Trick For Allen Head Bolts
Apr 07, 2010
Allen head bolts and plugs are common on the hydraulic systems of sprayers and planters, so here's a tip to avoid stripping out the heads of those aggravating fasteners this spring.
Use an allen head socket rather than a L-shaped allen wrench. Put that allen head socket on a breaker bar. Insert the hex end of the allen socket into the allen bolt to be removed. Apply steady counter-clockwise pressure to the breaker bar handle, as you repeatedly smack with a hammer the end of the breaker bar holding the socket. Imagine you're driving the allen socket into the allen head bolt. (You can use a regular 3/8- or 1/2-inch ratchet wrench, but beating on the back of the head of a ratchet wrench tends to be hard on the ratcheting mechanism. I've found breaker bars are much more forgiving about this sort of abuse.)
The downward impact not only forces the allen socket deeper into the bolt and reduces the chance of it twisting out, but also magically loosen rusty, over-tightened threads. I'd say that 9 out of 10 allen bolts that were too tight to loosen normally without fear of stripping out the allen head release after the third or fourth blow with a hammer.