Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968 - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 18, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

When removing my passenger fender, the lower bolt by the rockers, directly under the door hinges, snapped off. The edge of the remaining bolt is flush with the body, so not much sticking out past that. I used PB and a reverse cobalt bit to bore a hole all the way through the bolt, but it still wasn't budging. I then use my biggest extractor bit, that was just a bit smaller than the bolt itself, but under considerable torque, that snapped off inside the bored hole in the bolt. I am unable to remove that piece at this time. Is there a way I can access this bolt from the other side? If so, where and how? Also if anyone has any extraction tips, please let me know.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 18, 03:37 AM
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The broken extractor is going to make it difficult to remove the bolt. I would burn it out with a tourch . at this point I don't know if welding a nut on the end of the broken bolt is a option. Not much to weld on.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 18, 05:51 AM
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

I would cut an access hole with a cut off wheel and remove it from the other side after applying a lot of PB Blaster and installling two jam nuts. Then weld the piece you removed back in.

Don

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 18, 08:18 AM
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

The bottom of the A pillar has a nut welded to the panel. The nut is surrounded by the rocker and cowl panel. There is no easy way to get to the top of the nut unless something is removed with a metal cutting wheel. The second photo shows the nut in question with a bolt threaded thru it:
[IMG]PASS A PILLAR 1 by Patrick Smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]pass rocker 10 by Patrick Smith, on Flickr[/IMG]


There is no easy way to get to it. There are patch panels available that will replace the rusted nut and any other rust on this panel. I would consider this panel as a last resort.

[IMG]pass a pillar 9 by Patrick Smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

If you cannot get the extractor bit out, then you might try this:
If there is no other rust damage, I would use a hole saw and drill out the surrounding sheet metal and the offending nut. I would take a flat washer and bend it to the same shape as the new hole in the car. I would weld a new nut on the washer. Then I would weld the washer and nut assembly on the car where I drilled the hole.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 18, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

Wow, thanks for the feedback guys. The picture is especially helpful. Hard to believe that little square nut can be locking the 3/8" bolt in that tight, especially when it is hollowed out.

I'm going to try a few more options to release the extractor tip, but if that fails, I guess I'll have to go with one of the cutting / welding options.

I have done something with my Jeep where I cut back the floor board like a flap to access a welded in nut, then welded it back down afterwards, but from the picture it is not clear if that is a straight shot where I can cut a flap into the floor board for adequate access to work on the back of the bolt. Has anyone actually done that type of floorboard surgery, to access this bolt ? I would think that if that approach is possible, I may be able to re-tap the existing square bolt for re-use.

The outside hole saw approach also makes sense, it just may require more welding skill to get it back together right.
I'm not sure how I'd paint / protect the inside, once it's all welded in ?
Are all hardware store grade 5 washers weldable to OEM sheet metal (no dissimilar metal type corrosion afterward) ?

Thanks
CJ

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 18, 03:26 AM
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The factory square nut is actually quite big. Its like a inch thick. Pretty beefy. You would have to cut a hole in the lower part of the. Tulip or saddle bag area whatever it is called these days to get to it like you are talking. To prevent doing it like that , I have used a touch to make the hole in the existing "factory nut" larger. Then I get a nut that already has a washer made on it . tap the nut in the hole with a hammer, then weld it in place around the washer area. The nut I'm talking about is like the ones that hold the wheels on a bicycle. The ones on a bike are metric and you could use that if you like "easier" to find, it you could get one from a hardware store in standard thread.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 18, 06:01 AM
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

I'd go with the hole saw method Patrick suggested and use a flange nut as Keith suggested provided you can find an appropriately sized hole saw. Grade 5 flange nuts are readily available. If you can't remove the easy out then you'll need to create an outside guide for the hole saw. Just use a block of wood drilled with the hole saw. Remove the drill and guide the hole saw with the wooden block. I highly suggest using a bi-metal hole saw.

Al

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 18, 06:13 AM
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

Mr. Keith is right. Cutting the floor pan will not give you access to the broken nut. You will have to go through the rocker or go through the tulip/saddle panel.

You should not encouraged me with the photograph comment. Now you got another one. The photo below shows the driver side. The floor is removed. Notice the rocker blocks any access from the inside. The tulip/saddle panel is removed in the photo.

[IMG]DAPILLAR 18 by Patrick Smith, on Flickr[/IMG]

Another option might be the use of a rivet nut. They work just like a rivet. You drill the right size hole and then you stick the rivet nut in the hole. There is a special tool that collapses the rivet nut and then you have a new fastener. The special tool is nice but I have used a bolt and a nut with a wrench to collapse the rivet nut into position. You might not be able to wrench the rivet nut because it might spin in the thin sheet metal.

https://www.jhpfasteners.com/rivet-n...3_44-l-en.html

A washer is made of steel with zinc coating. If you are going to weld a washer, grind off the zinc coating. They weld just fine.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 18, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

Update: Before attempting to cut the nut out, I decided to try some additional boring methods to dig into that broken extractor. I read about a thing called a Rescue Bit. Cheap it is not, but it did very slowly dig into that hardened steel extractor. I found that by using an alternating combination of the Rescue bit, Dremel 953, and Dremel 453... it chewed through the extractor more quickly. In all it took about 2 hours to get through the 3/4" of extractor that was wedged in the bolt hole.

So what I am left with now, is a somewhat "cone-ified" tunnel into the nut. So not a perfect cylinder hole anymore. As far as I can tell, if I tried to retap the hole for the 3/8 OEM bolt, I might be able to get 2 or 3 correct depth threads toward the end the nut.

So would my best approach be to drill and tap it for a 1/2" bolt instead, to increase the number of good threads I could make ?

Thanks
CJ
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 18, 05:10 AM
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

I think I would try 7/16-18 threads.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 18, 05:21 AM
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

You'll need to drill all the way thru until you have a cylindrical hole before determining bolt size options. Small bit 1st then step up until all old material is removed.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 18, 05:58 AM
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

Numerous times I've just sliced the bottom and replaced the nut. One hour job.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 18, 07:16 AM
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauron67MM View Post
Numerous times I've just sliced the bottom and replaced the nut. One hour job.
Easy for you

I would think drilling and tapping an easier solution but that's just me.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 18, 09:50 AM
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Re: Cracked Off Front Fender Bolt - 1968

Maybe a 3/8-16 helical would fix this. They can fix the typical stripped hole.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 18, 10:23 AM
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I still think placing a cap nut in the hole and welding around the washer is the easiest. No one is going to pull your fender off to see how you fixed it.

X-77 keith
1969 x-77 Z/28 orange/ white stripes, named by my daughter "Clementine ", M-22 close ratio, 4:10 12 bolt, CE 302. Hugger orange with white stripes. White standard interior. Restoration complete May 2018
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