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Snapped Bolt


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I annoyed myself earlier this evening while trying a test fit of some bonnet struts I bought a while ago..........anyway fitted the right hand side one with no probs, but on the left hand side was missing a bolt from the hole I was planning to use.

In order to test all was fine I borrowed a bolt from the fuse box and was trying to screw it in when it snapped half way down! :crybaby:

I wasn't being particularly vigorous but the hole was looking a bit rusty so maybe that's what caused it? Either way, can I get the remainder of the bolt out?

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Ahh yes, seems you had exactly the same problem! As a side note, does one strut hold your bonnet up? I thought one would provide more resistance than it currently is...........

Mine isn't as tight as yours seemed though, so I might have a go at the make a groove and unscrew with a screwdriver method. It felt as though mine snapped because the bolt was weak rather than the tightness of the hole.

Where did you get replacement bolts from btw? Can you get them at B&Q or should I make a quick trip to my dealer?

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I don't know, I haven't tried holding it up with one strut, I've left it until I can sort out my stuck bolt. Mine is completely solid so I didn't go down the Easy-out route.

Have been kind of putting it off since I've been finding it pretty tricky. I am trying to have another go at it today though !

I got some replacement bolts from eBay. PM me your postal address and I'll send you one, I've got loads spare.

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Actually I've just re-read your posting and noticed it was the bolt from the fuse box that you snapped. If you use the bonnet struts then you won't need that bolt, will you ? The bracket for the strut on the passenger's side fits in place of it, using the bolts from the kit ?

It's M6x16 bolts like the ones from the kit that I have spare.

Maybe the bolt you've snapped is from a different place and you really do need a replacement ? :unsure:

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Sorry if I've confused you mate, I didn't have the kit, I had a used set of Prolex struts that I bought off another member ages ago, so don't have any bolts except what's in the bonnet.........

So essentially now I need to remove the one I've snapped and I now need two bolts, one for the strut and one to replace the one I took from the fuse box! I am wondering now whether possibly the bolt from the fuse box may have been a different size :unsure:

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Ah ok. What about the brackets, have you got all those with the struts ? Just missing the bolts ? If that's the case then you'll need some washers too. If you haven't already done so, have a look at the instructions on the FIGS site here and see what else you might need (e.g. split washers).

On my car the bolt that holds down the passenger side fuse box (in the engine bay), towards the windscreen side, is the same size as what goes in that hole for the driver's side strut. In fact they're the same holes, just on different sides of the car. So if the bolt goes in fine on the passenger side it should also do so on the driver's side.

Mine was rusted up too. With the benefit of hindsight and various advice given in the thread on my own troubles on this, the best thing to do IMHO is to run a 6mm tap through it to clean up the thread, then hopefully it should be fine.

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Yep I just measured the bolt and it's the same size (6mm) so it was either the rusty hole or a weak bolt (or both) that caused it. I've got the brackets and all, technically I only needed the one bolt as all the other fixing points already have bolts and washers in them.

Have you had any luck getting the bolt out? Just had a go a bit earlier, tapped it with a centre punch, not budging at all. Then tried drilling, made no impact whatsoever and when I tried a bit more pressure it just snapped the drill bit (which I hope hasn't gone anywhere it would cause trouble as I can't find the end!)

Seeing as I barely ever open the bonnet I might just accept defeat on this and sell the struts on to someone else :crybaby:

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Yes ! I finally got the remains of the snapped bolt out.

I figured out why it was so difficult, and it seems like you could be having the same problem. The existing drill bits I was using were absolutely rubbish, they might as well have been made of chocolate for all the impact they were having.

I started using some different drill bits and hey presto, it went through like magic !

What you need to do is start with a relatively small bit, e.g. something like 3.5 mm, and don't put too much pressure on it. Then go up to 4mm, then 4.5mm and so on, up to about 5mm or 5.5mm (mine went at 5mm).

You need some decent HSS drill bits designed for metal. My original bits were Rolson HSS ones from Maplin, but as soon as I started using them they went blunt, and I broke several. Compare one after you've been using it with a new unused one, is the end still pointed ? I bought some Kamasa ones from Robert Dyas and they're a huge improvement, the difference is like night and day.

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Nice one!

Hmm, perhaps it is the drill bit I was using, yes I started off with a 2mm bit (which is the one I snapped) but it was making no impact at all - it was a proper B&D HSS metal drill bit but perhaps not good enough. I'll pop down to B&Q a bit later and see if I can get something a bit better.

Have you drilled it out completely then and going to re-tap the hole? I was actually considering drilling two small holes, and then joining them together and trying to use a screwdriver to unscrew the bolt out.

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Don't know if the B&D bits are any good or not, but before it snaps if you can see if it's blunting the bit by using it then that will give you a pretty good guide !

Yes it's drilled out completely now - actually the last remaining bit fell out (fell downwards towards the wheel). So I just need to try re-tapping it now, and fingers crossed that I can use a 6mm tap ok and haven't made the hole too big now.

It was sooooooo much easier with the new bits that I was using. They weren't anything expensive, just a relatively cheap mixed set of wood/masonry/HSS bits by Kamasa from Robert Dyas.

Try and keep the drill bit lubricated too (e.g. with spit if you've got nothing better), it gets very hot drilling metal !

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Nice job mate, cheers for the offer but picked up a few bolts at B&Q earlier today (completely forgot about washers though but should have a few of those lying around somewhere)

Picked up some nice titanium coated metal drill bits so hopefully they do the job, wanted to get a tapping set too but they said I'd need to go to Halfords so will leave that for if and when I need it.

Hopefully mine works as well as yours did!

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It's ok mate, that was deliberate :winky:

It seems that on early (pre-2001) cars with the different design of ABS actuator, if you install the struts the "right" way round, there is interference between the strut and ABS actuator. So I installed them the other way up.

The instructions suggest installing the struts the way that you mention to avoid aftermarket cabling etc, but imply that there isn't really any difference, they can go either way up.

I have emailed this feedback to Mike Figaro (i.e. FIGS), the designer of the strut kits.

So it's ok, I'm still very happy ! :D

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Got this semi-sorted this afternoon - drilled out the snapped bolt using a 5mm bit, all went fine. Was actually feeling pretty lucky as the thread was still there, so to save myself buying a tapping kit, I tried screwing a bolt in and it went fine, so just fitted the other bonnet strut and all was well :)

Well all up until I closed the bonnet, when a new problem reared its head. It appears that as Steve mentioned, it does foul on that silver box at the back of the engine bay, but for me it's not the strut hitting it (flipping it made no difference), it's the end (the bolt or the ball joint, doesn't matter which) that is hitting that box.

It's not the biggest problem, but it's something I'm not happy with as the result is that the bonnet doesn't close perfectly anymore and it's raised up a few mm on the drivers side which doesn't look great.

Is this a problem you've all had but ignored, is it a problem no one else has had, or is it a problem that can be fixed?

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One of the folks from the bonnet strut Group Buy found that he had to fit a couple of extra washers as spacers on the bonnet bracket, to move the strut further to the outside of the car, and that fixed it for him.

Unfortunately that's not the problem for me, it's the bolt itself that's making contact. I tried bending the strut bracket to follow the curve of the bonnet and thus lift it as far as possible but it still didn't work. Without moving it all further towards the wing I don't think I can solve this.......

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Which bolt is making contact ? The bit of the bolt poking out from behind the nut going towards the middle of the engine bay ? Is this the ball stud that came with the kit ?

The only people who have reported any issues seem to have had very early cars. Yours must have the later design of ABS actuator, I think, and so far no-one with one of those has said they had a problem - check Cous3's pics in the Group Buy thread showing how he installed his, does yours look the same ?

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361183474.jpg

Using this pic, can you see there's a black bit behind the silver bit (with the four things coming out of the top of it)? From the marks on it, and where the pressure seems to be on the bonnet, the bolt holding the strut to the bracket is resting on that, not allowing the bonnet to close fully.

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I thought that was your car Parthiban, till I figured out it was Keith's ! :lol:

The silver thing is the ABS/TRC actuator, whose design change from the 2001 update. So does your alignment of nuts/washers etc all look pretty much the same as in that photo ?

Might be worth seeing if you can get a pic with the bonnet nearly shut (perhaps propped up with something small near the front ?) to show the obstruction ?

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I thought that was your car Parthiban, till I figured out it was Keith's ! :lol:

The silver thing is the ABS/TRC actuator, whose design change from the 2001 update. So does your alignment of nuts/washers etc all look pretty much the same as in that photo ?

Might be worth seeing if you can get a pic with the bonnet nearly shut (perhaps propped up with something small near the front ?) to show the obstruction ?

Lol, yep should've mentioned I borrowed the pic from that thread! Yep everything looks pretty much the same, can't get a photo of it as the bonnet has to be pretty much closed for it to happen. It took a lot of raising and lowering of the bonnet to figure out exactly where it was, and also the scratching to the side of the unit gave it away.

Do you mean it's fouling the rubber seal or the black ( plastic ? ) closer to the screen?

Nope it's that ABS/TRC unit at the back of the bay, but the black bit at the back of the unit - I've indicated using the red arrows to show which bolt I mean and where it's making contact:

362487512.jpg

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