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How to Remove Broken Exhaust Stud from Cylinder Head

March 3, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

If you’ve ever had to remove a broken exhaust stud in your car’s cylinder head, you should know how time-consuming and frustrating it can be.

A broken stud can cause leaks and even hinder installing a new exhaust system properly. More reason why you should go slow while tightening or losing stud bolts.

Luckily, we’ve provided easy steps to remove a broken exhaust stud from a cylinder head without damaging the head or its surrounding components.

N.B: Before embarking on this repair, it’s important you note that this can be a delicate process that’ll require precision and patience. If you don’t feel confident about removing the broken stud by yourself, it’s best you call the attention of a mechanic.

Continue reading to remove a broken exhaust stud from a cylinder head.


How do you get a broken bolt out of a cylinder head?

A broken exhaust stud/bolt can be removed from the cylinder head by either welding or drilling. Welding is faster but requires a moderate knowledge of welding. Meanwhile, drilling may take some time, but the stud bolt should be off quickly with the right tool and guide.

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For this reason, we’ll only be learning how to remove a broken bolt via drilling as it’s less disastrous; we’ll advise you to seek the help of a welder to get a perfect welding job and prevent damage.

Moreover, you’ll need a lot of equipment and tools for the welding process, which you may not necessarily use after getting the stuck bolt off the cylinder head.

Here’s how to drill a stuck stud out of a cylinder head.


  • A Drill (A right-angle drill)
  • Drill bits (Titanium Drill bits and left-handed drill bits)
  • A center punch (square)
  • Hammer
  • Socket Wrench
  • A reverse Drill (Optional)
  • Easy out extractor set or a Torque socket
  • Safety Glasses and gloves

Once the above-needed equipment for the drilling is ready, follow the below step to remove the broken bolt without removing the cylinder.

  1. Put on your safety clothing.
  2. Use a center punch to mark the center of the broken stud. You can do this by placing the center punch in the middle of the broken stud and tapping it with a hammer to create markings. This will help guide your drill bit as you drill into the stud.
  3. Create a small hole using the Drill at a right angle. Using a drill bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the broken stud, begin drilling into the center of the stud. Apply steady pressure and be careful not to let the drill bit wander off-center.
  4. Remove metal chips from the cylinder by blowing air. This will create a clean work background and prevent metal chips from getting stuck.
  5. Insert the Easy-Out or Torque socket into the drilled hole in the cylinder head and hammer it to give it a firm grip.
  6. Attach a socket wrench and use it to turn the socket to the right. This will take some time, but the stuck bolt should be off in a few minutes of spinning.
  7. Alternatively, to step 3, you can use the reverse Drill to get the stuck bolt out of the cylinder head.
  8. You can install the exhaust manifold onto the cylinder head with new stud bolts.
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That’s it.

Remember to take your time and be patient; if you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s always best to seek the help of a mechanic.

You can watch the below video guide if you need more help understanding the above stud removal procedure.


How do you get a broken stud out of an aluminum head?

Two ways to get a broken stud out of an aluminum head exist. The first method is by drilling, and the second method is welding. Welding should only be done by professionals; meanwhile, drilling can be done quickly with either drill bits, hammers, socket wrench, and a center punch from the comfort of your home.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.