Mucho Grande Problem - T-stat bolt broke off in block!

MichEnvoyGuy

Original poster
Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
It was going far too easy for me today... Replaced my original coolant sensor. Started on the t-stat. Came out fine! Going back on, the lower bolt was giving me a lot of resistance, so I kept backing up, checking the threads and going forward. I was on the final stages of snugging it with the rachet when POP :mad: and out comes rolling the bolt head by my feet :eek:

I guess the good news is the bolt it sticking out of the block about 1/3"....if that is good news :crazy:

Bad news is dealership doesnt have any bolts and it would be a special order $4/ea for a bolt and I have to order a bag of 10!! I really hope our local fastener shop carries them.

Any suggestions on getting the broke bolt (stud now) out of the block?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
There's a whole array of devices for stud removal both above and below the surface of the block. Check your local Sears, Harbor Freight, and auto parts stores. Below the surface involves drilling. And as you can guess, failed attempts at removal of an above-the-block stud can turn into a below-the surface project.

I might use a Vise-Grip if I was feeling confident for a first attempt. Or Google for "stud extractor tools" Otherwise buy this:

View attachment 17606
 

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MichEnvoyGuy

Original poster
Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
the roadie said:
There's a whole array of devices for stud removal both above and below the surface of the block. Check your local Sears, Harbor Freight, and auto parts stores. Below the surface involves drilling. And as you can guess, failed attempts at removal of an above-the-block stud can turn into a below-the surface project.

I might use a Vise-Grip if I was feeling confident for a first attempt. Or Google for "stud extractor tools" Otherwise buy this:

View attachment 2244

I think Im going to try vice-grips. I dont have any stud removal tools and no way to get one now!! :mad: :mad:

Has this ever happened to anybody else with the t-stat bolts or am I the lucky example? lol. I dont understand why the bolt broke in the first place - Ive replace the t-stat before and didnt have a problem. :confused: This time the lower bolt was very tight and 'squeaking' going back in.
 

Wooluf1952

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,663
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
For $4, you should be able to buy 2 st. steel or grade 8 bolts at a hardware store and replace them both.
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Original poster
Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
Wooluf1952 said:
For $4, you should be able to buy 2 st. steel or grade 8 bolts at a hardware store and replace them both.

Thanks - there is a hardware store real close to me that had all the bins with bolts and stuff. I figured until I can get the bolts, Im going to snatch a 10mm bolt from the corner of my valve cover or anywhere else I can find one that I can 'borrow' to get the t-stat back together.

In the meantime, I have a buddy coming over who has experience with removing broken bolts, etc. Im pretty mad at myself right now..and I hope I didnt put the bolt in cross threaded and thats why it broke. Im pretty sure I did it straight dead nuts on, but I was tightening it with a 3' extension through the wheelwell afterall! :crazy: Every time I tightened it, the bolt would "squeak", up until it broke.

In other words, maybe its my time to open a 'please pray for me' thread in the OT forum...lol
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Maybe it was just a bad bolt and the threads of it were askew
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Original poster
Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
HARDTRAILZ said:
Maybe it was just a bad bolt and the threads of it were askew

:hail: <---- Me praying to the T360 Gods repeating to them, the same thing you said....lol
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Original poster
Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
I sprayed the broken bolt with penetrating oil and tried vice-grips, no workie :frown: But the guy coming to help isnt here yet... maybe he'll have a different take on it to get it to turn.

Doesnt help that the stupid alternator is wedged between the fan and the engine and there isnt much room to work down there to begin with!!
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Original poster
Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
Success!! It took a little finesse on my friends part; he heated up the block with my propane torch then went at it with a pair of vice-grips. 20,000 1/10th turns of the vice grips later and the bolt is out!!!

Now Im off to my local fastener store to find a 10mm bolt! :undecided: I thought of borrowing a bolt off the valve cover, to get the t-stat back together and get me to the store, but the valve cover bolts are longer. Dangit. Anyway, we are leaving right now... The 'Voy better be damn appreciative when Im done with this job!! :biggrin:
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Original poster
Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
<<<whew>>> (Wiping sweat from forehead) .. not from the work being hard, but every little thing that could've went wrong - did! :crazy:

So thankfully the hardware store had the m6-1x.25 bolts for the t-stat housing!! $.36/ea :biggrin:

This time I tightened the t-stat bolts from up above, earlier I was tightening them through the wheelwell when I broke the bolt off. All is good. Had to scrap the OEM radiator to t-stat hose clamp, I was frustrated enough as it was, then got fed up with it so I used a worm clamp instead. And tomorrow Ill be taking the alternator off because its got a real slow drip :mad: I made reallll sure not to position the clamp as to interfere with the alternator, but totally ignored the idea that "gee, one day I might have to access this clamp!" DOH!

Other than that, my scan tool is reporting the truck runs at 190f and at idle it goes to 195f. Slightly better than the 180-185f I was experiencing before the t-stat and coolant sensor replacement :thumbsup:
This last t-stat was an AC-Delco replacement, and it lasted 5 years, FWIW.
 

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