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Subject: Who knows anything about sockets and bolts? rss

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Martin Kulp
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San Pedro
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I am trying to remove my wife's factory radio from her Camry to install a better one, but I swear I've tried every socket known to man and NOTHING fits the bolts on it!

I've tried 8mm like the instructions say. Too small. 10mm was too big. 9mm is too small. 3/8 inch, too small. 7/16 inch, too big.

WTF??!!
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Billy McBoatface
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A crowbar usually fits.

Why to just use some needlenose pliers to grab the bolts and turn them?
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sawzall.

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Have you checked for reverse-threads? Not uncommon on things the manufacturer doesn't want you to remove. The web might know.

Removal:
Drill into the bolts (**) and use a "bolt-extracter" - a threaded conical rod with a wide-threaded reverse-screw that jams in the drilled hole. This gives you a standard shape for sockets to engage.

Wikipedia doesn't know these tools by that name, but they're common and cheap. They're used for removing bolts etc that are seriously stuck or stripped. You can buy sets of them in different sizes quite cheaply any place with a moderate range of tools. There has to be a "reverse-reverse" (i.e normal thread direction version for reverse-threaded bolts.

Obviously you can also just drill out the bolt, but this entails a risk of damaging the thread on the frame, and perhaps even damaging something else on the way in. Re-threading a hole is possible of course, but the tools for that cost a good bit more than the ones for the method I described above.

OTOH if the current bolts are reverse-threaded, and you have a way to revert to standard threads and bolts, do it.



**
If you want to keep the original thread the drill size has to be smaller than the core of the bolt. Start with the smallest one you can, and be careful to drill the center of the bolt. It's easy to make such a hole bigger.

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You need a Gator Grip socket.
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