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Discussion Starter #1
97 Outback 2.5 manual. I changed the timing belt, and when I did I ran into a problem. When I was working on the cam seals, on two of the seal caps a bolt broke off on the way out. I tried to rig it and, well, see if I could get lucky but no dice. So yesterday I yanked the motor out. I ran out of time before I could really get my eyes on the damage. I really hope that there is something of the bolt poking out of the bolt hole that I can grab onto or weld a nut to. I'm not too hopeful about my chances of drilling out a 1/4" steel bolt in an AL head. Does anyone know the chances of a machine shop having success with this (or what it would cost?) Any other tricks anyone has found?

I took a look at my clutch once I got the motor out too. I would have been pulling the motor out soon anyway, I'm surprised it wasn't slipping already.
 

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When the bolt material is softer than the material it is in, it is very easy to remove by drilling. When a steel bolt is in aluminum it takes skill but can be done. Your best bet on drilling it out is to start vary small and make sure you are perfectly centered when drilling the bolt. Then use a bolt extractor.
 

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I broke a bolt on my old Land cruiser - tried a extractor which by the way is a very hard brittle metal a bitch to drill out or grind out if you break the extractor. Which I managed to do! I spent the next 2hrs grinding the extractor and the bolt out using a diamond dusted dremel tip at low speed. The next bolt I broke I drilled the bolt center then used the dremel bit to grind down what was left of the bolt then simply ran a die through to remove the thin metal and threads left once I had it ground down to just short of finding the threads. The original threaded hole was perfectly intact and it went pretty fast.

That first experience with the hard as F--ck extractor broken off inside the drilled bolt was a major pita. From then on I go strait to the low rpm dremel bit which goes pretty quick.
Keep rpms way down and one diamond dusted bit will last you the whole job. Get it too hot and the bonding agent they use will break down and you'll loose the diamond dust which makes pretty short work of the bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey so I'm going back in with the motor. Any advice for that last inch and a half of mating engine to trans? Its whooping my ass.
 

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also make sure the transmission is held up above the crossmember too for clearance on the bottom.

throw away your bolt extractors, those things absolutely suck. if something does come out with a bolt extractor, that means it's easy and will come out with all sorts of other methods. and as mentioned if they break, which they often do because they are like concrete - very strong, but brittle, they can be a real bear to get out.

best tool is a left handed drill bit. it'll eventually unthread the bolt since it's "unscrewing it" while you're drilling.

yes - machine shops can get out sheared bolts all day long, that's what they do.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I aligned the clutch first, and I know I'm lined up because the front axles were turning. But if it won't slide in the pilot bearing... Eerything else was lined up so I might just have to give the clutch alignmnet a try. I won't be able to get back to it until tomorrow.
 

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Sounds like the engine and trans is not lined up properly, make sure there is an even gap around the bell housing, and give a wiggle and it should slip in. If you know the clutch is aligned right you could try gently pulling the engine and trans together with two mounting bolts diagonally opposite each other, be careful though as they are going into alloy.
 
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Timberwolf99
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