Sheared bolts on water rail

My head gasket job is coming along slowly but surely. Of course while I have everything pulled out I just can’t leave well enough alone.

Since I’m replacing the hoses, especially the “Bastard Hose” I decided to go ahead and reseal the water rail that it attaches too. Four bolts … 2 shears … ARGH. I was very careful and used tons of penetrant fluid but after turning about 2 revolutions (and thinking I had it made) SNAP :dizzy_face:



Vice grips didn’t work. I never have any luck drilling out bolts, snapped of a drill bit on the top bolt.
ANY good ideas ?? For me it’s the little things like this that make big jobs so hard.

Grooveman, sorry to hear about this latest setback. Larry (abercanadian) experienced the same issue recently, maybe he will chime in with something helpful:

Thanks Mike …

I actually read Larry’s post about the water rail and ordered two X300 gaskets yesterday. I know I’ll get those two sheared bolts out one way or another, it’s just a matter of how much grief I’ll have to endure :smiley:

Also, while I was looking around I noticed that the starter wasn’t installed properly, it was slightly cocked and actually held on by one of the two mounting bolts. Since it’s now So-o-o easy to get to I decided to pull it (it is 30 years old after all) and have it rebuilt. But I found a great video online (I love Youtube) with a German gentleman rebuilding the exact same Bosch starter. So that’s what I plan on doing and yet another detour on my Jag Journey.

If you have an arc welder, you can hook the ground clamp close to the broken stud, then hook the positive clamp to the stub, and briefly energize the welder.

Lacking that, a MAPP gas torch, played around the area of the stub, and gentle back-and-forth turns of the vice grips on the stub will get it loose.

Well, now’s definitely the time to do it, but…if you find a loose thread on your sweater do NOT pull it lest you end up with a pile of yarn!

MIKE :smiley: I know exactly where you’re coming from !

First I stared at the water rail and said to myself “Hey it hasn’t leaked in 30 years so why worry about it now AND the bolts may shear”. But then the inner car demon in me said “30 years is a long-g-g time NOT to leak … change it while you can and don’t worry about the bolts”. I HATE MY CAR DEMON !!

Where are my %$!# car demons while I’m trying to get these sheared bolts out.



Oh, they’re right over your shoulder, cheering for the stuck bolts…:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Mr Wiggles …

Thank you for a great belly laugh !

Oh boy, born under a bad sign …

yeah well, on my car, after tig welding on about 20 nuts on that broken water rail bolt and it still refusing to budge, final straw was getting it red hot with oxy-acetelene. This was all done by my friend Jim, as the car was 100km away from my place.

It finally came out bringing a bunch of balled up aluminum threads with it. Had to re-tap and use helicoil inserts to repair …actually, helicoiled all four.

Hope yours are easier to remove!

Try the MAPP torch and also purchase a freeze can, play the MAPP around the stud area and once thats nice and warm spray the stud with the freeze can; this in NZ but its CRC so available most places I would think;

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At least they didn’t break off flush with the block. I’m a proponent of welding a nut on each one and going about it that way. Those are the worst bolts on the entire engine to get out I’d say. Good luck.

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What a pain in the Buttinsky that job was !! Totally frustrating !! Grown men don’t cry … HA!

Since I didn’t have access to a welder (which would have been my 1st choice) I moved on to plan B …
Drilling out the bolts. Surprisingly I managed to get both bolts drilled dead center. Then I went with an easy out and it didn’t work on either bolt and just to spite me broke off in one of the holes. I finally managed to get that out and carefully continued to completely drilled out both bolts.

Hey, I’m home free :smiley:

Not so fast Bunky ! While I was VERY carefully Tapping one of the holes (turn the tap a little bit then back off and apply cutting oil)… the tap broke off in the hole !! And this baby DID NOT want to come out. So I called the crisis hot line and told her my problem. She asked me “What model Jaguar do you have?”. When I told her an XJ40 she said “Serves you right”, laughed and hung up.

With the judicious use of about 50 small drill bits (all who are now in drill bit heaven) and hours of work I finally got the tap out.

The really surprising thing is that both holes rethreaded very nicely and I didn’t need to use a Helicoil or
oversized tap.

But as the old saying goes “All’s well that ends well!” … Right !



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“Son, two words: anti and seize.”

Paul …

No kidding I wish you would have told that to Nigel (the guy who originally installed all the Jaguar water rails) :grinning:

If I ever have to do that job again I’m going in with the JAWS OF LIFE !!

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Nice job Grooveman, perseverance and the satisfaction of conquering the challenge yourself.:+1:

Hey, great going! - You’re a better man than I am Gunga Din!

My God did you get lucky! That could have gone much worse than it did for you.

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