I got an exhaust and I was putting it on my car (2013 wrx) and had to disconnect the exhaust after the midpipe. The bolts were rusted so I PB blasted them, and then got one set of bolts off. When I went to the next set I stripped the head of one of the bolts with my wrench and now it can't grip the bolt at all.

What is the best way to get this bolt out that does't involve heating or any sparks like a grinder due to the close proximity to the gas lines?

I was thinking a nut splitter and if that doesn't work make a flat head screwdriver groove in the bolts with a hacksaw.

  • 2
    Not really home improvement, and sparks are no problem if your gas lines are not leaking, in which case you ought to fix those first. Pro exhaust guys use grinders and torches all the time. A nut splitter might do you with no sparks, if you insist.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 16:35
  • Sorry I looked up DIY and this came up. But yes they are not leaking. However I don't have them on hand so seems like nut splitter then.
    – jgr208
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 16:36
  • If using a wrench broke the head, then you need something stronger than that to get it out - but I think a nut splitter circumvents the situation. It'll probably save you a lot of frustration to do it with a splitter. Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 14:19
  • By stripped do you mean you rounded the head?
    – Zaid
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 6:47
  • Could explain the state of the stud or take a photograph and post it? Is it sheared off at the surface of the head? Is any sticking out? Is it difficult to access? Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 23:12

3 Answers 3


Vise grips not an option? Crank them down pretty tight, and it should turn.

  • I dont have them but I do have locking pliers
    – jgr208
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 18:03

I'd consider using a Dremel with an abrasive wheel. Yes, it will spark a bit but you should be able to protect the line with a rag or something. You can easily cut a slow with it.


Those gas lines really shouldn't be a problem. Unless you are hitting them right on with MAPP Gas you won't have a problem.

What I did to remove my exhaust bolts was run the car until it warms up, then hit the bolt with some MAPP Gas from a torch, and hammered a socket that was 1mm smaller than the size of the bolt on it. Came off no problem after that.

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