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How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

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  • How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

    I have a 1990 Galaxy with a 4.3 chevy v-6 engine and mercruiser alpha One outdrive. It has been run in freshwater in South Carolina it's entire life. We had an overheating problem that we determined the cause to be a burned out impeller. I had the impeller replaced and when the shop tried to start the motor, the starter spins without engaging the flywheel. They looked and noticed one of the starter bolts missing which caused the starter to move away from the flywheel and not engage. They found part of the missing bolt in the bottom of the boat. So, the first job is to extract the broken end of one of the starter bolts from the engine block. A mechanic says that the engine needs to be pulled from the boat for $800 to get at it. Is there another simpler way that I can attempt to remove the boat on my own???

    based on other postings I read, I'm concerned that the cause of the broken starter bolt might be hydro lock. I'll address that in a separate post once I get the starter fixed and can crank the motor to see if water comes out of the cylinders.

    I'm an OK auto mechanic but I'm new to boats so I might have a lot of follow up questions.

    Thanks


  • #2
    Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

    How difficul it is to remove the bolt without pulling the engine, or whether it can be done at all without turning the engine over on its side, will depend on two things: how much of the broken bolt is sticking out after you remove the starter, and how rusted in the stub of the bolt is. First, drop the starter. If you've got at least an inch or so of bolt sticking out of the block, you've got a chance. Soak it with PB Blaster and let it sit. The put a vise-grip pliers on it and try to turn. If the gods shine down on you, it will work. If not, you haven't lost anything more than an hour or so of labor. Since you say you're good with engines, you should be able to try it yourself rather than paying a mechanic. An engine is an engine - car, truck, or boat, they're all basically the same. Good luck. Hy

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    • #3
      Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

      depending on how much room you have torch it out if you have anything to grab. Or if not braze a rod a little small on the end of it, heat it all up and turn it out.

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      • #4
        Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

        A pipe wrench will have more bite power than visegrips. They make em small too, 6" or 8".

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        • #5
          Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

          If you can get a wrench on it, and it's breakes free, work it back and forth, working it alittle bit further out with each time. Patience is needed on this one

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          • #6
            Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

            Ever see a boat burn? leave the torch in the garage! If you can grab it with a stud remover try that.If not try a mirror and a right angle drill.
            If you can read this thank a teacher.If you can read it in english THANK A VETERAN

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            • #7
              Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

              Originally posted by Eric 3.7LX Alpha 1 View Post
              A pipe wrench will have more bite power than visegrips. They make em small too, 6" or 8".
              I agree a pipe wrench is way more effective
              Thats it Robin get the poison out, let it go thats it get the poison out

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              • #8
                Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

                Hey All, thanks for the fast response. I should have mentioned, the bolt broke off inside the block so there is nothing sticking out to grab onto.

                So, any other suggestions on how to get it out? How would I use a right angle drill to get at it?

                Thanks.

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                • #9
                  Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

                  If there room I would try to use a left handed drill.Just start with a small size at 1st and try to get it centerd the best you can.I have done this to a few cars and some times the drill will grab it and soin it out.Good Luck

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                  • #10
                    Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

                    If I remember correctly, the starter placement on the V6 is similar to the one on the V8, a real PITA. There is no room to get a drill under there to drill a pilot hole in the bolt. Sometimes, depending on the particular boat, there's barely enough room to get your hand in there to pull the starter. That said, it unfortunately leaves only one choice - pull the engine. When you are ready to replace the starter, I suggest you look into the smaller, high torques starters that are now available. They are easier to install and remove. Good luck. Hy

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                    • #11
                      Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

                      A left handed drill often works. An "Easy-Out" Is never easy and rarely out !! They don't work well adn many times you will just end up with a broken bolt that now has a broken extractor stuck in it.

                      Can you get to it with a small center punch? You can try turning it with the punch by hitting around the outside edge and causing it to turn , This has worked for me on all kinds of broken fasteners..

                      The next step would be to drill it completely and retap the hole...
                      Rule 1, Never Sweat the Small Stuff !

                      Rule 2, It's All Small Stuff !!

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                      • #12
                        Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

                        Originally posted by milmat1 View Post
                        The next step would be to drill it completely and retap the hole...
                        What would he be using for a starter bolt if he did that?
                        1998 Wellcraft Eclipse 24 Cuddy
                        Volvo Penta Duo-Prop 7.4L "LK"

                        2006 Sun Tracker Party Barge 21
                        Mercury 90 4-Stroke FI
                        "Common sense is not very common"
                        "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." -- John Wooden

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                        • #13
                          Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

                          Well I have bad news, bolts almost always break in the threaded area as they are weaker there. This means that probably, there will be none of the broken bolt sticking out to grab with pipe wrench. I am a machinist and I see this all the time. what you DON'T want to do is try to get in there with an angle drill or something and try to drill it as I GUARANTEE that you will not drill the hole in the center of the broken screw and the drill will drift off and damage the block. Then the block will need to come out anyway and be repaired!! Unless the bolt is sticking out and you can grab it (which I doubt) you will have to yank the motor.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

                            The bad news is what I was afraid of. So is $800 a reasonable price to pull the motor, extract the bolt and install a new one?

                            I would be willing to try pulling the motor myself but with the boat high up on a trailer, I have no idea how I would get it out without a really tall cherry picker or some form of an overhead crane. I have neither.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How to extract a broken starter bolt from the block without removing the engine??

                              Originally posted by jeichhorn2 View Post
                              The bad news is what I was afraid of. So is $800 a reasonable price to pull the motor, extract the bolt and install a new one?

                              I would be willing to try pulling the motor myself but with the boat high up on a trailer, I have no idea how I would get it out without a really tall cherry picker or some form of an overhead crane. I have neither.
                              Your dealer could probably quote a firm price on the removal of the engine, but I doubt he could put a firm price on the bolt removal. If you can get them to quote a firm price of $800.00, I think that is reasonable.

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