Stripped allen bolt!!!! HELP- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Stripped allen bolt!!!! HELP

    First, I know this is the SS forum, but this is the only one I read so I thought I would post here.

    I have a Thomson Elite 100mm stem. When I was riding resterday I flipped and twisted my stem a bit, no big deal. In my haste to fix it and keep riding I stripped the left side steerer bolt. Its a 4mm standard steel allen bolt. My question....Should I buy one of the tap sets from Sears and try and remove it myself, or should I just swallow my pride and take it to my LBS to get it fixed. I don't want to risk destroying my stem but if its an easy fix using one of those hardware store stripped bolt kits I will give it a try. Any input would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I'd go ahead an use an easy out.

  3. #3
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    Have you tried tightening the remaining bolt, the one on the other side, a bit? I have found that this helps to relieve the opposing bolt. If that fails try what he said ^^
    -- let's ride

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ingregrity View Post
    First, I know this is the SS forum, but this is the only one I read so I thought I would post here.

    I have a Thomson Elite 100mm stem. When I was riding resterday I flipped and twisted my stem a bit, no big deal. In my haste to fix it and keep riding I stripped the left side steerer bolt. Its a 4mm standard steel allen bolt. My question....Should I buy one of the tap sets from Sears and try and remove it myself, or should I just swallow my pride and take it to my LBS to get it fixed. I don't want to risk destroying my stem but if its an easy fix using one of those hardware store stripped bolt kits I will give it a try. Any input would be much appreciated.
    Helicoil inserts work well if you can find the right size. I've used them for automobile head bolts without failure (that I knew of). That's probably what your LBS would do. Should you do it? What's your skill level? That's up to you.

  5. #5
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    Okay, it looks like you rounded out the allen interface. If so, tightening the other bolt should help. I also have found that when you round off an allen interface, you often do damage to the allen wrench also, or the allen wrench is simply rounding off due to use. Either way, look for a new allen wrench or take grinder to your old wrench so the planes and edges are sharp. Push the wrench into the bolt and see if you can pick up a few edges that the worn wrench missed. Hopefully pushing down and unscrewing will loosen the bolt. If not, drill it out like the other poster said.
    Last edited by aka brad; 06-05-2011 at 02:33 PM.
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  6. #6
    openwound
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    After re-reading your post, I'm a bit confused. Did you strip the stem or did you round out the head of the bolt?
    -- let's ride

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad View Post
    Okay, it looks like you rounded out the allen interface. If so, tightening the other bolt should help. I also have found that when you round off an allen interface, you often do damage to the allen wrench also, or the allen wrench is simply rounding off due to use. Either way, look for a new allen wrench or take grinder to your old wrench so the planes and edges are sharp. Push the wrench into the bolt and see if pick up a few edges that the worn wrench missed. Hopefully pushing down and unscrewing will loosen the bolt. If not, drill it out like the other poster said.
    That's what I'd try too, but maybe when you tune up or replace the wrench and insert it in the bolt, tap it with a hammer a couple of times before carefully applying the pressure and trying to slowly loosen it. A little penetrating lube a few minutes beforehand couldn't hurt either.

  8. #8
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    You're going to need a new bolt anyway, so why not just carefully drill the head off if it with a 5/32" bit?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by voodoochild View Post
    After re-reading your post, I'm a bit confused. Did you strip the stem or did you round out the head of the bolt?
    1+. Did you round the head or strip the threads?

  10. #10
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    Snap-on Extractor set...I use it all the time, works great
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  11. #11
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    Thomson frowns upon using EZ-outs.


  12. #12
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    Another option: make a cut with a dremel and use a flathead screwdriver.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    Thomson frowns upon using EZ-outs.

    They do say never to use an EZ-out if the bolt is "frozen" but I guess I interpreted the OP's problem to indicate that the head was just stripped and the bolt was not necessarily "frozen" into the stem....either way, I would definitely follow Thomson's instructions on the method of removal

  14. #14
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    Cut the bolt in half if there is enough room in the gap between the clamp halves. There should be room for a small cutting wheel on a Dremel.

  15. #15
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    Who cares what Thomson says.

    A screw is a screw is a screw. I doubt the Thomson screw (it's not a bolt) is a higher grade steel than an extractor set.

  16. #16
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    I just rounded out the allen head. I used an ez-out. It worked well. Moral of the story. Take your time when fixing your bike on the trail.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexrex20 View Post
    Who cares what Thomson says.

    A screw is a screw is a screw. I doubt the Thomson screw (it's not a bolt) is a higher grade steel than an extractor set.
    They made the thing, I figured they would know the best way of removing whatever you want to call the thing with threads on it....they call it a "bolt". On the other hand I do agree that the extractor would have, and apparently did, work fine...just didn't want the OP to come back and blame whoever suggested the extractor for ruining his stem or something

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ingregrity View Post
    First, I know this is the SS forum, but this is the only one I read so I thought I would post here.
    See Singlespeeders know everything... it's ok, we are used to it.

    Q

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just1Gear View Post
    They made the thing, I figured they would know the best way of removing whatever you want to call the thing with threads on it....they call it a "bolt". On the other hand I do agree that the extractor would have, and apparently did, work fine...just didn't want the OP to come back and blame whoever suggested the extractor for ruining his stem or something
    Haha I hear ya. I think Thomson is just trying to cover their own ass. I can't imagine any extractor set (especially Snap On) snapping off because of "special high strength alloy" screws. If they were high strength alloy, they wouldn't be so easily stripped by a low-torque 5mm Allen key!

  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    I just used the Thomson suggested method... It worked.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    Thomson frowns upon using EZ-outs.

    So what happens when you drill the head off and there isn't room on the shank to grasp with pliers ?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by theblackbullet View Post
    I'd go ahead an use an easy out.
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  24. #24
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    For future reference, try a Torx screwdriver next time. I have always had good luck using them on stripped and/or rusted hex screws. Triple square can also work.
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