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Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?


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  #1  
Old 10-25-2014, 05:11:19 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

I'm working on a diaphragm pump/mud pump this weekend and one 1/2" stainless steel bolt is seized and broken off in an aluminum casting. I tried mig welding a nut onto it, each time it just sheared the bolt off a little lower. There is maybe an 1/8" still protruding, but I'm running out of ideas. I've been using PB, heating casting, hammering on the welded-on nut, tried an impact, its just not moving.

Only thing I can think to do now is drilling it out, but the casting is too odd sized to get into the drill press so my only hope is to make a pilot and drill by hand. If you have a better idea I'm all ears...........
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Old 10-25-2014, 06:02:50 PM
Tom Weatherford Tom Weatherford is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

Center punch the bolt and drill it out with progressively larger bits. Drill at slow speed,
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Old 10-25-2014, 07:05:51 PM
richardo38 richardo38 is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

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Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
I'm working on a diaphragm pump/mud pump this weekend and one 1/2" stainless steel bolt is seized and broken off in an aluminum casting. I tried mig welding a nut onto it, each time it just sheared the bolt off a little lower. There is maybe an 1/8" still protruding, but I'm running out of ideas. I've been using PB, heating casting, hammering on the welded-on nut, tried an impact, its just not moving.

Only thing I can think to do now is drilling it out, but the casting is too odd sized to get into the drill press so my only hope is to make a pilot and drill by hand. If you have a better idea I'm all ears...........
take a piece of 1/4x1' flat bar drill a 3/4' hole part way through then finish drilling the hole with a 1/2' bit start the weld on the flat bar when it's started good weld down into the hole go around the bolt and fill in the hole now do as before heat and work easy with the handle you just welded on.
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Old 10-25-2014, 07:47:01 PM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

Kris, I've had similar situations with stainless bolts before. The alloy content of stainless makes welding ANYTHING on a difficult situation... darned near nothing will stick well enough to overcome the adhesion that the SS bolt has to the casting... suffice to say that if torque on the fastener was high enough to twist it off in it's optimal state, expecting better breaking torque with something simply welded on, is rather unlikely, as you won't get as much strength from the weldment, as with the original part.

And aluminum will certainly not want to 'let it go'... I believe that either contaminants, or oxidation, are what causes them to be such a PITA.

Sounds like something of a marine application. I work on MerCruiser drives a bit... not as much as I did a decade ago, but still have 'em. When I get a situation like what you experienced, I get a hand full of drill bits, and slowly drill through the middle, and open it up large enough so that a good, strong hex key wrench can be DRIVEN inside the stud with a hammer. Then I warm the housing, and spray in something that will flush out any contaminants... and I just work the wrench until the fastener starts to move... and once it does, I don't force it. Sometimes it works.

I've used everything from isopropyl alcohol to spray lubes... nothing I've tried seems to have any exceptional advantage, but thinner fluids seem to wash crud out faster.

The one situation you may be faced with... is some bozo who either used the wrong type of lubricants, or used a lube that was not compatible with some grease or anti-seize compound they applied, and the mix saponified inside the threads. If that's the case, you've effectively got a salt of the two metals involved, and probably some aluminum to boot. Saponification occurs, and the end result is something like stone filling the space 'tween thread faces... and it doesn't break down whatsoever... not good.
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:03:24 PM
steve mallette steve mallette is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

To drill stainless use(wait for it) elmers glue for lubricant,"goose" smaller drill bits don't run continously and work harden the stainless and burn up the bit. maybe try a file tang for an easy -out.
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:06:15 PM
gvasale gvasale is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

drill it out in steps a well as you can. If the remaining part of the screw is thin enough, striking with a chisel from the side trying to collapse a side might be helpful. Otherwise maybe grinding with a dremel might be of help. Then, helicoil or other thread replacement migh do the trick.
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:16:20 PM
motormanjeff motormanjeff is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

One thing that I do that hasn't been mentioned is that when drilling I use left hand drill bits. They can be bought at Napa. I start small and work up. That way when the drill catches the torque is in the right way. Often the bolt comes out with the second bit.

Jeff
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:42:23 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

The pump is a Dayton/Teel diaphragm pump http://www.grainger.com/product/DAYT...AS01?$smthumb$

The flanges coming off the bottom bowl are at a 45 degree angle which is going to make drilling the hole a little tricky, at least drilling it straight. Worst case scenario is just drill the whole thing out and use a nut on the backside, I think there is room.

Someone worked on this thing not too long ago, and clearly did not understand how it worked as they just used rubber gasket material where the check valves should be. On one side they used rubber cement as a gasket sealer, although a pain to remove at least it was dry, the other side they used the nastiest black tar sealer I've encountered in awhile, I like the non-hardening permatex, but this stuff was even nastier, anyone that came within 10 feet of me ended up wearing some

So Elmers glue as a drill lubricant, my shop mates are going to think I finally lost it
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Old 10-25-2014, 11:41:27 PM
John C Walker John C Walker is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

The bolt may be seized in the hole, but more than likely has galled. SS bolts and common metals don't mix worth a damn, the threads on the bolt galls up and all the prayers in the world won't get it out. You will have to drill all of the SS out and be careful re tapping, if any SS is left in the threads it will break the tap, and then you got real big problems.
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:08:10 AM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

Okay, Dal, this is my lame idea given what you've posted. I'd drill the bolt deep enough to get an ezout to get a good bite, then I'd heat the sucker up real good and hot. Alluminum melts at a much lower temp than stainless steel, so you should be able to heat it up enough for whatever the galling is binding on to melt, but still cool enough for the bolt to resist flairing when you screw the exout in.
Best of luck to you.
Doc
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Old 10-26-2014, 04:09:47 AM
Alastair Geddes. Alastair Geddes. is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

for some reason stainless and aluminium don't mix real well they seize really easily. Try drilling it for a easy out see how you go if not just keep drilling till you get to the minor diameter of the thread ie 8 x 1.25 you take 1.25mm off 8 mm to get to minor diam works for all metric.
Imperial just look up the chart
If you muck it a little you can always helicoil it but that will be a Kit of some value though to do it.

---------- Post added at 07:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:05 PM ----------

oh once you get to the minor diam you use a punch to chip out say 1 thread enough to start a tap. Run a tap down the hole use a bottoming tap not a intermediate as you want to follow the old thread index otherwise you chop out the thread you want to keep then helicoil is the solution.

---------- Post added at 07:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:07 PM ----------

meant to say if you chop out the thread then a helicoil is required. If you do not and it indexes correctly your right to go.
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:20:00 AM
jopeter jopeter is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

No one has yet mentioned spark erosion . I know someone who does it but unfortunately they are not in the US . It is a satisfactory method of removing broken taps studs etc . There must be someone in your area that has the equipment ,
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:34:03 AM
Jan4CMF Jan4CMF is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

You should be able to find a shop that can EDM it out . That prosses is used to get tap and dowel pins out of die sections . It is fairly inexspence (like $45.00 ) that maybe what was referred to as spark erosion in the last post.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:05:26 AM
beezerbill beezerbill is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

Did I see 1/2 inch bolt? That's pretty big, which is a good thing if you are trying to drill it out by hand. Means you probably don't need to be perfectly centered - if you nick the threads in the hole a bit it is not the end of the world. Just go for it, and if the threads do get messed up either drill it out more and use a bolt and nut, or Helicoil it.

For the stainless, use good, freshly sharpened cobalt drills if you have them, and it helps to use a split point drill for the pilot hole. If you are using whatever bits you have lying around, at least sharpen them. And use cutting lube of some form - any thing oily should suffice. Center punch the broken bolt best as you can (sometimes the mating part serves as a guide for center punching or even center drilling). Start small (3/16 inch or so) and work up to larger drills. If you are lucky, the last bit of bolt thread will come out looking like some kind of deranged spring.

I often dither around for hours trying to figure out the best way how to do a 5 minute job, and finally put all the super-elegant solutions behind me and just hog into it with perfectly acceptable results.

Last edited by beezerbill; 10-26-2014 at 10:13:45 AM. Reason: split point
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:05:23 PM
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

Usually in a situation like this, if the welded on nut trick wont get it out, using an "ez out" or ez break as i call them is just going to do just that, break. Then your really screwed. I would just drill the bolt out, not caring about saving the threads, but to just get the thing out of there, and install a keensert. You have better threads and the job is done. Put some anti-seize on the fasteners when you put them back in and you're good to go.
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Old 10-26-2014, 04:48:16 PM
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

The left hand drills I mentioned earlier are unesesary since the hole is open ended. I would weld and heat until there is not any bolt sticking any more. Then drill. many times I've been on the third or fourth time and finally it starts to move. Once it moves at all you can work it back and forth with your best choice of knocker loose type spray lube. I like the drilled 1/4" strap. then you can hammer both directions moderately. sometimes an impact is too much.

Jeff
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:46:18 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

Thanks everybody, no time to work on it today, I'm going to start drilling on it tomorrow and see what I can do.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:35:02 PM
Old Wrench Old Wrench is offline
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

Best cutting oil for stainless I've found is lard--tip from an old aircraft mechanic--for both drilling and tapping. I avoid trying to tap steel out of aluminum because the aluminum is softer than steel and a lot softer than stainless. The tap will try to cut out into the aluminum even if it is pretty well indexed and centered. I try to drill out past the minor diameter and then pick the thread out with a small diamond point chisel or such tool.

I'm not pretending that this can be easy and I don't have much to add to those who posted previously, just a couple precautions and take it slow and be careful. Good luck!

Old Wrench
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:55:40 AM
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

I was told by a machinist years ago that, when drilling 300 series stainless, to use a dead sharp bit and have a helper keep the drill well oiled and do -not- "peck" at it.

He said that if you pause in the drilling, the stainless will work harden and trash the bit. Getting started again after replacing the bit is next to impossible.

I've never had much luck drilling the stuff.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:30:11 AM
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Default Re: Removing a Stainless Steel Bolt from an Aluminum Casting?

Make a pilot on the lathe and drill it out as at this point other methods are futile and will just piss you off!
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