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Broken Highway Bar Bolts Removal, help?

1020 Views 20 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  WhizzbangK.C.
Picked up my Chieftain used. It was a rebuild from an accident and the front Highway Bar must have snapped off, since all four bolts are still in with no heads on them. Anyone have ideas on how to remove them without taking the front end off the bike? I can't fit a drill between the forks and the frame to even try to drill and extract. I'm thinking about trying to get a buddy to weld a nut on each of them since they are just about flush with the frame. Not sure he'll be able to get a welder in enough to do it though either. I did pick up a 90* drill attachment, but I don't want to mess up my threads, so I'm hesitant to attempt it this way. I'm guessing the floorboards are easy enough to remove to get to the lower ones, I just haven't tried yet. Any advice is appreciated.


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2018 Chieftain Limited
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Probably going to need an extractor tool....I believe you can get them at home depot

I do have tools. Unfortunately I can't get a drill in there to start it. Thinking Method 4 is the way to go If my buddy has the right welder. I forget what his is. Trying to do the least damage obviously. Method 7 is brutal, but I won't say I haven't used it in the past... Thanks, gave me a few ideas, I might try the chisel method. May get me most of them. The lower right one looks a little deep, may not have a chance there.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Drill with a 90degree head is probably your best option. I wouldn’t worry too much about the threads you will be mostly ok. Most likely have to re tap the thread. You may find with a good soaking of penetrating oil first, the stud may start to move as you drill.

I've been spraying it randomly lately, so hopefully something is getting in there to loosen it up. Just need to find time now to work on it. Lost my remote gig :cautious: and back to commuting everyday... the joys of life ;)
 

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2022 Indian Chief Dark Horse - Jade
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I would likely try to weld on another bolt and turn them out...they don't look deep you it should be too bad to get a spot weld in each side
Maybe better to put a nut over the stud and weld into the nut. Then you will not weld onto the frame.
 

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Get a dremel tool and use the really thin cut-off wheel and cut a slot into the end of the broken stud and use a flat tip screwdriver to remove it or if it’s stubborn use a impact driver with a flat tip bit you hit with a hammer.

Tim
Tool Hand tool Gas Sports equipment Bicycle part
 

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Soak the broken off studs in a bit of penetrating oil for a few days and center index the stud. Use 1/8th to a 5/32 drill bit and center drill the stud. Slow and steady is the name here making sure you drill down the center of the stud. Only go about 1/2 inch deep. Then use an easy out bit like I show here and a T bit holder and put into the hole. Sometimes a slight tap on the end with a hammer will help the EZ out to get a bit of bite and you should be able to work the stud out. If you are not good with a hand held drill then take it to a mechanic who is. This is not hard but does take a bit of patience and skill. No welding, no Dremels. You will need to use a carbide drill bit and some cutting fluid, turning the drill bit slowly with good pressure. These bolts are not tempered but the cheap Harbor Freight stuff is not going to do it here. Otherwise you will smoke the bit and start again with a new one. Dean

 

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If you were close to me I'd invite you over and get them out. I'd weld to them to remove them. Less chance of messing up the threads and the frame. Surely you can find a good welder near you to get them out. They really shouldn't be tight at all since the heads are missing, just threaded pieces in holes now.
 

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Did ya try using an Easy Out?? Ya drill a hole in the center of the broken bolt/stud,then insert the easy out into that hole which you will then turn counter clockwise to remove it.Once it bites into the stud it should twist out.If it still doesn't wanna move,then try heating the area around the stud using a Burns O Matic torch.{just don't get carried away with the heat]
Then before you insert the new stud,coat the threads lightly with COPPER Never-seize cause the next guy that has to remove it,for whatever reason, just might be you. Dave!!!
 

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2019 Roadmaster
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If you were close to me I'd invite you over and get them out. I'd weld to them to remove them. Less chance of messing up the threads and the frame. Surely you can find a good welder near you to get them out. They really shouldn't be tight at all since the heads are missing, just threaded pieces in holes now.
30 years ago I had an old Honda with a bad speedo cable. I bought a new cable, but couldn't get the screw out that held the cable in place down by the hub. It was a phillips head screw, but was in so tight that the head stripped while trying to loosen it with a screwdriver.

I bought an EZ Out extractor kit and some drill bits and proceeded to try and drill into the screw. Turns out for whatever reason Honda felt the need to use a hardened screw. I went through a LOT of bits before I had a hole deep enough for the extractor. I then proceeded to snap the extractor in half trying to get this screw out.

Long story short, I explained my problem to a friend of mine. He had me ride over to his shop and he did as you suggested: welded a nut onto the head of the screw. With a large breaker bar on that nut the screw finally let loose with a huge crack.

Needless to say, when I bought a replacement screw and installed the new speedo cable I intentionally left the screw a little on the loose side. No way I was going through that again.
 

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If you have a right angle drill or adapter, how about trying a left hand drill bit. I've used LH bits together with an easyout to get a couple of broken bolts out of the holes. It worked great. Sometimes if you drill very slowly the bit will get "hung up" in the stud. Happened to me and I was able to grab the drill bit with pliers and just unscrew the stud.
 
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+1 on the left-hand drill bits! They use a combination of heat and friction to help break it loose.

Start with a small bit and work up one size at a time. If the bit catches on the broken bolt it will spin the bolt right out.

I've also welded a nut onto a broken bolt and used a wrench to spin the broken bolt out.
 

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Had my roadmaster strapped down in my 5th wheel and crossing the texas border from Oklahoma on the turnpike (super rough tollway) one of my crash bar bolts snapped and the bike laid over. Had to have the lowers repainted. Mine broke of flush with the Fram like that as well. But I bought a couple of extraction sets and when I put the tool in it came out very easy. Then I just went to lowes and bought similar cap head bolt. I think these factory bolts were pretty soft. Maybe by design (sacrificial). Good luck
 

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Picked up my Chieftain used. It was a rebuild from an accident and the front Highway Bar must have snapped off, since all four bolts are still in with no heads on them. Anyone have ideas on how to remove them without taking the front end off the bike? I can't fit a drill between the forks and the frame to even try to drill and extract. I'm thinking about trying to get a buddy to weld a nut on each of them since they are just about flush with the frame. Not sure he'll be able to get a welder in enough to do it though either. I did pick up a 90* drill attachment, but I don't want to mess up my threads, so I'm hesitant to attempt it this way. I'm guessing the floorboards are easy enough to remove to get to the lower ones, I just haven't tried yet. Any advice is appreciated.


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Did ya try using an Easy Out?? Ya drill a hole in the center of the broken bolt/stud,then insert the easy out into that hole which you will then turn counter clockwise to remove it.Once it bites into the stud it should twist out.If it still doesn't wanna move,then try heating the area around the stud using a Burns O Matic torch.{just don't get carried away with the heat]
Then before you insert the new stud,coat the threads lightly with COPPER Never-seize cause the next guy that has to remove it,for whatever reason, just might be you. Dave!!!
Remember the frame is alloy. You cannot weld onto the bolt. One trick is to glue a bush or the right sort of socket that will act as a bush for a fine drill to drill a perfectly centred hole in the remains of the bolt. Then drill larger sizes progressively. You will need to take great care. These are possibly high tensile bolts. Then easyout.
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I do have tools. Unfortunately I can't get a drill in there to start it. Thinking Method 4 is the way to go If my buddy has the right welder. I forget what his is. Trying to do the least damage obviously. Method 7 is brutal, but I won't say I haven't used it in the past... Thanks, gave me a few ideas, I might try the chisel method. May get me most of them. The lower right one looks a little deep, may not have a chance there.
I would definitely first try the hammer and small, cold point chisel hitting it counter-clockwise. You might be able to start it moving since the bolt usually tightens by putting tension on the head and the frame. No tension on the head and it might just turn out. Soak in a penetrating solvent first and good luck.
 
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