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Well I went and did it, I snapped off a e320 wheel bolt. This is the extended type lug bolt. The last guy must have cross threaded it. Problem is how do I get the wheel off, the end snapped off the bolt but the taper is still holding the wheel on. I'm going to try and drill it, but if you guys have any tips it'll be appreciated. I do have extra wheels if it comes down to the smoke wrench.

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We inform the customer of his/her problem and suggest that we remove all four wheels to make sure there are not any more wheel bolt problems. We drill with left handed drill bits first a small pilot hole in the center and continue upsizing the drill bit until we can extract the bolt. We may be able to chase the hub hole threads but if too far gone it gets new hub parts with new lug bolts.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I Just read this, I am sure you got it handeled by now. Just to contribute I have done a few of these. Drill just the taper end, then use a air chisel and a punch to break the rest of the bolt off so the wheel will come off. You now have a stud still sticking out of the hub. I hammer a Bolt-Out extraction tool over the remainig stud, heat up the stud with a torch, and remove the rest of the bolt. Rechase threads, if they will hold a properly torqued bolt you are good to go. If not I purchase a new hub.

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Drill it down slightly to remove the taper. Lugs are pretty soft.


I'm more interested in hearing how yall deal with charging for this. We give this stuff away ... Probably too much.


If the vehicle has never been to our shop, and/or we have never taken the wheels off I will quote the repair accordingly. If we did it somehow I would let them know and repair it for free. I would let them know if they decided against it and they ever get a flat tyre they wouldn't be able to remove the wheel to install their spare tyre, and it would need done anyway at that time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Finally got this one done, customer was too busy to leave it with me until today. No problem, I center punched what was left and drilled it out. Once I got up to 1/2" the tapered seat snapped off the bolt and the wheel came off. Luck was on my side, the threaded portion unscrewed by hand.


I didn't charge the customer, I was the last guy to take the wheel off.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Most shop owners would agree that the independent auto repair industry has been too cheap for too long regarding its pricing and labor rates. However, can we keep raising our labor rates and prices until we achieve the profit we desire and need? Is it that simple?
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      And lastly, are all the estimates written correctly? Is the labor correct for each job? Are you allowing extra time for rust, older vehicles, labor jobs with no parts included, and the fact that many published labor times are wrong? Let's not forget that perhaps the most significant labor loss is not charging enough labor time for testing, electrical work, and other complicated repairs.  
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