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Help removing stripped bolt

bigalcam

Member
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Hopefully there is a pic of a stripped T55 bolt that secures the risers. An old man was removing the risers to swap them out and for some reason he decided to use an 8mm hex bit instead of the proper T55 torx bit. He had no problem removing the first one, but when he went to remove the other one, he stripped it out badly. It is in a really tight location. What are your suggestions on how to proceed. Worst part is that the old man is me! By the way, Feel free to ridicule me for making such a ridiculous mistake. just part of the "Dumbass tax" that I deserve to pay!
 

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Scott Semone

Well-known member
If the ViceGrips or channel lock method doesn't work; maybe try an epoxy that works well with metal and apply it to the T-55 Torx bit and tap it into place; let the epoxy cure and then try removing the bolt.

Maybe a Dremel tool with a thin diamond blade to cut a slot into the bolt head and try a screwdriver..

What was the condition of the bolt that you successfully removed; was there evidence of thread lock applied to the bolt?

At the very least, go ahead and order replacement bolts; however, keep us posted on your progress, we're all looking for ways to get out of these situations..
 

BobW

Active member
Hopefully there is a pic of a stripped T55 bolt that secures the risers. An old man was removing the risers to swap them out and for some reason he decided to use an 8mm hex bit instead of the proper T55 torx bit. He had no problem removing the first one, but when he went to remove the other one, he stripped it out badly. It is in a really tight location. What are your suggestions on how to proceed. Worst part is that the old man is me! By the way, Feel free to ridicule me for making such a ridiculous mistake. just part of the "Dumbass tax" that I deserve to pay!
 

BobW

Active member
Good suggestions by Scott and Ulrich. A little heat and/or something like "PB B'laster" combined with a few good taps while trying to back off the bolt will often help "release" things. The old hand held mechanical impact wrenches work in this way, but you can also do the same with a screw driver or long "allen wrench" depending on how you have prep'd the bolt head. A spanner or adjustable applied to the allen wrench or screw driver with a "squared" rather round shaft near the handle will allow a bunch of torque to be applied much like the hand held impact wrench would provide. Better to get some proper tools that are really not that expensive from a local auto jobber store, but even the "Red neck" engineering works better than one would think.

Good luck!
 

Rufus

Active member
Site Supporter
I‘m not entirely sure where the bolt is and access is possibly your biggest enemy rather than the actual method of getting it out. Good luck.
 
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Keehn

Active member
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Elite Member
If it's in a hard to reach location, and you can't get a vice-grip on it, go to your local Harbor Freight and buy a set of sacrificial Torx bits. Grind off enough of the T55 end so that the ENTIRE star can fit inside the damaged thread and still have a little ways to bottom out. Then, with GENTLE but firm taps, you want to help the bit form its own bite with the bolt, which is now possible since the bit has clearance to bottom out and mushroom the damaged bolt head around the Torx bit.

Once you have created a good mushroom and are confident you can turn the bolt, then it's up to your expert, skilled hands to gently and carefully keep a strong downward force on the bolt while turning it loose. This "redneck" method has saved me more than once on tight bolts where other tools, like vice grips, weren't possible. I've also used it in conjunction with manual impact screwdrivers (also found at Harbor Freight) once I made my new mushroom in the damaged bolt or nut.

Hope that helps? At least, gives you something to think about?

Mike
 

bigalcam

Member
Site Supporter
I appreciate the advice that I've received so far. This is the bolt that secures the handlebar risers, so there is very little room to operate. Go out and look at the risers on your bike and see how little room there is to operate without damaging something that you don't want to damage! There are a couple of good suggestions, I'm just letting you guys give me ideas and trying not to start being destructive by not being patient. Thanks and keep the suggestions coming, if there are any more. The ones on my bike are very stubborn to remove. Quite a bit of effort is involved, Of course, had I used the proper tools in the first place, we wouldn't be having this discussion! I was thinking that if I couldn't come up with a better idea, i might have a bit welded to the bolt.
 
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bigalcam

Member
Site Supporter
So far, I like the idea of grinding down a T55 bit combined with applying some very strong epoxy in there, driving it in and after curing, try removing it. I have had some crazy ideas of my own, so I'll try to patiently wait a little while in case some more genius is uncovered!
 

Keehn

Active member
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Elite Member
So far, I like the idea of grinding down a T55 bit combined with applying some very strong epoxy in there, driving it in and after curing, try removing it. I have had some crazy ideas of my own, so I'll try to patiently wait a little while in case some more genius is uncovered!
I hadn't considered epoxying (or JB weld for that matter) the sacrificial bit before...interesting...

One thing to be mindful of is the shear strength of the epoxy that you ultimately decide to use. It might very well break adhesion if the epoxy/hardener mixture isn't quite right; JB Weld is notorious for this quirk.

Another thing you can do in lieu of epoxy is several thin sheets of tin foil cupped over the end of the T55 bit and formed into the bit itself, as if shaping clay. Use some grease to hold the foil in place while forming and handling.

Then, press the whole thing into the stripped bolt and again, gentle but firm taps to form the tin foil into the voids of the stripped sections. THIS idea is experimental, but inspired by my use of bread to push out clutch pilot bearings. On that story, I pack pieces of bread into the cavity behind the clutch pilot bearing on the crankshaft and then, with an appropriate sized socket and extension, hammer inwards, adding more bread as needed. The hydraulic force of the bread on the bearing forces it outwards and, all I have to clean up is bread! 🤣.

I'm theorizing that tin foil will act in a similar fashion like the bread, in filling all voids, thusly making your sacrificial T55 tool all the more potent.

But, if it were me, I'd just try grinding down the T55 first, mushrooming, and attempting to back out the bolt first. Then, move on to plan B if necessary ;).

Mike
 

bigalcam

Member
Site Supporter
Looks like the bolt head is somewhat exposed ... can you grab it with a small pair of ViceGrips? I'm hoping for some more genius ideas from the group before I get down to destroying the bolt
I can grab it, but there is no room to turn it. Still waiting for some more non destructive advice before I get carried away with it.
 

bigalcam

Member
Site Supporter
If it's in a hard to reach location, and you can't get a vice-grip on it, go to your local Harbor Freight and buy a set of sacrificial Torx bits. Grind off enough of the T55 end so that the ENTIRE star can fit inside the damaged thread and still have a little ways to bottom out. Then, with GENTLE but firm taps, you want to help the bit form its own bite with the bolt, which is now possible since the bit has clearance to bottom out and mushroom the damaged bolt head around the Torx bit.

Once you have created a good mushroom and are confident you can turn the bolt, then it's up to your expert, skilled hands to gently and carefully keep a strong downward force on the bolt while turning it loose. This "redneck" method has saved me more than once on tight bolts where other tools, like vice grips, weren't possible. I've also used it in conjunction with manual impact screwdrivers (also found at Harbor Freight) once I made my new mushroom in the damaged bolt or nut.

Hope that helps? At least, gives you something to think about?

Mike
I greatly appreciate your good advice! The said bolt is upside down underneath the risers. This makes it much more difficult because there is no pushing down on it. I'm having to push up into it and there is very little room between said bolt and the frame. i'm trying to not damage any of the surrounding area so most of the techniques that I've learned over the years won't help me.
 

Ulrich

Active member
I can grab it, but there is no room to turn it. Still waiting for some more non destructive advice before I get carried away with it.
Ahhh too bad ... another option (depends on how tight it is) would be to take a cheap 'flat-head' bit and grind it so that it is just a tad (highly precise measurement) wider than the torx notches and pound it into the screw head .. then take a wrench to the bit, apply down pressure and slowly give it a twist ... that has worked for me in the past.
 

bigalcam

Member
Site Supporter
Ahhh too bad ... another option (depends on how tight it is) would be to take a cheap 'flat-head' bit and grind it so that it is just a tad (highly precise measurement) wider than the torx notches and pound it into the screw head .. then take a wrench to the bit, apply down pressure and slowly give it a twist ... that has worked for me in the past.
They are both very snug. I didn't remove the first one, I left it with just a little bit of work remaining and turned my attention to the second one. That is when the carnage began. As I stated earlier, the bolt is coming from below the handlebar risers. If you take a look at the ones on your bike, you will see the problem with the frame just a small fraction away from the bolt, and it's facing upward, which makes it hard, for me at least, to put any real pressure into the bolt. Another issue is that I'm facing shoulder surgery and I am clearly not at my best right now.
 

R12C-R18TC

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Premium Member
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Elite Member
I once used a T-25 when I should have used a T-27. To get the stripped bolt out I carefully drilled a pilot hole in the exact center, then followed that with a bigger bit. One more bigger bit and it twisted easily out.
 

bigalcam

Member
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I once used a T-25 when I should have used a T-27. To get the stripped bolt out I carefully drilled a pilot hole in the exact center, then followed that with a bigger bit. One more bigger bit and it twisted easily out.
Yes, I've been thinking about using that method. Thanks for helping!
 
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