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Old 10-29-2016, 11:25 PM   #1
mishapopa
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Default 2009 Forester N/A valve cover broken bolt

car: 2009 forester

I stupidly broke the one of the 6 passenger side valve cover bolts by over tightening. This bolt is at the front of the engine at the bottom so access is a little tight but it seems like a right angle drill might fit; unfortunately I don't have a right angle drill.

I did not take the valve cover off afterwards so I'm not sure if there's anything sticking out. It broke exactly like this: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-D...o/_MG_7402.jpg but this model does not have these rubber gaskets on the bolt.

My question really is: is there a way to lower the engine just slightly just by loosening the mount or something to get access with a normal drill to just get the broken threads out?

On another note, I started the car and drove it and there don't appear to be leaks - is it safe to just leave it as is for now?

Any suggestions?

thanks
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:18 PM   #2
Buck Rogers
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Worry about it when it starts leaking, and it may not.
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:59 PM   #3
SubieSmith
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There won't be anything sticking out if the bolt broke off. It will be about a mm into the hole. The valve cover bolts tighten down until the large shoulder touches the camshaft carrier on the head.

The good news is that the piece left behind usually backs out easily. You may need to take the valve cover off for room. Then use anything you can to bite onto the broken piece of bolt and back it out. I've used a pocket screw driver before. Or a tiny chisel that you can tap lightly into the broken bolt and then slowly press and twist to back out.

If you have to, you can drop the engine cradle down slightly by loosing the large bolts that hold the engine cradle to the frame. I think I had to loosen the rear control arm frame mounting bolts too.

And for future reference, those valve cover bolts have a crazy low torque spec. It's like 50-60 in/lbs.
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Old 11-01-2016, 01:09 PM   #4
mishapopa
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yeah, the way the bolt broke i don't think anything will stick out either but as you said, there may be something to get a hold of in the piece that broke, i was thinking if i can get a reverse drill bit in there, it may catch, causing the threaded part to be taken out. the bolt should come out easily as i broke it with a 3" 10mm ratcheting wrench with the force of my finger...

i'd like to avoid removing the valve cover for now since there aren't leaks at the moment but what i will do is see if i can fit a right angle drill attachment somehow to get it out. if i can, great, if i cannot, i'll worry about it when it leaks like buck rogers said.

if i can lower the engine just 1" i can easily access the bolt with the drill, the way it sits right now, i'm not entirely sure - don't want to do more damage than there is currently :P

on another thought, maybe i can notch or modify the broken bolt and use it to extract the threads.
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Old 11-08-2016, 02:17 AM   #5
2003wrx64
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if you remove the pitch-stopper and remove the nuts and washers holding the engine mounts to the cradle, then jack up the engine on the side of the broken bolt, you should have plenty of room to use a right angle drill with a left hand bit to spin it out. Either leave the car on the ground or use ramps to avoid separating the inner joint on the axle when you jack up the engine.
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:31 AM   #6
mishapopa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003wrx64 View Post
if you remove the pitch-stopper and remove the nuts and washers holding the engine mounts to the cradle, then jack up the engine on the side of the broken bolt, you should have plenty of room to use a right angle drill with a left hand bit to spin it out. Either leave the car on the ground or use ramps to avoid separating the inner joint on the axle when you jack up the engine.
yeah, that was my last resort, well that and just taking the engine out... could've changed the clutch and stuff if i did. thankfully i was able to grip the broken threading with a tiny slotted screw driver but only managing to spin it clockwise. it ended up getting stuck on the cylinder head so i used a drill to drill a hole in the sticking out threaded portion, breaking it with a punch, and it came out beautifully.

all good now!

thanks guys
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:01 AM   #7
cmhorel
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Question Same problem - broken front passenger valve cover bolt

My valve cover bolt broke in the exact same location as yours in the exact same way. I let out a sad 'yelp' as soon as it happened, I knew what I had done.


You're saying you were able to walk it out with a small flathead screwdriver? Once it was kind of exposed you were able to hit it with a drill?

I noticed that the bolt hole almost looks like it goes straight though - did you walk it further in clockwise and take it out the backside?

Knowing that you fixed this gives me hope. I'm leaving my forester parked until I can talk to a mechanic smarter than I or fix it myself. Wish me luck...
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:29 PM   #8
mishapopa
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Is it leaking?

I picked away at it with a small flat head and a 90 drill for hours and got the thread end to get stuck on the engine block. It got stuck against the block (I was turning it clockwise) and used a drill to remove the tip of the threaded portion then pliers to get it out.
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