Here's the bracket from the passenger (right) side front brakes on my Subaru Impreza. Both (17mm) bolt heads snapped off when I tried to remove them using a socket using manual pressure only, no impact wrench, though I couldn't budge them with just the ratchet and had to use a breaker bar (which deserves its name...)

enter image description here

enter image description here

Fortunately although the heads came off, I was replacing the rotor anyway and so could get the bracket out with the rotor. So the bolt stubs are available to hopefully grip & get them out.

Looking for advice on how to proceed with this from here. I've already started to soak these using PB blaster - should I try to spin these out using eg a vice-grip and the bracket in a bench vice? Use heat? Some other method?

I would ideally like to preserve the bracket. But if the advice is just to replace it that is by no means unacceptable.

Also when I eventually go to reassemble this, should I use something like Permatex anti-seize to prevent future problems?


1 Answer 1


Those are some badly rusted brackets...

I would not use heat to loose the bolts, as that will seriously weaken the bracket. Those means are for parts that will be discarded anyway.

To remodel them you need to

  • drill out the stubs, as I see no chance to remove them by other means. The "blockade" is strong enough to shear off a 10mm shaft, so vice grips or other means will be futile.
  • re-tap the holes, most likely some Heli-coils will be needed
  • get new, matching bolts
  • remove the rust from the guide slots

It depends on the value of your time and your skill on drilling and re-tapping. I personally would get two new brackets.

I do not know if the use of anti seize is acceptable here. While it will prevent future rust-blocking of the bolts, it lowers the friction of them, raising the possibility of loose bolts, especially if one drops the anti-seize on the flanges of the bracket. And the front brakes are not really places where one should perform experiments.

  • Thanks for pointing about about heat causing weakness. I didn't think that relatively low heat could do that (I would use propane, not anything hotter like O/A). Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 12:15
  • It could work with propane, I don't know. Given the work involved I'd just use new brackets. But that is just me
    – Martin
    Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 21:42
  • I have used a heli-coil with good success on caliper brackets. Be sure to line up the drill bit to be exactly along the axis of the broken bolt.
    – John Canon
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 5:45
  • I did end up replacing the brackets, even in a bench vice I haven't been able to turn the stubs out, and drilling didn't see worth the effort. The new bolts BTW actually came with thread locker factory applied. Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 11:00
  • Good. I suppose the threadlocker will prevent rust creeping in. While still locking the threads in sum it should make it easier to remove the bolts in the future.
    – Martin
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 15:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .