How to Replace and Rethread a Stripped Truck Bolt


Stripped bolts can be a source of frustration for skateboarders, halting rides and hindering maintenance efforts. Whether it’s a stripped bolt in your skateboard trucks or elsewhere on your setup, knowing how to effectively address this issue is essential for every skater. In this guide, we’ll delve into the art of removing stripped bolts with precision and discuss the crucial determination of whether rethreading is necessary. From understanding the underlying causes of stripped bolts to mastering the use of skate tools for extraction and restoration, this article equips skateboarders with the knowledge and techniques needed to conquer this common challenge and keep their rides rolling smoothly.

Anatomy of a common skateboard tool.

If you have a stripped bolt in your skateboard trucks, here’s how you can attempt to fix it using a skateboard tool:

  1. Assess the Damage: Determine which bolt is stripped and confirm if it’s only the head of the bolt or the threads as well. If it’s just the head, you may be able to remove it with some effort. If the threads are stripped, it might be more challenging.
  1. Apply Lubricant: If the bolt is stuck, applying a lubricant like WD-40 can help loosen it.
  1. Use Proper Tools: Use a skateboard tool with an Allen key or socket that fits the bolt properly. This will minimize the risk of further damage to the bolt.
  1. Try Gripping: If the head of the bolt is still accessible, try gripping it tightly with the tool and turning it counterclockwise to remove it. Apply steady pressure and avoid excessive force, as this could cause further damage.
  1. Use Alternatives: If the head of the bolt is too damaged to grip or turn, you may need to use alternative methods such as pliers, a screw extractor, or even drilling the bolt out carefully.
  1. Replace the Bolt: Once you’ve successfully removed the stripped bolt, replace it with a new one of the same size and type. Make sure to tighten it securely.

If you’re unable to remove the stripped bolt yourself, it might be best to seek assistance from a professional skateboard technician or a hardware store for specialized tools and advice.Β 

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Does my bolt need rethreading?

Rethreading a bolt involves restoring or creating new threads on the bolt or in the threaded hole where the bolt goes. This process can be more complex and might require specific tools depending on the extent of damage to the bolt or the threaded hole. Here’s a general guide on how you might rethread a bolt using a skate tool:

  1. Assess the Damage: Determine if the threads on the bolt or in the hole are damaged. If the bolt is stripped but the threads in the hole are intact, you might only need to replace the bolt. If the threads in the hole are damaged, you’ll need to rethread them.
  1. Choose the Right Tool: Some skateboard tools come with a tap and die set, which includes a tap for cutting new threads into a hole and a die for cutting threads onto a bolt. Make sure you have the appropriate size tap and die for the bolt you’re working with.
  1. Prepare the Bolt or Hole: If you’re rethreading the bolt, clean it thoroughly to remove any debris or old thread material. If you’re rethreading the hole, make sure it’s clean and free of any obstructions.
  1. Cut New Threads: For rethreading a bolt, insert the bolt into the die and turn it clockwise to cut new threads. For rethreading a hole, insert the tap into the hole and turn it clockwise to cut new threads. Use lubricant to make the cutting process smoother.
  1. Test Fit: After cutting new threads, test the fit of the bolt into the hole to ensure the threads match up correctly. The bolt should screw in smoothly without excessive force.
  1. Tighten Securely: Once you’re satisfied with the fit, tighten the bolt securely using your skate tool.
  1. Replace if Necessary: If the damage is too severe or if you’re unable to rethread the bolt or hole, you may need to replace the bolt or seek professional assistance.
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A tap and die set.

Remember, rethreading can be a delicate process, especially if you’re working with small bolts or tight spaces. Take your time and be patient to avoid causing further damage. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with rethreading yourself, it’s best to seek help from a professional skateboard technician.

How can I Prevent Stripping in the Future?

To prevent the stripping of skateboard truck bolts, there are several proactive measures skaters can take. Firstly, it’s crucial to use the correct size and type of tool when tightening bolts, such as a skateboard tool with an appropriately sized Allen key or socket. Avoid over-tightening bolts, as this can cause unnecessary stress on the threads and increase the likelihood of stripping. Additionally, periodically inspect bolts for signs of wear or damage, such as rounded edges or visible threading issues, and replace them promptly if necessary. When installing new bolts, consider using threadlocker or anti-seize lubricant to help prevent corrosion and make future removal easier. Finally, ensure that trucks are securely mounted to the deck and that bolts are tightened evenly to distribute pressure evenly across all bolts. By adopting these preventative measures, skaters can minimize the risk of stripping skateboard truck bolts and prolong the lifespan of their setups.

In conclusion, mastering the removal of stripped bolts and determining whether rethreading is required is a vital skill for any skateboarder. By following the steps outlined in this guide and utilizing the appropriate tools and techniques, skaters can effectively address stripped bolt issues and ensure the longevity and performance of their setups. Remember, patience and precision are key when tackling stripped bolts, and seeking professional assistance when needed can save time and prevent further damage. With the knowledge gained from this comprehensive guide, skaters can confidently tackle this common challenge and get back to enjoying their rides with ease.

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