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Thread: One stupid bolt

  1. #1
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    One stupid bolt

    The is pretty random, but I find that most people don't really understand the challenges (and rewards) of working on your own car. I figure you all will appreciate this, however.

    I'm deep into the process of my 6-speed swap, and my wife often wonders why this process takes so long. Saturday was a textbook example of why. I spent most of the day trying to disassemble the turbos to replace the CHRAs. I did driver's side first, and the turbine housing bolts were a bitch, but ultimately they all came out. Several died in the process, mostly by rounding the corners. If you've never done these, they are 10mm hex head bolts, and they are squeezed up against the center section close enough that you can only get an open-ended wrench on them. Of course, they are part of the exhaust system, so they are well and truly stuck. I used a combination of hammering, PB Blaster and heat to get them out, and in most cases, I had to pound a sacrificial 3/8 inch wrench on them to get a tight-enough grip. I also used the "stacked" wrenches method to make a longer handle, and generally had to crawl all over my garage floor to find a good angle to pound, crank and swear at the thing.

    Ultimately, I was successful, and was also also able to wrangle the compressor side off with some heat and tapping with a rubber mallet. FYI, they "glue" housing to the center section at the factory, so heating up the glue helps free it.

    Then I started on the other turbo. First bolt was a complete no-go. Maybe my wrench was getting too stretched, or maybe it was my patience, but it did not take long before I had rounded the corners and no amount of heat or PB blaster seemed to be helping. I f&%ked around with that bolt for at least an hour and finally gave up. I went inside and spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out how to justify buying new turbos. I actually had trouble sleeping because I was having so much anxiety about how I was going to get that bolt out. I was mentally preparing to cut the head off and hope the rest would come out, and I would not spend a day drilling/tapping. Keep in mind, this was only the first bolt.

    Sunday morning, I woke up with an idea (which is actually something I find works - go to sleep thinking about a problem, and you'll wake up with a solution). Vice Grips. I went out to the garage, grabbed a pair, got a good grip on the bolt, and pop, she came right out. Maybe it was the PB Blaster soaking all night, or the heat-cooling cycle having an effect, but I think getting a really firm grip on the bolt made the difference. Unfortunately, I had plans for the rest of Sunday, so I was not able to work on the other bolts, but I'm really, really, hoping that the rest are more cooperative.

    So that's why this damn project is taking so long. One bolt per day

    Gregg

  2. #2
    Registered User Aronis's Avatar
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    Did you do that with the engine in the CAR??? YIKES! My mechanic had me buy all new bolts and nuts for the turbo and exhaust reassembly. Made it much easier to reassemble.

    Mike
    '18 BMW M5, '19 Porsche Boxster GTS
    (prior '94 325is, '97 M3, '00 A6 4.2,'03 RS6,'08 A4 Cab,'13 A8L,'15 Q7,'16 BMW M2,

  3. #3
    Registered User ttboost's Avatar
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    Absolutely...you better buy ALL new studs and nuts...not only do they strip and break coming off, they strip and break going on as well...

  4. #4
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    Everything is out of the car right now (except my bank account...). One of the challenges with the turbo is not having it firmly mounted on the bench. I don't have a big enough vice, but if I were doing it again, I'd find a better way to "lock" the turbo in place so it's easier to put torque on those bolts.

    And yes, all the bolts are getting replaced, although part of my frustration is that I was just rebuilding these as a temporary solution because the driver's side was smoking slightly. I really want to do bigger turbos eventually, but I need to get the conversion done (and intercoolers, and tires, and suspension... sigh).

    Oh yeah, fun fact, we just sold our house and I need to be out by 12/28. I'm really trying to drive the car out under it's own power, but I'm also checking contingency plans to get the car (and pile of parts) moved to the new place.

  5. #5
    Registered User Bigglezworth's Avatar
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    I had this exact same problem overhauling the turbos on the one ride here a couple of years ago. I had snapped 3 of the heads off, and the others weren't coming off, so I took a dremel and cut all the heads off. Once out I iwas better able to get a vice grip on to turn out, and got them all out except for 1 that I had to drill out and retap.
    '02 S6 Avant Silver - Pokey | Carbon Black/Ebony RS6 w/ stuff - darn quick | '03 Daytona Grey/Ebony RS6 w/ more stuff - quicker yet | '91 NSX CDN issue with 6spd & BBSC - quicker yet and then some | '87 Buick GNX OEM clone w/ lots of stuff - quickest hands down

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigglezworth View Post
    I had this exact same problem overhauling the turbos on the one ride here a couple of years ago. I had snapped 3 of the heads off, and the others weren't coming off, so I took a dremel and cut all the heads off. Once out I iwas better able to get a vice grip on to turn out, and got them all out except for 1 that I had to drill out and retap.
    Where did you source the replacement bolts? It looks like they are stainless, M6x1.00 10mm.

  7. #7
    Registered User Bigglezworth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreggPDX View Post
    Where did you source the replacement bolts? It looks like they are stainless, M6x1.00 10mm.
    Just went to local fastener shop. Easy peasy.
    '02 S6 Avant Silver - Pokey | Carbon Black/Ebony RS6 w/ stuff - darn quick | '03 Daytona Grey/Ebony RS6 w/ more stuff - quicker yet | '91 NSX CDN issue with 6spd & BBSC - quicker yet and then some | '87 Buick GNX OEM clone w/ lots of stuff - quickest hands down

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