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MorganM

Drill Bits for Hardend Steel Bolts?

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Once again a simple 'maintanace' item turns into a *insert every swear word I want to say* two week marathon test of my patience and will to live.

 

Trying to do ball joints; finally got the stud end poped out of the control arm. Time to take out the pinch bolt holding the ball joint into the bottom of the knuckle. Ive hit it for days with PB Blaster. Impact wrench at 100psi and it strips the hexhead of the bolt. Since this happens all the damn time I whip out my snaggers and put the right size one on the head and chuck upto the impact wrench again.... spins the head right off the bolt flush with the knuckle.

 

Welp time to drill it out right? Yep so I center punch the bolt to gimme a good start. Chuck up a small drill bit to do a pilot hole, oil it up, and have at it. Not even 5mm in the damn drill bit explodes. That was about 20 min of drilling to get 3-4mm into a 3cm bolt!!!!!!

 

What drill bits should I use on this hardend steel bolt?

 

Should I just surpass hours of drilling and pull the whole dang knuckle off, throw it in the garbage, and put on another rusted junk knuckle?

 

I swear this is the last rusted out piece of garbage I buy#)($*& :banghead:

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Got an angle grinder?? much easier.

You could mess around changing the angles on the bit to stop it beaking, but it will still take a long time and need lots of coolant.

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no no, carbide bits are the way to go.. spendy, well worth it. Cuts through any metal like butter. Make sure you have the cutting oil ready, and buy snap-on, if the bit ever dulls, you can get another for free.

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I had the same thing happen on an '84--used the titanium bit from Sears with some oil and got it drilled out, took a couple hours, though.

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no no, carbide bits are the way to go.. spendy, well worth it. Cuts through any metal like butter. Make sure you have the cutting oil ready, and buy snap-on, if the bit ever dulls, you can get another for free.

 

Bing! I love my Dewalt Carbides.

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Morgan, swap it out and be done with it. Alot less time involved and the end result will probably be better.

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The strongest drill bits commonly available right now are "Cobalt". Vermont American, Bosch, & Dewalt all make these bits I believe.. I have NEVER dulled a cobalt drill bit. Though I did break one once.

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You could swap out the knuckle - I did one on my Loyale recently. Mine had the balljoint bolt broken from way back, and the strut pinchbolt broke taking the knuckle off. So be careful! I chose the swap route since I had a parts car available. If you can get the entire axle/bearings/knuckle/balljoint in one piece in good shape, it should be easiest. In my case I put a new balljoint and bearings/seals in, so it was more work.

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Morgan, swap it out and be done with it. Alot less time involved and the end result will probably be better.

 

COULDNT AGREE MORE!

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Morgan, swap it out and be done with it. Alot less time involved and the end result will probably be better.

 

+3!

 

carbide and titanium bits are nice...but in this case, it might be easier to replace...

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After looking over my spare knuckles I'm just going to swap it out. I'm guestimating less time involved and I dont feel like dropping money on expensive drill bits. Already got the spare one torn apart from the suspension assembly; seems to be coming apart alot better than the one I currently have on.

 

Now I'm rather stuck on the bottom pinch bolt holding the ball joint in. Can't seem to get the knuckle to spread far enough to drop the ball joint out. I'll do some searching on the board here and see what others ended up doing.

 

Thx for listening to my ranting fruastration :)

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Now I'm rather stuck on the bottom pinch bolt holding the ball joint in. Can't seem to get the knuckle to spread far enough to drop the ball joint out. I'll do some searching on the board here and see what others ended up doing.

 

just have arch weld something on to it and pull it out that way :-p

 

I've had to do some pretty gnarly prying to get an old balljoing out of a knuckle...or you could come help me pull my motor and I'll give you a knuckle that's already free of it's balljoint, unfortunately, it's still stuck to the tie rod end....but....close enough right?

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Finally got the one ball joint out. Here's what I did.

 

Put the stud back through the control arm and threaded on the castle nut again. Just enough so it wont rip off the threads. Stuck a 3' crowbar upto the radius rod support bracket, on top of the control arm, and along side the ball joint. Put my right foot on the crow bar to hold the control arm down tight against the ball joints. Wailed with 4lb hammer on crow bar as close to the ball joint / control arm as possible w/o hitting anything else. About every 20 hits I'd check and it would be 1mm down. After 30 min of hammering it finally came out. Unscrewed the castle nut from the ball joint stud and it was free!

 

Onto the next problem. One of the ball joints I bought was fully assembled and ready to go in. THe other one doesnt have the boot on it. I slip on the boot but it's not flush against the ball joint stud. So I guess it just seals against the control arm and that's all that matters? Also do I pack this boot with grease?

 

Thx

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no grease (couldnt hurt i guess, might retain water though)

 

 

the stud is tapered, and theoretically when you scootch the boot down the stud, the diameter increase will fill the hole in the bootie.

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Sounds good; I'll slap it together with no grease then.

 

Got the other knuckle stripped down and repacked with new bearings :brow: Now I just need to remove and strip down the other knuckle, swap over the caliper and hub, then bolt it all back together.

 

Still debating on doing bearings on the other side now since the one side has new ones.... :-\

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