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      09-07-2020, 09:29 AM   #1
Charles B
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How to remove rusty front axle bolts

Did new control arms today on my 2013 335 xdrive. It's pretty cheap and easy DIY. I have never touched the front axle bolts that secures the drive shaft to the outer hub. 120,000 miles and this sees salty roads in the North East. Completely corroded the axle bolts. I knew they were bad, but never paid attention to them because I never needed to. Took a 17MM hex to it back it out and no go. Not even close to budging. I rounded it off very nicely though! What to do? I actually had a coffee and spent 15 minutes thinking about this one. Destroy the bolt, drill out the bolt, or remove the whole thing, shocks, control arms, and all and go to a machine shop.

My next best option. Cut a big ass notch with a dremel and then use an air hammer to rotate the bolt so you can back out bolt from the hub. Don't use a little dainty cutting wheel they give you free with your kit. You need a cutting disk. A real cutting disk that can remove metal. Took about 15 min start to finish. Sometimes you have to beat on these things.
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Last edited by Charles B; 09-07-2020 at 07:56 PM..
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      09-07-2020, 03:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles B View Post
Took a 14MM hex to it back it out and no go. Not even close to budging. I rounded it off very nicely though! What to do? I actually had a coffee and spent 15 minutes thinking about this one. Destroy the bolt, drill out the bolt, or remove the whole thing, shocks, control arms, and all and go to a machine shop.

My next best option. Cut a big ass notch with a dremel and then use an air hammer to rotate the bolt so you can back out bolt from the hub. Don't use a little dainty cutting wheel they give you free with your kit. You need a cutting disk. A real cutting disk that can remove metal. Took about 15 min start to finish. Sometimes you have to beat on these things.
14mm? It should be 17mm. Maybe that's why it rounded off. I'm really glad the "flat head" conversion worked for you. It'd be a total nightmare to get that bolt off if it didn't.
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      09-08-2020, 11:32 AM   #3
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bolt looks like it is from a sunken WW2 ship.

nothing more rewarding than winning the battle with a rounded rusty bolt
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      09-10-2020, 10:41 PM   #4
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Damn that would suck! I had to remove one to replace some hardware and it came out super easy with the right allen. Luckily mine looked brand new compared to yours, only 27k miles up in the Seattle area so no salt.
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      09-13-2020, 12:45 PM   #5
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Wow, yours was bad! Mine came out ok on my 2013 335 xdrive passenger side. Even after Wisconsin winters, I feel extremely lucky! Thanks for sharing your procedure, I'll keep that one in mind for the future if needed. I had to change my axle so as I was going drill the head off if needed since I would be replacing the axle anyway.
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      09-14-2020, 10:41 PM   #6
Charles B
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I cut the notch so I could lean in with the air hammer and put my weight behind it. One long burst, nothing. A second long burst, and she gave up. I sealed the new bolts with fluid film to keep the rust at bay. Those old bolts were like metal mush.
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      10-25-2020, 12:06 PM   #7
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Can anyone confirm the torque specification on the collar bolt axle bolt? I did my control arms and I don't know if I over/under torqued the bolt. I have a clunk when I shift now.
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      10-25-2020, 11:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Can anyone confirm the torque specification on the collar bolt axle bolt? I did my control arms and I don't know if I over/under torqued the bolt. I have a clunk when I shift now.
Go to 13:42.
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      10-26-2020, 11:02 AM   #9
vsasesse
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Thank you ^
As per BMW replace collar bolt and spring.
Torque 210 Nm
Angle of rotation 90
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      10-26-2020, 11:10 AM   #10
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Thanks but this was the hard-way.
I will use penetrating oil.
If need be, an extractor set.
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      11-16-2020, 12:07 AM   #11
Charles B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 340iGUY View Post
Thanks but this was the hard-way.
I will use penetrating oil.
If need be, an extractor set.
Not hard, easy. 150PSI on the air hammer and she walked right out.
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