some online images and it looks as if access to the carrier Allen bolts is good once the caliper itself is out of the way.

If the hex is damaged too much to be able to get a good purchase you might get it with an EZout but not everyone has one of those and if the bolt is super tight there's always the chance of just snapping it. Being an Allen bolt the big problem with more DIY efforts is that the head is round on the outside so there's nothing to get a good grip on. Also it's going to be made of quite "hard" high tensile steel so gripping tools are not going to easily get hold of it and will tend to "slip" rather than biting into the surface.

This is the big Achilles heel of the Vice grip (mole type) wrench. Whilst there are very many jobs they are indispensable for (I use mine on welding jobs all the time) they don't actually exert a truly "crushing" clamping force. I'm sure many will have found they slip quite easily on round components and need something like a hex head or "flats" on a round bar to really get a grip. In this instance the "hard" metal of the high tensile bolt is going to exacerbate this problem.

I have had much greater success with pipe wrenches in these situations (Stillson being one well known make, Footprint another) Don't buy "cheap" ones as the hardness of the jaws is not likely to be up to much.

The great advantage of this design of wrench (Stillson and Footprint) is that, due to the way their jaws and handle are arranged, they grip tighter the more you lean on them which is the big failing of the Vice grip type in this sort of situation. I find my Stillson type wrench has hard enough jaws to "bite" into a high tensile bolt whereas the Footprint does not but I've, in the past, also owned Stillson type wrenches which had softer jaws. Finally, if you can't get a purchase on the round bolt head either file or grind (angle grinder) a flat on it so the wrench can really get a grip. This means you really should then buy a new bolt but it sounds as if you should be doing this anyway. By the way, as llamallama suggests putting a leangth of pipe over the handle can let you apply really enormous forces and if you buy a good quality tool the jaws won't slip.

Hope even a wee bit of this is a help Good luck, please do let us know how you get on won't you regards, Jock
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Old 27-06-2019   #7
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Exactly -- file or grinder to make a flat side, I thought this pretty much at the top of your post,

There's always a way......
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Old 27-06-2019   #8
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Also heat it as much as you possibly dare with a good blow lamp. Watched this work when m,y dad was mending cars over many years. He never actually fried or burned anything!
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Old 27-06-2019   #9
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Often a suitable splined bit can encouraged, you need one just a fraction bigger and as they are closer to round than hex you can generally hammer them in on a one use only method. Make sure it is square on, drive it as deep as you can, absolutely ensure any rust, mud etc is removed from the cap head first to get as much depth. Use a socket and if possible get an extension to allow you to then use a t-bar not a wrench so it can be driven square. Lots of fluids, a bit of heat, work the bolt once it’s free like you are tapping a thread, little and often both ways. I am sure options for getting on the outside are limited as there seems to be a car in the way!!!!. Time spent feeling the bolt out, will be well rewarded I am sure it will be do-able good luck
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Old 28-06-2019   #10
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

A few additional ideas:-

If you have a welder or can/are willing to re-assemble the brakes and take it to someone with a welder, you could weld a bolt onto the allen bolt and unscrew it.

With the bottom caliper bracket bolt removed, can you tap the bracket and get it to rotate about the top (seized) bolt, this might initially try to tighten the seized bolt but if you then grip the seized bolt with a vise-grips/stillsons wrench and then tap the bracket back down to it's normal position, it might loosen the seized bolt. In other words, remove bottom caliper bracket bolt, tap bracket upwards, pivoting around the seized bolt. lock vise grips or similar onto seized bolt, than tap bracket back into it's normal position. Might need to repeat a couple of times. I know that space is tight and possibly the caliper bracket won't rotate, but if it's possible, being able to rotate the caliper bracket might give you better access to get a vise-grips onto the seized bolt.

There are special sockets/extractors available to remove e.g wheel locking bolts. They are similar to easy-outs but the tapered flutes/teeth are inside the socket and grip the outside of the bolt. They're ideal for allen bolts if you can get a suitably sized one and have room to use it. You might try a Motor Factors to see if something suitable is available. If you want to see what these are like :- www.tengtools.com have 3/8" Drive Stud Extractors in various sizes - e.g. Stock No. ST38310 fits a 10mm bolt head but costs £25 + vat, afaik . http://www.tengtools.com/r/ie/en/Ser...ractor-ST38310 (note prices are in Euros not £Stg )
Draper/Sealey or Laser Tools etc. might have something less costly.

Many workshops now use 'Induction Heating' on seized fasteners, very fast, can reach into tight spaces and no risk of damaging adjacent areas as might happen if using a flame/torch. If the car was mobile, you could always ask a garage if they'd use their Induction Heater on just one bolt for you.

In the past, an Oxy-Acetylene welding torch would have been used to heat the seized bolt in order to free it. This would break free a rusted fastener, would also break the bond of any thread-locking compound thast might have been used. As already suggested, a gas blowtorch might work, see if you can get one that runs on Mapp Gas - this burns hotter, otherwise try for Propane - iirc this burns hotter than Butane.

I realise access might be difficult, but if you can cut a slot across the head of the allen bolt using a Dremel type tool/Angle Grinder (3" diameter if you can get one)/ hacksaw, you might be able to use a large straight screwdriver bit with an impact driver. In the old days there were things called 'Drag Link' sockets - these looked like extremely large screwdriver bits for extremely large screws. To cut a wide slot using a hacksaw, put 2 blades side-by-side into the frame.

I always try the simplest method first. First clean out the recess in the allen bolt head. Identify the type and size of bit needed. Are you sure it's an allen bolt, could it be Torx? or maybe even RIBE? (some Fiats use RIBE fasteners). If the correct bit starts to slip and round out the recess - STOP. Use a drift and hammer to strike the head of the allen? bolt to try to shock it loose. Someone else suggested trying a slightly larger bit or a bit of a different type, this often works. But first I'd try drilling the recess in the allen bolt head a bit deeper, then tap (ok, bash) the correct size bit deeper into the recess, causing it to create a deeper hexagonal hole, this might just get a better purchase on the seized bolt. If the recess has already been rounded-out, use a hammer and drift/punch to drive displaced metal around the recess back into the recess, then tap a suitable bit into the recess. All of this tapping/ hammering tends to loosen the seized bolt.

Another possibility is to drill the head off the allen bolt - you'll likely need to also drill some of the remaining bolt shank in order to be able to remove the caliper carrier bracket - obviously need to be careful so as not to damage the threads in the carrier.

In the past, a skilled Mechanic might simply use a cold chisel at the appropriate angle on the fastener to loosen it, but I've never done such a thing (not even on column steering locks )I suppose the modern equivalent would be to use an Air Chisel.

I second what Pugglt Auld Jock said above re. using a Stillson wrench - a much under-appreciated tool. It's 'saved my bacon' many times when nothing else worked.

Al.
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Last edited by F123C; 28-06-2019 at 01:40.
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Old 28-06-2019   #11
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Quote Originally Posted by F123C View Post
A few additional ideas:-

If you have a welder or can/are willing to re-assemble the brakes and take it to someone with a welder, you could weld a bolt onto the allen bolt and unscrew it.

With the bottom caliper bracket bolt removed, can you tap the bracket and get it to rotate about the top (seized) bolt,

Many workshops now use 'Induction Heating' on seized fasteners, very fast, can reach into tight spaces and no risk of damaging adjacent areas as might happen if using a flame/torch.

In the old days there were things called 'Drag Link' sockets - these looked like extremely large screwdriver bits for extremely large screws.

I always try the simplest method first.

All of this tapping/ hammering tends to loosen the seized bolt.

I suppose the modern equivalent would be to use an Air Chisel.
What an interesting post. I enormously enjoyed reading it.

I "discovered" welding bolts/nuts (I prefer a nut as I find it easier to weld) to broken/seized fixings many years ago. It's almost my first "go to" if I come across a really stubborn one. I've used it with great success even on the likes of bleed nipples. I think the extreme heat has as much to do with it as anything.

I would not have immediately thought of trying to tap the carrier round (having removed one of the bolts first) - must try and remember that one. - I think it could work well.

Ooooh! an induction heater! I wish I could afford one!

Amazing how I find I learn something almost every time I come onto this forum. Drag links? worked on many cars/light commercials with this system of steering, was the way it was done on vehicles with beam front axles. Never used a "drag link socket" and didn't know what it was 'till I googled it! Can I guess that it was used to screw up the adjustable "slug" which set the free play on the old type of ball joint before you split pinned it? Looks to me as if it could be useful for splitting the likes of an upright where it meets a pin type bottom ball joint (a la VAG, Fiat and others front suspension). So cheap I think I'll just buy one.

"Always try the simplest method first" Wish I was like that. Afraid I'm a pessimist and invariably assume the worst as a starting point - has the advantage though that I'm seldom surprised or disappointed!

I'm a great advocate of gentle but firm repeated tapping - resisting the temptation to "welly" it - Often results in loosening corroded parts. I'm particularly interested in Vibro shock equipment. I'd love to be able to justify the expense of a set of these: /www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf_mUSgkZbw At present I borrow my pal's air chisel if I need one but that's very inconvenient sometimes. Maybe I can convince my "personal Financial Adviser" AKA Mrs Jock, that an air hammer and a kit of these special sockets might be a good combined birthday/Christmas present?

Again, many thanks for your interesting post
Kind regards
Jock
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Old 28-06-2019   #12
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

That link doesn't seem to have transferred properly so here's another go at it:
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Old 28-06-2019   #13
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Great, it worked that time. Think I missed out the HTTP on the first try.
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Old 29-06-2019   #14
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Quote Originally Posted by Pugglt Auld Jock View Post
What an interesting post. I enormously enjoyed reading it.

I "discovered" welding bolts/nuts (I prefer a nut as I find it easier to weld) to broken/seized fixings many years ago. It's almost my first "go to" if I come across a really stubborn one. I've used it with great success even on the likes of bleed nipples. I think the extreme heat has as much to do with it as anything.

I would not have immediately thought of trying to tap the carrier round (having removed one of the bolts first) - must try and remember that one. - I think it could work well.

Ooooh! an induction heater! I wish I could afford one!

Amazing how I find I learn something almost every time I come onto this forum. Drag links? worked on many cars/light commercials with this system of steering, was the way it was done on vehicles with beam front axles. Never used a "drag link socket" and didn't know what it was 'till I googled it! Can I guess that it was used to screw up the adjustable "slug" which set the free play on the old type of ball joint before you split pinned it? Looks to me as if it could be useful for splitting the likes of an upright where it meets a pin type bottom ball joint (a la VAG, Fiat and others front suspension). So cheap I think I'll just buy one.

"Always try the simplest method first" Wish I was like that. Afraid I'm a pessimist and invariably assume the worst as a starting point - has the advantage though that I'm seldom surprised or disappointed!

I'm a great advocate of gentle but firm repeated tapping - resisting the temptation to "welly" it - Often results in loosening corroded parts. I'm particularly interested in Vibro shock equipment. I'd love to be able to justify the expense of a set of these: /www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf_mUSgkZbw At present I borrow my pal's air chisel if I need one but that's very inconvenient sometimes. Maybe I can convince my "personal Financial Adviser" AKA Mrs Jock, that an air hammer and a kit of these special sockets might be a good combined birthday/Christmas present?

Again, many thanks for your interesting post
Kind regards
Jock
Hi Jock,

I agree, welding a nut on is often easier/better, especially if you're trying to remove a broken stud . I suggested a bolt on this occasion because it was a socket head cap screw (allen bolt) that the OP was trying to remove.

Induction heaters - yes, I'd love to have one but the price is a bit too much for to afford/justify. But they're ideal for avoiding broken fasteners especially exhaust manifold studs - why do so many manufacturers use such corrosion-prone nuts in this location? (presumably cost?). I see some of the I/heater kits now include a fitting that looks like a flexible wire that can be wrapped around a larger/oddly-shaped component to apply heat.

Yes, you're spot-on re. what 'drag link sockets' are/were for. Probably a bit hard to find nowadays, except secondhand? I don't know if they would be suitable for opening up the 'split' at the base of a suspension upright - I've used a slim cold chisel i.e. one with a very gradual taper, to good effect. (I've got a couple of old 'Bedford' ones, they're made from flat section steel instead of the more usual hexagonal/octagonal bar.

I think I share the pessimism trait also, certainly where car problems (and D.I.Y.!) are concerned.
My problem is I waste a lot of time/effort/thinking power on gathering everything I might need, (including if 'Murphy's Law' were to intervene), before starting the job. Sometimes I'm so worn out by all this preparation and thinking that I'm too tired to start the repair.....

I agree with the use of 'gentle but firm repeated tapping'. Plus the obligatory 'penetrating fluid' of your choice. Many use WD40, tests have shown that it's not as effective as fluids sold for the purpose of penetrating rust on seized fasteners, in fact Diesel fuel/home heating oil is maybe better than WD40. Plus giving it time to work, with repeat applications if necessary. And a bit of heat if appropriate.
Have you heard about the 'candle trick' for freeing seized fasteners?....

I was very interested about the Vibro shock equipment, hadn't come across this up to now. But I'd be afraid to ask the price seeing as it's made by 'Snap-On'.

Have you got a 'Lidl' store near you. I've bought quite a bit of stuff (mainly tools) from there over the years. Got some air-tools at good prices incl. an air chisel with attachments - so I'm all set-up to go. We don't have Machine Mart etc. over here but I still keep an eye on tool costs in the U.K. Tools in Lidl are significantly cheaper (my air chisel etc were approx. 1/2 price) than Machine Mart/Sealey/Draper/Halfords etc. I'm not claiming they're as good but for home use, they're probably good enough - in my experience, most tools get broken by incorrect/inappropriate use. So worth checking out - you can either get wanted tools sooner or buy more of them . But I can understand 'The Keeper of the Purse' has to be persuaded first - with Lidl purchases, you can try claiming they're a bargain. (afaik many women love bargains).

Many thanks for your kind words, much appreciated.

Kindest Regards,

AL.
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Old 29-06-2019   #15
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Re: Brake caliper carrier allen bolt seized and rounded

Quote Originally Posted by F123C View Post
My problem is I waste a lot of time/effort/thinking power on gathering everything I might need, (including if 'Murphy's Law' were to intervene), before starting the job. Sometimes I'm so worn out by all this preparation and thinking that I'm too tired to start the repair.....

I agree with the use of 'gentle but firm repeated tapping'. Plus the obligatory 'penetrating fluid' of your choice. Many use WD40, tests have shown that it's not as effective as fluids sold for the purpose of penetrating rust on seized fasteners, in fact Diesel fuel/home heating oil is maybe better than WD40. Plus giving it time to work, with repeat applications if necessary. And a bit of heat if appropriate.
Have you heard about the 'candle trick' for freeing seized fasteners?....

I was very interested about the Vibro shock equipment, hadn't come across this up to now. But I'd be afraid to ask the price seeing as it's made by 'Snap-On'.

Have you got a 'Lidl' store near you. I've bought quite a bit of stuff (mainly tools) from there over the years. Got some air-tools at good prices incl. an air chisel with attachments - so I'm all set-up to go. We don't have Machine Mart etc. over here but I still keep an eye on tool costs in the U.K. Tools in Lidl are significantly cheaper (my air chisel etc were approx. 1/2 price) than Machine Mart/Sealey/Draper/Halfords etc. I'm not claiming they're as good but for home use, they're probably good enough - in my experience, most tools get broken by incorrect/inappropriate use. So worth checking out - you can either get wanted tools sooner or buy more of them . But I can understand 'The Keeper of the Purse' has to be persuaded first - with Lidl purchases, you can try claiming they're a bargain. (afaik many women love bargains)
I too suffer from trying to cover all possible scenarios when preparing. I have a drawer full of parts I got, in addition to the "main offender", just in case I might need them and then never did!

Over many years (started in this game in the '60's) I've tried many, many "magic brews" of releasing fluid. So far I've not found anything better than Plus Gas formula A. (Did they ever make a "formula B"?) I keep both a spray can and a "dribble" can of the stuff. There's a chap in Maryland I know, who's rebuilding a Mk1 Corvette just now, who tells me PB Blaster is the best - I don't think they have Plus Gas over there but I can buy PB Blaster on the net and I mean to try it one of these days. I find the problem with assessing how good a releasing agent might be is that having broken the fixing you can say "Oh well, that didn't work" but you can't then blast it with something else to find out if it's better because it's now broken! OK you can try the fixing next to it (maybe you're working on an exhaust manifold just for instance) but maybe it's not so rusty and is going to take less to loosen it anyway! The worst thing I've tried in recent years was to undo the Lambda sensor in our old 1992 Panda Parade. This sensor sits in the twin exhaust downpipes to the front of the engine and ours was incredibly corroded. I tried everything, Lambda split socket with my 2 ft long breaker bar- it broke the socket! Heat, Plus gas, lots of "tapping". By now the hex was well rounded so reverted to my biggest Stilson - wouldn't move! Then, in Halfords I think, I saw "Loctite Freeze and Release" Decided to give it a try but, no good. Eventually the threaded insert in the downpipes tore out! Problem solved new downpipe needed - old one was very rusty anyway. I mention this because having bought the Freeze and Release I've subsequently used it in other situations and it works quite well but you need to spray for a good 15 seconds or so (depends on mass of component) to get the full freezing (contraction) effect, so you use quite a lot of it each time. Handy for plastic/metal interfaces and electricals where using heat is not practical. WD40? - (stands for "Water Dispersant Formula 40" I think) In my experience great stuff for many situations but not particularly effective as a penetrant/releasing agent. Having said that I have one part used canister, snuggling up to the Plus Gas can, beside my toolbox and two new ones on the shelf! Agree Diesel works well. I poured neat diesel down the bores of an old siezed rusty engine (Hillman Imp) which would not turn over and after best part of a week I was able to tap all four pistons out.

I think someone mentioned the Candle thing to me many years ago - seems to be a certain familiarity to it? but I've never tried it. Involves heating things up 'till the candle wax flows when touched to it doesn't it? Maybe it works? who knows, anyone tried it?

Regarding the vibro socket set seems a number of suppliers are selling it under their own names (Snap On, Sykes Pickavant, CTA Tools and others)


so looks like it's not actually made by any of them - Maybe Apex tool group? - I'm living in hope of finding someone doing it at a good discount. The Americans seem to have a couple of variations on the theme too. Plenty for me to investigate.

Lidl and Aldi are very big up here. There are several branches of both within about a half hour drive of us. I've bought a number of tools etc and found some to be really quite good but some to be pretty bad. Machine Mart's professional grade stuff seems better to me. I like also that MM's spares back up is pretty good - and that's important to me. I'm probably going to buy a CP (Chicago Pneumatic) 7110 as I have been very impressed with the CP 7748 rattle gun I bought a number of years ago - "bullies" crank pulley and CV driveshaft nuts off without breaking sweat! I am just a little seduced by the looks and price of this Clarke hammer from MM though! https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clar...RoCJZIQAvD_BwE
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