Harmonic balancer bolts stripped

Vegified TDi

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2010
Location
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
TDI
2006 Jetta 1997 Audi Avant Quattro 2.5L
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
 

PeterV

TDIClub Enthusiast, HO5G Doyen & Zen Master
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Location
So, NH.
TDI
2000 Jetta 5 sp.
At this point .......heat...... I feel sure you would like to have a harsh word with the person that did the last TB..
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
none, 2014 Chevy Volt, 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
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.
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
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.
 

turbocharged798

Veteran Member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Location
Ellenville, NY
TDI
99.5 black ALH Jetta;09 Gasser Jetta
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.
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
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!
 

Metalhead

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Location
Rochester NY
TDI
2000 Jetta TDI
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.
 

jasonTDI

TDI GURU Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
Location
Oregon, WI
TDI
12' RAM 2500 QC,LB. 2019 Cherokee 2.0T
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?
 

Fix_Until_Broke

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Location
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA
TDI
03 Jetta, 03 TT TDI
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.
 

Lead_Sled

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2012
Location
Youngsville, Lou-Z-ana
TDI
99.5 Jetta TDI
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.
 

dogdots

Vendor
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
Kansas City
TDI
None
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.
 

AARodriguez Corp.

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Location
South East USA
TDI
2009 JSW and Golf 2004 TDI
I take a chisel, and a small sledge or hammer...beat the chisel into it straight on for a minute, this will leave a deep groove in the head of the bolt, now you can tap the chisel with a hammer at an angle to turn the screw counter clockwise....5 minute job all together.
 

Redneck Truck

Gone, but not forgotten
Joined
May 3, 2009
Location
Plano, TX
TDI
2008 Touareg V10, 2001 Audi TTQ Roadster TDI 6-speed, 2005 Jetta Wagon TDI 6-speed
Socket works every time for me. I ALWAYS strip the Allens and I NEVER reuse them.
 

Vegified TDi

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2010
Location
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
TDI
2006 Jetta 1997 Audi Avant Quattro 2.5L
I take a chisel, and a small sledge or hammer...beat the chisel into it straight on for a minute, this will leave a deep groove in the head of the bolt, now you can tap the chisel with a hammer at an angle to turn the screw counter clockwise....5 minute job all together.
This is what I ended up doing and it worked. Thanks for all the ideas!

Torie
 

JB05

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Location
Il.USA
TDI
Golf,2005,anthracite blue
What is the Dia, pitch and length for the VC bolts?
Part #N903 396 05: M8X37. This came off the BEW timing belt bolt kit[2044}.
This if for the harmonic balancer, not the valve cover(VC).
 
Last edited:

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
Take a 12mm 12 point socket, and hammer it over the head of the bolt.
This is assuming you can find your 12mm 12 point socket when you need it... I guess mine went out of town for Labor Day... Having had bad luck with my Craftsman Bolt-Outs (last time I tried that it just broke the head off the bolt - not enough clearance from the center bolt), I tried the 12mm Snap-On bolt-out I picked up on eBay... worked...

Don't use an impact driver to get them out either!
Why not? I've had much more luck with the harmonic balancer bolts using an impact gun than just trying to persuade them with a ratchet handle...

Yuri
 

sangretdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Location
san jose ca
TDI
1999.5 golf tdi, 5 speed, 4 door -- using Propel fuels renewable diesel
just had the same problem. and used this 12mm - 12 pt socket tip, worked perfect. thank you!

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.
 
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