Best approach to removing the firebox bolt?

AlexDeDios

New member
Hi all,

I picked up a Genesis Silver B ('05??) and started my first restore (to be a keeper along side my GenII LX E-240). I've managed to get everything apart from the frame. That cross member was severely rusted so I had no issues removing the firebox from the frame. :rolleyes:

Anyhow what is the best approach to get this bolt out based on these pics. Should I angle grind the bolt off flush to drill out? Is there a chance I can somehow rotate it out? I've PB Blasted it a few times already. Also, if drilling out is the only option, do you guys drill out from the inside out? Or from the outside in? I've already researched the replacement strategy SS carriage bolts and nuts with anti-seize facing out (thanks LMichaels).





Thanks for any advice! Looking forward to restoring this Silver B and comparing its performance to my pseudo-USA-made LX.
 

THyde

TVWBB All-Star
That bolt will break if you try to turn it out. You should break it that way, then you will need to drill it out.

Remember, the bolt is steel and the firebox is aluminum, so the drill will go through the aluminum much faster and easier.

I'd break that bolt off, dremel it as close to the box as you can.

Start with small drill bits and drill that bugger out.

Patience is your friend.

Patience is your friend.

Patience is your friend.

I'm saying it over and over maybe more for me than for you, but:

Patience is your friend.

Slainte!

Tim
 

Kelvin in AB

TVWBB Fan
Apply penetrating oil, as close to the threads as possible. Allow it to drip around the bolt and eventually work into the threaded portion. Let the oil work for several hours before attempting to extract the bolt.

Tighten a pair of locking pliers until the teeth fit securely around the remaining part of the bolt. Clamp the locking pliers around the bolt and turn them. Repeat this process several times. If it does not work, go to the next step.

Heat up the bolt and a small portion of the surrounding aluminum metal with a propane torch. Hold the torch a few inches from the bolt so the flame touches only the bolt and about 1/4 inch of space around it. Wait until the metal turns red-hot. Remove the torch and allow the bolt and surface to cool.

Attach the locking pliers to the bolt once again after it is sufficiently cool, after about 10 to 20 minutes. Turn the broken bolt until it comes free. If this is unsuccessful go to the next step.

File down the top of the bolt with a metal file until the surface is perfectly flat. Place a bolt removal bit on this flat surface. Turn the bit until it locks into the bolt. Twist the bit back to the left to turn the bolt and remove it from the metal.
 

G Schafer

TVWBB Fan
I had no luck with the penetrating oil and heat method on mine. I reapplied the penetrating oil every day for a week, and then applied heat around the bolt. Finally I gave up and filed the surface of the bolt flat to make it easier to center punch the bolt. Then a small drill bit was used and I carefully drilled it down the center all the way through from the outside in. Then I used increasingly larger bits until the hole was big enough for the replacement bolt.
I used a spring loaded center punch. I've read that the firebox can be brittle enough that it's possible to break them with too much hammering.

Gerry
 
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LMichaels

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Yep you read the brittle part right. When you're trying to remove a stuck bolt with heat heating the bolt will not help you. You need to heat the surrounding area so the metal holding it will expand and hopefully break the bond between the bolt and surrounding material. Once you do get it out go with a stainless steel bolt and nut and also use some Never Seize on the entire length of the bolt
 

Jason in CA

TVWBB All-Star
Everything I know tells me heating metal makes it expand. So wouldn't heating the bolt make it more difficult to remove? What Larry said makes more sense in my mind. Unless there is something I'm missing.
 

G Schafer

TVWBB Fan
Yes, that is correct, try not to heat the bolt. However, I believe aluminum expands at a faster rate than steel (correct me if I'm wrong), so heating the bolt as well as the surrounding aluminum should still help as long as you aren't concentrating the heat on the bolt.

Now, here is the question for the engineering types:

If you heat the area around the bolt, and not the whole side of the firebox, are we sure that the expanding aluminum is not expanding into the bolt, making it tighter? It's not like a nut where the whole nut will expand.

There is another school of thought that says heat the bolt and it will expand in the hole and stretch the aluminum and maybe crush some rust (constrained expansion?) and when it cools it will be looser.

Gerry
 
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AlexDeDios

New member
Thanks everyone! Restoring this Silver B is reminiscent of me working on my cars! I feel more confident though and also happy it's budget friendly with respect to modding/maintaining them.

I started with the heat method and Gerry...I had a similar train of thought. Heating the surrounding area or the bolt really is dependent on the metals. If the bolt was heated and expanded, it could have widened the or just tightened its contact to the firebox. Once it cooled, you could assume it would shrink a little.

In any case I tried a little of both with no luck. I decided to dremel both sides and then file as flush as possible. I also carved a X on the bolt to mark the spot for drilling lol. I was able to get a good pilot hole to continually enlarge and got to the 1/4" size and she cleaned out nicely. I'm going to make myself feel better and say the heating exercise helped make drilling it out easier lol. I will say I prefer tackling this than a broken manifold bolt!





Even got my little assistant to help drill it out



Seeing that it came out faster than expected I decided to Krud Cut and scrape the box a little. It cleaned up pretty well at the bottom but I wanted to clean up the top part a little better.


I happened to have a cup brush handy from a different project and after reading the best way to clean these fireboxes I decided to try using at the top half. I opened a can of worms because I liked the thorough cleaning. I also loved the idea of getting rid of the previous owners crud. I wasn't as thorough as some of you seasoned restorers but it came out clean enough I think.




And DEFINITELY wear a mask. I probably should have worn it during my initial scraping too...


I have to tackle repairing/replacing the frame crossmember next and then circle back to cleaning the lid. Thanks again everyone! This forum is too addicting for me...
 

G Schafer

TVWBB Fan
Nice work, and thanks for the pics!
Love the pic of Junior helping out. I got a couple of car projects too. I could use his help!
Gerry
 

Dave in KC

TVWBB All-Star
I'm going to have to use the technique twice on a Q3xxx this week.
I managed to snap off BOTH bolts that hold the burners.
Lemme tell ya, that really made my day. (Colorful language echoed throughout the neighborhood)
 

Dan Leighton

TVWBB Pro
Dave: I know what you mean. Today I had to replace a mint green painted panel on my wife's custom Elmira Stove #1956 which was rusting out due to manufacturing not being quality and the enameled paint being poor quality. They sent the replacement panel a few years back, but I just didn't want to get into it until the rust showed too much. I'd been putting if off, but today was the day while smoking some ribs. I figured I'd go the extra mile and clean the bottom draw out and the sides long hidden by the base cabinets. Got the panel replaced and everything reassembled until i went to put the bottom draw back in stove. I thought I had the draw in the glides, but I guess not. I broke both sides of the sliders with little bb sized ball bearings going everywhere. Even though a easy replacement (3 screws on each side) I may need a wheel chair to get the two sliders since the stove is "custom" and will mean "custom" prices. At least the one rack of ribs came out good.
 

AlexDeDios

New member
Thanks guys! I'm a total n00b but after a few months of reading and getting inspired about rehabbing these solid Webers I couldn't resist trying my hand at one. Especially since I want to use it as rotisserie with the E-W burner design. As much as I love my LX, I think its a little too small and configured incorrectly to be a good rotisserie.

Kelvin, I will be happy to share my experience as I go through this. I didn't realize how rusty the frame was until I started taking it apart but for $30 I was willing to take a chance since I planned on changing out all the internals (keeping manifold). I am missing a few things though like the bottom tray and left thermoset table piece. I have the doors though and am contemplating on making it an open design or if I should put the doors back on.

Dave, I feel for you. I was ready to spend a better part of the morning working that bolt. Thankfully, everyone's prior experience in encountering and handling this helped out tons. It doesn't minimize the expletives though lol.
 

THyde

TVWBB All-Star
Cursing helps a lot. Good job!

I have only rotisseried on my 2000, I never did it before on a "N/S" burner grill. That being said, the E/W burner configuration is AWESOME for rotisserie cooking.

May I recommend the Meater thermometer for the rotisserie? I have no affiliation with them except that I have one, and it is amazing for rotisserie cooks. You never have to open the lid, it gives you the internal meat temperature, and also the ambient temperature inside the grill. It will calculate remaining cook time too, which is really convenient when you are timing your sides. It's an incredible product that I cannot recommend enough.

We are looking forward to your progress!

Slainte!

Tim
 

AlexDeDios

New member
Thanks for the recommendation Tim! I will add that to the parts list as I move along. I can't believe I was able to get this far (getting the bolt out AND cleaning the inside). I was initially going to take my sweet old time. Now that it's getting consistently warm in our area I'm starting to get motivated on restoring this. Thankfully McMasters is 15min from me. I need to order stuff from Eastwood too. I have to stop reading too many restore threads...
 

THyde

TVWBB All-Star
Read the threads at night and do the work in the daylight.

Where in NJ? I'm in Bethlehem PA but from Jersey originally :)
 

AlexDeDios

New member
Nice! I’m in Central Jersey...just east of Princeton. Usually considered South Jersey by any northern NJ folks lol

As for this forum addiction it’s too tempting to read night and day since discovering it!
 

THyde

TVWBB All-Star
I spent many years in Whitehouse Station, Cranford, New Brunswick, Green Brook, Hoboken. I love NJ, but hate the costs and red tape involved there. Ended up going to college in PA and since then I've been here. Bethlehem is a really cool city, we have MusikFest, Celtic Fest and a lot of other local events and we have fully recovered from the closure of Bethlehem Steel. I have seen ZZ Top here multiple times, which might date me! I get living in Jersey, but at this age and with the flexibility I now have for my work, I just prefer PA. We live in a house built in 1928, and it is just a pleasure. This house in Jersey would cost 3 to 4 times what we paid here, especially in, say, Westfield or Princeton.

I'm always so conflicted though, because here in PA people don't understand traffic lights, turn signals or NYC. It's a different universe. They go to the poconos here for vacation, not the shore. And don't get me started on pizza or delis. It's abysmal here.

In any event, good luck with the grill!
 

LMichaels

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Alex, you're right with the N/S version being useless for rotisserie cooking. When I got my Summit 1st gen 450 I thought I would sell the Genesis but keep the rotisserie since it fit both grills. First thing I did was spin a chicken on the Summit. Total waste of my time. 1st and only HUGE disappointment in the Summit. Ends of the chicken were WAY over done by the time the middle was done. This was the start of my multi grill "addiction" :D BTW the second disappointment with the Summit and what has soured me completely forever on a new Weber grill was Weber itself. That was the fire box rusting out and Weber leaving me hanging with an "in warranty" grill that was VERY expensive and telling me they would not/could not help me because they did not produce repair parts any more. Then having the audacity to tell me they would give me a smokin' deal on a new Genesis LX but the smokin' deal was actually a higher price than in retail outlets.
So while I will/do buy a Weber here and there I will NEVER lay down the hard earned $$$ for a new one that they ask, and of course the final Coup de gras was them off shoring to China.
 

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