Rusted hardware responds to only one factor - heat, heat and more heat!!

I wrote this in reply to a request from a reader as to how to remove busted off rusty exhaust manifold bolts and when I sent the mailnote it bounced! So I will post the reply here for anyone else in the same predicament.

First of all, get heat! Oxy acetylene heat, not bernzo heat. Don't touch another bolt or nut until you heat it red hot and let it cool a bit - it's the only way! I call my torch the universal (both metric and English) gas wrench cuz I use it for removing rusted bolts more than welding or cutting.

If there is any bolt or stud sticking out try welding a nut to the part that is sticking out. The heat from the welding operation should also loosen up the frozen component. I use a wire welder and have even removed those keyed wheel lug nuts when my son lost the "key", by welding a nut onto the end of the lug!!

If that fails, or you can't get to a welder, then drill an "easy out" sized hole up the middle of the shaft. Use a "center drill" to start the hole for the highest accuracy. Try the easy out route.

If that fails and you haven't broken the easy out (ugh) then drill out the broken component with a drill as close to the tap drill size. "Easy outs" usually only work on bolts which are not severely rusted in and I have not been too successful using them. I normally run a starting tap into the hole and try to cut the old bolt out using the tap.

If all else fails, then you can resort to the heli-coil route. Just continue increasing the drill size until you reach the size of the heli-coil insert.

In the future, NEVER try to remove a severely rusted bolt or nut until you have applied serious heat to it. If you don't already have one, make an oxy-acetylene torch your next "wrench" purchase - it's better than vice-grips!!

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