Options for removal when bolt and cone are siezed?


Original Post
Trevor. · · Boise, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 731

I'm trying to remove and replace some old rusty 3/8" plated Rawl bolts in hard Basalt, but the bolt seems to be siezed onto the cone quite firmly. I'm pretty sure if I apply much more torque to the bolt head in efforts to loosen the bolt, the bolt will just break off, either at the head or somewhere in the hole.

Any suggestions on how to get the bolt to break loose from the cone? I tried shocking the bolt head with a hammer while applying torque, no dice.

If the bolt breaks, or I have to chop it, what are my options from there? I'd really like to reuse the holes(after drilling out to 1/2") if at all possible, even if it means a lot of extra work to do so.


Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,498

If you have time, and especially if the bolt is on a slab or horizontal surface, drip in some penetrating oil and let it sit for a while (ideally a day!), then try again.

But most of the time it means the bolt is going to snap off in the hole, at least in my experience. The bolts almost always break where the threads start which is about halfway down the bolt.

The good news is that if you manage to get the whole bolt out, the sleeve and cone are probably rusted enough to just drill straight through with a 1/2" drill bit, at least in hard rock (in softer rock the shards of the sleeve and cone will wallow out the hole as you're doing this). Have an extra bit or two handy.

Anyone have better ideas on how to do this? There are an awful lot of 3/8" 5-pieces that are in need of replacement where the bolt is rusted into the cone...


20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,128

Greg pretty much has it. If you cant remove it, just torque the bolt to failure. The vast majority of the time the bolt will fail at the threads as he said, so you can just drill out the hole with a larger bit and place a nice glue-in.


C. Williams · · the Climber Cave · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 929

If the cone and bolt are fused but the entire unit has a little play, I've had good success walking it a bit out with a giant tuning fork. I then spin/wiggle the sleeve with a pair of needle nose vise-grips and funk it out. Most of the 5-piece bolts I replace are so rusted the sleeves break up when i start working them with the pliers.


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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