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Old 05-06-10, 11:36 PM   #1
pedalpedalpedal
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Cleats stuck in shoe!

So I was too cheap to buy new cleats and was trying to squeeze as much life out of them as possible. Now the heads of the bolts are pretty much stripped and I can't use an Allen wrench w/ them anymore, therefore making it impossible to change out for new cleats!

How the hell am I supposed to get them out?
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Old 05-07-10, 12:00 AM   #2
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Sometimes, not always, but sometimes you can paste your bolt heads with lapping compound and get enough grip to remove them. If you have allen socket wrenches, they are more likely to work.
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Old 05-07-10, 08:32 AM   #3
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Cut a slot into them with a dremal and use a big screw driver.
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Old 05-07-10, 11:19 AM   #4
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Screw Extractor...

As shown here...
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Old 05-07-10, 06:27 PM   #5
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Cut a slot into them with a dremal and use a big screw driver.
I don't have a Dremel... would using a drill work?
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Old 05-07-10, 06:45 PM   #6
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I don't have a Dremel... would using a drill work?
No. You need the Extractor. You could drill it out, but chances are you would damage the threads in the shoe and make it unusable.
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Old 05-07-10, 11:48 PM   #7
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Well, I don't see how you can use a screw extractor without drilling, flatlander. Notice that the set in your link includes properly sized drill bits to match the extractors.

Now, a moderately crafty machinist can take a right hand twist drill bit and regrind it into a left hand cutting bit. Sometimes, they will grab and pull out a stubborn screw. In any case, drilling the screw is quite likely to damage the thread. If it does, i guess you need either a new threaded plate, or a new pair of shoes.
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Old 05-08-10, 12:02 AM   #8
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I've had the problem.. Getting a couple more weeks out of cleats is not worth it.. First of all, on Look cleats you might find your clipped position not secure due to worn down edges.. I had no knowledge of this extractor.. The times it's happened , I've had to take a hammer and try to force new grooves into the screw.
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Old 05-08-10, 01:48 AM   #9
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I've had this problem, too. Simply, buy a cheap electric drill or borrow one, and get a fairly large-size bit, at least as wide as the thickness of the threaded bit of the bolt. Drill off the head of the bolt, remove the cleat then get a pair of decent vice-grips, clamp it on the protruding part of the bolt and unscrew it. A spot of spray with WD40 or RP7 might help because the bolts also have a habit of rusting with the backing plate.

The whole operation should take about five minutes. The gathering of the drill and bit may take longer.
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Old 05-08-10, 05:36 AM   #10
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Well, I don't see how you can use a screw extractor without drilling, flatlander. Notice that the set in your link includes properly sized drill bits to match the extractors.

Now, a moderately crafty machinist can take a right hand twist drill bit and regrind it into a left hand cutting bit. Sometimes, they will grab and pull out a stubborn screw. In any case, drilling the screw is quite likely to damage the thread. If it does, i guess you need either a new threaded plate, or a new pair of shoes.
No, the point was that you can't use the drill by itself. The drill you use for the Extractor is much smaller than the screw so you minimize the risk of damaging the threads even if you don't drill quite square to the hole. All drilling a hole does is provide a place for the Extractor to bite into the screw.
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Old 05-08-10, 03:30 PM   #11
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I've used a drop of Araldite round the end of an old allen key. when it's set, prob solved.
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Old 05-12-10, 12:06 AM   #12
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. In any case, drilling the screw is quite likely to damage the thread. If it does, i guess you need either a new threaded plate, or a new pair of shoes.
Where could I get a new threaded plate? The shoes are just simple commuter/touring ones, so it's not like I have to be extremely delicate about the whole procedure.

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I've had this problem, too. Simply, buy a cheap electric drill or borrow one, and get a fairly large-size bit, at least as wide as the thickness of the threaded bit of the bolt. Drill off the head of the bolt, remove the cleat then get a pair of decent vice-grips, clamp it on the protruding part of the bolt and unscrew it. A spot of spray with WD40 or RP7 might help because the bolts also have a habit of rusting with the backing plate.

The whole operation should take about five minutes. The gathering of the drill and bit may take longer.
Would I need a special metal bit? Or just any wood one would do?
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Old 05-12-10, 03:17 AM   #13
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Don't get a bit specially designed for wood. By that, I mean not a brad point or Forstner bit. Just any old bit sold at Sears, or K-Mart for that matter will do. Unless you go out of your way for a wood cutting bit, you are going to end up with a metal cutting bit.
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Old 05-12-10, 01:42 PM   #14
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When you install the new cleats, don't forget to put some blue Loctite on the screws. It will keep them from getting stuck next time.
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Old 05-12-10, 06:02 PM   #15
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When you install the new cleats, don't forget to put some blue Loctite on the screws. It will keep them from getting stuck next time.
He wore down the heads of the screws, they didn't become bonded with the threads.

If you don't have a Dremel, get one. They cost like $60 and are mightily handy all around the house. If you're really too cheap, but have a very small file, see if that'll do the trick. Otherwise, if you have a neighbor who is handy, ask if they have a Dremel.
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Old 05-12-10, 08:06 PM   #16
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Don't get a bit specially designed for wood. By that, I mean not a brad point or Forstner bit. Just any old bit sold at Sears, or K-Mart for that matter will do. Unless you go out of your way for a wood cutting bit, you are going to end up with a metal cutting bit.
Oh no I'm not going out of my way to buy any of this stuff. I have a drill and bits, just wasn't sure what type to use.
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Old 05-13-10, 04:53 AM   #17
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to think that in an effort to avoid spending money on new cleats, you may end up on the hook for new cleats and new shoes. there's a word for that.... irony?
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Old 05-13-10, 08:10 AM   #18
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Please keep us updated on how this goes. Success or failure will surely have an interesting story behind it.
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Old 08-02-10, 07:17 PM   #19
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I had the same problem. I attempted the dremel method but still wasn't able to get enough grab. I solved it by taking my cleats down to the local hardware store. They were able to bore out a hole using a drill bit, and then hammered a tap (not sure if that was what it was called, exactly. It was a tapered bit with four edges) into the drilled hole and used a wrench to apply torque to the hammered-in bit. It took a few tries on each bolt. I nearly hugged him when he got the first one out!
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Old 08-02-10, 08:08 PM   #20
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Use a hacksaw, cheapskate. THEN use the big screwdriver.
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Old 08-03-10, 12:53 AM   #21
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Drill whats left of the screw head off with a larger drill bit. Problem solved. This happens more often than you think.
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Old 08-05-10, 09:20 AM   #22
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Had this problem recently, took my shoes to a bike shop and they were able to deal with it.
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Old 01-07-15, 09:33 PM   #23
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He wore down the heads of the screws, they didn't become bonded with the threads.

If you don't have a Dremel, get one. They cost like $60 and are mightily handy all around the house. If you're really too cheap, but have a very small file, see if that'll do the trick. Otherwise, if you have a neighbor who is handy, ask if they have a Dremel.
Don't you think he could have worn down the heads because the screws wouldn' t turn because they were stuck in there? If they were not stuck why wouldn't the screw turn?
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Old 01-10-15, 01:38 PM   #24
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So the screw extractor is the way to go. But if that fails, I've actually had luck taking a phillips head screwdriver that is bigger than the hole, tapping it in pretty firmly with a hammer so it becomes sort of 'embedded' in the screw, then removing with the assistance of a pair of pliers.

I actually had a bolt that I drilled, used three types of extractors, was recessed in so I couldn't cut into it with a dremel, and just didn't know what to do. Frustrated, I took a screwdriver and hammered it in. And darn if it didn't work.

Might ruin the screwdriver, of course. Just keep that in mind.

Start the process by spraying a little penetrating oil in there, just in case the threads are seized.
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Old 01-10-15, 03:22 PM   #25
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Depending on the type of cleat and shoe, drilling out the stripped bolts might be the easiest way. Many shoes have replaceable threads, especially mtb shoes for two-bolt 'spd' style cleat mounting. New thread plates are included with many cleats when purchased. If the shoe is the older road style with three fixed thread inserts, replacement will be somewhere between less easy and impossible. I still think drilling the bolts until their heads come off, then immediately stopping and removing the stub of the bolt with vise grips, is the best method.
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