How to remove studs and broken bolts with spare hardware

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Kyle Smith

Specialized tools are fantastic, there are no two ways around it. However, I—and I assume many of you—don’t have infinite funds for tools. That means there is a certain amount of creativity and thriftiness needed to get some tasks completed properly. One such job came up recently in my garage when I went to install the headers on my 1965 Chevrolet Corvair.

The exhaust on the Corvair’s flat-six is held on by three short studs on each cylinder head. When I removed the exhaust to have it sent out for Cerakote, one of the nuts was corroded to the stud and they came out as one piece. Rather than deal with breaking the rusty bond of nut and stud, I elected to pull a clean stud out of a pair of spare cylinder heads that have been collecting dust on my shelf, and the process I used is pretty darn simple.

Rather than spring for the specialty tools to do the job, I reached into the spare and old hardware draw of my tool chest and grabbed two nuts that matched the thread on the stud. Threading both onto the stud, I was able to lock them against each other by turning the one further on the stud counter-clockwise while turning the outer clockwise to the point they are solidly wedged against each other. Now you can use an open-end wrench to loosen the inner nut and due to the two nuts being wedged against each other, the stud should back right out.

If removal was your goal, use the two wrenches you used to wedge the nuts together to do the opposite and toss them back into your spare hardware drawer. In my case, I used the same trick to install the stud into the driver’s side cylinder head. Now the car is one step closer to being back on the road.

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