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      08-24-2017, 08:03 AM   #1
DreamTime
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Tips for getting a stuck front rotor off

I guess the title says it all… Worked on replacing my front rotors last night, and clearly these things have not been removed for a while, the screws wouldn’t even come out or move really at all. This is the first time I have done rotors, so any suggestions from people who have more experience are greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
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      08-24-2017, 08:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamTime View Post
I guess the title says it all… Worked on replacing my front rotors last night, and clearly these things have not been removed for a while, the screws wouldn’t even come out or move really at all. This is the first time I have done rotors, so any suggestions from people who have more experience are greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
When you say screws you mean the Allen heads that keep rotors on the hub? Mine took some extra leverage but you have to be careful since they're known for stripping. I have allen head wrenches that are like a T handle so they helped a ton. If you're using just a regular allen head you may need something longer for extra leverage. Once you get them off make sure you clean the hub thoroughly so the new rotor sits flush
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      08-24-2017, 09:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
When you say screws you mean the Allen heads that keep rotors on the hub? Mine took some extra leverage but you have to be careful since they're known for stripping. I have allen head wrenches that are like a T handle so they helped a ton. If you're using just a regular allen head you may need something longer for extra leverage. Once you get them off make sure you clean the hub thoroughly so the new rotor sits flush
Yes, maybe screw isn't the right word... Wasn't exactly sure what the f***ing thing was I couldn't even get it out lol. Tonight after work I am going to a different friend's house who has a better selection of tools. I am determined to get this done today. If they do end up getting stripped, would there be somewhere in town that I could buy some replacements? Or is that something I would need to order?
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      08-24-2017, 09:18 AM   #4
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Drive it with the wheel off. Should loosen
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      08-24-2017, 10:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
When you say screws you mean the Allen heads that keep rotors on the hub? Mine took some extra leverage but you have to be careful since they're known for stripping. I have allen head wrenches that are like a T handle so they helped a ton. If you're using just a regular allen head you may need something longer for extra leverage. Once you get them off make sure you clean the hub thoroughly so the new rotor sits flush
Yes, maybe screw isn't the right word... Wasn't exactly sure what the f***ing thing was I couldn't even get it out lol. Tonight after work I am going to a different friend's house who has a better selection of tools. I am determined to get this done today. If they do end up getting stripped, would there be somewhere in town that I could buy some replacements? Or is that something I would need to order?
I'm not sure they're available local unless you have a bmw dealer nearby. I'd probably just go ahead and get replacements before you start to be safe.
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      08-24-2017, 10:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
Drive it with the wheel off. Should loosen
Lmao. You sir, need to stay away from my car.

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I'm not sure they're available local unless you have a bmw dealer nearby. I'd probably just go ahead and get replacements before you start to be safe.
I just called the dealer right up the street, I'm going to stop by over lunch and grab some. Good lookin' out
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      08-24-2017, 11:48 AM   #7
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Got to get the female hex retaining bolt out. Might be 6mm. Keep your tool square to avoid stripping. Use penetrant. If you do strip it you may have to hammer a hex socket into it. Ugly situation. If the bolt is that bad the rotor will be corroded to the hub. I would use penetrant, then whack around the circumference with a mini sledge.
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      08-24-2017, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
Got to get the female hex retaining bolt out. Might be 6mm. Keep your tool square to avoid stripping. Use penetrant. If you do strip it you may have to hammer a hex socket into it. Ugly situation. If the bolt is that bad the rotor will be corroded to the hub. I would use penetrant, then whack around the circumference with a mini sledge.
Thanks, you always give me such great advice! I will do all of these things. Yeah, it's pretty stuck... I thought rotors would be a pretty simple thing to do, but I learned last night that little things can turn the easy jobs turn into a serious PITA. I was sore and filthy by the end of the night and nothing had been accomplished... lol. That's okay though, I am becoming super familiar with my brakes after doing front pads a couple weeks ago then taking everything apart last night just to put it all back together again.
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      08-24-2017, 12:48 PM   #9
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My way is quicker
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      08-24-2017, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamTime View Post
Yes, maybe screw isn't the right word... Wasn't exactly sure what the f***ing thing was I couldn't even get it out lol. Tonight after work I am going to a different friend's house who has a better selection of tools. I am determined to get this done today. If they do end up getting stripped, would there be somewhere in town that I could buy some replacements? Or is that something I would need to order?
ECS sells stainless steel replacements.
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      08-24-2017, 05:58 PM   #11
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My way is quicker
I'm pretty sure you still have to stay away from OP's car, although I'm not sure why as it would be quicker than all other suggestions offered.
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      08-24-2017, 06:06 PM   #12
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I'm an expert. I drive a race car flat out
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      08-24-2017, 10:51 PM   #13
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Thank you everyone for the helpful and also hilarious comments! So very appreciated Update: The bolts were stripped, but we successfully changed the front rotors tonight... 3 things - PB blaster, a t35 torx bit, and a hammer. So happy!!
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      08-24-2017, 11:02 PM   #14
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Nice work. Next time will be easier. Anti seize on that bolt is fine doesn't have to be reefed on there
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      08-25-2017, 07:29 AM   #15
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I have hammered a torx head into a stripper hex head before. And spent a day doing a 2 hour job. The life of a DIYer but it gets better over the years as you do more and learn.
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      08-25-2017, 08:32 AM   #16
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You just need the right tool.


https://www.harborfreight.com/impact...ase-37530.html
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      08-25-2017, 09:15 AM   #17
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You just need the right tool.
Yup ^^
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      08-25-2017, 09:59 AM   #18
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Next time you need advice, ask this girl. I always text to to find out what I should not do.
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      08-25-2017, 12:48 PM   #19
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Next time you need advice, ask this girl. I always text to to find out what I should not do.
She's actually correct. Ask me how I know. I googled it.
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      08-25-2017, 01:26 PM   #20
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As pbonsalb suggested, soak the bolt in penetrant. Do so immediately after driving the car when there is still some heat in the brakes, or use a heat gun to warm up the rotor.

As tdott said, that impact driver tool usually works, but can also tend to strip head (or snap the bit) if you don't get it on the first try. Definitely a great tool to have around though, if you can keep the bits in one piece!

If nothing else works, you can piece a long bolt, nut and a few washers together and wedge the rotor off the hub as shown in my AMAZING MSPaint diagram below.

Name:  remove stuck rotor.jpg
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      08-25-2017, 10:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdott View Post
You just need the right tool.
Awesome! For $9 it would be just silly for me not to buy this. Making it easy on me with the link too, thanks!

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Next time you need advice, ask this girl. I always text to to find out what I should not do.
Oh God. Someone needs to stop her... she's making the rest of us look bad.

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Originally Posted by SpartaEvolution View Post
As pbonsalb suggested, soak the bolt in penetrant. Do so immediately after driving the car when there is still some heat in the brakes, or use a heat gun to warm up the rotor.

As tdott said, that impact driver tool usually works, but can also tend to strip head (or snap the bit) if you don't get it on the first try. Definitely a great tool to have around though, if you can keep the bits in one piece!

If nothing else works, you can piece a long bolt, nut and a few washers together and wedge the rotor off the hub as shown in my AMAZING MSPaint diagram below.

Attachment 1680558
Yes, having a good penetrant made a big difference. The first night all I had access to was WD-40. Needless to say, that did not help much. The second night I had pb blaster and the first thing we did after taking the wheels off was go after those bolts just to see if we could get them off before doing all the other work. The rotors were still hot from driving, which I guess helped. And, I love the diagram, it IS amazing!! Thank you for taking the time to do that! I'm going to save this info just in case I need it at a later date.
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      08-25-2017, 11:03 PM   #22
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Worst case on the hex screw is to drill the head off of it, slide the rotor off which leaves enough of the threads that a really good pair of channel locks can take it off if you don't have the impact tool. I usually just use my 1/4" dewalt impact driver on them. It is enough to break it loose but not totally strip out the hex. It it also a good idea to use a die grinder or deemed to square it off befor you try the channel locks. And if you can, use penetrating lube the day before and let it sit a day if you can!
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