E46 Exhaust Header Studs Snapped

Hey Guys,

When taking off my exhaust at the headers, the corroded nuts snapped off of the studs that seem to be tack welded on top. Alan was telling me that a couple people have had this problem before and their solution was to heat them up red hot and just smack them out. Does anyone here have experience doing this and if so would you mind helping me out? I’m open to other methods too if you have them! Thanks again guys!

Can you drill them out? Extract ,and chase threads. Or weld a nut to stud.

Dude…sorry to hear it…that sucks.

Pics? Alan is most likely right, on how you’re going to get them off. You could TIG a nut on the part sticking out if it is big enough and then try to unscrew the stud…I haven’t hear of studs being welded-in, but I’ve dealt with seized studs…it suuuuucks! Good luck.

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No, that was not me. I haven’t brought any fluids or anything into the area, and I was sure to clean up after myself when it came to tools that I used. When I was done for the day, I put everything into my car and parked it out back. That post was also made on Friday and I didn’t come into the space until Saturday to work on my car.


Maybe not the greatest picture but from this end they look like bolts, from the other end they’re tacked on though. I was wondering what we even had at the maker space that could get the bolts super hot, something that I wouldn’t not be handling though.

Unfortunately, nothing I know of…if you use acetylene…you have to bring your own gear and take it home…

If you do end up welding or heating things up, you’ll probably want to pull the o2 sensor so you don’t fry it.

If you get into a bind, you may be able to sweet talk a muffler shop to heat/pull them. I’ve had decent luck in South Dallas by driving up in a different car on a light day such as Tuesday around lunch. Drive up and explain the problem and see what they would charge. You may find someone that will do it for a decent price, then run the E46 over to the shop.

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My take on it was: grab a cutoff tool and chop off the heads, then smack the shaft of the stud out. Thing is, that doesn’t work for at least two of the studs - the heads are in tight enough quarters to where a cutoff tool would have trouble getting to them without mauling other things. At that point I mentioned doing the same thing the old-fashioned way and cold-chiseling them off, but I admitted that I’d never tried that myself on stud heads. What do y’all think? Bad idea, or worst idea?

I broke off the exhaust manifold studs leading downstream on my E36 and ended up having to drill them out. I tried a pneumatic hammer + heat first with no luck. The drill bit did tend to walk a bit.

Iirc you can buy replacement bolts from the dealership

Exhaust studs ALWAYS break-off, it’s what they do. That’s why we always soak them in a corrosive penetrating oil prior to trying to remove them, or an anti-seize compound prior to installing them. It just goes with the territory…

We managed to get one out with heat last night. Put the torch on it until it was just starting the glow red and a few solid whacks with a sledge got it out.

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The ole heat-n-beat

Maybe it’s time to get on of these for Auto, if there isn’t one already


YES PLEASE, this would be great!!!

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