I've got a broken bolt in my cars engine block. I'm trying to locate a
source for left handed (counterclockwise) drill bits in Calgary, AB, Canada.
In most places they just look at me funny until I explain why I need it.
Some places have heard of it, but don't have any.
If I was in the U.S. I could buy a whole set for about $8... To order from
the US will end up adding $15 shipping, plus whatever duties, plus everyone
wants to use UPS - which adds $50 to the final total.
There MUST be someplace in Calgary I can go to purchase a set of these
things. If not, how about a Canadian website where I could order a set for a
REASONABLE shipping charge?
What you want it a normal type drill bit and an "easy out" extractor. Drill
a hole into the bolt, then use the extractor in a wrench to turn it out
counter clockwise. Go to http://www.mcmaster.com/ and page 2709 to see
what you need.
While on the subject of Easy Outs, what has your real world success
rate been with these? Mine has approached around 0%. I've found that
when something is so rusted in that it breaks the bolt head, it does
the same to these things (or it just strips and spins).
Easy outs are hit-miss. I've been able to get some smaller bolts out.
Broke one trying. You're right not a solution for all cases.
I bough a set of Bolt Extractors from Sears a few days ago. About to test
them on some car bolts, where the heads were reduced in size, so no socket
PS The first trick is to put a hole in the bolt :-). The drill bit
sharpening thread I started a couple of days ago, was after I ruined a
handful of bits trying to drill a hole. Easy Out would not touch that one.
Ended up drilling and all the out.
Yes, they do. I forget where I see it. And it's not made by Easy
If it is sold by JCWhitney, it may or may not be high quality, but
even moderate quality might be worth it. I don't think the OP has a
stub, but if he does, it would be better to work on the stub first.
BTW OP, run the engine if you possibly can until it is hot. That's
how I got my bad bolt out. I had supertorquesd a cheap 6" extension,
so the top turned and the bottom of the same part stayed in one place.
After I got the engine hot, a similarly cheap extension worked. If I
recall correctly, I had to put a pipe on the ratchet handle to get
enough torque for both steps. But they were 3/8" socket wrenches. A
half inch ratchet or breaker bar is longer. Still, the pipe works
well. (I think I just used fairly thin steel pipe, like chair legs
from the simplest 1960's kitchen chairs, because that's what I had.
Please, let me know where. I'm serious, and I would appreciate it.
I have had a lot of trouble finding them. Vermont American has only 2
or 3 sizes on the web, a small size that is about 2 or 3 dollars and a
large size that was 12 iirc. I didn't find them at the VA website,
but by using a general search on left handed drill bits.
The only store I found them at was the big hardware store in Dallas,
that is not Home Depot (which is also headquartered in Dallas I think)
They once shipped me some shelf pegs and charged 37cents for shipping
and handling. Whatever the cost was of a first class stamp at the
time. I sent a letter but they probably have email by now. Pretty
sure they don't have an online catalog, so describe what you want.
I'll remember the name if someone tells me.
I thought we had NAFTA now and duties were low or non-existant among
the US, Mexico, and Canada??
I've used "Easy Outs" my entire life to get out broken studs
and snapped off bolts. I guess I have learned something
new, but don't really understand the "why." When I've used
the Easy Out (extractors), they were always tapered and had
left hand threads. I just drilled an appropriately sized
hole in the bolt or stud, inserted the Easy Out into the
hole and began "tightening" it until the bolt came out.
What would be the reason or advantage of drilling the hole
with a left hand bit? Could the reason be that using a
right handed bit on a LOOSE-but-broken-off stud or bolt
would move it further into the hole as you drilled? I've
never had one that was loose, so I never worried about it.
In all my cases, the blasted things were frozen solid in the
hole. Is that the reason for the LH drill bits?
I've only had need for left-handed bits when I was dissassembling
Black and Decker appliances (I ended up with a boatload of broken
ones) and there there were small screws, not rusted at all.
With right handed bits, I would start small and keep using bigger ones
until I drilled out allmost the whole shank, the head fell off the
shank, and the shank was close to falling out the other end. My cheap
set of screw extracters didn't have one small enough to go into even
the biggest of these little holes, and I don't think a good set comes
with one much smaller.
With left handed bits it took much less time. I only had to drill once
(which worked out fine since I only had one or maybe two drills
smaller than the screw I was working on, and often when I was only 1/3
of the way in, the screw would come out. FTM, there wasn't enough for
a screw extractor to bite on at that point.
I have no idea how it would work on big ones for an engine, but he
asked the question, so I did my best to answer.
I can't emphasize enough that I think it is important to warm the
engine to operating temperature or at least somewhat, regardless of
what method is used.
Maybe when it is hot, and hotter still from the spinning bit, that
would break down the rust and it would come out. I don't really know
the nature of rusted in bolts. Is the rust weaker than solid steel, or
does it literally bind the bolt to the hole? It seems like the rust
might break down when hot.
About 10 years ago, I went to HD and Lowes and Ace Hardware, and two
other non-chains, and no one had even heard of them. I don't know
where I heard of them.
The great hardware store in Dallas is Elliots. I remembered just
before I put in Dallas in yp.yahoo.com . That's how memory works.
There's one halfway between downtown and Parkland Memorial Hospital,
and one in or near Plano, and one other. www.elliottshardware.com/
And I also remember that I was wrong. They do have an online catalog
but didn't have the drill bits in it. I haven't been the store to ask
what this means.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.