Broken off licence plate screw wont come out!
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  1. #1
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    Broken off licence plate screw wont come out!

    I've got some nice frames and those YoSteve stainless screws coming but the car came with one licence plate screw broken off in the hole on the rear plate. I tried one of those "GrabIt" tools but it may be too large because it didn't work at all. Has anyone here had to deal with one of these issue's?

    Believe it or not that one missing screw is gonna bug me. Help.

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  3. #2
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    been there with sister's jetta where both screws seized and broke off.
    did a ghetto fix and drilled two new holes into the license plate and used ss bolts.
    fortunately OEM had four threaded holes and I used the other two

  4. #3
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    Try a bigger or different screw removal tool and make sure you follow the directions exactly.

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    If I remember right Black and Decker makes a product called Easy Out. It comes with a small drill bit to drill down the center of your broken bolt and a tapered reverse threaded (counter clockwise) screw. So drill down the center of the broker screw shaft and then use the tapered screw with your drill in reverse to drive the screw in the opposite direction.

    1. drill out center (you might want to use a center punch to get an indent in your screw shaft so you don't drill down the threaded insert in the car)
    2. soak with penetrating oil (10 mins)
    3. use reverse screw to pull it out.

    Anyone know the screw and thread size to use on these? I need to replay my zinc coated crap with some stainless.

  6. #5
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    How much do you drill out? This GraBit has the drill bit side but it barely dented the slug. It only made a cone shaped depression with no sides for the extractor to grip. I was pushing but the bit wasn't going any further. I'm thinking the tool may have been too big. Are the threads on a screw hardened more than the shank of the screw itself?

    Also, what size are these plate screws? The tool I'm using says it's for #6 to #10 screws.





  7. #6
    Motel Room Moderator VAGguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crispy222 View Post
    If I remember right Black and Decker makes a product called Easy Out. It comes with a small drill bit to drill down the center of your broken bolt and a tapered reverse threaded (counter clockwise) screw. So drill down the center of the broker screw shaft and then use the tapered screw with your drill in reverse to drive the screw in the opposite direction.

    1. drill out center (you might want to use a center punch to get an indent in your screw shaft so you don't drill down the threaded insert in the car)
    2. soak with penetrating oil (10 mins)
    3. use reverse screw to pull it out.

    Anyone know the screw and thread size to use on these? I need to replay my zinc coated crap with some stainless.
    It's in a recent post that Urban was involved in I believe.....IIRC it was an M6 screw

    edit: Woohoo! 4th gear!

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAGguy View Post
    It's in a recent post that Urban was involved in I believe.....IIRC it was an M6 screw

    edit: Woohoo! 4th gear!
    Cool, can you link it? Maybe you answered me there...

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanLegend View Post
    How much do you drill out? This GraBit has the drill bit side but it barely dented the slug. It only made a cone shaped depression with no sides for the extractor to grip. I was pushing but the bit wasn't going any further. I'm thinking the tool may have been too big. Are the threads on a screw hardened more than the shank of the screw itself?

    Also, what size are these plate screws? The tool I'm using says it's for #6 to #10 screws.




    That's the tool to get right there. I got that and the regular extractors from Lowe's and the Alden bit removed the screw where the Kobalt didn't and I didn't even have to get it to the extractor side.

  10. #9
    Motel Room Moderator VAGguy's Avatar
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    I cant find licence plate screws that thread right, what did you use?
    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanLegend View Post
    Cool, can you link it? Maybe you answered me there...

  11. #10
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    Those tools work best if theres a messed up head to torque on. You need to drill the center of the screw out much further down with a drill bit and use a reverse threaded easy-out. Spray WD40 in the hole also to help loosen it up.

  12. #11
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    if those attempts do not work and you end up taking the threaded seat with it, you can get nylon inserts and stainless steel screws at Autozone (or similar). (ask me how I know...?)

  13. #12
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    Is their enough thread left to cut a notch into it and back it out with a screw driver?

  14. #13
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    Yeah that thread was about which screws to get, THIS one is about how to get the broken screw out.

    I have the YoSteve's on the way but I cant get the GraBit to drill a deep enough hole for the other end to grab hold of. The bit just won't drill into the stud for some reason.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH VW Junky View Post
    Is their enough thread left to cut a notch into it and back it out with a screw driver?
    No it's about 3mm inside the hole and seized pretty good.

  16. #15
    Motel Room Moderator VAGguy's Avatar
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    I must've misunderstood the post I was quoting....

  17. #16
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    OK I went to Ace and for a whopping $50 bucks I got the Alden broken BOLT extractor. This isn't the "screw and bolt" extractor, it's a different design, you don't drill the hole and then flip the tool around to extract it, you just keep right on drilling and it drills to a certain depth and then as it's going an extractor sleeve catches the bolt and unscrews it.

    It seems to be a harder steel too which should help because the other one wouldn't even drill the hole.

  18. #17
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    if you got the patience and want to remove the broken bolt correctly.
    use a small drill to drill a pilot hole straight dead center and work to bigger sizes until the bolt is almost drilled out but not into the threads. then take a small chisel and hack the rest of the edges of the bolt into the center.

    maybe i will do this for the other two broken bolts on my sisters jetta.

    Here comes another DIY LOL!!!!

  19. #18
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    Doesn't that last step with the chisel damage the threads?

    I havent tried the new extractor yet but I have a feeling it's going to work. The right tool for the right job and all that......
    Plus FIFTY bucks!

  20. #19
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    Just throwing it out there, but if you got a MIG welder laying around try welding a small bolt to it and than taking a wrench to it. Worked when I spun the heads off of my header bolts...

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by boschman36 View Post
    Just throwing it out there, but if you got a MIG welder laying around try welding a small bolt to it and than taking a wrench to it. Worked when I spun the heads off of my header bolts...
    yup, let me check next to my bazooka launcher. I think that's where i last saw it...

    Let me know how the new extractor turns out. Got one stuck in there as well.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by step@[dartmouth] View Post
    yup, let me check next to my bazooka launcher. I think that's where i last saw it...

    Let me know how the new extractor turns out. Got one stuck in there as well.


    Will do.

  23. #22
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    no pictures?

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by corradog60stage4 View Post
    no pictures?
    Of what exactly? The tool? The broken bolt?

  25. #24
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    Went thru the same thing ..4 screws shot... rusted .... drilled the s...t out of them eventually got my dremel and ground the seats off and in those holes I put the square plasti licence plate holders that fit inside the holes then screwed the plate to that

    works great

  26. #25
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    i was thinking of the whole process with a short write to get the bolt out.
    not alot of people are technically inclined and this would help them to do this sort of thing.
    i remember the first time i broke my first bolt and i didn't know what to do.

  27. #26
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    So here's what happened, I left the trunk lid up with a little pool of liquid wrench to seep in and hopefully loosen the bolt as per instructions. I used the Drill-Out tool, the kind with the collet or threaded collar over the drill bit, and very carefully drilled out the center of the bolt about 2 or 3mm at a time, cleaning out the filings, oiling and going a little more until the depth was right where it was supposed to be to begin removal. I then turned the collet exactly 5 turns toward the tip of the tool and proceeded to drill. The threads of the tool quickly bit into the inside of the bolt, twisted a couple of revolutions and with a loud POP sheared off the outer 2mm of the bolt which stayed on the tip of the tool, and the rest of the bolt stayed in the car.

    OK, since I couldn't go any deeper and try again because the chuck of the drill was about to grind the paint off the trunk lip (it did anyway) I decided to move the Collet forward a smidge and go for it as is. As I hit the power the removal threads again quickly bit into the bolt only this time it made this horrible industrial strength grinding noise kinda like an air powered cutting chisel, except with sparks flying and smoke. The tool stripped out of the drill and was lodged in the bolt.

    With nothing left to try I attempted to grasp the tool with a wrench and turn it by hand which quickly proved futile. Thus ended my quest to get that god damn little fucker the hell out of my frikkin car!


    I'm gonna cut the head off one of the screws and glue it to the frame.

    So how'd you guys spend your afternoon?

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pissat1 View Post
    Went thru the same thing ..4 screws shot... rusted .... drilled the s...t out of them eventually got my dremel and ground the seats off and in those holes I put the square plasti licence plate holders that fit inside the holes then screwed the plate to that

    works great
    I'm having trouble seeing what you're describing. What holds the seat in and how did you remove it? Pics would be great if possible. Don't you have to pull out the panel on the inside of the hood to get those threaded grommets out?

  29. #28
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    very sorry to hear it did not come out as expected bro.
    if you have a hole already drilled in the bolt i would suggest you go one size bigger and bigger but not bigger than the threads. You must try to drill as much of the bolt without drilling into the threads to remove the tension that is exerted into the threaded. once finished drilling you can probably use your easy outs to remove the remains.
    that would be the procedure i would use remove it.

  30. #29
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    Grommets

    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanLegend View Post
    I'm having trouble seeing what you're describing. What holds the seat in and how did you remove it? Pics would be great if possible. Don't you have to pull out the panel on the inside of the hood to get those threaded grommets out?
    sorry I dont have photos

    The old grommets had the broken screws inside them..
    I bought a stone bit for my dremel ( cone shape )
    Ground the Outside of grommet and top of rusted screw till the inside part of threaded grommet fell off inside the trunk lid .
    Bought 4 square plastic license platescrew backs with SS screws, pushed them inside the opened holes
    Screwed the license plate back in
    I then removed the back of ( in my case ) my wagon lid panel and got the old grounded grommets out.
    Last edited by Pissat1; 03-23-2008 at 07:24 AM. Reason: spelling

  31. #30
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    Here's my tip. During my annual waxing of the car, I will always take off the rear plate, clean up the screws and grease them lightly and resintall. Its a good thing to do.

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