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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, on my 97 Escort I replaced my radiator, flushed the cooling system, and while I was at it I decided to replace the thermostat since I had the system, drained. As I'm removing the last bolt on the thermostat housing, snap! Broken bolt on the first quarter turn.

Not sure what to do, so I reinstalled the other two bolts and coil pack, air filter and radiator hose, filled the cooling system and decided to see if it leaks or not. No leak, it's only been a day, but I should take care of the broken bolt before it becomes a problem.

Any advice? The bolt is broken just below the surface. It seems that using a left handed bit to drill a pilot hole for an EZY-Out would be tricky, but maybe my only option...advice?
 

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Well because of the angle the only way is to drill a hole tinier than the bolt, to not damage the thread and get a Spiral Flute Screw Extractor to remove the rest.
Dont forget to drill with a bit of oil on the bit to prevent the bit from breaking on the already broken bolt and to keel thing cooled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's broken flush. My biggest concern is being able to drill a straight pilot hole on the bolt on the bottom side of the housing. It is difficult to reach, so it would be a pretty blind drill.
 

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When I broke my bolt off I broke the uppermost bolt. It was actually pretty easy to get to with a drill once I took the battery and the battery box out.

You do not, however, want to break the extractor off in the bolt like I did. I called a machine shop to find out how to drill it out and they said the only way in hell would be with a carbide bit and a lot of luck. Either that or pull the head and let them do it.

My thermostat housing is currently held on by two bolts (the bottom two). And it has what I would describe as a very, very minor leak. On the down side, if coolant drops down on the EGR pipe..... the stink, oh, the stink!

If your housing is held on by a top bolt and a bottom bolt (you lucky dog) I would just keep an eye on it. If it starts to leak precipitously then I would address it. If not, I wouldn't worry about it.

My thermostat housing did leak a fair bit out of the unoccupied bolt hole but I very trashily (nothing says ghetto like having high temp gasket sealant smeared all over the outside of your engine) backed the hole with red gasket sealer. Not so much as a drip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update.
Removed the thermostat housing and there are two broken bolts, but both have part sticking out of the head. I sprayed them with Liquid Wrench last night and am letting that soak in till I get to it after work today.
On a side note, once I got the thermostat out, it was broken, didn't seem to be affecting themp, but avoided that time bomb.
 

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The thermostat that you installed two weeks ago is already faulty?

Another bolt broke? Did you put anti-seize on them when you reinstalled them?

We should really start some sort of support group for feoa members who have sheared their thermostat housing bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't remove the thermostat housing the first time. After the bolt broke I reinstalled the other two bolts, and one broke as I was torquing it (so now there are two bolts broken).

I decided to leave it for a week or two till I had more time to deal with it, since I hadn't broke the gasket seal.

The old thermostat is physically broke (a copper piece holding the spring).

I'm hoping to be able to get the bolts out with vise grips. And I will be applying anti-seize when installing the new bolts.
 

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Damn I knew I forgot something when I installed the new housing, anti-seize.
 

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Hi, I'm 95EscortDriver, and I've broke a Thermostat housing bolt....

not recently but I did once. luckily, it was on a head that was already blown, so no skin off my back. Thermostat housing had corroded and snapped in two when I backed the bolts off too, so that was a pleasant experiance.

Good luck on the bolt removeal, should go fine if theres enough to bite.
 

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carbide steel bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update:
Got the two bolts out with the vise grips.

Installed new thermostat, bolts and gasket yesterday.

Watching for leaks, but hopefully cooling system should be good now.
 

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That may be going overboard...
presonally, I just dipped my bolts in used Engine oil and wiped them of real good :roll:
 

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Hi there. I used to be a distributor of extremely high quality products f(quite a bit better than Snappy) for mechanic shops, where I taught dozens how to properly extract broken bolts. These steps really work:

1. Spray a decent quality wicking/creeping type penetrant on the bolt, and wait 30 minutes. Don't waste your time with WD-40 or some other **** product. PB Blaster works fairly well.

2. A hole needs to be drilled anyway, so ALWAYS start with a left-hand drill bit. This works about 50% of the time. The bit basically gets chucked up, and run in reverse.

Use a high moly tempered bit, and never use cobalt bits. Cobalt is extremely hard, but significantly more brittle. There have been more cobalt bits broken in broken stubs than you could ever imagine.

Ensure the bit is a split point, so it doesn't walk. DRILL SLOWLY, and use a decent quality heat wicking cutting fluid. Rapid-Tap work fairly well.

More often than not, the bit will catch when getting close to the bottom, and will simply work the broken stub out. Like I mentioned earlier, it works about half the time.

3. If the previous doesn't work, use a reverse multi-splined stubby type extractor. Snap On makes a decent one. DO NOT use a square type extractor. They basically act as a wedge and often binds the stub in harder.

4. If that doesn't work...I'd be fairly surprised, but you could then move on to heat. Torch the bolt till it turns red hot, the LET IT COOL. This expands the bolt which breaks up the deposit locking it in, then the cooling allows the shrinkage to loosen. Don't do this step first...the potential for damage to other surrounding material is much greater...especially with a stub broken below the surface.

5. There is one last way which is just about a 100% solution, but you will need an arc welder...and some speciallized stick. I have done 3/8" to 3" bolts with this step and was always successful. I'll post this one if you REALLY need it.

1 - 4 will work about 95% of the time. I sure hope this helps.
 

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iv had a few break on the 2nd gens but the last time i did one i warmed it up first, tryed loosening them up and they came out really really easy. i did wait for it to cool down before i actually removed completely. not sure if that was just luck or what but if i have to do that again thats where im gonna start. when i tryed an easy out it snapped. got lucky with vice grips once but iv also had it snap off the little 1/2'' left to grab too.
 
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