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Discussion Starter #1
I need some advice on getting a stubborn torx screw undone.

I was taking off the steering wheel on my 2000 beast to put on a 2003 wheel and ran into a problem with the 2 torx screws that hold on the old style airbag. One of them came loose without issues, but the other one is stuck real good and the star opening just stripped when I tried to get it off with a new torx socket.

I tried cutting the foam on the back of the wheel away thinking I could grab it with a pair of vice grips, but the screw is in a recess in the steering wheel frame, so there's no place to clamp it.

I'm thinking I need the right size easy-out in order to get any sort of torque on that screw. I've got one that is way to small and another that is just too large, so I could try to get one tomorrow in the right size.

I can't even get a drill in there because of the limited clearance between the wheel and the instrument cluster.

I don't really need the wheel since the buttons are pretty worn off and now with a bad airbag screw it's not very usable.

Any good ideas on how to get a stripped torx screw out?
 

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And you can't just drill or dremel the head of the screw away?
A pic of the problem would be helpful but maybe some other have encountered the same problem and can help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dremel grinding is my last resort. I have to work with a mirror and space is limited to reach around the back of the wheel, but it could work.

I think the Sears screw out kit is what I call "EZ Outs". They are tapered extractors wtih spiral left-hand threads that grab the screw. You can turn them with a tap wrench or a small open end wrench.

I have a couple of them, but only too small or too large.

I think a trip to Sears at lunchtime today is in order...
 

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Dremel grinding is my last resort. I have to work with a mirror and space is limited to reach around the back of the wheel, but it could work.

I think the Sears screw out kit is what I call "EZ Outs". They are tapered extractors wtih spiral left-hand threads that grab the screw. You can turn them with a tap wrench or a small open end wrench.

I have a couple of them, but only too small or too large.

I think a trip to Sears at lunchtime today is in order...
yep, similar, except these are turned by a screwdriver. You should consider getting one of those 4.8v screwdrivers they sell. They are small and can save you epic amounts of time with certain jobs. I think I paid $20 for it
 

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I know you said that Dremeling is your last option (it would be for me too), but you can just put a notch in the screw head and take it out with a flat head screwdriver if all else fails.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good idea.

I got two different sprial screw extractors today (a Black & Decker from Home Depot and one from Sears). The B&D feels like it is gripping OK, so I'll try that one first.

cutting a slot would be a good back-up idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Buggers!
Well, the sprial extractors seem like they have enough purchase, but when I apply torque to them, the metal inside the torx opening just gives way. I've been grinding down one of the extractors to make it a little larger, but no joy.

Sounds like I'll be getting the Dremel out tonight and carving a large slot. This screw is REALLY in there. If all else fails, I'll have Dinan here in Campbell look at it while they're doing the suspension (shocks and bushings) next week.
 

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I have used the dremel (grinding a slot) method a few times, and it works well. Another option might be an impact driver. You put the proper bit in it, hit it with a hammer and it turns as it compresses. They work great. Mine is so old I have no idea where it came from. Just make sure it is in "loosen" mode as they will also tighten.

edit: not sure about using and impact driver with the airbag???
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I couldn't get an impact driver and hammer into the small space behing the wheel. That's also why I can't just use a large drill bit and drill off the head of the screw.

Dremel tool it is (for today).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Achieved success today at lunchtime. :applause:

I thought about an angle drill, but don't have one (yet!).

By rotating the wheel until the problem screw was at the bottom and keeping the key on so the steering column moves down (and adjusting it to the lowest most position) I was able to get my regular drill in there and drill the head of the screw deeper with the size drill the sprial extractor expects (5/64ths, I believe). That allowed me to get the extractor deeper in the head of the screw and it really bit into the material well. I was applying torque with a tiny (4" long) adjustable wrench. The screw came loose just as the extractor broke off. Good thing, as drilling out a hardened extractor would have been next to impossible and I would have been Dremelling the whole head off.

Once the screw was loose, it was 10 min (if that) to swap out the wheel for my new 2003 version. Now my 2000 beast has late model headlights, taillights, instrument cluster, widescreen nav, and the round airbag steering wheel.

Love the new wheel. Now I can see all the guages and displays and the rim is thicker, which I like. :M5thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Exactly.

At least in this case the cost was low: less than $4 for the screw extractor I busted getting the screw loose.
 

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Understand thread is old. But, bump. I am having the same issue as the OP. I have tried several extractors, and nothing is working. Any other ideas. Please. This sucks.
 

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Take a picture of what you are dealing with. There are a ton of different ways to get stuck screws out. Is there any part of the head left? Can you get a tool into cut a slot across the head? then you could put a straight screw driver in the slot. You can drill the stripped hole to make it round and a bit deeper then take a larger size torx and hammer it into the hole then drill a little more to remove the crude driving the torx in then drive it in again etc. Can you put heat on this bolt?
 
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