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EA-81 intake manifold removal -- broken bolt. Any ideas?


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20 replies to this topic

#1 Ma-fia

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 08:08 PM

One of the 4 longer bolts holding the manifold onto the engine block broke off. Apparently there was a very slow leak around the gasket on one side for a long time, and one bolt rusted dead onto the manifold. I managed to undo the other long bolt (on the same side) from the engine block, but it still wouldn't come out of the manifold.
For the past 4 or 5 days I kept spraying the broken bolt with penetrating oil, hoping to be able to at least slide the manifold out, but that didn't happen so far. Any ideas?
I suspect that most likely I'll have to rock the manifold until the rest of the bolt breaks off below the manifold and try to tack-weld a nut on it afterwords... Or just take it to a machine shop and let them figure it out. I know, it's gonna be so much fun! (I don't have a welder.)
Any suggestions/ideas will be appreciated.

#2 MilesFox

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 08:28 PM

"this is how we took off intakes back in 'nam."
Posted Image
Posted Image

#3 Nug

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 08:31 PM

Sorry, I can't help you, all of my ideas involve welders. A similar thing happened on my jag, what was I to to? I beat it mercilessly with a hammer, then welded the broken parts back together. The broken bolt then unthreaded by hand:banghead:

The previous post proves that we are extremely helpful sometimes.

#4 MilesFox

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 08:40 PM

the pictures above were the result of the bolt being seized in the intake, they twisted off at the head. the heads were cracked on this motor anyway, so i cut the itake to remove the heads, and keep the short-block

other instances i have hasd a bolt break off at the base of the intake. but i have reassembled the intake minus a bolt, and it has been fine for over 4000 miles. i had another motor like that as well

one spfi wagon we had busted 2 bolts on one head. so with the head off the car we mwelded some allthread to make studs for th eintake. but one of them broke torquing it down. but it still worked, even thru a mild overheat(radiator)

the other one busted off when i removed the intake, but i have put it back together with just 1 bolts, and it runs like its supposed to, but has not been driven on yet.

i hope this helps, this is what has worked for me..

#5 Nug

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 08:55 PM

maybe you could suspend the engine by the manifold over a roof beam or something. Run a punch down the hole where the offending headless bolt is, and wail away at it. the suspended manifold should stay put, and the engine, head and all should make for the floor. Engine still in the car? Maybe undo the motor mounts and pick the engine up (by the manifold) and try it like that. Try not to die:-p

Seriously, it sounds like a start, or something.

#6 archemitis

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 09:16 PM

thats the gayest part about resealing a subaru, either an exhaust strips(sometimes all) or an intake bolt breaks. i would say drill it out the same size, then retap it, and hope it works. use a brand new bit of the size that is recommended, for the tap. i have an american bolt in one of my long ones, because i messed up the first time.

just for everybody reading this, you dont want it to happen to you! heat up those bolts with a bernsomatic torch. they are cheap as hell, and make life alot easier. you heat up the bolt, and let it cool for a half minute, then it turns right out. usually

good luck, drill the heck out of it.

#7 northguy

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 09:28 PM

Was it Turbone a while back that had some penetrating oil that really works? Ask around. That may be a good start.

#8 Ma-fia

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 05:27 AM

Miles, your pictures are splendid.

What are those ideas you're talking about, SnotRocket? Who knows, maybe in addition to the digital camera Santa should bring me a small cheap welding device... (Or a friend with such willing to make a trip.)

I'm still waiting on those bolts. It's probably hopeless, but what the heck.

The stuff I'm spraying it with is not WD-40, it's that yellowish deal in red-and-yellow can; supposedly pretty strong.

#9 Nug

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 08:07 AM

What i'm saying is to pick the engine up by the intake, hit the broken bolt with a punch and hammer, and watch everything except the intake hit the floor.

#10 TomRhere

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 08:41 AM

Some light raps with a hammer near the area around the stubborn bolt, may help wick the penitrant in further.

You might try to swing the manifold back and forth, pivoting it at that bolt. Just don't try to do to much of a swing.

I have used snotrocket's method in the past, it works sometimes.

May also try using one of those flat prybars under it, near the stubborn bolt, to maybe get it to move upwards abit.

As stated previously, heat applied to the area, may help also.

#11 Qman

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 09:36 AM

I just dealt with this exect thing at the junkyard yesterday. Bolt broke off inside the manifold.

Penetrating oil doesn't work well because it does nothing for the rust that is holding the bolt in place. I exposed some of the board member to some stuff called "Yield". It actually eats/dissolves/removes/softens however you wish to describe it. Edrach found a distributor and his company bought some and he resold to a few board member.

Back to the point. I spray the solution into the hole of the offending bolt. Let it sit for a few minutes. The slowly began to twist the manifold back and forth. Then, gently placed a pry bar under the manifold while twisting. It came off with a little work. Now I didn't mess with the bolt after words because I was just after the manifold. I'm not sure if anyone from your area got any of this stuff. I have a couple extra cans. But it is expensive by what you are probably used to. $13.00 a can. It lasts a long time. I have two cans that lasted almost three years.

There are a couple less destructive ways to remove a broken/frozen bolt. Small propane torches work well. They don't get hot as fast as gas type. Heat-cool-heat-cool approach can give good results. Cutting it off flush with the block and drill out then use an E-Z out also produces good results. There is enough room in the block there to install a Heli-coil if neccessary.

What ever you decide to try go slow and be patient. Otherwise the results could be catastrophic.

#12 northguy

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 10:37 AM

Sorry Q Man, I got you confused with Turbone. Thanks for straightening me out on the penetrant.

#13 Ma-fia

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Posted 25 December 2003 - 03:08 AM

Thanks for more ideas, guys. One way or another I should get it out.
Archemitis, I wish I knew about the heating before I started messing with the manifold. All the knowledge circulating in this board would probably make quite a decent book. Oh well, maybe I get better in the future. After all this GLF is my first real car project.

13 bucks is not a problem, I might think of getting the stuff. Do you have any idea what the shipping would cost?
HOwever, you've got me wondering: maybe I should try to spray some rust converter in there. I'm not sure if RustFix would be a good idea or not. After all it doesn't just dissolve the rust, but forms a different compound that doesn't go anywhere.

The whole manifold actually pivots around the broken bolt, I just realized that I forgot to mention that earlier.

#14 Ma-fia

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Posted 25 December 2003 - 04:25 AM

Forgot one more thing:

How does RustFix mix with penetrating oil?...

#15 TomRhere

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Posted 25 December 2003 - 08:05 AM

If it will pivot on the broken bolt, you're halfway there.
Pivot the manifold while pulling, or prying up on it. May help to have an extra pair of hands to help you.

The corrosion in there will bind it up, pivoting the manifold should help keep it broke loose. May take awhile to get it off of the stud, so be patient.

#16 MilesFox

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Posted 25 December 2003 - 09:18 AM

sounds like yer better off than i was with the pictures. my bolts were seized up in the manifold itself, nor a punch or drill worked, thus resorting to sawing the manifold to get the heads off.

onr thing to consider on the next intake job: if the bolt seems to turn a little, bit with resistance, turn the bolt ever so slightly, turn in a turn, back out half a turn, in a turn, out half a turn, you get the idea. the idea it that although the bolt may turn with resistance, dont apply so much torque that the bolt snaps. its one of those things that you have to exercise some "technique", but sometimes a technique has to be developed from experience, even if that means botching a job the first time, so you know what not to do the next time around.

good luck

so far roberts wagon is doing just fine with only one(short) bolt on the passenger intake, with new gaskets...

oh yeah, the yellow and red can PB blaster, its good stuff....

#17 gbianchi

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Posted 25 December 2003 - 01:22 PM

heres what I have done, befor you snap the head off the bolt If you have a cordless drill that has the clutch adjustment feature, set it at a low torque setting and use the befor mentioned back and forth method. cordless drills make for a poormans impact driver. Hope that helps

#18 frag

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Posted 25 December 2003 - 02:41 PM

Qman, since the only real problems I've ever encountered as a shade tree mechanic have almost always been rust related, I would very much like to have one of your cans. If it's alright with you, e-mail me and we'll work out a way of paiement.

#19 Qman

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Posted 25 December 2003 - 02:47 PM

I'll check with the post office. I don't know how it will work sending an aerosol can across the border under an "Orange alert". We may be able to work something out though.

Ken

#20 frag

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Posted 25 December 2003 - 02:51 PM

Thanks. Noting urgent but I'll be waiting for news from you.
Gilles

#21 Ma-fia

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Posted 26 December 2003 - 02:10 AM

Wow, more ideas! I will definitely save all this info in a dedicated file (I've been doing it with some info I considered valuable). Who knows, maybe in a year I'll have a nice fancy archive on what "to" and what "not to".

As to the tools, beleive it or not, but we have both in the household -- an excellent cordless and compressor+impact. I have actually bought the impact for one of my first solo jobs -- sway bar replacement. Someone I trusted told me that mine wasn't any good, so I went through all the trouble of dragging the old one out and putting the one from my parts car in, mind it all that WITHOUT taking off any of the exhaust parts. Anyway, some related bolts were way too tuff for me. At that point I borrowed a compressor and bought an impact... And quite recently we've found a great deal on a compressor.
As to the sway bar -- until this day I do not know if it was worth it! Indeed, to replace a used sway bar with another one just as used? I didn't and don't notice any difference. Oh well, let's call it a learning experience.

QMan - what about spraying some RustFix on that bolt?




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