CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Blind hole bolt issue

saturn vue 3.0 v6 has typical upper intake plenum. it is basically a large alum box with a lid that has tuned runners inside. the box bolts down to the lower intake between the heads. there are 5 bolts that hold it down. 10-24 approx with female torx heads. the screws sit in 1/2" dia bores that are about 4" deep. and several of the screw heads are stripped. not the screw body, but the heads. so, how do you get them out? removing the lid gets you no closer to the screws. only thing i can think of is use a long drill and try and shear off the screw heads?
I might buy this vue. solution to problem? dont buy it

Can’t you use a screw extractor on an extension?

I am a fan of reverse-drill bits for bolt extraction. You just start drilling in reverse and when they bite they eventually back out. I used an air drill like below on my wife’s exhaust manifold bolts:

i dont know how much of screw head is left. a 4" deep hole makes it hard to see the screw head at bottom. i was thinking maybe a flat end mill cutter. maybe a long handle reamer type tool with teeth on end? i am pretty sure cutting off the screw heads will let me lift the plenum up and than grab the remaining screw body.

I like the reverse drill bit idea. Depending on how bad they’re stripped, I’ve removed torx bolts with cheap flat blade screwdrivers, custom ground and tapped into the torx fastener with a hammer. If they’re all stripped, it would be easier to buy a dremel type tool with an extension and cut the heads off, remove the plenum, and hope you can get what’s left of the screws out.

I’d try a 1/8" flat head screwdriver with a long handle. Stick it into the screwhead and see if you get a bite, but do not try to turn out the screw. Instead get a small hammer and start tapping on the end of the screwdriver handle and then start apply turning pressure as you tap with the hammer. If they aren’t real tight and you get a little bite, they will back out.

What I’ve found is someone tries to remove a Torx Plus fastener with a regular Torx tool.

This will strip out the Torx Plus head.

If you’re lucky, there’s enough material left where a Torx Plus tool still works.

Tester

1 Like