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A year and a half ago, I put a new radio into my 2012 Ford E-350. This week, I needed to take it out in order to fix some other things.

When I tried to use my ratchet to remove the screws, three of the four screw heads snapped off. I have tried to use a pair of pliers to turn the remaining portion of one of the screws, but all I manage to do is further snap it. I'm really not keen to do that to the other two as well. (These are the original OEM radio screws.)

snapped on left side

snapped on right side

How can I remove the remaining pieces to be able to replace them with new screws?

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  • Are they threaded into speednuts? Any thread locking compound involved?
    – MTA
    Aug 20, 2023 at 20:33
  • @MTA Yes, they are threaded into speed nuts. If I can find the correct size replacements, I will cut the speed nuts in half so I can remove them. No thread locking compound, just dissimilar metals - the nuts look like brass, and I can't tell what the screws are made of. (I've also never seen such weak screws on any other vehicle.)
    – Moshe Katz
    Aug 20, 2023 at 20:40
  • Have you tried adding a little oil to the nuts?
    – HandyHowie
    Aug 21, 2023 at 5:48
  • @HandyHowie I'm concerned about it dripping into the climate control and power plug wiring directly below, or damaging the dashboard plastic (something the can I have specifically warns about).
    – Moshe Katz
    Aug 21, 2023 at 10:12
  • When you said "These are the original OEM radio screws" did you mean you re-used the original screws from the factory fitting, or they were new screws supplied with the replacement radio. If the former, you may have over stressed them. Aug 21, 2023 at 16:53

1 Answer 1

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That's one of the doggone-est things I've ever seen!

Speednuts are available at hardware stores or online.

If you can cut a slot in the squared end of the speednut with a Dremel cutoff wheel, then insert a flat blade screwdriver between the front and back of the speednut and twist hard, you may deform the threaded portion of the speednut enough to break the bond with the screw so that you can turn the screw with pliers.

Times four.

If twisting hard doesn't do it, use a small chisel as a wedge between front and back of the speednut.

Once the speednut is cut, there's also the option of inserting a hacksaw blade between front and back of the speednut so you can cut the screw. Wrap the blade in tape, saw with teeth facing the "pull" direction. If a hacksaw blade is too wide to fit, grind off the back edge or buy a small sabre saw blade with hacksaw teeth and hold it with vise grip pliers. Slow and steady wins the race.

Good luck!

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  • I was able to use a large flathead screwdriver as a pry bar to deform the nuts enough to break them in half by wiggling them back and forth to stress the metal, then removal of each half was easy.
    – Moshe Katz
    Nov 10, 2023 at 3:00

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