Stuck bolt and thread (pop rivet?)

wishitwasallflat
wishitwasallflat Posts: 2,927
edited October 2012 in Workshop
My Aluminium Sectuer is 14 months old and the mount for a pannier rack on the frame had a bolt in it from new. I have never touched it before but today I tried to remove it so I could fit a rack for commuting. One was stiff but came out fine. The other was stuck and the allen key stripped the bolt immediately. I tried spraying on some WD40, tapping in a hex key, then the larger size allen, then a larger hex and then a flat head screwdriver bit but they all just spinned and stripped the bolt head further (i.e. I did all the things I have read on here about how to free a stuck bolt!). Its was still stuck and just a round hole left inside the bolt head. I then carefully hacksawed a groove accross the head to fit in a broad flat head screwdriver - this worked in that it turned the bolt but the threaded sleeve it goes into (I think I have read on here that this a pop rivet threaded insert into the frame) began to turn as well immediately! I only turned it literally a few degrees (say 12.00 to 11.55 on a clock face maximum) and stopped because as soon as I got any turn I could see that the thing the bolt threads into was turning not the bolt and the paint and laquer flaked of the ring of the sleeve thing (looks like a washer under the bolt) and cracked on the frame.

You can hopefully see all this in the pic below - please help !!!! what should I do ??? is the frame damaged ?? I have also read about drilling a stuck bolt out but I would be scared to try that on an Al frame. I have also ehard of using PlusGas but as the insert is now turning could that work. PLEASE Help again what can I do ??

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Comments

  • andrew_s
    andrew_s Posts: 2,511
    The "pop rivet" is called a "rivnut".

    As far as I can make out, there is no easy/safe way to get a seized bolt out of a spinning rivnut.
    Given the trouble you had so far, it's unlikely that superglue/epoxy/gripping the rivet edge will work. That just leaves grinding the bolt and outside part of the rivnut away until the rest drops away and down inside the chainstay.
    At this point you can fit another rivnut (and take care with grease & regular removal this time).
    Obviously any slip whilst removing the outer part of the rivnut will damage the frame, so I doubt a bike shop would take on the job other than on a "best endeavours" basis - i.e. if it does get damaged, then tough luck.

    As the bike is not very old, I'd try for a warranty job first.

    If you've got a spinning rivnut with no bolt in it, you can fix the spin by screwing in a long M5 bolt with a nut & washer on it, and then unscrew the nut against the rivnut whilst holding the bolt still.

    (I avoid this sort of problem by using a steel bike with properly brazed in fittings)
  • Thank you Andrew-s I will call the Spesh Concept store where I bought it tommorow.
  • PS - I take it its safe to use in the meantime as the chain stay is intact as the rivnut and bolt are still well jammed in?
  • Spoke to Spesh Concept Store today and the workshop man there said he would have a go at removing the bolt and rivnut and if it came out it was simple job to replace it - BUT - he didn't want to do that until he had checked with Spesh that there was a warranty replacement frame in my size waiting; in case it didn't work and/or my frame got damaged.

    I think this is very fair and once again I have to say I am delighted with Spesh Customer Service and Harrogate Concept Store in particular! :D

    Will post final outcome once its finished.
  • Well - this got fixed today - they took out the old bolt and rivnut and fitted a new one and bolts. Some paint chipped away from around the rivnut and the guy touched it up.

    Now I am torn between being happy my bike is fixed under warranty - and so I am back on the road - to thinking its a shame there is a patch of paint around that rivnut thats touched up! Its white so the new paint looks cleaner and obviously the suface finish is not as good as the rest.

    Should they have replaced the frame under warrant on the basis of the paint work touch up required or is that unreasonable?
  • maringirl
    maringirl Posts: 195
    Looking at photo and apparent state of the rest of your paintwork I think you should be very grateful they fixed it for you. Given the bike is 14 months old I think they have been very fair as you yourself suggested. Another winter and you won't notice any difference - 'specially if you're bike is always so cacked up.
  • maringirl wrote:
    Looking at photo and apparent state of the rest of your paintwork I think you should be very grateful they fixed it for you. Given the bike is 14 months old I think they have been very fair as you yourself suggested. Another winter and you won't notice any difference - 'specially if you're bike is always so cacked up.

    Good one :lol:
    The rest of the paint is fine its just dirty and yes I do see your point - (as you noticed) I don't keep this bike pristine, I clean it when its very bad and I can be bothered, it's 14 months old, I ride all year round on it in all weathers bar ice and snow, the paint was cracked by my own attempts to remove the bolt and I don't think for a second anyone could have executed that repair without some paint flaking off. The paint cracked as soon as the rivnut moved - and the mechanic has fixed it for no charge, he wouldn't touch it until he knew a warranty replacement frame was available and he touched up the paint that came off.

    I used to be a real terror for warranty stuff and would always try to screw out the ultimate deal I could - but - I have mellowed with age and I have a good relationship with this guy in this shop. He has done very very well for me on previous wheel warranty issues and I don't want to push it or give him a hard time with Spesh. I am just wondering about it now as this the first quite moment I've had to think about it - at the end of the day, I'm just asking out of interest.
  • maringirl
    maringirl Posts: 195
    Difficult colour to keep clean too - that's why mine is black!:D
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    It's worth noting that keeping screws clean and greased should be considered part of your preventative maintenance; it could be argued that, had you been regularly checking the bike for seized screws and regreasing threads (particularly as it is an all-weather bike) you would not have had this problem in the first place.
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  • DesWeller wrote:
    It's worth noting that keeping screws clean and greased should be considered part of your preventative maintenance; it could be argued that, had you been regularly checking the bike for seized screws and regreasing threads (particularly as it is an all-weather bike) you would not have had this problem in the first place.

    Very true - I must confess these bolts have never been touched since I got this bike! I wasn't even sure it had rack bolts but I started commuting to work two weeks ago and realised panniers would be helpful so I checked - that's when I discovered one was stuck. All in all I am pleased I think I just got a bit carried away at the thout of a new frame and got stupid last night.


    Guess what I did today - cleaned the whole bike thoroughly and remove and copper slipped all bolts!