Removing Spinning 5-piece Bolts

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Messages 1 - 11 of total 11 in this topic
OkieClimber

Trad climber
Little Rock, AR
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 16, 2018 - 07:20am PT
During a recent re-bolting effort, one particular 5-piece was very difficult to remove. We tried to loosen the bolt, but it was just spinning inside the hole. I tried to re-seat the cone with a funkness device and had no luck. I also tried prying against it with a large crowbar while using a wrench to loosen it, also producing no results. I think the issue was that the original developer had filled the hole up with silicon which I think may have caked up the threads. Anyone have any thoughts or experience removing something similar?
WBraun

climber
Apr 16, 2018 - 07:25am PT
Try using a torch on it to heat the threads and melt the silicon.

Make sure you get the bolt red hot and smoking.

Then use the pry wrenching removal process again, and good luck ....
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Apr 16, 2018 - 07:33am PT
Evidently that is a bolt that did not need to be replaced!

I remember as a n00b on the Wyoming sheep Ranch, wasting a lot of time replacing a perfectly bomber 5/16 in button head. I just should have left it alone, there was no need to replace it.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 16, 2018 - 07:39am PT
The problem with that design is the ease with which the blue endcap comes off during installation leaving the exposed threads on the cone to get filled with rock dust and jam once you tighten the bolt. I learned this the hard way setting up a route at the Red in Kentucky with 1/2" X 6 3/4" 5 piece bolts.
Only one out of six tightened down properly so I had to remove the rest and try again using a spitball of toilet paper under the endcap which solved the problem.
Fortunately I had lots of tools on hand to allow me to do the removal by prying and tapping on the bolt head. Since that isn't working for you then consider spinning the whole show with a drill as you pry and see if the wear will allow you to back the bolt out. If you are working with soft rock then that should be easy.
What size 5 piece are you dealing with?
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 16, 2018 - 08:22am PT
If you can get under the head of that bolt, then, maybe some type of bolt puller can draw it up out of the hole?
OkieClimber

Trad climber
Little Rock, AR
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 16, 2018 - 09:13am PT
The ones I actually got out were 1/2" x 3.5" and completely caked with silicone. I like the idea of using a drill to loosen it as I pry. I could probably get more leverage with the pry-bar if I'm not having to crank down with a wrench with my other hand at the same time.
OkieClimber

Trad climber
Little Rock, AR
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 16, 2018 - 09:14am PT
WBraun, have you had much success with the torching method?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Apr 16, 2018 - 09:55am PT
Does it move upward at all?

If no movement, I like Werner's idea.

If it moves a little, another option is battery powered grinder cut it and then tap it back in the hole and patch with natural sand/dirt from area. Then drill a new hole. Done right you should barely know the hole was there.

Careful not to grind the rock itself. A couple pieces of tin on either side should help protect it while cutting horizontally.
WBraun

climber
Apr 16, 2018 - 10:06am PT
OkieClimber

Yep, direct experience with torch to loosen stuck bolts all the time,

For your application, you only need a small butane torch.

OkieClimber

Trad climber
Little Rock, AR
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 16, 2018 - 11:26am PT
Thanks for the input! I'll try these suggestions when I get back out there.
RURP_Belay

Big Wall climber
Bitter end of a bad anchor
Apr 16, 2018 - 08:10pm PT
Here's one of many good links from Banquo (although not a 5-piece):

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1306518/Success-3-8-wedge-bolt-removal
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