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Unread 06-04-2015, 01:03 AM   #1
Not Yet Wild
Columbia
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: FVR, Wisconsin
Posts: 5
Default broken set screw

I have broken the set screw on the bottom of my right fork tube on a 1983 columbia golf cart...it is broken flush with the bottom of my fork tube, and I cant figure out how to get it out....any advice? Thank you for any help.
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Unread 06-04-2015, 06:31 AM   #2
Gone Wild
Cushman
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Central North Carolina
Posts: 418
Default Re: broken set screw

Welcome to BGW. Please take the time to fill out your profile - go to "User CP" in the left end of the second dark blue line at the top of this page.

I don't know much about Columbia Carts, but if you can remove the fork tube from the cart and take it to a workbench it will make removing the set screw much easier.

Are you certain that the broken screw was a true set screw? I ask this because set screws are extremely hard and don't break easily. Someone may have replaced a missing set screw with a standard bolt and then broke it off in the hole. If it's a standard bolt, then you can carefully use a reverse twist drill bit to drill a hole in the center of it. Sometimes the act of drilling the hole with this special drill bit will cause it to back out. If you get the hole drilled and it still hasn't backed out, you can use a small EZ Out type tool to back the broken piece out. EZ Out bits or other similar screw removal bits are designed with coarse reverse threads and are tapered so they will grab the inside of the hole that you drilled so you can turn the screw piece out. Use WD-40, CRC or some other penetrating oil to lubricate it during this whole process.

Real set screws are very hard and a drill bit will not drill a hole in one. The only certain way that I know of to remove them cleanly is to have a machine shop EDM (Electric Discharge Machine) it out. Have you attempted to hit it out with a hammer and small chisel, hitting it on the edge so as to back it out counter clockwise? Is there anything left of the Allen wrench hole in the set screw? If there is a bit of the Allen wrench hole left you can sometimes get a small EZ Out bit to work.

None of this process is easy, and it sometimes results in permanent damage to the part that the broken screw is stuck in. You have to be as careful as you can to avoid damaging anything but the broken screw. You should also know that sometimes these screws cannot be removed due to the amount of damage and small size of the screw. Before you destroy everything it's best to realize that it's beyond your abilities and take it to a machine shop for their professional help.

Good luck. Please tell us (me) how this turns out.

Charley
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Unread 06-04-2015, 11:24 AM   #3
Not Yet Wild
Columbia
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: FVR, Wisconsin
Posts: 5
Default Re: broken set screw

Thank you for your advice. All help is greatly appreciated. It is definitly a set screw, and the end with the hex hole and lock nut broke off flush with the bottom of the fork tube. I have already tried to use an easy out, but like you said, the hard set screw core made it impossible to drill into it at all. The easy out just moved all over the place without even putting a scratch on the thing, even after trying to center punch it. I dont know about the machine shop idea....not sure the cart is worth it, but I will consider it, and I will certainly post my results whatever choice I make. Again, thank you for taking the time to offer some help.
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Unread 06-04-2015, 12:16 PM   #4
Gone Wild
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,803
Default Re: broken set screw

It looks like vintagegolfcartparts.com sells the tube that the set screw is in so you can always just replace that side of your fork rather than killing yourself trying to get that screw out.

If all else failed a more radical option would be to cut that tube above the axle hole and grab that screw from the top. Obviously, that tube would have to be welded back together when done. I have a mig welder that I am pretty proficient with and I am pretty sure that I could pull this off. That said I would probably have a "pro" welder do it to make sure that it was a great weld. The old adage is that a good weld is stronger the the metal surrounding it so I think you would be ok if the weld was solid.

Still, I would opt for replacing that side of the fork first and would only cut if absolutely no other option existed.

Just trying to throw some options out there.
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Unread 06-04-2015, 04:51 PM   #5
Not Yet Wild
Columbia
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: FVR, Wisconsin
Posts: 5
Default Re: broken set screw

Thanks again for the advice. I had thought of that, but im gonna wait as a last option. Just in case though, could you post a link to that fork tube....im pretty bad at looking up parts. I had another idea, does anyone think this will work? I take a dremel, or whatever, and remove the bottom disk from the fork tube. Then I clean it up real nice and weld a washer to the bottom of the tube. I would weld a nut onto the back of the washer that is the right size for my new set screw. Any possibility of success? Thanks again everyone, you're a friendly lot.
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Unread 06-04-2015, 06:31 PM   #6
Gone Wild
Cushman
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Central North Carolina
Posts: 418
Default Re: broken set screw

We still don't know where you are located. Updating your profile "User CP" will correct this.

What size is the set screw? If it's 1/4" or about that you might be able to weld, or have welded, a washer and nut to the top of it. The nut will be easier to turn than the set screw and the heat will help break it loose, but wait till it cools before trying to turn the nut. Some penetrating oil just before you try to turn the nut with a wrench will help too. If the nut breaks loose you can try to weld another onto the set screw and try again. Be careful to only fill the nut with weld, hopefully bonding the nut to the top of the set screw and don't bridge it to any of the metal around the set screw. The heating/cooling should help break the rust/corrosion in the set screw threads, and you might even soften the set screw a bit. This "weld the nut and washer on" trick works very well with broken engine studs and similar. If your set screw is large enough it might even work on it too.

Having a machine shop look at the problem to get an estimate for EDM shouldn't cost you anything. At least then you can decide if it's cheaper to have it removed or buy a new part.

Removing broken screws is more of an art than a science. There's also some significant amounts of luck involved. Don't feel bad if you fail. Some won't come out no matter how skilled the worker is. To me the final best option if the screw absolutely has to come out is EDM, but it may be cheaper to just replace the part.

Charley
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Unread 06-04-2015, 07:45 PM   #7
Not Yet Wild
Columbia
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: FVR, Wisconsin
Posts: 5
Default Re: broken set screw

Ok, well I went at it with extractors, drill bits and punches. I am flummoxed. I am going to take it apart and take it to a machine shop. I have never been stymied by a bolt like this before. I will let you know how it goes. In the mean time, im off to find a service manual online. Thanks to all.
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Unread 06-05-2015, 08:30 AM   #8
Gone Wild
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
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Default Re: broken set screw

That part can be found here:

http://www.vintagegolfcartparts.com/...idson_steering
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Unread 06-05-2015, 03:20 PM   #9
Not Yet Wild
Columbia
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: FVR, Wisconsin
Posts: 5
Default Re: broken set screw

Thank you for the link, and all of the advice. A friend is coming over today with a high speed drill, a carbide bit, taps and set screws. Hopefully, this will do the trick. I will post my results. Thanks again.
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