Broken draw bar bolts

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Masmith
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Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Masmith » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:53 pm

Now I know why the drawbar and mower deck seemed very loose. The forward bolts of the bracket the drawbar bolts to on each side have been broke off. The previous owner made poor attempts to fabricate the brackets to work. I am guessing I am not the first person to have this issue. Any ideas or solutions would be appreciated. My only thoughts are to remove the final drives and take them to a machine shop to be drilled out and tapped.
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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Barnyard » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:15 pm

Helicoil. I have a jig for doing this. We did one at the Bash last weekend.
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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Dale Finch » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:33 pm

Since they are covered with dirt, it's hard to tell...did you make sure the blocked holes aren't just filled with the corks that were used to plug the holes? (I honestly don't mean to insult your intelligence, but they have been mistaken for broken bolts in the past :wink: )

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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby indy61 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:33 pm

They are clearly broken off. Probably caused by improper bolts. Drawbar bolts must be tapered to mate the drawbar brackets. As barnyard said, they can be repaired with Helicoils.

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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Scrivet » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:54 pm

I think I would get the old bolt out and see what I had before I jumped to helicoils. Might be good threads in there still.

All the usual remedies for removing broken off bolts. Left handed drill bits, weld a nut on it. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TRY AN "EASY OUT"! The only thing they are easy out about is getting your money out of your pocket. You might get lucky and they don't break (and I might win Powerball!). A simple explanation of why not to use them. That is a 5/8" bolt that BROKE. So you are going to drill a smaller diameter hole in it and insert a smaller (say 3/8" maybe 1/2") piece of metal in that hole and expect it not to break when a 5/8" thick one (the bolt) already has????????????

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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Barnyard » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:06 pm

Make sure they are not cork like Dale said before trying anything else. Cork looks like broken bolts when dirty.
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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Dale Finch » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:23 pm

I DO see the upper bolt in the first photo...if that is the one that is broken, then yes, as Scrivet has said, try to get it out by perhaps welding a nut to it, etc...

What I was referring to were the 2 that appeared to be filled, one with a small hole off-centered. It is the rear pair of lower bolts that are used to mount a drawbar (in the "normal" position). Those were the ones I thought might just be plugged. Easy enought to find out...just take a "pointy thing" and give it a tap into the center. If it rings out, then you are right...you have a project ahead. If it digs in, just keep digging until all the old brittle cork is out. I'll hope it's the latter, but knowing "Mr Murphy"... :?

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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Jim Becker » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:28 pm

Dale Finch wrote:I DO see the upper bolt in the first photo. . .

That is the one that looks to me like cork.

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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Dale Finch » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:35 pm

Jim Becker wrote:
Dale Finch wrote:I DO see the upper bolt in the first photo. . .

That is the one that looks to me like cork.

Ah! I looked more closely and I think you are right!
And the one in the second photo with the small hole...just don't see how a broken bolt would get a hole in it, unless drilled, and why such a small one if the PO used it for mounting? Do you have a photo of the "poor attempt" the previous owner used to attach the drawbar and mower?

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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Masmith » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:22 pm

I don’t think it is cork since I used a wire brush on them before taking the photo. However, I will definitely use a “pointy thing” tomorrow just to make sure. My thoughts on the small hole were that a PO attempted to either drill out the broken bolt or drill a smaller hole and tap that one to make something work. The brackets for the mower deck also had added pieces welded to them to bolt onto other holes. I will get pics of those tomorrow. Unfortunately I think it will be broken bolts and not a quick fix. Thank you for the help.
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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Indy4570 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:31 pm

i like to heat the broken bolt, this expands it , kinda crushes the crud seizing it. then when it cools it shrinks, breaking the seize. may have to be done more than once, then weld a stud to it or try the easy out, beeswax works well at times too
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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby staninlowerAL » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:51 am

Indy4570 wrote:i like to heat the broken bolt, this expands it , kinda crushes the crud seizing it. then when it cools it shrinks, breaking the seize. may have to be done more than once, then weld a stud to it or try the easy out, beeswax works well at times too

Good advice (except I avoid easy out at all cost). If you have to drill, try left hand bits, sometimes the broken piece will back out with the drilling process. If you break an easy out then you have a REAL problem!!!!!!

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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Masmith » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:29 am

With All the suggestions here, it seems no matter what, it would be better to remove the final drives for repair? Would it be possible that I could remove the bolts from the inside after taking them apart?
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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Shane N. » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:40 am

They aren't through holes, they are blind so no go on removing from inside. Try a left handed drill bit and an easy out, a big one. If they just sheared off then odds are they aren't really that stuck. Be sure and get the drill centered to begin with!
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Re: Broken draw bar bolts

Postby Matt Kirsch » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:02 pm

To me it looks like the bottom bolt holes are the only ones in use, correct? The upper holes are not relevant to the conversation, right?

I have never had good luck with drilling. No matter how much I try to start the hole centered and drill straight, using factory new, quality drill bits, it always seems to walk off into the rhubarb and I end up with a bigger mess. Some people have good luck with it. Not me.

If there were any stub protruding from the holes at all, the way I would do it is to weld a 5/8" hex nut on to each stub. Good and hot, fill the nut up with weld, then let cool. I've never had a bolt that would not come out of cast like that after having welded a nut on.

That may still be possible. Do you TiG weld? If so you can build up the broken off bolts until they protrude from the casting enough to hang a nut on, then get out the stick welder and put the spurs to it, weld the nut on. Let it cool down to searing hot (too hot to touch, hot enough to cook a hamburger, but not glowing red), and turn the stubs out with a wrench.

I hear tell that weld will not stick to cast, so you may even be able to clamp the nut over the stub as-is, fill with weld, and get it out that way.


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