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drive shaft bolts overtorqued

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New User

Jul 24, 2010, 2:02 PM

Post #1 of 7 (2196 views)
drive shaft bolts overtorqued Sign In

I have a 1988 Ford Mustang LX 2.3 liter automatic that I am rebuilding. While trying to remove the drive shaft I have found that the bolts are either overtorqued or just plain stuck. They are 12mm 12 point bolts and the bolts are threaded directly into the differential housing flange. My question is, how can i remove these bolts safely without stripping the heads or busting anymore sockets? The car is supported on jack stands so my safety is also a priority. Any help would be greatly appreciated. P.S. I have sprayed the bolts with penetrating oil to see if it would help.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 24, 2010, 2:29 PM

Post #2 of 7 (2194 views)
Re: drive shaft bolts overtorqued Sign In

PB is by far the best penetrating product and let that sit. Buy a higher quality socket or wrench.

Some tricks while bolt is still unrounded:

* if you can get a shot with a hammer and pointed punch, give center of bolt a whack.

* Oddly, try to tighten it a tad (use care and do everything not to break the bolt) then try to remove.

* If there's a straight shot even with an extension a small air speeder like a small air wrench can rattle them free or any that are stuck/rusted but know the tool and it's power. The rattling effect can break it loose when constant pressure would break the bolt.

* Heat should be a last choice as that weakens the strength of hardened metals.

Take you time and do your best not to break it. New or good used yoke may be available if all else fails,


Veteran / Moderator
re-tired profile image

Jul 24, 2010, 9:26 PM

Post #3 of 7 (2184 views)
Re: drive shaft bolts overtorqued Sign In

In my experiences with these &%*&^%^%#$#$$%% bolts I have found loctite to be the culprit . Whilst major heat can change the temper of the metal moderate heat will soften the loctite . This combined with a 3/8 gun and a quality impact socket does the trick for me.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 24, 2010, 11:35 PM

Post #4 of 7 (2181 views)
Re: drive shaft bolts overtorqued Sign In

Watch your language R-T! Agreed - a little targeted heat will help. I'm at a loss as to what folks have. Oxy-Acet can solve anything up to cutting the car in half. It's nick-named my "Blue Wrench" one size fits all. That is extreme heat as said and harms strength of metal.

What I frequently do is us a rubber hammer on a box wrench for those things with "LocTite" from new which even an 88 could be untouched.

Brake caliper brackets use it of course some in precarious positions to get a good shot at them.

Not sure of the protocol but on critical bolts instead of real threadlocker products for installation I will use the brown gasket shallac on threads and tighten with the same trick - the rubber hammer and a box wrench. Don't want those coming loose either even though the real force isn't on the U bolt so much as the joint how it sits in the cradle.

From the Rust stateMad - I don't find rust the common issue with those because of the location,


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 25, 2010, 4:25 AM

Post #5 of 7 (2174 views)
Re: drive shaft bolts overtorqued Sign In

Yep, these things can be a real pain. I think the biggest problem is just the design of the bolt. They use a very small head on a very large shank bolt so the torque is usually more than the head can handle. The whole key is using a quality socket. If it's a 6 point bolt, use a quality 6 point socket. The heat will probably help with the locktite but having a good socket (before it's rounded off) is the big thing.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.


Jul 25, 2010, 8:41 AM

Post #6 of 7 (2167 views)
Re: drive shaft bolts overtorqued Sign In

Personally, I think I would get a 12 point impact socket, make sure the bolt heads are clean of rust ( just wire brush them) put the socket on the bolt and hit the socket with a brass hammer a couple of times. Then put a ratchet on the socket and try to undo it. The penetrant should have had plenty of time to work. It's an impact socket and I don't think a brass hammer will damage it, just wear eye protection, brass does chip off hammers. Be safe.

Veteran / Moderator
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Jul 25, 2010, 2:18 PM

Post #7 of 7 (2161 views)
Re: drive shaft bolts overtorqued Sign In

45 bucks from Snap On. Designed specifically for the 12 point driveline bolts & head bolts and works with a 1/2 impact gun.

As mentioned these are a PITA and I invested in one of these years ago and they are no longer a problem.


(This post was edited by Sidom on Jul 25, 2010, 2:20 PM)

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