Broken Bolt for Coil

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*TL;DR version at bottom Well, here is my story. Since I recently had my late model Civic Hatchback stolen I had to get a replacement and made a big mistake/ran into a problem on basic maintenance. This new to me 2007 Honda Fit was from up north. Do you see where this is leading? You guessed it. I have little experience with rust/corrosion. My BIL has owned 2 Fits and was showing me how easy the coils were to get at on the car since I wanted to do a tune-up. (It had the infamous idle misfire from bad original coils on these models) So, he removes cylinder #1's bolt and the coil comes off. Yep, original part. Nasty. OK great. I figure I want to check all coils to make sure they are all factory before ordering the $50 (each) replacement coils. So, next I try to remove #4's coil myself. The bolt was pretty tight and I wound up snapping it. duh 157k miles on the engine. So, I'm stuck with #4 cylinder's bolt for the coil snapped right in half at the point it goes into the head; pretty much flat with the head (originally thought it might screw into the valve cover but it screws into an ear of aluminum off of the head itself) The battle continues: After THEN using penetrating oil on the middle two cylinders they come out no problem. Yesterday, I took the car to the shop I've used for years. Since the engine is facing the back of the car they can't really get a drill in there to use an easy out/extractor. He says since the angle is much more difficult and there isn't much space to get at the bolt it'd be very risky even if he threaded an extractor bit into it. I could get some pictures tomorrow perhaps if anyone wants to see? I feel like I'd want to just try it but I don't want to make things worse by ignoring the experienced opinion he had on the matter. So, they tried to weld a nut on the broken tip instead. A few tries and not only do the welds break each time without the screw budging, but the mechanic told me pieces of the screw started breaking off with the welded bit. Apparently no matter how much penetrating oil I could have used (and they used plenty before trying any of this) they told me anyone would have broken it. So, I felt a little less bad over it. Yet, we're still stuck now using twist ties from cyl #3 coil to a bracket on the side of the head next to cyl #4; effectively crossing #4, and putting enough down pressure/force to keep the coil from coming off completely. However, it still wants to loosen slightly enough that my inner OCD can't stand it. I will try to improve on their makeshift solution. (pictures can be had too if anyone wants to see it) I am asking anyone with experience extracting broken screws and/or dealing with rust/corrosion for any tips or advice on what I could possibly do to remove this thing. There is a hole beneath the ear of where the bolt goes through, but I haven't thought of really trying to reverse-thread anything through that. I'm game to suggestions on soaking, freezing, or whatever I might can do short of pulling the head. Thanks! TL; DR: Bolt on cylinder #4 coil is snapped in half/flat with the HEAD itself. Penetrating oil didn't help move it with a weld-on bit/remaining bolt seems to want to break off in pieces instead of back out. An easy out/extractor 'apparently' isn't an option but willing to discuss.
 
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Originally Posted By: ltslimjim
I am asking anyone with experience extracting broken screws and/or dealing with rust/corrosion for any tips or advice on what I could possibly do to remove this thing.
I've used screw extractors and I can tell you they work very well if you choose the correct extractor and know what you're doing.
 
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Hmmmm, I feel your pain! frown I think that I am picturing this correctly! smirk And because I often shoot from the hip in situations like this, I would probably drill out the remainder of the stuck threads, and put in another bolt. Possibly using a drill bit that's a bit smaller than the stuck threaded part itself, as not to ruin the inner threads...IDK! I'd make it work somehow!
 

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Thanks for the replies. I did some research and this has happened to several other fits over on the fitfreaks forums. Its a very narrow bolt in a tight location for a drill but maybe a right-angle drill bit adapter could do the trick? Its one of those soft 10mm aluminum bolts on Hondas. Not sure if that should influence the type of extractor bit I should look for? (searched on Amazon and there are a few interesting designs for extractor bits, let alone what its made of) The mechanic said if the engine was facing the front or if the angle was straight he would try the easy out method.
 
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Elaborate for those of us not fit owners. Is this a coil on plug design or coil-near-plug? Does the coil have to be exactly precisely where it was from factory? I'm imagining fabbing up some sort of relocating bracket that will be worse than stock, but better than zip ties. I wouldn't blame salt, it's probably hard to get up in there. Rather, heat cycling and possibly corrosion from the steel bolt in aluminum, not properly prepped/ isolated.
 
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This is why I advocate changing your plugs at the 5 year mark. Then when you have to take the coil paks off they aren't seized, and you can reinstall them using Anti-Seize on the 10mm bolts and use fresh silicone grease on the boots. Montreal is horrible for corrosion. As Merkava said, extractors work well. You have to remove all the windshield cowling and the lower pan, and really take your time with it. Just the tapping on the broken bolt with the center punch will usually unstick it well enough that it should extract right out no trouble after you drill it. Remeber to use anti-seize on the bolts when you put them back in!
 
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After you have gotten the right tools to remove it and have the space to work, lots of penetrating lube for a while, then heat to help the metals expand slightly and hopefully differently and let it move more easily and then use the extractor. Other times a punch and hammer to help break the frozen parts has helped. Sounds tough to me since a trained tech said good luck. Good luck.
 
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You badly over-thinking this. You have two choices, since you cannot get a drill in there, and even if you could, this bolt sounds very stuck, pull the head. Second choice is the make a bracket or use lots of zip ties or whatever and let it be. Since it is an old car, just cobble something together and check it over the first couple of weeks. It will be fine. Worse that can happen is your cobble job needs re-working after it comes loose.
 
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Are you sure that an angle drill adapter won't work here? I have one and I love it. I use it often enough (usually whne doing electrical work, but still handy). Having said that at HF they have close quarters drill for $30 that I would be before I would pay $20 for their drill adapter.
 
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^ nah it bolts to the head, the guy says. I broke a distributor cap hold-down screw on a dodge 2.5. Not wanting to properly bother, I got a one-inch C-clamp and just permanently installed it. Done!
 
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to all responders: Honda fit has their coil (COP) behind the firewall, and that's also where the exhaust manifold resides. There's a general lack of clearance from the top of the firewall to the block, so it's difficult to do work there. Also: the coil hold-down bolt is on the cylinder head side, not on valve cover, so no-go to those who suggested. Lastly: because it's close the too exhaust manifold, it does get hot and nothing for OP to tie down the coils temporarily (and will shake loose eventually). @ OP: you must coordinate with an experienced mech to get a screw extractor (with angled drill and proper drill bits) to remove the original one, and then take it from there. Lastly: 2 things of note: (a) these COP bolts are approx 7ft/lbs, so don't crank them down. (b) the original Hitachi coils tend to differ from failure due to oxidation build up inside the spark plug boot (it's make of silicone rubber and it's removable), which lead to elevated firing voltage, and as the oxidation buildup becomes worse, you'll suffer from studdering and eventually PO302 (misfiring) or similar. Get the Hitachi (OEM) (revised) IGC0053 as replacements, and don't go with cheep chinese stuff online (or from autozone, etc.) Good luck. Q.
 
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We deal with sort of thing every day, its normal. You have to get access so you can get an angle drill in there, maybe even move the engine forward or remove some pieces. Forget the extractor, you will end up with a broken extractor in the bolt and real trouble, some are so hard they need an electron drill to remove them, you don’t need that. Gain access grind it flat if you have too then center punch it perfectly, put an X on the bolt and punch in the middle with a sharp punch and a good sharp hammer blow. Drill a small hole 1.5-2mm right down the middle, use another bolt to gauge how deep its in there. Don’t drill too deep. Enlarge the hole in 0.5mm increments, don’t be tempted to rush it, there will come a point that you are just about removing all the threads from the broken bolt, you can pick them out with a dental pick or a small extractor at this point and use an original size bolt. Its not easy but i do it like this all the time and rarely ever need a helicoil.
 
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If the angle is off to get at the broken bolt, with the firewall in the way, can you make a hole through the firewall for better access?
 
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Originally Posted By: Quest
to all responders: Honda fit has their coil (COP) behind the firewall, and that's also where the exhaust manifold resides. There's a general lack of clearance from the top of the firewall to the block, so it's difficult to do work there. Also: the coil hold-down bolt is on the cylinder head side, not on valve cover, so no-go to those who suggested. Lastly: because it's close the too exhaust manifold, it does get hot and nothing for OP to tie down the coils temporarily (and will shake loose eventually). @ OP: you must coordinate with an experienced mech to get a screw extractor (with angled drill and proper drill bits) to remove the original one, and then take it from there. Lastly: 2 things of note: (a) these COP bolts are approx 7ft/lbs, so don't crank them down. (b) the original Hitachi coils tend to differ from failure due to oxidation build up inside the spark plug boot (it's make of silicone rubber and it's removable), which lead to elevated firing voltage, and as the oxidation buildup becomes worse, you'll suffer from studdering and eventually PO302 (misfiring) or similar. Get the Hitachi (OEM) (revised) IGC0053 as replacements, and don't go with cheep chinese stuff online (or from autozone, etc.) Good luck. Q.
so your telling me this cannot be wired in place?
 
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No, just move the engine. You must have decent access and that probably the best way to get it. I have lived outside the salt belt (Bavaria is also in the German salt belt) so i don’t know what rust and corrosion free parts are. Drills, extractors, left hand drill, smoke wrench, tap&die set, heli coils are all part of the normal tool box. Believe me you become very proficient with these tools over 4 decades of constant use, I had to do 10 ford 5.4 exhaust manifold studs using the above method and used all original studs with no rethreading and no coils. Extractors are fine if the bolt broke while being tightened, which can happen if your using old bolts that may have been strained. On bolts corroded into aluminum forget it, it can be risky even with the very best extractors, they are like being welded in there. Here's the nasty part.. The better quality the extractor the harder it is to get out, you don't need this problem.
 

ltslimjim

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Thanks to everyone for the replies. I will consider my COA from the suggestions and tackle attempting to remove the broken bolt once I get some proper tools. Also, thanks to Quest for filling in the details I did not include on this vehicle to the other contributors. I can post some photos of the current tie-down of zip ties but there really isn't much to see. Does anyone have advice on what sort of drill bits I need to buy? Any Amazon recommendations, etc? There is a HF near me as well. I may look for the close quarters drill there and perhaps a right-angle adapter there or at local hardware stores.
 
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These are not high end but should work okay, they are left handed so the drill will help in getting the getting the bolt out. Look for a angle drill not the adapter, the adapter may be okay for drilling holes in wood under the kitchen sink but you need better control than you can get with that unwieldy tool. Use a cutting fluid and keep the drill speed down, center punch right in the middle and as drill straight as you can. http://www.amazon.com/XtremepowerUS-Left...s=cobalt+drills
 
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