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Old 06-01-2009, 04:08 PM   #1
eskimo10
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Default DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

After searching and searching for weeks on end, and driving around with a broken valve cover bolt, I decided to take my wealth of knowledge and tackle my problem and write it up so others could fix this problem too as it seems to be a common Honda problem.

So on with the write up:

You will need -
1/16" Titanium Drill bit
#1 EZ Out Drill bit
New Valve cover bolt

1) Get a broken rear valve cover bolt. Now I don't recommend you do this on purpose to test this DIY, but if you are like the many other Honda owners who have over tightened the valve cover bolts then your on your way to step 2 of the DIY

2) Have someone take you to Lowes, Home Depot, or whatever hardware store you have in your area. Pick up a 1/16" Titanium drill bit (comes in a 2 pack for like $2.67) and #1 EZ Out drill bit (a reverse threaded drill bit... I actually picked up the whole set for like $10.72).

3) Remove your valve cover by unbolting the remaining three valve cover bolts, taking out your spark plugs, and undo any other stuff you may have attached to your valve cover. (If you can't do this step, you may want to have a professional do this part).

4) COVER YOU VALVES! Make sure you put something clean like newspaper over your valves to prevent any metal shards from getting in it. I taped it down around the edges of the head, making it so the only thing i could see was the broken bolt I was working with.

5) Set up your drill with the 1/16" drill bit and slowly (if you have a pilot, I would recommend piloting a hole first makes it much easier) begin to drill a hole in the center of the broken bolt. If you feel you have drilled far enough (usually around >5mm) switch out the bit to the EZ Out bit you picked up and (making sure you have the drill on reverse) slide the bit into the hole you created and then drill. Use a little bit of muscle and the bolt will back itself out.

6) Now that you have the broken bolt out, you should have two parts of a broken bolt and one new bolt. In order to reuse the rubber gasket you have to dremel the long part of the broken bolt in half and slide it along with the metal washer. Next slide it on to the new bolt, you will need to use force to get it on, as well as a little WD40. Once you have the washer and gasket on the new bolt, re-instal the valve cover and be sure to NOT OVER TIGHTEN the valve cover bolts this time. I believe the specs are 7 or 8 lb/ft. (Correct me if I'm wrong please!)

Hope this helps you guys out there who have broken your valve cover bolts.

(PS I will post some pics of the tools, etc. when I get a chance to take some)
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Originally Posted by Cynical 1 View Post
the engine will keep running until it blows up... after that, it won't run anymore...
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Excellent write up! The torque for the valve cover bolts is 7.2lbs ft.

Pics would be nice
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Do you know they make left hand drill bit's.

I've gotten lucky and this job is not as hard as it seems

I also recommend you only install the bolts with something like a nut driver in your hand. The rubber gasket seals the VC not how tight you make the weak old bolts. You can alway's make them a little tighter if you need.

We ran over 100psi of oil pressure in the race motor and it never had a VC leak.
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1992Si View Post
Do you know they make left hand drill bit's.

I've gotten lucky and this job is not as hard as it seems.
Left handed drill bits? What does that mean?

And yes pics will be up ASAP, probably tomorrow when I get a chance to take some.
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Originally Posted by Cynical 1 View Post
the engine will keep running until it blows up... after that, it won't run anymore...
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

left hand drill bit's rotate in the off direction. You may get lucky and the drill will back the bolt out.
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1992Si View Post
left hand drill bit's rotate in the off direction. You may get lucky and the drill will back the bolt out.
Oh nifty! I didn't know that. But the EZ Out worked like a charm!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynical 1 View Post
the engine will keep running until it blows up... after that, it won't run anymore...
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eskimo10 View Post
Oh nifty! I didn't know that. But the EZ Out worked like a charm!

That's what I used the first time, and second...that's when I got smart and only go hand tight.
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

It's best to use a torque wrench. Sorry
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Yea so true lol, I ended up rolling with two bolts broken for like a few days b/c I didn't want to drill into them, I was afraid of breaking the bit into the valves. But we're good now.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynical 1 View Post
the engine will keep running until it blows up... after that, it won't run anymore...
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

One thing I always recommend when these valve cover bolt issues come up is to tell people to think about purchasing a speed wrench / speed handle for use during valve cover bolt installation.

A speed wrench / speed handle allows you to "feel" how much torque you are putting on a bolt whilst turning it. EVERY professional engine builder I have ever met has one in his toolbox. They are a very important tool since they allow you to fine tune your bolt installation. I know that the torque for these bolts is 7.2ft/lbs...but not every torque wrench will set that low. It is much easier to torque correctly if you use the speed wrench / speed handle.

If you have never seen one or don't know what it is: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00944271000P

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Old 06-01-2009, 04:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Huh, I've never seen that before. I may have to pick one up.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynical 1 View Post
the engine will keep running until it blows up... after that, it won't run anymore...
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eskimo10 View Post
Huh, I've never seen that before. I may have to pick one up.
It is funny, most people have never seen one of these speed wrenches before either. When you go to a machine shop, one where they actually build engines by hand, you will see these things everywhere. Especially when the engines are for motorcycles.

And all I know is that for $20 I have solved the problem of over torquing any low torque bolts. It is really hard to over torque a bolt with one of these.
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eskimo10 View Post
Huh, I've never seen that before. I may have to pick one up.


LOL I find it hard to believe people haven't seen a speed handle. I think we have 4 or 5 of them around here some where.

But we all come from different backgrounds.
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1992Si View Post
LOL I find it hard to believe people haven't seen a speed handle. I think we have 4 or 5 of them around here some where.

But we all come from different backgrounds.
It is hard to believe that not everyone has one...or has at least seen one. Sadly, it is true. But it seems that most people don't understand why it is a valuable tool. Many people ask, "Why do I need one of these if I have a socket set and a good torque wrench?" The answer is that there is nothing out there that gives a better "feel" about what a bolt is doing than a speed wrench.

I live to tell it to the world...you need one!
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shailoche View Post
It is hard to believe that not everyone has one...or has at least seen one. Sadly, it is true. But it seems that most people don't understand why it is a valuable tool. Many people ask, "Why do I need one of these if I have a socket set and a good torque wrench?" The answer is that there is nothing out there that gives a better "feel" about what a bolt is doing than a speed wrench.

I live to tell it to the world...you need one!

Yes the feel. That's what it's really about. LOL
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: DIY: How to remove a broken rear valve cover bolt.

Just as an update use a 5/64 drill bit. This is the size that the package of the #1 EZ out said to use.

I used a 1/16 first (without looking at the EZ out package) and the #1 wouldn't fit in. I had another EZ out that would fit, but that snapped off. Then a 5/64 cobalt drill bit to drill out the broken EZ out broke off. So now Im down to a really big vice grips and a pry bar.

Also...the 10mm "nut" is stripped. Win.
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