I think my question about these got buried amongst my discussion about the siren. Does anyone have a strong opinion on these?
I have some bolts on which a socket spins because they're rusty. Can't use a nut splitter, because they're bolts. Can't get access with a mole wrench or angle grinder. There are quite a few times I could use something like this - if they work - but they're quite spendy.
Any opinions on these or similar products? Recommendations would be appreciated.
I'm in Australia, where the local Supercheap Auto has cheap made in Asia impact sockets at about $50.00 for a set of 3/8 long sockets and 1/2 short sockets ranging from 10mm to 24mm and similar in inch sizes, which once changed into US$, should be about 50 cents. (US$35)
These six sided sockets have taken all the abuse I can throw at them, using the 14mm socket to remove a bulldozer bolt with original 22mm head shrunk down with layers of old rust until the 14mm socket was able to be hammered on, with the back side of a blocksplitter, after filing one side of the bolt's head a little. The 1/2 drive went through a 1/2 to 3/4 adaptor, than a 3/4 sliding T and five feet of two inch water pipe.
Any other bolt I have attacked with them has either come loose or snapped off, and the cheap six sided impact sockets have no scars. The six sides allow for better grip to the bolt or nut, and will grip rounded nuts if a smaller socket is belted on with a hammer. The socket can be removed from the nut or bolt with a drift that fits up the 1/2 inch drive end. By having a set with both metric and imperial sizes, you can normally find a socket that will force over the damaged head, but you may also just buy a single impact socket in strange sizes at better tool shops.
The Irwin set has a different design that looks like it is specially made for belting onto damaged nuts in a similar manner, but you may find a cheap set will give you results, and you will have extra sockets to use everyday on good nuts.
I now have a couple of sets of these so I have a set of tools for each car.
They work very well, where other methods do not (such as vise-grips, mole wrench?). The small sizes are very effective at removing old deterioriated brake line nuts that have nearly rusted away, when the brake line is cut off close to the line nut.
The design of the sockets is essentially the reverse of a twisted style of an EZ-out tool, in that the spiraled fluted diameter get smaller, deeper into the socket. The harder the socket is turned, the better the grip gets on the rusted/distorted fastener.
I've already got two sets of bi-hexagon sockets: one King Dick and one Draper Expert set. Neither will shift these particular bolts. Either they're too small to fit on the bolts or they spin. If you look at this picture, the two stuck bolts are between the motor and the cast iron body:
Do the Irwin sockets work on fasteners which are completely rounded, i.e., very badly damaged hex heads or screws which were round in the first place? To me it looks like they might not.
I've now partially dismantled the motor, which means that I think I could get a die grinder into the gap to grind away the bolt heads. Only I don't have a die grinder, so I'm trying to weigh up whether to buy a set of 10 Irwin "Bolt Grip" sockets or a die grinder.
A set of 10 sockets is more than half the cost of a Makita electric die grinder (GD0800C) which I've seen on special offer. I've got a Makita angle grinder that I've been very happy with. I could get a DeWalt die grinder for a little less, but I'm under the impression that DeWalt aren't really in the same league as Makita.
I can't afford both at the moment. One of the bolts has already snapped off, so I already have the job of removing the remains of it from the aluminium using nitric acid, alum or whatever works. I do quite a bit of fabrication so the die grinder would have other uses, but then so would the sockets if they work well!
The "bolt grip" sockets might not be the best solution to your situation. A cutting or grinding method may be easier, and you would be the best judge of that.
These special sockets will work on round objects, if there is enough height above the surrounding surface. They would be useless for a countersunk fastener, for example.
There needs to be a certain amount of fastener for the socket to climb onto. That's what the spiral of the internal flutes does. As the socket is turned, it moves further onto the fastener until it attains a good grip that's more secure than the threads of the fastener.
Dealing with rusty fasteners often requires a lot of experimentation. Removing the fastener head will sometimes be the fastest method, but not always. The proper raitio of brute force and patience is generally what works best.
If it were me, I might consider trying to use a piece of tubing over a drill to maintain the center position, to get a drill started in the head of the fastener. A second piece of tubing inside the larger one can hold a small drill centered on a fastener.
Thanks for the thoughts, Bill. The more I think about it, the more I too am inclined towards grinding and then extracting the bolt stubs with an extractor or with chemicals. I doubt there is enough room to get a pistol grip drill into the location of the fastener, and there certainly isn't enough room to use a drill press. I think there's a good chance I could reach the bolt heads with a long-nosed die grinder, though.
I probably have more use for a die grinder than a set of "Bolt Grip" sockets - i.e., if I buy the sockets and they don't work, I'll be annoyed - so that's the way I'm leaning (see my post on electric die grinders).
After considerable thought, I think I'm going to buy a set of these sockets. They're cheaper than a good electric die grinder, and given the failure of my experiments with alum so far, I'd rather extract the bolts whole. Most of the reviews I can find seem to be positive. I just hope they're as effective as they claim to be, and that the lobes don't wear down too fast.
It's a pity that Irwin don't sell their 13 piece set in the UK (and neither do any of the American sellers want to export here). Snap-on sell a set which looks identical at about twice the price. I was watching a barely used Snap-on set on eBay, but it has already soared up to a high price. What is it about Snap-on stuff? Their stuff looks similar to tools from Facom and Gedore which cost a lot less.
I'll post a review here once I've had chance to use them a few times.
Wow!! A die grinder is a really tedious way to remove anything in a hole. And almost guaranteed to leave some damage to the "side" of the hole at some point. I have a very nice Makita die grinder, and I would hate to hold it long enough to remove a stud!
But, once again..what about an EDM, even a simple version?
Brian Laws>After considerable thought, I think I'm going to buy a set of these
The Irwin set is *widely* available in the UK from a number of places (and certainly online, see below)
It's not avaialble as far as I know as a 13 piece set though - you have to buy a 5 piece set and then a fill in set. 10 pieces in all which is all the case will carry. It covers 8mm / 5/16" up to 19mm /