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Discussion Starter #1
Tried removing the passenger side door only to find the hex-key bolts had been painted over with a thick layer of silver. Chip chip chip, managed to make room for the allen wrench. Which promptly broke. Time to step it up a notch. Breaker bar with allen socket. Literally stripped the wrench bare. Impact hex keys and an impact wrench? Bent. Went through every single tool I had. I've tried brning the paint out, chipping it, using mineral spirits and solvents. I guess the paint has gotten down into the threads and under the bolt head.

Very frustrated.

On a positive note, I got the interior stripped and ALL of the glass, trim and seals removed. Once I finish cleaning the surface rust and getting the new wing panels welded in, it'll be time for paint.

Gonna paint the carpet with SEM Shadow Blue, which is a perfect match, off the shelf, for the Alfa blue interior. I wonder - do they also make a leather dye in the same color? The dash and other interior bits look almost showroom new for less than $30 in stuff. Very nice.
 

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Sweet! Can't wait to see her in the flesh when she's back on the road!
As for the bolts, have you tried PB Blaster? Not sure if it works for this, but I've always been amazed by what it can do
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, half a can. The paint is so encrusted around the bolt heads that it can't get in there to penetrate.
I'm going shopping for some better allen keys for the impact wrench... just not sure if harder or softer is the solution. I've broken one and stripped another. I need the Goldilocks tool... just right.

Funny story... My wife came out into the garage this weekend as I was pulling out the last of the windows and just started laughing. There were seats, seals, carpet and a sundry of detritus and parts littering the floor. "There's no WAY you're finishing this before the baby comes." That's the end of April, by the way.
Nope. This is going to be with me for a looong time. C'est la vie.
 

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Don't blame the paint. Mine are original paint on the bolts and I still cant get them to budge! I'm weighing how important it is to get the doors off - I think the media blaster can get in w/o removal, but...

At this point if I do remove the doors I'll probably have to drill the bolts out, since I have successfully stripped the hex sockets. Even though I used all of my Hex bolt cautions. At least hex heads are easy to center the drill on (learned that years ago from my MK1 Rabbit drive axle adventures!)

I'm also targeting April as a reassembly time (but doubt I'll make it). I'm farming out the body work, so that hopefully won't be an issue. But I have to finish the supercharger plumbing, Megasquirt installation and finalize the fuel injectors (plus reassembly).

Should be a good summer car once done though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not encouraging!

I got the driver's door off no problems. The bolts had been replaced with big honking Phillips head pieces, though.

Unfortunately I HAVE to remove that door because I have a rust spot to repair on the A-pillar, right under the gutter. I also need to install a new lower wing panel and as far as I can tell, that's just impossible with the door in place. So I'll give it another go!
 

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This is just an idea, I haven't checked if it there is room to do it but maybe you could cut a slot in the head of the allen screw(s) (dremel or angle grinder with cutoff wheel) and use a big flat head screwdriver with a visegrip or pipewrench for leverage???.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MAYBE. The bolts are slightly recessed, I think. It would be a delicate operation, to be sure.
 

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You may have to go the "easyout" method.
 

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You may have to go the "easyout" method.
In my experience, when you need them as a last resort, easyouts break off and leave a undrillable core in the problem fastener. If you're going to drill any way, just drill it out completely.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wonder if I romove the inner fender liner, if maybe I could get at the back side of the bolts?
Easyouts are the last resort.
 

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You can get at the backside of the bolts by pulling out the kick panel coverings (on the interior near your feet). ECU may be in the way on one side and the fuse box on the other, but not impossible to get to.
 

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Although I've had reasonable luck with easyouts, the easiest way to get them out is as mentioned above, just drill them out, and go oversized if you have to later.
 

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A 'left hand' drill bit may help. The drilling action in the 'reverse' mode sometimes encourages the broken bolt to loosen. Espcially if the bit grabs the bolt during drilling.

I hate 'Easy-Outs'. Big misnomer. Most of the time it'll break off in the bolt then you're stuck with an impossible to drill broken 'easy-out' inside the broken bolt.

And, FWIW, I doubt the paint is doing anything to prevent you from removing the screw. Scrape the paint out of the screw's slot/recess, etc so your tool fits correctly. Paint itself is not going to have much if any holding strength.

Web page: The Art of Extraction
 

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I remember now that in the past, I used to employ an "impact screwdriver" that I bought from Sears (I think). You install the proper special (and included) slot or Phillips head in the very heavy duty unit, and then insert that head into the end of the offending bolt or screw, and then give the end of the driver a mighty whack with a hammer. The impact driver has spiral threads inside which tries to turn the bolt or screw as it forces the driver head harder into the slot or Phillips cross. Always worked for me, as the forces were very high and the driver head was kept in the bolt or screw, also shocking the bolt or screw to hopefully break the corrosion or rust bond in the threads.

Very useful tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the tips. Hopefully by Saturday afternoon something will have worked!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Nope. Still stuck. PB BLaster from the back had no effect. Had a neighbor come over with some additional tools but we only managed to ruin several hex-head sockets and bits, then strip the sockets in most of the bolts. Can't get a Dremel in there without hacing the surrounding metal. Bolts are too hard to use a chisel to make a slot. Looks like I'll be requiring the services of a dedicated mechanic or body person.

On the flip side, I stripped the remainder of the interior and all of the underlying metal looks perfect. Every piece of trim came off without incident, windows out, seals out, etc. And I only cut myself on sharp metal once! Score!
 

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Bought a 5/16 left hand drill bit ($12 at Ace - yes $12 for one bit) and drilled off the heads. Once the heads were gone, the remainder of the bolt backed right out. No damage to the hinge.

The bolt heads have locking features in the tapered part - this is probably wha makes them hard to remove. I now need to find replacement bolts - hopefully this won't be too bad.

The shell goes to the media blaster on Friday and set for the body shop on the 14th - here come the big bills!
 
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