How to Fix Round and Stuck/Seized Hex Screws - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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How to Fix Round and Stuck/Seized Hex Screws

So I was removing the under-panel to change my oil and I found these hex screws extremely hard to remove (there's two of them). I ended up rounding out both of them.



Does anyone know I can remove the two screws and/or fix my problem? I believe that my options are as follows:

- dremel a notch and try to unscrew it
- somehow cut off the screw head to remove the under-panel, then worry about removing the stuck bolt later
- spray some pb blaster on it and hope that it loosens up
- smack it with a hammer
- sell the car and spend time with the family instead

Anyone have any ideas?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 07:30 PM
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Options.
1. Drill it and use a bolt extractor / easy out.
2. Weld another bolt to it and remove.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 02:04 AM
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i would slot them and try that first

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 03:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nfiniti View Post
So I was removing the under-panel to change my oil and I found these hex screws extremely hard to remove (there's two of them). I ended up rounding out both of them.

Does anyone know I can remove the two screws and/or fix my problem? I believe that my options are as follows:

- dremel a notch and try to unscrew it Probably the easiest way to proceed. A decent-sized straight notch to support a large slotted screwdriver should do
the trick. You might also try to grip the bottom (nearest the panel) of the "head" with some Vice Grips (maybe needle nosed). Those fasteners shouldn't be torqued
much (which is likely the problem).

- somehow cut off the screw head to remove the under-panel, then worry about removing the stuck bolt later Should also work, provided there's a bit of
the fastener below the "head" to grip after removing the fastener "head" and the panel.

- spray some pb blaster on it and hope that it loosens up I think the "head" will prevent you from getting any lubricant/anti-sieze to the threaded
portion, especially as the lubricant can't trickle down, unless you turn your car upside-down, and again the "head of the fastener will be in the way.

- smack it with a hammer Better yet, take a stubby slotted screwdriver or chisel and hit the "head" with the hammer. The impact and
new slot will help to remove it. I like your "smack it with a hammer" comment as I just imagined Fred Flinstone hitting something with a hammer and that alone fixed
the problem. Like Barney's kid, "Bam Bam".

- sell the car and spend time with the family instead Once you start spending time with the family, you'll find they'll become accustomed to it. You really
don't want to sell a Lotus. You can always start another family in a nearby city (cuts down on the commute/airfare) and justify the number of toys you own to each
significant other at each location. In city "A" you agree you'll sell the Lotus. In city "B" you pitch the idea of buying a Lotus as you've "never had one". Meanwhile in city
"A" you buy a Ferrari to replace the Lotus, and in city "C" you buy your "first" sports car. Minimize the kids in each city of course. The complexity of your tax returns will
likely minimize any advantage to this scenario (except for the exemptions). Also, having multiple significant others always sounds good on paper, but in reality........


Anyone have any ideas?
I have to quote your post as some of the suggestions were funny (to me). My answers in red to your "solutions".

The other suggestions by other members make sense. A simple slotting should do it. As jacked up as the fastener is, you probably don't need to drill it to use an easy out. You just need the proper sized one to wedge it in enough to get some torque on it. Welding another piece of metal to it is a last case scenario, as I can't imagine it needs much force to actually back the fastener out.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 07:26 AM
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How I would attack it, in order of effort required:

1. slot it with a Dremel cutoff wheel and try to turn it out, using either a vice grip on a big common screwdriver, so you're pushing against the handle with one hand and applying torque on the vice grips with the other, or a 3/8" ratchet handle with appropriate sized common screwdriver socket.
2. grind the head off entirely (the washer will protect the panel). I have a 4" angle grinder for this sort of use, but a Dremel and grinding wheel will do, too. Once you have the panel off, you can investigate why the screw is stuck and remove it. You'll probably need a new clip nut.

Whatever you replace it with, anti-seize is your friend. Don't forget to put a daub between washer and panel to avoid dissimilar metal corrosion problems.

A very nice prior owner changed all my diffuser and access panel screws to 8mm head stainless metric bolts. Much better. I pop them off in about five minutes' work with the cordless drill with 8mm nut driver bit.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 07:46 AM
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i would only cut off the head if you absolutely had too. I don't think clip nuts are behind those bolts, and its a right pain in the ass to fix. I keep antisieze on the central bolts of the undertray for this reason.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 07:57 AM
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Tools....more Tools! One impact driver........




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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:18 AM
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No one has said it yet but that isn't supposed to be a hex screw, it should be a normal bolt head. The undertray hex screws are along the side and edge of the diffuser, the middle two are 13mm headed bolts.

From the looks of some other bits in the pic (like that oil pan bolt), it likely has some corrosion on it making it slightly harder to turn and stripped. Try making the slot in it as other have suggested. You should be careful as you don't really want to torque it too much and mess up the threads it goes into as I'm not sure how you replace those easily (they are not a simple clipped on nut). If that doesn't work I'd cut the head off as suggested and remove the panel to get some PB Blaster or similar in there, or maybe heat.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:21 AM
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Try vice grips and if that does not work - Square two sides with grinder then vice grips.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for clarifying. They are indeed hex socket allen key bolts.

Time to buy a (1) a blow torch, (2) vice grips, and (3) screw extractor set.

Thank you for all your inputs. I'm going to try them all until I'm successful.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for clarifying. They are indeed hex socket allen key bolts.

Time to buy a (1) a blow torch, (2) vice grips, and (3) screw extractor set.

Thank you for all of your inputs. I'm going to try them all until I'm successful.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastLotus View Post
Tools....more Tools! One impact driver........

https://www.amazon.com/Screwdriver-A...%2C254&sr=8-49
Not saying it'll work here, but have had great success with this tool.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 12:14 PM
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I would try and slot it as said but what has also worked for me in the past is JB weld a hex key (or bit) unto the stripped screw, and come back the next day and turn it loose. Clean the surface for best adhesion.
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