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Easiest way to remove rounded-out cleat bolts?

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Easiest way to remove rounded-out cleat bolts?

Old 11-29-18, 11:40 AM
  #1  
JeffOYB
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Easiest way to remove rounded-out cleat bolts?

what's the easiest way to remove a 4mm SPD cleat bolt that is rounded-out, stripped, allen key has no purchase. any tricks? i'm soaking in pb blaster right now.
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Old 11-29-18, 12:09 PM
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I gave up on a pair of shoes just like that last week. Actually, one nut inside the shoe was frozen to the cleat bolt, and the other bolt was rounded, and one bolt on the other shoe was frozen as well.

Ah, the shoes were 9 years old and about 40-50,000 miles on them. Plus I've had a spare set sitting in the bedroom for 4-5 years.
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Old 11-29-18, 12:21 PM
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cleat bolts are 5mm , flat head..

Easiest? Pay a Bike shop mechanic to do it for you..

then pay them, and say thank you..

they may have tools you lack , and so don't have to buy your own..
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Old 11-29-18, 02:02 PM
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I've heard of supergluing an allen wrench to the rounded out hole, but I'm skeptical. Like Fietsbob says, take it to a shop. An easy-out bolt extractor should make quick work of this.
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Old 11-29-18, 02:05 PM
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Forget superglue. Instead try hammering a torx bit into the allen head bolt, and hope you grab enough of it to break it loose.
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Old 11-29-18, 02:06 PM
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If you are ready to throw them away (so you are not worried about slopping work with a grinder or dremel), I would try cutting a slot in the bolt head and using a flat screwdriver. Cheap and perhaps uses tools you have.
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Old 11-29-18, 02:51 PM
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I recently had to deal with some M5 button head screws (3mm hex) that were stuck in a frame holding on the rack. I was able to run a 1/8" drill bit thru them, then reverse it, and they came out far enough to grab the screw head with pliers. A left hand drill would have probably worked even better. The rounded 3mm hex was a perfect guide for the 1/8" bit
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Old 11-29-18, 04:21 PM
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i ended up buying a grab-it screw remover for $20. worked instantly. i already had a cheaper type that didn't work. i saw the torx tip on cxmag but the size seemed wrong -- it wdn't jam in. decent seeming idea, tho. some of my shoe bolts have a bigger allen size. these bad rounded ones were smaller.
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Old 11-29-18, 09:10 PM
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Use a 5/32" drill bit and drill the centers of the bolt heads using the Allan recesses as centering points and drill just deep enough to have the bolt heads pop off. Remove the cleat and grab the stub of the bolts with Vise Grips to turn them out of the backing plate. I've removed a few battered up cleat bolts that way.
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Old 11-30-18, 12:40 AM
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If I can piggyback on this thread-

I've got an eggbeater pedal with plastic end cap. In spite of using a large flat head screwdriver,

the slot stripped out. Thinking of heating a screwdriver & melting the slot deeper.

any other ideas? It's recessed a bit into the end of the pedal so hard to get a saw or cutting wheel to work.
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Old 11-30-18, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JeffOYB View Post
i ended up buying a grab-it screw remover for $20. worked instantly.
Good to know, and glad you got it out!
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Old 11-30-18, 12:58 AM
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Depends on what tools you have.
Overall fastest for me is to weld a nut to the screw head, then use that as purchase to back the screw out.
2nd fastest is to drill the head off, lift cleat off, grab shank of screw with pliers.
Torx trick is neat, If you have a bit at hand. Not as reliable as the welding approach though.
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Old 11-30-18, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Use a 5/32" drill bit and drill the centers of the bolt heads using the Allan recesses as centering points and drill just deep enough to have the bolt heads pop off. Remove the cleat and grab the stub of the bolts with Vise Grips to turn them out of the backing plate. I've removed a few battered up cleat bolts that way.
This ^ is how to do it. The only thing I would add is anytime I'm removing a stripped or broken fastener I use left handed drill bits. On rare occasions, you can get lucky and the fastener will back out.
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Old 12-01-18, 06:43 PM
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Prevent this moving forward by greasing the bolts and then drip some candle wax into the recess for the allen wrench. The wax prevents dirt from compacting in the recess which reduces how far the allen wrench will fit...when the time comes, just take a lighter and melt the wax, the bolt head recess will be clean and unobstructed.

-J
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Old 12-01-18, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Greenfieldja View Post
Prevent this moving forward by greasing the bolts and then drip some candle wax into the recess for the allen wrench. The wax prevents dirt from compacting in the recess which reduces how far the allen wrench will fit...when the time comes, just take a lighter and melt the wax, the bolt head recess will be clean and unobstructed.

-J
Now there's a good idea. Cleat bolt heads do get filled with crud. I always clean them as thoroughly as I can with a dental pick before even trying to fit a hex key.
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Old 12-02-18, 11:07 AM
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Cut a slot in the bolt with a dremel tool, use a regular screwdriver to remove.
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Old 11-19-19, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Random Tandem View Post
If you are ready to throw them away (so you are not worried about slopping work with a grinder or dremel), I would try cutting a slot in the bolt head and using a flat screwdriver. Cheap and perhaps uses tools you have.
Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Cut a slot in the bolt with a dremel tool, use a regular screwdriver to remove.
I have used the cut a slot method before. The cleat will get wrecked too. Today I wanted to remove a cleat that still had some life.

Only one bolt was not turning.

I removed the other two bolts and then rotated the cleat, but not the shoe, as I turned the bolt, with the cleat, too. The cleat itself functions as a spring washer, preventing the bolt from turning. But if you can rotate the cleat, then the cleat bolt wants to turn with it, and so you need far less torque on the (rounded) Allen key to help it to do so. I was able to remove the bolt and preserve the cleat.

Incidentally, I never have this problem with Shimano bolts. I user cheap Chinese cleats, Exustar (better than Shimano?), Shimano fakes (?), and Shimano cleats with varying degrees of success but only Shimano cleat bolts cut the mustard.

Last edited by timtak; 11-19-19 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 11-19-19, 07:22 AM
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two other things not mentioned here.

Put a dab of grease on the bolt threads before installing.

and not all allen wrenches are equal ! they do wear. use a high quality brand new allen key (Bondhus, Pedros, Silca or Wera). They fit better than the ones you buy at home depot from a bin for $0.15

In situations like this, it does matter. A cheap tool will round out the fastener and cause you lots of wasted time !

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA
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Old 11-19-19, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
two other things not mentioned here.

Put a dab of grease on the bolt threads before installing.

and not all allen wrenches are equal ! they do wear. use a high quality brand new allen key (Bondhus, Pedros, Silca or Wera). They fit better than the ones you buy at home depot from a bin for $0.15

In situations like this, it does matter. A cheap tool will round out the fastener and cause you lots of wasted time !

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA
And, don't hesitate to throw away old/suspect hex wrenches.
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Old 11-19-19, 11:34 AM
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If the bolt head is protruding, these Japanese screw pliers work really well (as long as the bolt isn't severely cross-threaded). Around $15. Comes in 3 sizes. But the dinosaur is false advertising (edit: oh it's nickname is M2 NEJI-SAURUS).
ENGINEER INC. - SCREW PLIERS TO REMOVE STUCK, STRIPPED OR DAMAGED SCREW

I've used it for up to M3 bolts and it worked. Although it failed on M3 set screws that were severely cross threaded at a diagonal angle.




Last edited by tomtomtom123; 11-19-19 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 11-19-19, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by tomtomtom123 View Post
If the bolt head is protruding, these Japanese screw pliers work really well (as long as the bolt isn't severely cross-threaded). Around $15. Comes in 3 sizes. But the dinosaur is false advertising (edit: oh it's nickname is M2 NEJI-SAURUS).
ENGINEER INC. - SCREW PLIERS TO REMOVE STUCK, STRIPPED OR DAMAGED SCREW

I've used it for up to M3 bolts and it worked. Although it failed on M3 set screws that were severely cross threaded at a diagonal angle.



Never seen those before. I have used vice grips even on bigger screws you just have to make sure the jaws are good n tight
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Old 11-19-19, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeesnob View Post
Never seen those before. I have used vice grips even on bigger screws you just have to make sure the jaws are good n tight
Your probably haven't seen it because they're patented.

This screw remover has serrated teeth on 2 different areas, either the small nose parallel to the handle or the larger main area perpendicular to the handle.

This company and another similar Japanese company makes lightweight tools. I bought the"lobster" brand lightweight adjustable wrench with a wide head and short handle. Save 100g in baggage and free some space. Although it says 24mm capacity, I think it fit 1 inch nut.

Hybrid adjustable angle wrench UM - Wrench - General handtools - Products - LOBTEX CO.,LTD.

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Old 11-19-19, 06:15 PM
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The wax trick is great. I'll do that. Also, be really careful when putting in the allen key. 4mm allen keys are tricky, and 3mm shouldn't even exist. Also, remove and regrease your cleat bolts every year as a preventive measure.
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Old 11-19-19, 06:30 PM
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That drillium-handled crescent wrench looks good. 👍 As long as it's not weakened too much to be strong enough. 🤔
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Old 11-22-19, 04:59 AM
  #25  
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This is a trick that doesn't cost much if anything.

Put a deflated balloon over the head of the correct tool.

It works amazingly well and is the least destructive first step I have ever used.
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