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How to remove stuck dropout screw?

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How to remove stuck dropout screw?

Old 09-27-18, 07:38 PM
  #26  
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HSS or Cobalt HSS Drills

Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Those are solid carbide "circuit board" drills. They're designed to be run at ungodly speeds in precision spindles for printed circuit board production (100,000+ rpm)

The trouble is, they're extremely delicate. I've never been able to use any but the largest by hand in a Dremel without snapping them off. You would be much better served using high speed steel (hss) or cobalt drill bits. Much tougher, and more than hard enough for drilling out screws. Try McMaster-Carr for a large selection of drill bits, and fast shipping.

That being said, it's still a very dicey operation, especially if you're not very skilled, and lucky. (I'm a machinist by trade, and I doubt I'd have more than a 50% chance of drilling one out without just making it worse.)
Those circuit board drills are very brittle and when you break one off you are screwed in the screw.

A 1mm or 1.5mm or 1/16" drill works much better.

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Old 09-28-18, 07:32 AM
  #27  
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I too recently had this issue on a Ď72 Witcomb. My efforts with mild heat (worried about surrounding paint) and pb blaster etc were no good.
I tried the needle nose vice grips. No good. After successive failures I ended up with no screw protruding on the outside of the dropout and only maybe 1/4Ē left showing on the inside.
I went to Moroso Performance Products in Guilford, CT. Famous hi end auto parts manufacturer.
They welded a nut on that exposed thread and it promptly broke off flush when we put a wrench on it.
They put the bike upside down in position on a bench drill and began a very deliberate drill process.
They marked the entry and exit holes to get the dropout lined up precisely.
Then, a special starter drill bit. Donít recall the name but very fine tip on a beefy bit so it wonít wander.
That did a pilot hole.
Next, with cooling fluid, ran a #49 bit thru perfectly and followed with a #38 I believe it was. I think thatís about a 2.5mm bit.
The entry and exit holes were exact.
Finally they used the same drill and setup but switched to a 3mm tap. That was carefully worked thru the hole and I had a perfectly repaired bike.
At no time did the original screw come out. Clean metal came out on the initial drilling but then just rusty filings as they got deeper into the lug.
That screw was never coming out without a drill.
Rick Moroso owns the place, Paul Minore did the work. Incredible job! Disclaimer: I know these guys, are friends with them and use their parts etc. that is why I trusted them in the first place. They are meticulous to an insane degree.





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Old 09-28-18, 07:45 AM
  #28  
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Wow.
I need friends like THAT!!!
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Old 09-28-18, 09:13 AM
  #29  
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congrats!!!

man cudda used a friend like that a cpl years ago when I broke off the nut from a bolt holding my Subaru rear hatch support bracket. took me weeks to get the right parts & do the job by hand. I was eventually able to extract my bolt tho. doing it by hand was hard but I had a little more meat to work with

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Old 09-28-18, 09:22 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Wow.
I need friends like THAT!!!
+1; we all do.

I always thought of Moroso as just another "sticker brand", you see on dudes' windows, and MAYBE their tool boxes. Nice to see there's a real family name, and an old-school craft skill and work/solution ethic behind it. I'll look at those stickers differently now.
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Old 09-28-18, 10:06 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Update-

I used a small drill bit to bore out a little of the head of the screw. Then used a reverse threaded extracting bit and it immediately dug into the screw and wound it out.

ended up being a molehill when I thought it was a mountain.

2min job. Fantastic.
Well done.

I can assure you removing small stuck screws with an easy out doesn't always go that well, but as you found out, sometimes it does.

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Old 09-28-18, 11:22 AM
  #32  
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^^^^ "Easy out" - rarely easy, and often NOT out.
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Old 09-28-18, 08:51 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^ "Easy out" - rarely easy, and often NOT out.
True that. Generally, easy outs are great for removing screws or studs that are just barely stuck. Unfortunately, that describes about 0.0001% of the jobs where you might be temped to use one. :-(
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Old 09-29-18, 10:41 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Ct03911 View Post
I too recently had this issue on a Ď72 Witcomb. My efforts with mild heat (worried about surrounding paint) and pb blaster etc were no good.
I tried the needle nose vice grips. No good. After successive failures I ended up with no screw protruding on the outside of the dropout and only maybe 1/4Ē left showing on the inside.
I went to Moroso Performance Products in Guilford, CT. Famous hi end auto parts manufacturer.
They welded a nut on that exposed thread and it promptly broke off flush when we put a wrench on it.
They put the bike upside down in position on a bench drill and began a very deliberate drill process.
They marked the entry and exit holes to get the dropout lined up precisely.
Then, a special starter drill bit. Donít recall the name but very fine tip on a beefy bit so it wonít wander.
That did a pilot hole.
Next, with cooling fluid, ran a #49 bit thru perfectly and followed with a #38 I believe it was. I think thatís about a 2.5mm bit.
The entry and exit holes were exact.
Finally they used the same drill and setup but switched to a 3mm tap. That was carefully worked thru the hole and I had a perfectly repaired bike.
At no time did the original screw come out. Clean metal came out on the initial drilling but then just rusty filings as they got deeper into the lug.
That screw was never coming out without a drill.
Rick Moroso owns the place, Paul Minore did the work. Incredible job! Disclaimer: I know these guys, are friends with them and use their parts etc. that is why I trusted them in the first place. They are meticulous to an insane degree.





Insane and meticulous are SOP for these guys, that's how you win an untold amount of races and make one of the most recognizable company names in the business.

They can do stuff like this in their sleep, lucky you to have them for help.
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Old 09-29-18, 12:42 PM
  #35  
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Only thing I would have done diff' would be to use a short drill for the first pass. I just worry about bit wander.

Makes me really want to pursue buying a used Bridgeport vertical mill... just so useful.
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Old 01-30-21, 01:37 PM
  #36  
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Thanks for this thread, saved my expensive vintage frame!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. You helped me save a very expensive vintage titanium frame.

One screw came out easy, but in my impatience and inexperience I rounded out the head of the other. I soaked it in liquid wrench for about 2 days, then heated it in a open oven until it was warm but not hot, quickly cut a new slot with a hacksaw with an old blade, and the screw came out really easy.

Now I can fit the 25c tires I'd been hoping for.

Thanks again, you're awesome!
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Old 01-30-21, 02:42 PM
  #37  
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Iíve broken off a couple DO Screws in my 40 yrs of wrenching, but managed to remove them w/o too much trouble.
This new frame I got, came w/o any DO Screws, so I wasnít going to take any chances w/ cheapo screws.
Found these SS oneís from the UK ata reasonable cost. Lubed threm up & they went right in...surprisingly!



https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-S....m46890.l49292
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Old 01-30-21, 04:20 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^ "Easy out" - rarely easy, and often NOT out.
Left-hand drill bits usually work, one way or another.
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Old 01-30-21, 04:35 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by 1 Lugnut View Post
Iíve broken off a couple DO Screws in my 40 yrs of wrenching, but managed to remove them w/o too much trouble.
This new frame I got, came w/o any DO Screws, so I wasnít going to take any chances w/ cheapo screws.
After buying a frame in your situation and then snapping off a new screw in the gunked-up hole, I now re-tap the hole before attempting to screw in an adjustment bolt. Got to use the cutting a slot and to unscrew it method...
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Old 01-30-21, 05:43 PM
  #40  
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I broke a dropout screw installed and successfully extracted it by drilling, with my Milwaukee, a hole through the broken and then epoxied a spoke in the recess and was able to twist it

out.

Was I one happy camper.
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Old 01-30-21, 05:56 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by mountaindave View Post
After buying a frame in your situation and then snapping off a new screw in the gunked-up hole, I now re-tap the hole before attempting to screw in an adjustment bolt. Got to use the cutting a slot and to unscrew it method...
Iíll usually do that, but could not find my 3mm tap & the hardwr store was sold out of them.
Instead, I bought some 3mm machine screws to see if the d/o holes weíre ok to be fitted. With a little tri-flo, they went right without binding up the threads.
They were just temps till the SS srcrews came in the Mail. But thx, worthwhile info for others!
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Old 01-30-21, 06:13 PM
  #42  
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So many ways to skin a cat!
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Old 01-30-21, 07:03 PM
  #43  
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You can buy left hand drill bits that are used for drilling out broken off screws or bolts. You use them with an electric drill turning counter clockwise. I haven't tried them but it sounds like a good idea.
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Old 01-30-21, 07:22 PM
  #44  
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I have had those left-hand drills work for me! Helps if you get it really centered, usually by going clockwise using a center drill (that's the stubby drill with a fine point that was used at the shop in an earlier post).

I refuse to buy easy-outs. I understand that there's probably a bias on the internet toward stories of frustration (when you win, you celebrate, and when you lose, you complain), but it is hard to believe in a technology when "it doesn't work" is 80% of what you hear.

I do wonder if they'd work if you got them all set up right with a milling machine and a centering cone with a tap handle - but if you have the part a milling machine, why not just use an endmill to cut down through the buggered screw at that point?
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Old 01-31-21, 05:19 PM
  #45  
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Well done, glad you got it out so easily!! The worst broken bolt I've had to remove from a frame was a stainless bolt I had stupidly tried to torque into a dropout eyelet before chasing it properly after being powder coated. I broke an extractor as well, which got stuck inside the bolt, it wasn't fun. I eventually drilled it out and chased the threads. I then invested in a set of taps and use them religiously when building up any bike!



This is all that remained of the bolt when it finally came out:

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Old 01-31-21, 08:34 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by 1 Lugnut View Post
Iíve broken off a couple DO Screws in my 40 yrs of wrenching, but managed to remove them w/o too much trouble.
This new frame I got, came w/o any DO Screws, so I wasnít going to take any chances w/ cheapo screws.
Found these SS oneís from the UK ata reasonable cost. Lubed threm up & they went right in...surprisingly!



https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-S....m46890.l49292
I'm wondering if I actually need new screws? When the axle is pushed back as far as it can go I can barely fit 25s (I know it's a vintage frame so I can't complain haha). If I do decide to get new screws I'll take a look at that listing, thanks.

Beautiful bike from what I can see of it!
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Old 01-31-21, 08:37 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
I broke a dropout screw installed and successfully extracted it by drilling, with my Milwaukee, a hole through the broken and then epoxied a spoke in the recess and was able to twist it

out.

Was I one happy camper.
I'd seen people recommend welding a new screw head on, which is beyond my abilities. But the glued on spoke method seems like a great idea if I encounter this again
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Old 01-31-21, 08:43 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Hobbiano View Post
You can buy left hand drill bits that are used for drilling out broken off screws or bolts. You use them with an electric drill turning counter clockwise. I haven't tried them but it sounds like a good idea.
I had one of those ready to go, freshly delivered from Amazon, but it was too short to reach the screw, the drill would bump against the dropout ends, and I don't have any sort of extender. Lucky I had a hacksaw and the wisdom of this forum
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Old 01-31-21, 08:45 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
Well done, glad you got it out so easily!! The worst broken bolt I've had to remove from a frame was a stainless bolt I had stupidly tried to torque into a dropout eyelet before chasing it properly after being powder coated. I broke an extractor as well, which got stuck inside the bolt, it wasn't fun. I eventually drilled it out and chased the threads. I then invested in a set of taps and use them religiously when building up any bike!



This is all that remained of the bolt when it finally came out:

Yeah, I couldn't believe it was so easy, I was so happy when it just came right out after several days of worrying about ruining an expensive frame!
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Old 01-31-21, 09:02 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by degoydegoy View Post
Beautiful bike from what I can see of it!
Thx DgDgy,
Hereís a little more of it. 👀
Iíve sent the fork out 2B chromed. Itíll be a couple weeks before I can finish the build. In the meantime, I went ahead & polished a few parts to enhance the bling 😎 Itís a Swiss Titan frame, but was made in Italy sometime in the 80ís...


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