How to Remove A Stud
Without Any Special Tools

In a few minutes we're going to go over how to remove a stud from a cylinder, or any other part on a motorcycle, all the while doing so without using any special tools, or damaging any parts or threads and we've got news for you. Stud removal from any part on a motorcycle can generally be accomplished without any special stud removal tools and by using the very hardware you just removed during disassembly, all without any harm to the hardware or parts being serviced.

We're very well aware that many riders and support crew have a common need for removal of the stud(s) placed throughout a motorcycle, as removal of a stud is a common procedure especially considering that removal of the studs from a part such as a cylinder before machine work is performed is a necessity beforehand. Learning these easy stud removal tricks and removing the studs yourself can save you money on top of it all, so we're sharing the best tips on stud removal from even the toughest parts on a dirt bike.

What to use to Remove the Stud in a Cylinder, Engine Case, or Other Part

When it comes time to remove a stud from within a part on a dirt bike, this is generally an easy task and provided that the stud is NOT already damaged, Vise Grips should NEVER be used.

Using the tips below, you'll find that most studs will come out of most parts, cases, gear boxes, cylinders, housings or other parts fairly easily and simply by "Double Nutting" the nuts on the stud to be removed as detailed next, then using the lower / inner nut to remove the stud. Here's How:

How to Remove A Stud

For removing a stud as described below, the stud will need to have clean threads above a surface whereas a nut can be threaded onto the stud by hand, yet still be reached with an open, or box end wrench and giving it a shot of penetrating oil beforehand never hurts.

For Broken Studs, or Studs with Damaged Threads, See
Removing Broken or Damaged Studs
2 Nuts Threaded Onto A Stud
  • To begin with, find 2 non self locking style flange nuts of the same size and pitch as the stud that you're working on removing.
    (The same nuts as were removed to access this stud are ideal)
  • Thread one of the nuts onto the stud to be removed with the nut being installed UPSIDE DOWN
  • Next, thread the 2nd nut onto the stud so that the flanges meet and that there is at least a couple threads extending from the top nut
  • With an open ended wrench on the bottom, or most inner nut, tighten the two nuts together as tightly as seems safe without the wrench(s) slipping.
  • With the nuts double jammed together, place a wrench on the bottom nut and using appropriate force, the stud should unthread.

How To Remove Studs that are Frozen or Don't Easily Move

Occasionally you'll come across studs which are so tight (usually frozen at this point) that the bottom wrench may try to round the corners of the nut. In these cases, penetrating oil will be necessary, then you'll need to remove the nuts, place the box end of the bottom wrench on the stud, then the nuts. This will allow you to use the box end of the wrench so as to get a much better grip on the bottom or innermost nut.

If the nuts continually seem to be working their way off the stud together, tighten the nuts more. If you continue to have trouble with a particular stud, try lightly bouncing a Brass Hammer on the TOP of the stud, hosing it down with penetrating oil, giving it the hammer treatment again, then either waiting a little while and trying to remove the stud, or move on to the next stud and come back to that one at which point it may become more cooperative.

For studs that remain frozen, and where heat is imminent, be sure to see
Tips on Heating Parts So as To Not Distort or Damage Anything

  • With the stud beginning to move, it's important to Not continue winding the stud out unless it can be turned by your fingers alone, without the aid of any tools. If the stud has any resistance to unthreading, it's vital that the stud is hosed down with penetrating oil, turned in the direction opposite of removal before attempting to loosen the stud any further, then repeating this process working the stud back and forth and continually out, all the while applying penetrating oil until the stud's removal is complete, or the stud turns freely.

For Studs that Remain Difficult to Remove

During removal of a stud from an engine casing, cylinder or other sub-assemblies, or parts which make up most dirt bikes, if the stud does not turn easily after initially "Breaking it Free", Do NOT continue to unthread this stud, otherwise damage to the threads of the part which the stud is holding is certain.

For seized studs, be sure to review the section
detailing the steps necessary for,
Removal of a Seized Stud

On the studs which are tight all the way out, what's happening is that the internal threads in the hole which the stud is threaded into are seized to the fastener (the stud), and are coming out of the hole with the fastener. (AKA "pulling the threads" which results in "pulled threads"). If stopped soon enough, damage to the hole can be minimized, often with a reusable hole & without any additional machine work.

How to Remove a Stud When it's Seized Inside the Part

Should you happen to be faced with a stud which won't come loose and seems to be pulling threads with it, it is often possible to correct this by use of penetrating oil and a back-and-forth motion consisting of loosening, tightening, loosening and tightening of the stud, gradually working it loose.

A Word About Using Heat:
For those with a stud that is seized to the point where it can't be moved at all, heat may be necessary to aid in breaking the stud free. The best way to heat the part with the seized stud is to actually place it in an oven at about 250 degrees for a half hr or so, then attempt removal using the same procedures as outlined above. Alternatively, If you have access to an Oxygen / Acetylene torch, this can be used to heat the part in the immediate area surrounding the stud, just use extreme care with the torch so as to not melt or distort the part by use of too hot of a flame or by holding the flame in one spot too long, nor do you want to cause a fire or an explosion while using the torch so be careful where the torch os pointed at all times.

If you have a stud that you got out, and there weren't any aluminum threads wrapped around the stud, yet the hole will not allow full installation of the stud by use of your fingers alone, you may be able to restore the hole by applying a lubricant such as Anti-Seize to the stud, then work the stud back and forth through the hole several times, finishing by cleaning the hole and stud of any residue before coating the threads of the cleaned stud with Anti-Seize and permanently reinstalling the stud.

Should you have a hole that becomes damaged beyond the point where use of the removed stud is able to clean the threads up, be sure to review this article on Repairing Damaged Threads

How to Remove a Broken or Damaged Stud

To remove a broken or damaged stud, it's going to be necessary to get a good grip on the stud before attempting to remove it. When dealing with a broken stud, having something to grip above the surface of the part is the ideal way but things don't always happen that way, so we're going to go over a few different ways of doing this below.

  • Broken Off Above the Surface
    When working on removal of a stud above the surface, this is best accomplished with a pair of good and SHARP jawed Vise-Grips working the stud back and forth. The first clamp of the pliers when doing this is the most critical (especially when going up against a stud that may be seized) so you'll want to use a good set of Vise Grips with clean and SHARP jaws. The best place to clamp the stud will be nearest it's base as possible without gouging any other surfaces with the pliers, then clamp the Vise Grips as tight as possible, nearest the back of the jaws of the plier.
  • Broken Off Above the Surface Without Enough to Grip with Vise Grips
    Occasionally studs break off barely above the surface of the part they are clamping, often leaving not enough material to grip with pliers. Here's a way for addressing these: Ensure the area around the stud is clean, then place a spare nut over the stud. With the nut on top of the broken stud, use a wire feed (Mig Welder) and place a tack weld inside the nut, welding the nut to the stud. Done carefully, this is a very ingenious method even when working near the surface of a sealing area such as a cylinder deck. When done with care, this will securely tack a nut to the stud, and provide a way to remove the stud, while leaving no damage to the cylinder or other part that the stud is broken off in.
  • Broken Off Below the Surface
    Working on removal of a stud broken off below the surface is generally a procedure that shouldn't be attempted unless well rehearsed in drilling an accurate hole or they're equipped with a nice drill index with sharp bits and a drill press. (I know how it goes with drill bits sometimes.) Should you happen to have a drill press, and a sharp drill index, by all means go for it, it's just that a hand drill is much to sloppy for drilling a broken stud and this is definitely a job that needs to be done carefully and straight which only a drill press or a Very accurate and experienced hand drill user can provide.

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