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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2018, 08:35 PM
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Default Any ideas?

The head of the drain bolt on my rad broke off. In trying to extract the bolt it spun right through and rolled through the neck and into the rad (Iím presuming thatís where it ended up). I tried vacuuming it out and also tried to flush it out by running water through the rad. Both failed.

Any ideas on how to retrieve the bolt without removing the rad which Iím trying to avoid. Thx
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:31 AM
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If you have an aluminum radiator this won't work and it may not anyway. But if the bolt is metal and you have one of those small magnets on an extended flex line, you may be able to get it over to where you can get it out. Otherwise it is going to be very difficult to get out without removing the radiator.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2018, 05:23 AM
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The bolt isn’t magnetic.
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:39 AM
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I don't know how you managed to UN screw it INTO the radiator, but obviously you'll have to drill & tap to the next larger size and that will give you a bit bigger hole to work through. I would say just leave it in there,but it might get pushed over to the bottom hose neck by the water flow and road vibration. That is also a bigger hole to work through. Maybe a air blow gun with a flexible hose on the end might blow it over to the bottom hose neck.
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:14 AM
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Use a shop vac necked down to an appropriately sized length of tubing or hose. Neck it down with whatever is handy or make something up and attach the smaller hose with duct tape - it doesn't have to be pretty or perfect as long as you get sufficient suction to capture the bolt. poke the hose in and pull it out through the lower rad hose opening.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2018, 03:46 PM
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Yesterday I tried the shopvac and I also tried our central vac with a smaller hose attached to it so it could get around the corner of the lower outlet and into the rad. Didn't work.

The bolt is made of brass and when I was drilling a small hole in it, it grabbed the bolt and spun it right through the threads of the opening (the threads are fine, just needs a new bolt).

What harm , if any, could happen if I just left the bolt in the rad?
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2018, 05:34 PM
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Please note that I'm not a certified mechanic; I don't play one on TV, nor did I stay at a holiday inn last night...

Can you put a screen (like 1/4" mesh) in the bottom radiator hose opening that would prevent this bolt piece from flowing into your water pump? If so, then maybe this size (or similar size) would also allow for sufficient water flow, and then you can just leave the piece in there. Just a crazy thought...

Or you can mount your car on a rotisserie and flip it over to if it'll come out of the top hose hole
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:35 PM
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spring loaded three finger thing inside flexible cable, come on, I know you have seen them. Get a plumber with scope to do the extraction for you (:-)
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:53 PM
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If you google "galvanic series", you'll see that brass is a more "noble" metal than aluminium alloy. This means that the aluminium alloy will corrode when in contact with brass, but because of the size of the radiator (assuming it's aluminium alloy?) in relation to the size of the bolt, the amount of corrosion that occurs on the radiator will be spread over a wide area and wouldn't cause a problem.

However, you don't want a bolt rolling around in the bottom of the radiator and possibly getting into the engine.

Cheers,
Glen
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razerwire View Post
spring loaded three finger thing inside flexible cable, come on, I know you have seen them. Get a plumber with scope to do the extraction for you (:-)



https://www.harborfreight.com/24-inc...ool-94162.html
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2018, 09:59 AM
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That's it cycleguy55, fast find. Most plumbers have a scope now days. My friend has one with light, camera and long flexible cable on it, very handy.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razerwire View Post
That's it cycleguy55, fast find. Most plumbers have a scope now days. My friend has one with light, camera and long flexible cable on it, very handy.
I also have a camera similar to this one: "USB Waterproof Endoscope Borescope Inspection Camera" https://www.amazon.com/econoLED-Wate.../dp/B06XKC3GNK

Most often I use it with an old netbook running Linux - it's small and portable, and the camera SW seems to work better than the comparable stuff on my Windoze laptop. To be fair, though, the last time I compared the two was about 2 years ago, and I have no doubt both platforms have improved since then.
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Old 09-11-2018, 02:59 PM
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You don't want it rolling around in there. It will damage the radiator from the inside, and probably eventually put a hole In it. Plus, it could theoretically get sucked up in to the water pump, and then more bad things will happen.

The drain bolt is usually a tapered plug. If you pushed it through the tapered hole, now the hole is larger than it used to be. It probably won't seal on the new plug. As said above, you'll need drill and tap to the next sized hole.

Be sure and inspect the area around the drain port very carefully. Pushing that plug through may have cracked the boss. If you're not careful, you can also crack it when tapping new threads.

You're probably going to find that it's faster and easier to just pull the radiator out of the car.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2018, 03:10 PM
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I agree with Bob C. Pull the radiator. How much is your peace of mind, and your water pump, worth?
Bill
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:41 AM
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I'm going to get a scope and see if I can locate the bolt and if I see it try to figure out a way to retrieve. If that fails I'll have to take the rad out.

On a side note, would a stainless steel bolt be fine for a replacement?
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzmac View Post
I'm going to get a scope and see if I can locate the bolt and if I see it try to figure out a way to retrieve. If that fails I'll have to take the rad out.

On a side note, would a stainless steel bolt be fine for a replacement?
Pipe plug, not bolt. Yes, SS will be fine.
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:47 AM
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I have had the drain plug out of the radiator on my SPF a couple of times and if I remember correctly, it is not a tapered thread. I'm pretty sure it's a straight thread and uses a crush washer for sealing. Also, stainless steel has a real propensity for galling in aluminum. If you elect to use a SS plug I would suggest using anti-sieze on the threads.

Ted
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:09 AM
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So even if you can grab it with a finger tool, how will you get it out through the threaded boss in the radiator? The plug is threaded the size of the boss and the tool's fingers will add .010+ so no way can you pull it through!


Pull the radiator and be done with it. About an hours work on an SPF.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark IV View Post
So even if you can grab it with a finger tool, how will you get it out through the threaded boss in the radiator? The plug is threaded the size of the boss and the tool's fingers will add .010+ so no way can you pull it through!


Pull the radiator and be done with it. About an hours work on an SPF.
Why try pulling it through the threaded boss - either radiator hose opening is much larger.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycleguy55 View Post
Why try pulling it through the threaded boss - either radiator hose opening is much larger.
DING, DING, DING, We have a winner! Why didn't I think of that!
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