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Broken Eazy Out

I had a good laugh at the story of the broken Eazy Out tool, as it was almost an exact replay of an experience my friend and I had replacing his water pump years ago. In our defense, the bolt broke due to corrosion rather than overtightening, but otherwise the story was painfully familiar.

Our solution was relatively simple. We bought a Dremel tool and went to a machine shop and bought some carbide cutters that would fit in the Dremel. The carbide is important to be able to cut through the hardened steel of the Eazy Out. The one that worked best for us has kind of a spherical cutting surface on the tip of the bit. Unlike a drill bit, the cutter doesn’t wander as bad. We were able to grind out the broken Eazy Out and enough of the bolt that we could get it out with pliers.

It does take a little bit of care to make sure you don’t nick the threads in the block.

Two possible solution for removal of broken bolt with broken "Easy-out’.

  1. Assuming bolt is small diameter try using a Sears damaged SCREW REMOVAL TOOL “SCREW-OUT” part number 52154. It has a short but wide “bite” which may be enough to grab the existing drilled out hole. If clearance is tight use a small length of wood (1X1 or 2X2) to pry against/push/jam the “Screw-out” into the hole while turning with a open end (aprox 1/4") wrench. Read use and product review on Sears web-site on the “Screw-out” tools page.

  2. Measure the depth of the existing screw hole (within the bolt) to the top of the “Easy-out” with a toothpick etc. Use a angle grinder or some other cutting wheel - cut off the tip/end of another “Easy-out” (or maybe use the remaining broken one) to cause the remaining length of the tool to be short enough to grab into the drilled out hole.

Good Luck.

An expert with a cutting torch can “blow” the easy out and bolt out of the hole and never nick the threads…

Dremel with a carbide tip was my first thought also. If access is an issue, the internet tells me that there are right angle drives available for Dremels.

Other options:

1 - Use the Dremel to drill out the Easy Out, then tap the hole and use an undersized bolt. All we’re trying to do here is hold a water pump on without leaking – we’re not trying to hold the suspension together so reserve strength shouldn’t be a big issue.

2 - If there is enough metal, drill a new hole next to the EasyOut and widen the mounting hole in the water pump flange. Tap the new hole and bolt the water pump there. Ugly? Sure. But better than removing the engine I think.

I suspect the caller’s bolt may have had a corrosion problem as well as he was purportedly using a torque wrench. Surely a full strength bolt shouldn’t break unless overtorqued.


Am I the only one who has NEVER had an Easy Out work? Personally, I will never use one again.

Broken bolts are easily removed by welding a nut to the top of the broken bolt. If it protrudes above the surface, screw a nut onto the stub or fit a larger diameter over the stub and weld it with , preferably, a wire welder then immediately unscrew it while it is still hot. If the bolt is below the surface, position a nut over the broken bolt and fill the hole with weld and unscrew it. Weld will not stick to aluminum or cast iron so you have no fear of welding the nut to the block. If the block is marred a little a little had repair may be necessary

The best way to get out a broken bolt in cast iron is to weld a nut on the end a screw it out, because weld does not stick to cast iron.

What about just dabbing some JB Weld and a nut on the end of the broken bolt. It’d be like the weld-job, but without needing a welding rig (or a welder).

A common High Speed Steel (HSS) drill bit will not cut a broken easy-out, but a carbide drill bit will chew right though it. BTDT.

Get a Dremel tool, but do not try to grind out the ez out. Instead, cut a “slot” across the broken bolt and ez out. You will cut into the block a bit, simply be careful not to get too careless about that. Silicon and the WP gasket will be your friend.

Cut the slot sufficiently clean and square to accept a large, long, flat blade screwdrive, one with a square shank, perhaps, to get a wrench on. Back the bolt out that way.

Third, easiest, option, and forth, last ditch option:

Find a local shop with a ‘bolt burner’-- and EDM machine designed specifically for removing broken bolts and studs. Fast, cheap, usually no damage.

If no local shop has one, get mad: I have on occasion used an annular cutter sized to match the thread root to follow the broken bolt so I could use a repair insert (helicoil, etc). Easiest with the proper machine (mill, drill press, magnet base drill, etc) but can be done by hand, as the annular cutter, if properly sized, will tend to follow the threads, especially in cast iron or aluminum, where the base metal cuts much more easily then the bolt. When I have to do it by hand, I try to set up a guide (drill jig) that I can bolt in place over the target using the other holes in the area. Predrill the guide hole, oversize drill the holes for mounting a little so you can shift the guide to align dead on. 1/2" steel is good for this. Only critical thing is the guide hole: do it on a mill or drill press with the cutter that will be used to remove the broke bolt. Just need to be sure that the inner surface of the cutter won’t hit the EZout.

To avoid the broken EZout problem, avoid EZouts. Your best friend for bolt removal is a left-hand-twist drill. If the broken part isn’t bottomed, this will often walk it right out. If it is, it may loosen it and walk it out. The standard (right hand) bits often tighten the thing in.

Next is weld up. The weld is something to grab, the heat loosens up the bind.

Next is a bolt burner/EDM

Followed by annular cutter and thread insert

Can’t think of a tool that is more incorrectly named, Easy Out.

The screw would not back out under sufficient torque to snap the full diameter of the shank of the screw extractor…

But it’s going to back out without breaking after you REDUCE it’s cross sectional area by 50% by cutting a slot in it?

Interesting. I bet Stephen Timoshenko didn’t even know that trick!