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How to remove sleeved stud bolts?


Original Post
Trevor. · · Boise, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 834

I'm trying to remove and replace some bolts that I've never encountered before and I'm not sure how the hell to get these things out of the rock. Externally the bolts look like a regular wedge anchor with threaded rod protruding through the Hanger and held on by a nut, but once I pull the Hanger it becomes obvious that there's a sleeve in the hole. I'm assuming there's a cone fashioned onto the end of the stud past the sleeve but can't tell since the bolt is inside the rock. The hole diameter is 3/8, and the diameter of the threaded stud is 5/16". They're coupled with plated hangers, and are magnetic, so I'm pretty sure the bolts themselves are plated as well  

So, what is this style of bolt called, are there any bolts of this type and size that are acceptable for use in climbing applications(these ones sure don't look ok to me), and what's the best way to get them out so I can reuse the hole? 

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,763

Probably the general design of a Powers Lok-bolt, this type of bolt is made by many manufacturers. They are generally pretty weak.

http://www.powers.com/product_06160.php

I've pulled them simply by wiggling them out with pliers (even in Yosemite!), but probably because of mis-drilled or oversized holes. They can snap pretty easily so you need to be careful. If you can grab the sleeve with needle-nose pliers, then tap the core in lightly (one light tap) then go after the sleeve first.

I don't know if anyone has a good method for when they are solidly in the rock.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

I am not aware of any specific method to get them out. I'd start with Greg's idea and then if that doesent work I'd probably attempt to over tighten the nut until the head breaks off. Then tap enough of the core into the rock so you can get good purchase on the sleeve with a locking needle nose Vice Grips. If you can get the sleeve out, you can then use a magnet or automotive hook to get the rest out. I would guess in general this would not be a reliable method of getting them out because if the sleeve is corroded at all it could stick to the inside of the hole pretty easy and a pliers wont get it out. If you can tap the cone in enough, you could try to thread the sleeve and then pull it out with a funkness but in my experience it doesent work most of the time and you end up just stripping the threads out.

C. Williams · · the Climber Cave · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 1,039

Had the pleasure of replacing about 40 of these this summer. The best way I found for clean removal was to remove the hanger and put the nut and washer back on. Leave the nut flush with the end of the stud and give a gentle tap with the hammer to unseat the cone. Be sure not to tap the sleeve back into the hole. Once loose, I used vise grip needle nose pliers to grab the sleeve and rod together and twist the bolt out of the hole. On stubborn ones a little water in the hole and a 3/8" tuning fork were good to have. 

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,122
Trevor. wrote:

I'm trying to remove and replace some bolts that I've never encountered before and I'm not sure how the hell to get these things out of the rock. Externally the bolts look like a regular wedge anchor with threaded rod protruding through the Hanger and held on by a nut, but once I pull the Hanger it becomes obvious that there's a sleeve in the hole. I'm assuming there's a cone fashioned onto the end of the stud past the sleeve but can't tell since the bolt is inside the rock. The hole diameter is 3/8, and the diameter of the threaded stud is 5/16". They're coupled with plated hangers, and are magnetic, so I'm pretty sure the bolts themselves are plated as well  

So, what is this style of bolt called, are there any bolts of this type and size that are acceptable for use in climbing applications(these ones sure don't look ok to me), and what's the best way to get them out so I can reuse the hole? 

In my experience these are typically very easy to remove.  Most of them are a single sleeve that goes all the way into the hole, so all you have to do is tap the bolt back to release the sleeve, then grab the sleeve with some needle nose pliers and pull the whole thing out.  Things that can complicate this or even make them impossible to remove are as follows: 

1. some brands like powers have multiple sleeves, because the bolt goes through the sleeves there is no way to retrieve the inner sleeves and the bolt is just stuck. 

2. Some brands have friction creating features on the sleeve like a typical wedge bolt to keep the sleeve in place.  These are more difficult to pull the sleeve, and if the sleeve is too far in the rock to get a pair of pliers on, or the hole is too shallow to be able to push the bolt back behind the front of the sleeve it can be very difficult to get the sleeve to come out.

Fortunately, most of the ones that I've encountered are the single full sleeve without the friction fit.  Hopefully that is what you have on your hands. Also, once the sleeve is out even if you had to tap the bolt back behind the face of the rock the stud is easy to remove with a magnet.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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