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Old 06-19-2018, 10:45 PM   #1
als00328ci
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Help!! Broken bolt while removing transmission

I was trying to remove my transmission and ended up breaking one of the M12 bolts. I now have part of the M12 bolt stuck in my engine block. To make things worse, I tried to drill out the M12 bolt but due to insufficient space, I ended up drilling part of the bolt out at an angle. At this point, i'm not sure how I can take out the remainder of the bolt and then retap the hole without possibly taking out the engine to get sufficient space to properly drill and retap. Attached is a pic of the bolt that is broken. It is the one on the left just below the starter. The close up is the pic of how it is now after trying to drill it out. I tried to use an extractor but since I drilled the hole at an angle, the end of the hole did not make it to the end of the broken bolt but rather just outside of the hole where the bolt is stuck.

Any advice??
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:22 AM   #2
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Oops, after rereading your message again I see that you already tried an extractor. I don't have any useful advice for you. Hopefully someone else does. Good luck!

Last edited by dutchhome; 06-20-2018 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:43 AM   #3
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Can you tilt the back of the engine down a bit? I am assuming exhaust is off at the manifold.
If you do this, check the top coolant pipe that goes to the thermostat. Mine popped off...
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:51 AM   #4
als00328ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussigazza View Post
Can you tilt the back of the engine down a bit? I am assuming exhaust is off at the manifold.
If you do this, check the top coolant pipe that goes to the thermostat. Mine popped off...
I'm still not sure there would be enough space. I can try to see if I can try to redrill it but it will be tough. Right now this is the problem that I have. I did not think it would have been that far off but the drilled hole ends up just outside of the original hole so when I insert the extractor the end of the extractor is pretty much and the end of the drilled hole.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:09 AM   #5
Aussigazza
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Yep that will not work. I assume that the engine side is clear of obstructions? Maybe drill right through and put in a bolt?
Try and straighten hole a bit by small drill first?
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:08 AM   #6
als00328ci
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Originally Posted by Aussigazza View Post
Yep that will not work. I assume that the engine side is clear of obstructions? Maybe drill right through and put in a bolt?
Try and straighten hole a bit by small drill first?
Yes the engine side it clear so I can put a bolt but the hard part is to get a straight hole. The back of my drill is already up against the transmission well which prevents me from getting it nice and perpendicular. I was even thinking about using a helicoil if I can get it drilled out nicely.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:44 AM   #7
Aussigazza
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You can tilt the engine. To put a trans in, I put a rope on an exhaust manifold with a loop on the end. I put my weight on this.
You can also lift the front of the engine with an engine hoist. Of course I have a car hoist...
You get quite a bit of movement. May help.
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:33 PM   #8
als00328ci
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Originally Posted by Aussigazza View Post
You can tilt the engine. To put a trans in, I put a rope on an exhaust manifold with a loop on the end. I put my weight on this.
You can also lift the front of the engine with an engine hoist. Of course I have a car hoist...
You get quite a bit of movement. May help.
So you tied a rope pretty much close to the exhaust flange after the cat and hung some weights. I think I will borrow an engine hoist to see, that seems like it will give the most movement. If I can't get more clearance then out the engine goes. Anything I need to look out for? I figure the harnesss, cooling, fuel lines and ac lines would need to be disconnected. I figured that I might as well mentally plan for the worst.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by als00328ci View Post
So you tied a rope pretty much close to the exhaust flange after the cat and hung some weights. I think I will borrow an engine hoist to see, that seems like it will give the most movement. If I can't get more clearance then out the engine goes. Anything I need to look out for? I figure the harnesss, cooling, fuel lines and ac lines would need to be disconnected. I figured that I might as well mentally plan for the worst.
I have had trans in and out several times. I never disconnected anything. Nor does a BMW shop I use. Just be sure not to get too carried away. Check hose connections after, especially radiator.
Tilting will help you get trans back in and helps you access the top bolts with long extensions.
I use my body weight by standing on a rope loop.
You could also use a jack at the front of the engine as you are essentially pivoting the engine on the mounts.
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:18 AM   #10
als00328ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussigazza View Post
I have had trans in and out several times. I never disconnected anything. Nor does a BMW shop I use. Just be sure not to get too carried away. Check hose connections after, especially radiator.
Tilting will help you get trans back in and helps you access the top bolts with long extensions.
I use my body weight by standing on a rope loop.
You could also use a jack at the front of the engine as you are essentially pivoting the engine on the mounts.
I will try rope on the exhaust manifold trick tonight to see what I get for clearance. I'm wishing but not very hopeful. The coolant would be easy to flush if I need to remove the engine but my concern would be the AC lines, not sure if just removing the compressor would work so I don't have to refill the refrigerant. The other fluids will be ok.

Funny how one broken bolt can lead to such a headache :S
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:00 PM   #11
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This has worked more than once for me; Drill tiny shallow hole near outer edge of bolt then hold a punch to it pointing counter clockwise and hit punch with a hammer to turn the bolt. Use large ezout or reverse bit to get it the rest of the way once loose or just keep tapping it with the punch. Apply penetrating oil first.

Never tried, supposedly has worked;
Dissolve steel with either alum or nitric acid + electrolysis.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:47 AM   #12
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Ignore the broken bolt and don't launch hard. If/when you sell the car, clearly explain the problem to the buyer. Problem solved.

There is at least one E46 323 out there missing a bolt after betting a new (well, used) trans in my garage.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:45 PM   #13
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:28 PM   #14
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i think i would try a left-handed tap, then a short, left handed bolt that fits the hole you drilled/tapped. keep the bolt short enough so as not to extend through the hole. Heat with map gas and soak in penetrating fluid from both sides.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:08 AM   #15
als00328ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamdfl View Post
Ignore the broken bolt and don't launch hard. If/when you sell the car, clearly explain the problem to the buyer. Problem solved.

There is at least one E46 323 out there missing a bolt after betting a new (well, used) trans in my garage.
I was thinking about just putting it back together with out the bolt but then I love to drive the car hard every now and then so would not feel comfortable with this option.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:48 AM   #16
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Just pull the engine lol isn't that much more work to get it out. change front and rear main seals, oil pan gasket, oil pickup tube o ring, oil pump safety wire...
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:16 PM   #17
als00328ci
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Just pull the engine lol isn't that much more work to get it out. change front and rear main seals, oil pan gasket, oil pickup tube o ring, oil pump safety wire...
I was looking at that option. I have one more thing to try, I just found out that they have a shorter extractor from Irwin Hanson. If this works then I'm good, if not then I will need to remove it.

If I have to remove it, what else should I change while it is out. Also is there a way to remove it without disconnecting the refrigerant from the AC system?
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:59 AM   #18
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I hope you don't have to remove engine to get that bolt out. As I mentioned, I would spend $30 on a left handed tap and left handed bolt before pulling engine.

Oh, and pull the dowel out of that damaged hole with a needle nose or vice grips for better access and for better penetrating fluid outcomes.

But if you do, unbolt the AC compressor and lay it and lines to side of engine bay. You never open the system. You do the same with the power steering pump and lines on the other side of engine.
If you do take the engine out, replace: rear main seal, oil pan gasket, heater pipes under intake manifold, related cooling hoses, intake manifold gasket, Oil filter housing gasket, CCV, & vacuum hoses.

Last edited by Effduration; 07-13-2018 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:56 AM   #19
als00328ci
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Originally Posted by Effduration View Post
I hope you don't have to remove engine to get that bolt out. As I mentioned, I would spend $30 on a left handed tap and left handed bolt before pulling engine.

Oh, and pull the dowel out of that damaged hole with a needle nose or vice grips for better access and for better penetrating fluid outcomes.

But if you do, unbolt the AC compressor and lay it and lines to side of engine bay. You never open the system. You do the same with the power steering pump and lines on the other side of engine.
If you do take the engine out, replace: rear main seal, oil pan gasket, heater pipes under intake manifold, related cooling hoses, intake manifold gasket, Oil filter housing gasket, CCV, & vacuum hoses.
Thanks, I just ordered the Irwin extractor which is meant for higher torque applications and it i shorter so I might have better luck with this one.

https://www.amazon.ca/Irwin-Industri...lsBb9AFA082_tt

As for the engine parts, this is great, I was just not sure about the AC compressor and the power steering so that is great to know. Hopefully, it will not get to that but just in case, I have to be ready.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:23 AM   #20
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As far as parts to replace when the engine is out I would also do Oil Pump nut w/ saftey wire (cheapest without getting new shaft), oil pickup tube oring and oil dipstick tube oring.
Break the drive belt pully loose before you pull the motor out to change the front main seal (if you do pull it).

Good luck hope you get the bolt out without pulling the motor!

Last edited by Zimo32; 07-13-2018 at 11:24 AM.
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