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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old August 3rd, 2013, 17:28   #1
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Default Harmonic balancer bolts stripped

Hi. Changing a timing belt on a friends 1999. One of the valve cover bolts and all of the harmonic balancer bolt heads are stripped. I have a new and not rounded #6 Allan head socket but to no avail. It seems like the last time it was installed the head slot became stripped. Any ideas on how to get them out? Extractor didn't work.

Thanks
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 17:29   #2
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External easy outs work everytime for me.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 17:34   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greengeeker View Post
External easy outs work everytime for me.
The ones you tap in which bites into side of head? Tried that. I have the round style. Didn't work? Thought it was going to snap off before it turned out of the head.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 17:53   #4
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At this point .......heat...... I feel sure you would like to have a harsh word with the person that did the last TB..
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 19:37   #5
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Try hammering in a triple-square, that's my remedy. The cap screw heads are soft enough to re-form and grip on 12 points better than they did on six flats.
As long as that continues to work, I don't need to spend for a set of external fitting extractors. When the 3-4 also strips, THEN I'll go get a set of extermals.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 21:21   #6
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Those bolts are pretty soft and easy to strip, ESPECIALLY if you use an extension on them when installing (or removing); any off-center torque and.... oops.

I've not managed to booger one yet but I pay REAL close attention when wrenching on them as I know exactly what WILL happen if I don't.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 21:30   #7
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I drill them out, once the head is off the bolt will usually come right out. Only takes a few minutes with a good bit.Replace with 10.9 flanged hex heads so the next person will not have that issue.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 21:53   #8
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I always give them a hard whack using a piece of brass and a hammer before attempting to loosen. I know, this is after the fact.

Also, I have used a cutting punch to break them loose once rounded out.

You have good suggestions in the above posts.

One thing I've noticed is that the torque spec is probably 5 pounds more than is necessary. I've always torqued them 5 pounds below spec with no issues............. they come out much easier too!
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 22:00   #9
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Simple simple. I've never done a TB job and not had at least one strip. Take a 12mm 12 point socket, and hammer it over the head of the bolt. Comes right out.

Don't hold me to 12mm though. Just find a 12 point socket that fits snugly over it, and give it a few taps till it's on the bolt. Then just twist it out. Works every time.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 06:21   #10
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Don't use an impact driver to get them out either!
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Old August 4th, 2013, 07:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegified TDi View Post
The ones you tap in which bites into side of head? Tried that. I have the round style. Didn't work? Thought it was going to snap off before it turned out of the head.
Hit it on harder. Get bigger socket wrench. Twist until it comes free or breaks. What other choice do you have?
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Old August 4th, 2013, 08:12   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyBees View Post
I always give them a hard whack using a piece of brass and a hammer before attempting to loosen. I know, this is after the fact.

Also, I have used a cutting punch to break them loose once rounded out.

You have good suggestions in the above posts.

One thing I've noticed is that the torque spec is probably 5 pounds more than is necessary. I've always torqued them 5 pounds below spec with no issues............. they come out much easier too!
^^This

If there's any hex left, take your 6mm tool and put it back in the bolt and give it a couple good hard hits with a hammer (like you mean it) and it will spin right out. If there's no hex left, do the same thing and then try a 12 point/triple square, next size larger fractional one, a vicegrips, etc. Once you hit it with a hammer a few times they come out very easily.

I replace them with 12.9 capscrews which are much harder and don't strip out as easily the next time.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 08:18   #13
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I've had success with hammering a torx bit into them.
About a t40 iirc.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 09:51   #14
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Had this happen a few weeks back. I used an external easy out that I had a set of. Removed the 2 bolts that I could. By the time I finished hammering the external easy out over the bolt, it was fairly easy to get out. But maybe my hammering was quite excessive. Nevertheless, they gave way.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 19:08   #15
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I keep 3 craftsman 12 point 12mm sockets in my toolbox for when the hex head rounds out. I usually have 1 round every 3 or 4 timing belt jobs even after tapping my 6mm snap-on with a hammer before using the impact to zap them out. Just pound the 12mm socket on there and it will zap right out.

I keep craftsman 12mm spares so I can trade out the cracked ones at sears at my convenience instead of the convenience of the snap-on dude.
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