CVO Ocala Florida (Kevin)
|HP Smith FORD||bolt||60 ¢ ea|
|VW dealer or parts store||bolt (allen or 12 pt star)||about 1$ ea|
CV Joint Bolt Removal:
Catagory #1, Finesse:
You know, if you have 11 out of 12 out, then there's nothing that would prevent you from rotating the whole joint around that one last bolt, because the thing should be flat, and it should then pivot around that one bolt. That might help break it loose enough for you to get it off with normal methods.
Anyway if you get the bolt head good and clean you should be able to spot damage if any has been done. If the bolt looks OK, the new bit should do the trick.
Under each pair of bolts there is an oval plate. Depending on whether the stuck bolt in question is the 'left' or the 'right' bolt of the pair, rotating the plate will also rotate the bolt. Difficult to explain, but if the stuck bolt is in the left-most hole of the plate, loosen the rubber boot clip and then using a big screwdriver, or small crow bar, lever up on the right hand side of the plate. In my case the stuck bolt rotated with the plate (to my surprise!). I only needed to move it 10-20 degrees and that was enough for a new Torx bit to provide enough grip inside the rounded hole and the bolt came out. Note it will only work if it is the left-most bolt of the pair. If it is the right-most, rotating the plate will tighten the bolt. Yes, the plate got a little bent up in the process, but a little pounding with a hammer flattened it and I reused it.
Catagory #2, Power:
I broke two bits before getting the first bolt out, then my father came to help.He gave the bolt head three firm raps using a large brass punch (to keep from damaging the bolt) and a medium sledge hammer. every bolt came out with minimal effort after that.
All I can say is keep swinging and continue to use a good Vise Grip plier along with the torx. You can try the torch.
I also got all but one out. It had looked like it had nearly been stripped. I got out the hammer to loosen it and by banging on it pushed the metal down enough that the bit caught it and took it out.
Catagory #3, Cockyness:
I borrowed an air compressor and impact wrench which made the job a breeze - EXCEPT for one bolt. I think I got too cocky with how easy it was going with the impact wrench and before I knew it, the inside of the Torx bolt was rounded out.
Catagory #4, Pain:
I was pretty upset with my crappy Craftsman bits and broke all of them for spite. That was stupid because I could have ruined my bolts and I did get a knuckle buster (in cold weather which made it hurt more) when the last one finally broke and sent my hand flying into cold, hard, immovable metal. Not smart.
Catagory #5, Pipe Wrench
Use a small (about 6") pipe wrench and grab each bolt
head and break it loose.
Then back it out with the T40 Torx bit. The torx splines are not damaged and the
bolt can be re-used with only a few nicks on the outside.
Catagory #6, Attack
After doing one halfshaft today I have some tips. First, buy the bolts and locking plates. Then the quickest way to do it is to get a die grinder with a cutoff wheel and grind off the bolt heads and you will ruin the locking plates, of course. After I cut off the bolt heads down to the locking plates I still couldn't pull off the halfshaft. This is because after many years all the torque that the shaft has taken distorts the bolts. I had to pull the halfshaft as far away from the stubshaft as I could (~3/8 inch) and then grind through the remaining part of the bolt (being careful not to contact the stubshaft flange) so that I could remove the halfshaft. After doing this the piece of the bolt that is left threaded in the stubshaft flange comes out with your fingers. The bolts aren't straight after 100K which is why they are so hard to get out.
Catagory #7, Last Ditch:
You could take the wheel, brake caliper and rotor off (Scorpio) so you get access to the other side, and then drill it out, problem is that this will probably mess up the threads.
Last ditch effort could be to use a dremel to just cut the head off flush with the plate; I used a muffler cutter which would be much faster, but the dremel with the cutoff wheel should also work, though it'd be slow going. Then the joint should just lift away, and with no stress on the remaining stud, you should be able to just take a vise grip to it to remove it, with nothing lost except your time.
If this doesn't get it out maybe do the ol drill and easy-out method as you will probably need to find a replacement bolt anyway. Also, if you resort to the easy-out method make sure you have a good quality easy-out.
Catagory #8, For the Record Books:
I broke 6 torx bits while changing mine. I used a home type propane torch and a brass drift with a 4 pound hammer. All told, it took 4 hours to get the 12 out.