HOW TO: Cook Box Frozen Bolt Removal


 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
WHAT: This is a How To on one method of removing the frozen bolt in the cast aluminum cook boxes of various Weber grills.

WHY: The cook box mounting bolt as well as the manifold mounting bolts tend to corrode due to aluminum and steel being in close proximity to each other. The dissimilar metals react with each other, aggravated by multiple heating cycles and soon the steel bolts in the cook boxes become frozen or rusted or oxidized in place. Trying to remove the bolts, even if they are in good shape tends to lead to twisting them off before the bolt will loosen. This requires remediation measures to get the bolt out. This How To will show you my first choice method to remove the bolts. This method is somewhat controversial in that it has been known to cause the cast aluminum cook box to crack or shatter. I have only ever cracked one cook box in the past and it wasn't while trying to remove a frozen bolt. I want you to know that it is a possibility and unless you are willing to risk destroying your cook box, you might want to try an alternate method first. I use this method first because it is expedient and quite often effective. I also have access to replacement cook boxes if needed.

WHAT YOU NEED:
o Genesis gas grill cook box with a frozen bolt
o Quality punch
o Hammer
o Hearing protection
o Eye Protection
o Solid work surface

Here is a video I did when I did the bolt removal on a Genesis Silver B cook box with the left side mounting bolt frozen in the cook box. It might be a good idea to soak the bolt a couple times with a good penetrant prior to trying to punch it out, but the whole point is to get it out and get on with your rehab project.


Again, this is one method. Not the only method. Just the method I use as my initial attempt to remove the frozen bolts.
 

Joe Anshien

TVWBB Emerald Member
Nice video. I would never have tried that but will now if I need to, thanks. Do you think it would work on the manifold bolts? On the Gen 5 I am working on, it had what were probably the original thumb screws. I soaked them and vice gripped back and forth and eventually got them out without breaking - Yah me. I was surprised that they were actually threaded into the box. No nuts. I got replacement SS 1/4 20 bolts I believe, and threaded them from the inside out to remount the manifold. I don't think the cook box to frame bolt is threaded as I recall. I am sure you have done about 100x the amount I have so correct me if not all the same. 99% of my grills are flippers so I don't even take the box off the frame unless it needs a new bolt or I need to fix some rust.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
You have to be careful with the manifold bolts. Some of them were actually pressed in or threaded in and pounding them out will not work. Likely, your only option with those is drilling them out. But, that is another "HOW TO".
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Gotta also b careful with hammers around cast aluminum as well. After many heat/cool cycles it can become very brittle and can shatter. Ask me how I know :D
 

Chris Binny

TVWBB Fan
Another naive question. When it shatters, does it come apart like a broken glass jar, or just crack all over the place, but still remain in one piece? Just have never seen it. Not trying to bring back bad memories though...
 

AndySo

TVWBB Member
wear hearing protection, good god that cookbox rattles your brain when you hammer on it or use a impact driver.
 

Joe Anshien

TVWBB Emerald Member
Well it turns out that your 2 videos came in very handy today. Thank You for doing them. Even though the Mrs and I had a nice day in Williamsburg, the Silver with side burner for free was not such a great deal. I have to be more selective. I did not realize it was missing drip tray, pan, rails, regulator, tank hanger (even the spot where it mounts is gone). Needs burners and bars. It did come with grates that could be salvageable but not sure yet. Any way the bolt broke holding box to frame snapped so I did a modified Bruce. Instead of cutting the head of the bolt that was still there flush with the firebox, I gave it some PB Blaster and hammered it and it eventually just popped out. Much easier than cutting and using a punch. Plus the box is not in great shape, and to tell you the truth if it broke it probably would save me a lot of time and money. Next was the rail bolts. The Bruce method got 3 of the 4 out. The 4th stripped and needed a torch and vice grips. Again I was kind of hoping the box would break as a sign;-). Oh and did I mention that it looks like the knuckle head painted the lid flat black. Well I am off to the hardware store for a new frame to box bolt and Epoxy putty for the firebox and the drip pan on my Gen 5.
 

Jim C in Denver

TVWBB All-Star
Bruce -- I have a brand new Silver B cook box (Weber life time warranty!!) to install using my two thumbs and lame tool set. I don't need to preserve the old cook box. Just need to get the old box out without damaging the frame.

Best way to do that without access to fancy power tools? I can borrow a dremel from a neighbor if needed.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
A small dremel probably won't work, but they make bigger ones that should be able to do the job.
A trip to Harbor freight will get you an angle grinder and a pack of cut off disks for about $15 to $20. Pretty handy tool IMO.

But, first, try twisting the bolt off. If the head of the bolt is in good shape, Grab a good 7/16" wrench and keep putting pressure until it twists off, then the cook box should come out just fine. If the bolt head is toast, then a good locking pliers (Vice Grips) might do it for you.
 

Joe Anshien

TVWBB Emerald Member
Bruce -- I have a brand new Silver B cook box (Weber life time warranty!!) to install using my two thumbs and lame tool set. I don't need to preserve the old cook box. Just need to get the old box out without damaging the frame.

Best way to do that without access to fancy power tools? I can borrow a dremel from a neighbor if needed.
How is there a lifetime warranty on a weber cookbox?
 

BPratt

TVWBB Pro
How is there a lifetime warranty on a weber cookbox?
Hi Joe, register your grills with Weber. Once it’s registered you can see the warranty. There is a Weber app. The firebox and lids have lifetime or 25 year warranties on the old grills. I think the new ones have a 10 year bumper to bumper

Registering the grills gives you access to the manual and schematics which is helpful for repair.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Just some FYI here. The weber warranty clearly states that the warranty only applies to the original owner. However, they don't often verify that when making a claim.
 

Joe Anshien

TVWBB Emerald Member
Hi Joe, register your grills with Weber. Once it’s registered you can see the warranty. There is a Weber app. The firebox and lids have lifetime or 25 year warranties on the old grills. I think the new ones have a 10 year bumper to bumper

Registering the grills gives you access to the manual and schematics which is helpful for repair.
 

Joe Anshien

TVWBB Emerald Member
Most of them are flippers so I don't. Thanks, I had no idea the old ones had such a long warranty. I did just register this grill, and should be getting a new cook box! After I spent all that time getting the screws out of the old one;-( While there I ordered the drip pan $38, Drip pan and holder for $29. I plan on giving this to a friend as a house warming gift. Now the only problem is that I just found out that someone had converted this to NG and I have to convert it back. I do have 3 LP valves I believe but would have to play swapsies on the manifold. I wonder if anyone would want to swap manifolds. Why do I do this;-) Do you guys recycle the old cook boxes? Maybe I'll see if my wife wants a new planter.:unsure:
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Scrappers love aluminum. But, yah, if you put in some kind of bottom, it would make a neat planter.
 

BrandonHudson

TVWBB Fan
Most of them are flippers so I don't. Thanks, I had no idea the old ones had such a long warranty. I did just register this grill, and should be getting a new cook box! After I spent all that time getting the screws out of the old one;-( While there I ordered the drip pan $38, Drip pan and holder for $29. I plan on giving this to a friend as a house warming gift. Now the only problem is that I just found out that someone had converted this to NG and I have to convert it back. I do have 3 LP valves I believe but would have to play swapsies on the manifold. I wonder if anyone would want to swap manifolds. Why do I do this;-) Do you guys recycle the old cook boxes? Maybe I'll see if my wife wants a new planter.:unsure:
I have a set of propane valves I pulled off my 05 Genesis. I drilled the orifices for NG, but if you have want them I'd love the NG set (if its an official Weber set).

I'll prob have a set of unmolested propane valves in the next few weeks too
 

 

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