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Hagerty Employee

How to remove studs and broken bolts with spare hardware | Hagerty Media

Specialized tools are fantastic, there are no two ways around it. However, I-and I assume many of you-don't have infinite funds for tools. That means there is a certain amount of creativity and thriftiness needed to get some tasks completed properly.

This works very well but remember to begin by liberally soaking the stud where it goes into whatever it's screwed into before doing anything else .

If it doesn't begin to unscrew fairly easily, leave the double nuts on and heat the stud until it gets white hot then quench it with the garden hose or better, more penetrating oil ~ the rapid cooling shrinks the stud so fast it will break the corrosion free .

Remember : once it begins to turn, DO NOT FORCE IT ! . if it begins to bind, -stop- and apply more penetrating oil to the threads and turn it in a little bit ~ often you'll have to work it in and out many times in very small amounts, this works the penetrant in and prevents the stud/bolt from snapping off and spoiling your day .

When faced with a snapped off stud bolt, a good trick is to weld a large & wide flat washer to the broken off end, then weld a nut to that an begin again .


In and out many times is the key (you seeing this Silentboy et al?). I don't want to admit how many bolts I've broken a SECOND time AFTER I get them to turn because I didn't have enough patience.
New Driver

The best way to remove a stuck bolt or stud is with candle wax. Just heat the stud until it’s just starting to glow, then touch a candle to the stud. The melted wax will run right down the threads, and everywhere else, so protect whatever you don’t want to scrape wax off of. Normally a good pair of vise grips will spin it right out. I had a 1930 Model A windshield frame that had been sitting outside for many years and the 1/4-20 bolts had already been snapped off. A little heat and wax and they backed right out. An old timer told me about this many years ago and I was amazed how easy the stud broke loose and came out. Well, I’m 70 now, so I guess it’s my time to pass this along. Give it a try, you won’t believe how well it works.
Pit Crew

The most novel fix I saw for a broken stud was was years ago on a Volvo. it was the middle of a dark night in northern Quebec. A stud holding the alternator in place broke off even with the face of the aluminum casting. I thought I was sunk, would have to remove the engine to get to it with an easy-out. But I happened to be in front of a garage with the french speaking operator up early to go hunting. He looked at it, said something in french, and went inside. He opened his garage, pulled out an arc welder, and welded the electrode rod to the broken stud. Then cut the rod off except for a "handle" and wound the end of the stud out. He put an new stud in, re-attached the alternator then went off in search of moose or something. Maybe 15 minutes start to finish. Brilliant.
Intermediate Driver

I've never had much success removing broken studs or bolts.....until I tried this.
I know not everyone has a welder, but this was project/life changing. I will never look at a broken stud in fear again.
Advanced Driver

"Rather than deal with breaking the rusty bond of nut and stud"
I have to admit, that made me giggle.
Pit Crew

I am the President of a T-Bucket Club in the Carolina's. We have about 36 members across the two states. We have no dues. About half of our members are insured with Hagerty.

I would like Hagerty's permission to copy articles like this one to put into our newsletter. I am happy to credit Hagerty and the author.

If I should direct my request elsewhere, please advise.


Community Manager

@rbsWELDER  Hi Mark, you can link to our story but cannot republish the content in its entirety into your newsletter.  Please send me a private message if you have any further questions and I will get answers for you. 


I can't imagine 36 T-Buckets in one place! One of the things I love about my bucket is I'm quite sure I'm the only one in the area with a driveable one.
New Driver

If you remember flathead engines, they were always breaking head studs. An old room mate showed me how to remove a broken stud, before wire feed welders were around. He used low hydrogen rod in the appropriate size for the stud, with a cleaned up stud, and nut. He welded them together, let them cool down for a couple of hours, and then you could remove them. this was back in the late 50's early 60's. He even welded a M6 exhaust stud that was broken off below the surface on a motorcycle I had. Now we have much better devices for the job.

Hey Kyle:

My sincerest condolences on owning a Corvair... 🙂 Oh come on that was too funny. :0 Good note on removing bad studs. One thing I always remind guys of is to use some sort of grease or, even better anti-seize grease, on the threads when you reinstall the stud. I also push for using new studs in any situation involving old engines and cars like yours. Those old studs are just that, OLD. Heating cycles and time as well as corrosion do a number on materials over time. A new set of real quality ARP studs is a very inexpensive investment for a project like that. No, you don't have ot go the ARP route, you can find some less expensive fasteners, but generally new ones are better than old rusty ones. Having caused myself a lot of heartache and pain over the years, from old studs and bolts being re-used, I give that as a cautionary tale to others. 🙂

P.S. It could be worse, you could have the Mopar disease. 🙂

If you've got the correct size on hand chase all the threads before reassembly. Harbor Freight has good assortments at Chinese slave labor prices that won't cut new threads in steel but are terrific for chasing existing threads. Also, I never tighten a stud into a blind hole beyond finger tight. Lastly, you reached into the hardware "drawer". Sorry, I am a part time proof reader and couldn't help myself.

Lots of good comments & replies here .


The welding tip is good because the electric welding shrinks the stud ever so slightly .


This comes in handy on those 1960's Ford front hubs that didn't have any lip to pound out a bead bearing race ~ the trick is to weld a bead around the face if the race, right where the rollers would touch ~ this will normally make that old race fall right out in your hand .


Also handy when working on vintage Motocycles, the steering neck bearing races often do not want to come out no matter what and you don't want to damage the paint ~ arc weld a bead and they fall right out .


The penetrant used makes a difference ~ I was a big beliver in Liquid Wrench in the early 1960's , then various others like Gibbs, PB Blaster etc., etc.  all are very good, not a  one is close to Kroil ~ once you try it you'll be convinced, I've yet to meet anyone who didn't prefer it after one use .


The heat and wax thing is good too, try it on some rusty lug nuts and see .


There are you tube videos about using heat and candle wax .




"Double-Nutting" was a concept explained to me by a seasoned mechanic back in the '70 when I was faced with the problem of removing the radiator fan studs from a 455, 1969 Olds engine, in order to remove and replace a faulty water pump. I consider this to be a break-through in my learning of mechanicing skills. You can bet that I taught my son AND my grandson this technique as soon as they were old enough to grasp the concept. By this time in life, I've removed and installed hundreds (thousands?) of studs by double-nutting.