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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm kinda new to this forum (first post, woo), but I've had an issue with my 2001 Outback Wagon that has had my head spinning.

Over the last few days, I've been redoing my suspension/steering setup. It came to the point where I needed to remove the ball joint, and that darn pinch bolt got completely stuck and will not budge whatsoever. It got the point where it became super rounded, and in a desperate attempt to try and get SOME grip on it, one side has been grounded to be more flat. (Genius idea, go figure.)

I'm completely unable to proceed with getting everything fixed and ready to go, and I'm super stumped as to what I can do here. Any suggestions?

Picture of the bolt:

 

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Premium Member
(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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18,763 Posts
everyone has problems with those, try a search for ideas

you can try increasing larger drill bits in the bolt from the back side. The heat and vibration may break it loose


even if you eventually just drill it out, I've read of people thru-bolting with a nut. It's just there to keep the joint in place - not support the whole car.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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2,112 Posts
If you have been pulling on that bolt with a wrench or breaker bar, try an impact wrench instead. Electric ones can be bought for not too much cost (maybe rented or borrowed too).
Get a set of metric and SAE sockets to find one that will fit tight, even if it has to be tapped into place. Be sure to use 6-point sockets, although most impact sockets are. Always use 6-point sockets in high-torque situations. They have larger contact surfaces than 12-point sockets to deliver more torque.

Penetrating oil and/or heat ($20 heat gun works) can also help release stuck fasteners.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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8,551 Posts
Impact wrench is not likely to grip, as the OP said the head was so rounded that he had to grind a flat edge to get a grip on it.

At this point, it might need heat and a pair of vice grips to grab on to it.
 

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2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
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Lighjing,

Try heat where the threads are using a propane torch, but purchase a Map Gas tank, (they're yellow but the same size as the blue propane ones) instead. Map Gas burns much hotter than propane, will get things hotter to expand more. That and a heavy set of vice grips should do the trick. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey all!

I got the darn bolt out, finally, and I am currently working on getting the ball joint out. After a ton of sweat and tears (lots of those), a ton of heat, and a bunch of bolt extracting sockets, I ended up having to drill the bolt out. It all looks good, and I think I'm going to be able to put a thru-bolt in and get everything back together.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Nice job getting it out, no fun.

Picture of the bolt:
A. get 6 point sockets, looks like 12 points were used.
B. or they're super cheap sockets
C. or they were used at an angle and not fully seated. a shorter wrench or longer extensions or get the car off the ground higher can help fully seat the socket on the bolt.

If it was entirely a "stuck bolt" issue the bolt will shear off before the head rounds unless it's madly rusted which that one is not.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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The part of the socket that is on the inside, where the bolt head (or nut) goes, is angled to help it slip on the bolt head more easily.

The beveled part doesn't grip the bolt head.

Grind back the end of the socket to remove the bevel.

Using sockets that grip the flats is hugely beneficial, too. Used to be only snap-on had that, now many do.


Here is a socket with a large chamfer:


And a flat-gripping socket with chamfer removed:
 
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