How to Remove Shear Bolts

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A shear bolt gets its name from the fact that it shears off or breaks when under extreme stress. This bolt design purposely shears to keep the pieces of equipment that it holds together from breaking. Shear bolts can be found in a number of automotive, agricultural and industrial machines and equipment. When a bolt shears, the threaded end usually goes missing, but the bolt head end often stays in the hole. This end will sometimes get stuck and require extra force to remove it.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Round shank center punch
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Turn off the piece of equipment that caused the bolt to shear.

  • Line up the holes of the two pieces that the shear bolt was holding together. This will depend on the piece of equipment you're working on. The idea is to gain access to the holes so you can get the sheared bolt out of them.

  • Place a wrench onto the bolt head and try turning it until it threads out of the hole. If it won't come out, proceed to the next step.

  • Insert the tip of a round shank center punch into the hole where the threaded end of the bolt came out.

  • Pound on the backside of the center punch with a hammer to drive out the shear bolt. This can take from one to several attempts before the bolt comes out.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying bits of metal. Wear work gloves to protect your hands from any sharp metal edges on the shear bolt.
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