Bolt is in the way of replacing bumper cover, how do I get rid of it?


This is a follow up on my previous discussion. I’m replacing my bumper cover. I got the new cover, I got a great price for it, and it’s in great shape. There’s just one thing that’s in my way.

The cover is mounted to the top of the frame with 4 bolts. The two outside bolts are gone (I lost them in the collision), but I can get new ones no problem.

The two on the inside were holding the old cover, but I can’t remove them.

My question is how do I remove them? …and what kind of bolts are these anyway?

Each has a round phillips head. The head is stripped, so I can’t get any leverage with a screw driver because it’s attached to this bracket, which bends if I put some force in it (I don’t want it to break). Just under the head the shank is thick and smooth. The nut is octagonal (none of my ratchets fit), and the corners are flattened to the bracket. (see pic)

Is it fixed to the bracket somehow? If so, how should I deal with this?

(already tried WD40, that nut is not coming off)

Worst case scenario is that I can’t get it off, so I bend this thing out of the way, and the cover is attached with just the two outside bolts.


If you can get access with a dremel tool, you might cut slots in the screws’ heads and use a “common” screwdriver.
You might also be able to uncrew it with vise grips, holding the bracket solid with a second set of vise grips.
These were apparently designed to be machine installed and not removable, so they may be “self-locking”, which means the thread binds in the hole thread, so a squirt of penetrating lube might help.

And I’ll bet that if you showed these photos to a body shop they’d be happy to tell you how they do it. I’ll bet they do millions of them.


It is hard to tell from the photo but that may be a Torx screw not a Phillips. I agree with TSM about using two vise grios.


In unusual situations I’ve even been known to cut right through the welded-on squarenut and replace the whole thing with a regular bolt and self-locking nut. That’s always an option.

Oldtimer might be right too. I’ve been occasionally frustrated by Torx.


Turns out the nut was welded on. That was a lot of wasted effort trying to use a wrench to twist it from below.

I got it off though! I used a combination of a lot of WD40, a pair of piers with a hole about the size of the bolt, a vice grip to hold the bracket, and a lot of force and grunting.

Thanks for your suggestions, much appreciated.

So far so good. The only thing I’m missing is a couple of the clips and screws used to fasten the cover. I’m fine with buying them but I don’t know where I’d find them.


Dealer, body shop or junkyard.


it doesn’t appeared to be rusted much. I think the problem you were having – besides thinking the lower part was a nut – is that bolt - as posted above – is probably not actually a Phillips head. But somebody has used a Phillips head on it, and stripped it, so nothing will engage with it now. Except the pliers/vice grip which eventually worked. If you had the right socket attachment and the head wasn’t stripped, removing that bolt wouldn’t have been much of a problem.

For removing tough bolts which are rusted and stuck in place, if you have enough space to get a hammer in there to whack it, what I use is a hammer-driven impact driver. That inexpensive gadget works miracles on stuck screws and bolts. You whack it with a hammer and it turns a quarter turn and delivers an impressive rotational inertia jolt to the bolt. You still have to have a bolt that isn’t stripped though, but stripped heads can usually be overcome just by filing or dremmel-ing in a new slot, then using the slotted attachment for the impact driver.

BTW, WD 40 isn’t the best thread-penetrant. It works somewhat, but something like Liquid Wrench or PB Blaster is better. I recently dug up some dahlia tubers for winter storage and found a pair of pliers buried in the dirt along w/the dahlias which had been there for over a year, completely rusted and stuck in the open position. I had wondered where those pliers went to … lol … No amount of force would budge them. I was able to get them working after 3 days treatment of Liquid Wrench and a pipe clamp gadget to get enough leverage to get the jaws to move enough to work the Liquid Wrench in to the various recesses. They’re a little the worse for wear appearance-wise now, but functionally work as smoothly as when new.

Most hardware stores carry specialized bolts and nuts but you have to be patient, b/c it may take some time to find them. Sometimes it is easier just to go to a good auto parts store with an example of what you need and show it to the staff.