How to remove a stripped anti theft wheel bolt or stud

Yesterday I went to remove the front wheel on my car which is a saab 9-3.

This car has alloy wheels and one bolt on each wheel does not have a standard hex head but has three holes set in a strange pattern. The car is supplied with a matching nut which has pins that match the pattern. When you want to remove the wheel you plug the special nut into the bolt on the wheel and unscrew it in the usual way.

When I got the special nut or key out of the spare wheel well I noticed that the pins were at a slight angle as though the key had been over tightened by an over enthusiastic tyre fitter.

With a sense of foreboding I inserted the device in the bolt on the wheel, applied pressure to my strong bar and socket  to un-slaken it and sure enough it jumped out causing damage to the bolt.

Several more attempts made the damage worse and the bolt would not budge.

Eventually I came up with an idea which worked.

Look at the pictures to see what I did.

Basically I placed the special nut on the wheel bolt along with a 17mm socket and a Britool short extension which has a hole through it. I then got a large flat spanner and chained it to the alloy wheel. The large spanner was placed across the socket extension and then a G-cramp was used to pull the spanner down onto the wheel. The idea was that the special key would not then be able to jump out of the holes in the bolt. The pictures explain it better.

You will see the  rod with a tube over the end (jack handle) ready to unslacken the wheel bolt. As the bold unscrews it increases the pressure exerted by the spanner by the action of it coming out. You will need to release the pressure on the G-cramp a little as you unscrew it, but not too quickly!

When you get the damaged bolt out you can weld a nut to the special face to repair it.

By the way a traditional method for sorting this problem is to weld a nut on the bolt end but on the saab there is no access because the bolts are set deep in the alloy wheel and it is hard to weld in there.

Here is a zoomed in picture of the setup : –

 

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