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07V6 EX-L Chicago
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Discussion Starter #1
I was trying to replace rotors, everything went well, but I was totally defeated by these screws.

Yes, I used the penetrating oil (PB blaster, ATF/Acetone mix).
Yes, I used impact screwdriver, which is supposed to be the right tool and I had success before with it.
Yes, I tried to punch the screw head counter clock wise.

It seems to have been rusted solid there, nothing worked! In the end, I tried a screw driver bit on an impact and applied firm pressure, the result? as expected, the screwdriver bit totally rounded off the screwdriver notches.

Looks like drilling is the only way. Any tips and experiences to share?
 

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I was trying to replace rotors, everything went well, but I was totally defeated by these screws.

Yes, I used the penetrating oil (PB blaster, ATF/Acetone mix).
Yes, I used impact screwdriver, which is supposed to be the right tool and I had success before with it.
Yes, I tried to punch the screw head counter clock wise.

It seems to have been rusted solid there, nothing worked! In the end, I tried a screw driver bit on an impact and applied firm pressure, the result? as expected, the screwdriver bit totally rounded off the screwdriver notches.

Looks like drilling is the only way. Any tips and experiences to share?
Sounds like you're doing everything right, and yes they are a PITA. You could try a torch or MAPP gas.
And leave the new screws out, they're pretty much useless anyway.

But you're thinking is correct, if you drill out the heads, you can then tap out the back of the rotor with a heavy mallet while you turn it by hand...just watch out as it could fly off and hit you in the noodle or maybe your feet, or worse..
 
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07V6 EX-L Chicago
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Discussion Starter #3

Here is a visual.

I had no problem removing rotor screws with impact driver before, which were much worse rusted. Not these two.

Torching may require professional grade torches, because the rotor is a big heat sink and would render a small torch useless.

Before I do drilling and tapping, I'll give it one more try: cut a deeper slot near the edge of the screw head and punch. I suspect that I still may have to drill them out in the end.

Drilling could cost 5x (if not 10x) more time for this simple rotor job.
 

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Get one of these- you will spend less than $10 on the screw machine drill bit and it will take you less than 2 seconds to drill out each screw- actually, SHRED, any rotor screw for the rest of your life.

Wear googles because it really is like a hot knife through butter- it just shreds them to dust as fast as you blink.

Not a simple drill bit, but the cutting tool used to make tools.

YG-1: BEST VALUE IN THE WORLD OF CUTTING TOOLS
 
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Don't drink and drive
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Screw it! Get a drill.
 

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07V6 EX-L Chicago
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Discussion Starter #7
Rust is 95% of the problem here, but the other 5% is.... using the wrong screw driver bit. Those screws, like all or nearly all screws on Hondas, are JIS, not Phillips. They look similar but are not.

At this point though, it won't matter for the OP.
Here is the picture of the enemy, Honda rotor screw:

The proper screw driver bit is: JIS #3
I am not aware of anyone selling impact driver with this bit.
 

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I have used the impact driver to extract and have had to drill the screw head off to remove the rotor. If you do remove them, you have two courses of action, the first is to replace the screw with new and the second is to not replace it. They are needed during manufacturing to hold the rotor in place prior to the caliper and pads being installed. If you do replace them, put a little anti seize compound on the threads to make it less of a battle the next time.

I used a large bit and drilled the heads of the screws off. Took all of 15 seconds a screw. Use a little WD-40 to lube the cutting surface and it is like a hot knife through butter. A few taps with a mallet and the rotor pops off. You then have enough of the screw shaft left to grab with a pair of vise grips and spin it out. Personally I would not mess with a torch on a consumable part when I can get it off with a whole lot less effort. I opted not to replace them and avoid the hassle the next time I need to do brakes.
 
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07V6 EX-L Chicago
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Discussion Starter #9
I have used the impact driver to extract and have had to drill the screw head off to remove the rotor. If you do remove them, you have two courses of action, the first is to replace the screw with new and the second is to not replace it. They are needed during manufacturing to hold the rotor in place prior to the caliper and pads being installed. If you do replace them, put a little anti seize compound on the threads to make it less of a battle the next time.

I used a large bit and drilled the heads of the screws off. Took all of 15 seconds a screw. Use a little WD-40 to lube the cutting surface and it is like a hot knife through butter. A few taps with a mallet and the rotor pops off. You then have enough of the screw shaft left to grab with a pair of vise grips and spin it out. Personally I would not mess with a torch on a consumable part when I can get it off with a whole lot less effort. I opted not to replace them and avoid the hassle the next time I need to do brakes.
Thanks for the tips. You really helped me to get a clearer picture of the solution.

I thought I have to drill the screw out and tap threads, in which precision and patience are needed.

The solution is remarkably simple:
Drill off the screw head with slightly larger drill bit than the stud (6mm diameter)
Removal of stud or new screw is optional.

Last time, I only did a good clean/lube of the rear brakes because of those screws. The brakes are OK. I will replace rotors next spring.
 

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Car so nice, bought twice
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Apparently the trick is to grind off the tip of a Phillips impact bit.

I pushed *hard* into my impact driver to make sure it wouldn't cam out. Mine came out like butter but we don't get rust in AZ.
 

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07V6 EX-L Chicago
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Discussion Starter #12
I have successfully loosen the rotor screws with impact driver several times before, quite easy, but not this time. I used a #3 screw bit. The other screw didn't slip at all. The whole rotor was turning counter clockwise when I hit the impact driver, and I had to use a pry bar to lock it.

I guess the problem is the screw head rusted solid with the the rotor and much more force is needed to over come it. If drilling off the screw head, (with slightly larger bit, the head would fall off the moment the drill bit reaches the stud), the stud shouldn't be that hard to remove with a vise grip.
 

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Thanks for the tips. You really helped me to get a clearer picture of the solution.

I thought I have to drill the screw out and tap threads, in which precision and patience are needed.

The solution is remarkably simple:
Drill off the screw head with slightly larger drill bit than the stud (6mm diameter)
Removal of stud or new screw is optional.

Last time, I only did a good clean/lube of the rear brakes because of those screws. The brakes are OK. I will replace rotors next spring.
Would you advise drilling / trying to remove the screws with just the tire off?
 

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Would you advise drilling / trying to remove the screws with just the tire off?
What do you mean with just the tire off? You need to take off the wheel to get access to the screws.

Do you mean without jack stands? Not recommended nor safe, you will be putting pressure on the drill so the jack or whole car might move. Just put the car on jack stands.
 

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Just go in with a new 3/8 inch drill bit and be done with it. You should not have to push hard so jackstands is really not an issue.

My observation in California is that the screw head rusts to the rotor, not the threads rusting to the hub, so yes, a lot of force is required to get them loose. After the head is drilled off, I have been able to take the rest of the stub out with just my hands or a pair of pliers.

If you have jackstands, the easiest way to fix this is to get a BIG #3 Phillips and a hammer (I use a 3 lb drilling hammer) and beat on that screw HARD - 4 or 5 good smashes. Or use a narrow drift pin. Metallic shock is needed to break that thing loose.

If you have an impact driver (electric or manual) that should allow screw to come out - after you break the rust! If you just use the impact, it will likely strip out. I used a #3 Phillips on a Milwaukee 1/2 inch electric impact and it stripped out. I beat first now, then throw the screws out.

The threads and head of the screw (if you choose to reinstall - but why?) need anti seize.
 

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Would you advise drilling / trying to remove the screws with just the tire off?
What do you mean with just the tire off? You need to take off the wheel to get access to the screws.

Do you mean without jack stands? Not recommended nor safe, you will be putting pressure on the drill so the jack or whole car might move. Just put the car on jack stands.
Sorry, yes on the OEM jack stand with just wheels off. No need to disassemble anything / brake component to unscrew them?

I may just try drill or get them off.
 

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I did the brake rotors this summer and was stumped by the screws for a good two days. I tried many penetrating oils, got an impact driver and ended up just ruining my driver bit. I resorted to drilling them out and once most of it was drilled, the screw just fell out. I cleaned up the hole and didn't bother installing another screw when I put the new rotors on.
 
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