The EASY-OUT or bolt extractor tool by design can
be a very useful tool for the removal of broken bolts and studs "IF"
conditions for its use are perfect and preparation procedure are followed
exact. Without going into when and how the easy-out or extractor will
work I"ll give you some circumstances when they generally don't and
reasons why you might want to try another approach.
For example a 3/8 inch bolt breaks when you are
trying to remove it. The only reason a bolt or stud will break when
removing is severe seizure. In this scenario the extractor recommended
for removal would be 3/l6 inch to 1/4 inch in diameter. Most easy-outs
are designed and manufactured using hardened material making them tough
but also very brittle. In a this case the recommended extraction tool
is about half the size of the broken bolt and three times as brittle,
the easy-out will break
practically every time.
In a case where the easy-out might have a chance
for success, the steps for preparing the broken bolt are critical. For
example, you have a broken exhaust bolt in the cylinder head on the
engine in a car. The location of the broken bolt may be difficult to
access, making the proper preparation that much more difficult. When
drilling a hole for an extractor it is critical the hole is the correct
size, perfectly on center and straight. In this situation a mistake
in any one of the proper steps could result in the following problems:
If the hole is drilled to big, the extractor
expands the remaining shell of the bolt defeating its purpose.
If the hole is the proper size but off center,
the same result will occur.
If the hole is the right size and on center but
on an angle to the bolt, the chance of drilling that hole into the
threaded hole is highly probable.
In this case, the easyout can be driven through
the side of the broken bolt into the threaded hole and become a locking
device. Again, working against itself. Easy-outs extractors "CAN" work
"IF the application is right and the correct steps are followed. The
problems created as a result of mistakes like the ones pointed out above
are as follows. Continuing to drill larger holes in the broken bolt
when the hole is off center or at an angle will result in not only damaged
threads and possible head damage but you'll still have portions of the
broken bolt left in the hole.
Any steps taken from this point can become very
desperate. You might try the ez-out anyway and break it, NOW what? Anger
and frustration could set in, large hammers, chisels and maybe even
torches come out and all rational thinking is gone. At this point the
probability of success is remote and the possibility of destroying the
head or manifold is very high. Besides the aggravation and the cost
to replace or repair damaged parts there could result in weeks of wasted
time from improperly using the ezy out extractor tool.
Save yourself time, money, and trouble.