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removing stuck brake rotor screws, torx

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,737
543
Any suggestions on removing seemingly stuck brake rotor screws? I think the last time I took them off was 5 years ago, and now they won't budge. My knuckles are already half-shredded.

I recall when I did this last, I just dremelled a slot in the head and used the side of a cone wrench (or some other thin metal piece I had lying around) to turn the heads.

Thoughts, suggestions or otherwise?
 

TheTruth

Turbo Monkey
Jun 15, 2009
3,903
0
I'm waving. Can you see me now?
Well it seems you are in quite a pickle because even when rotor bolts are not stuck, you can strip them real easily with that ****ty little torx wrench avid gives you. And when you strip them, you always manage to hit something sharp near by with fantastic force causing you to get hella frustrated and your knuckles to bleed. It is a lose lose.


So what you need to do is heat the bolts with a torch so they can loosen up. Either that or liquid wrench.
 

Kanye West

220# bag of hacktastic
Aug 31, 2006
3,475
194
Liquid Wrench then dremel flathead slot. If that fails, use an easy-out with a proper sized pilot hole after multiple soakings with liquid wrench. The nice thing about those bolts is that you can blast them from the bottom side with most hubs. Maybe turn it head-down and let some LW pool up there in that cavity and soak in up the threads.
 

Gavos

Chimp
Aug 4, 2010
2
0
You can always hit the bolt first with a centre punch and then use a decent T25 to undo the bolts. I've had success doing this and a good quality torx driver was critical, the ones supplied by Sram are made from cheese.

And if your using an easy out don't do what I did and snap it.
 

CoyoteRun

Chimp
May 29, 2008
56
0
SF, CA
if all those suggestion fail, there is another way to get them out.

Carefullly file the side of the bolt, top and bottom, or left and right, and make both sides parallel as much as possible. Then, use a good lockable Groovelock Pliers, some of those doesn't slip to other position, to turn the bolt. Don't use Crescent wrench or needle piler, as it will slip. Groovelock pliers has a much stronger grib.


Any suggestions on removing seemingly stuck brake rotor screws? I think the last time I took them off was 5 years ago, and now they won't budge. My knuckles are already half-shredded.

I recall when I did this last, I just dremelled a slot in the head and used the side of a cone wrench (or some other thin metal piece I had lying around) to turn the heads.

Thoughts, suggestions or otherwise?
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,745
1,429
01776
I had success using a hacksaw and cutting a slot into each bolt, then using a large flat-head screwdriver and an adjustable wrench or 10mil to turn the driver. Put all your weight on the driver, then loosen the bolt...it takes a surprisingly small amount of torque once you have good purchase on the bolt. I continued to use my cut up ones because the screwdriver worked better than the torx...but...

Don't you know from the DHR thread that torx are the best option for DH bikes? They never round out.
 

ZoRo

Turbo Monkey
Sep 28, 2004
1,226
8
MTL
I don't know where you at in Montreal, but if you want to use my Torx tool, kinda like a park tool AWS 10 but with Torx heads and greater leverage, you're more than welcomed to do so. It's way better than the ****ty usual SRAM torx tool and has way more leverage. You can also slide a small pipe or similar onto the end of the SRAM Torx tool so it gives you more leverage.

Good luck, been there often with those *hit head bolts. Centerlock FTW!!
 

freakrock

Monkey
Aug 19, 2005
431
0
Santiago de Chile
Iif all of the above methods fail you can always dremel the hell out of the bolt's head, remove the rotor and then use a vise grip to help you with the rest.
 

Brian HCM#1

MMMMMMMMM BEER!!!!!!!!!!
Sep 7, 2001
31,675
116
Bay Area, California
Iif all of the above methods fail you can always dremel the hell out of the bolt's head, remove the rotor and then use a vise grip to help you with the rest.
it works better to drill the top of the head off with a larger drill bit. its the bolt head is what usually seizes on the rotor, not the threads.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
38,607
5,337
Sleazattle
I've never used it for rotor bolts but this little trick used to work wonders when trying to remove stripped out button head screws on machines.

Take a spring loaded center punch and make a dimple in the head of the screw so you have a decent dent. Angle the punch in the dent so it will unscrew the bolt and fire away.

 

rebelssof

Chimp
Nov 30, 2009
17
0
Saint Louis, Mo.
I got a cheap set of wheels from a friend a while back and he had a broken rotor mounting bolt and all I did was use a left hand drill bit and in just about a Min. of drilling the bolt came right out and I didn't even have to use the extractors.:thumb:
 

MinorThreat

Turbo Monkey
Nov 15, 2005
1,632
41
Nine Mile Falls, WA
after you pull out those pathetic T25 bolts, use these instead:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230130226843&ssPageName=STRK:MEBDIX:IT#ht_1861wt_1137

they're stainless steel for rust resistance and strength, and they use a 3mm Allen.
No need to buy "special" bolts off eBay. Any industrial fastener house and even most well-stocked small-parts bins at large hardware stores stock stainless metric button-head cap screws. M5x.8 is a standard size.
 

IH8Rice

I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!
Aug 2, 2008
24,548
492
Im over here now
if all those suggestion fail, there is another way to get them out.

Carefullly file the side of the bolt, top and bottom, or left and right, and make both sides parallel as much as possible. Then, use a good lockable Groovelock Pliers, some of those doesn't slip to other position, to turn the bolt. Don't use Crescent wrench or needle piler, as it will slip. Groovelock pliers has a much stronger grib.
ive done this before and has worked with vice grips.
 

tacubaya

Monkey
Dec 19, 2009
703
62
Mexico City
No need to buy "special" bolts off eBay. Any industrial fastener house and even most well-stocked small-parts bins at large hardware stores stock stainless metric button-head cap screws. M5x.8 is a standard size.
You don't even need to buy anything. Rotor bolts should be tightened to 6 Nm, I'm not sure why people are stripping them or complaining about difficult removal.
 

toowacky

Monkey
Feb 20, 2010
201
4
Pac NW
You don't even need to buy anything. Rotor bolts should be tightened to 6 Nm, I'm not sure why people are stripping them or complaining about difficult removal.
If the interface is corroded (Al hub to steel bolts for example), then the torque of the bolt is pretty much irrelevant.

RE: Liquid Wrench: PB B'laster in my experience is much better.

I'd stay away from easy-outs... but heat, dremel, pliers, tighten first then back out-- all solid suggestions.
 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,737
543
Hey Zoro, not actually in town at the moment, will report back later today.
 

xy9ine

Turbo Monkey
Mar 22, 2004
2,875
275
vancouver eastside
amazing the difference a decent t handle torx wrench makes. great leverage, keeps the knuckles away from the rotor, and you can put loads of vertical force on it comfortably. the twisting of the shaft as you really torque it seems to work at snapping frozen bolts loose without stripping them. never had a bolt that didn't come out with mine.

 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,737
543
You don't even need to buy anything. Rotor bolts should be tightened to 6 Nm, I'm not sure why people are stripping them or complaining about difficult removal.
I think these are frozen on from years of neglect... will report back!
 

toowacky

Monkey
Feb 20, 2010
201
4
Pac NW
If the bolts are corroded to the threads, ammonia will break the Al to steel corrosion... forgot to mention this before...
 

tacubaya

Monkey
Dec 19, 2009
703
62
Mexico City
If the interface is corroded (Al hub to steel bolts for example), then the torque of the bolt is pretty much irrelevant.

RE: Liquid Wrench: PB B'laster in my experience is much better.

I'd stay away from easy-outs... but heat, dremel, pliers, tighten first then back out-- all solid suggestions.
Ive never had corrosion in rotor bolts.. are you guys leaving your bikes outside in the rain or riding in acid (not LSD:rofl:) or what?

Clean the hub and install with proper torque. If you want peace of mind use a drop of anti seize/dab of light grease.. but you will have to calculate proper torque.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,745
1,429
01776
mine always came from either loctite, overtorque, or just wet weather. I haven't tried to remove my current ones, but I bet they'll be a bitch when I do.
 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,737
543
working... or at least trying to! Will do it this evening when I'd done! :)
 

altix

Monkey
Feb 14, 2007
407
0
Easy Out. Just drill straight in with the normal drill bit they give you in the $3 kit, and then use the easy out to back the bolt out. works every time no problem. I've done it countless times.
 

Dhracer3

Monkey
Jan 10, 2006
155
0
Fletcher NC
I have just had this problem and the solution I came up with is use a heat gun.. it heats up the thread lock and will make it easier to turn.. also find a torx maybe slightly bigger or cut a slot in the middle of the bolt and use a large flat head screwdriver and turn it with a wrench.. this way you can get some good weight on it.

Good luck
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,923
9
Over your shoulder whispering
Used the hand torch method to remove a press fit door hinge post last week. FYI...the torch is only for the steel, NOT the aluminum.

Oh, and am I the only one that thinks he should just dremel the damn thing in 5 seconds flat and not worry about that 6th bolt! It's a 5 year old wheel and world cup guys rock out with only 3 bolts. Cut it and go ride.