Rounded alan key bolts - how to unscrew?

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Rounded alan key bolts - how to unscrew?
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Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 12:22 Quote
After a crash at the weekend my lever has moved forward quite a way, so that I can barely reach it. The little alan key bolt inside the lever is rounded off (I don't know how, I've never touched it...) and I can't unscrew it to move the lever back into reach. Any tips of getting the bolt out/loose? When this has happened with other bolts I've used a saw to create a slit and used a flat had screw driver but this bolt is just inside the lever, on the edge so the saw is a no-go.

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 12:58 Quote
Go to a hardware store and tell someone about it, there is a special drill bit that you can buy

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 13:04 Quote
carefully drill a hole in the center of the fastener and use a spiral extractor, if that's too heavy a surgery perhaps a dremel and cut off wheel will be small enough to cut your flat head groove with. good luck man, not a fun place to be

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 13:13 Quote
TurboGoat wrote:
carefully drill a hole in the center of the fastener and use a spiral extractor, if that's too heavy a surgery perhaps a dremel and cut off wheel will be small enough to cut your flat head groove with. good luck man not a fun place to be

I think drilling may be a bit risky because on this lever the fluid is right next to this tiny bolt, any slip and I'm screwed (excuse the pun). I don't have a dremel or any special tools really, I was hoping it could be fixed with pretty ordinary tools so I think I'll take it to a hardware shop or look for a cheap, second hand replacement. Thanks for the advice though, I'll have to get hold of a dremel for some other rounded bolts I've got on the bike tup

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 14:13 Quote
Can you take a photo? Or at least tell me what model brake level we are looking at here.

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 14:14 Quote
Try a set of SAE allens. Sometimes the size difference is enough to give you a fit. Make sure to use a standard allen head end and not the ball shape. The flat edge can give you a much better bite.

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 14:16 Quote
I agree, sometimes just trying a different allen even though its the same size can help. They are all just a bit different. I have had small allen screws stuck with one key, and budge with another.

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 14:25 Quote
DARKSTAR63 wrote:
Can you take a photo? Or at least tell me what model brake level we are looking at here.

The bolt in question to the right of the red panel

The lever, a Clarks skeletal hyrdaulic

The awkward distance to stretch, especially at high speeds

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 14:25 Quote
What I did was got a fine drill bit and drilled it out completely soit snapped then just replaced the bolt, just make sure you drill directly through the bolt.

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 14:34 Quote
cdad-martinez wrote:
Try a set of SAE allens. Sometimes the size difference is enough to give you a fit. Make sure to use a standard allen head end and not the ball shape. The flat edge can give you a much better bite.

Thanks, but it is completely rounded, literally no edge to it anymore. I'm annoyed at my LBS because they are the only people to have done any work on the lever when they installed new fluid, so I'm starting to think they might have something to do with it.

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 14:37 Quote
iGoogleBikez wrote:
What I did was got a fine drill bit and drilled it out completely soit snapped then just replaced the bolt, just make sure you drill directly through the bolt.

No good at anything precise like that so I'm gonna take your advice but have it done at a hardware shop tomorrow.

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 14:37 Quote
Time for screw extractors.

Posted: Aug 16, 2011 at 15:31 Quote
That's definitely an Allen rather than Torx? You could try tapping a Torx bit in there if it is a rounded Allen as the star edges may create just enough grooving to get the bolt out.

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