A Torx nut is a special type of nut characterized by a star-shaped pattern most commonly known as a star nut. A star screwdriver and also a star drill bit is used to remove stripped Torx screws.
On a jeep wrangler, you’ll find Torx screws on many parts but the ones that are mostly removed are windshield frame Torx screws, hardtop Torx screws, and door hinges Torx screws.
But you can replace other screws with Torx nuts anytime you feel like since there are available in a couple of sizes. Torx screws are generally better than other screws because of the following reasons.
- Torx screws look better and neater than other screws.
- The six-point star shape makes it easier to enter the driver into the screw due to the many entry points in one revolution.
- Torx screws can handle more torque than other types of screws thus they tend to last longer.
- Due to the high torque that torque screws can handle, they can be tightened tight enough to hold whatever they are being bolted into.
- The six-star shape also makes it easier to place and remove torx screws.
They also have some disadvantages like some sizes of Torex Screws are hard to find and are a bit overpriced as compared to other types of screws.
remove stripped Torx screws
If your Torx screw is not stripped, removing it with a star screw drive should be easy unless it has overstayed and is hard to remove. You just have to use a powered screwdriver but before doing this spray the screw with WD-40 or pour some penetrating oil on the Torx screw. This should help to remove the stuck Torx screw with ease if the screw head is still in good condition.
If the Torx screw is stripped, there are some hacks that you can apply to remove it. There are several reasons why Torx screws get stripped. Some Torx screws are made of poor metals thus they’re not durable as compared to those made of stronger material and tend to get stripped quickly especially if you keep removing and bolting in.
Types of Torx Screws used in vehicles
There are a couple of materials used to make Torx screws and you should consider the material used according to how you’ll use the screws.
Steel Torx screws – These are the strongest and cheapest types of screws. But they tend to rust quicker than the other types of screws but this is nothing that a good coating can’t fix.
Copper Torx screws – These are not that strong but they are corrosion resistant and are mostly used in areas where conditions can promote rusting.
Aluminum Torx screws – They are as durable as other materials and tend to get stripped quicker than other materials though they are lightweight, titanium Torx screws are much more lightweight than aluminum Torx screws.
Titanium Torx screws– Screws made using titanium are the type to go for if you want both strong and light screws. These are usually expensive and unless weight is a crucial factor, steel Torx screws are the best option as compared to titanium Torx screws.
Things you should avoid doing with Torx screws
- Working too fast and vigorously on torx screws will strip the screws due to the friction generated by doing this. If a screw gets stuck it is recommended to pour penetrating oil on the screw or spray WD-40 as these will help to remove the tool with ease. You can also use a powered screw drive to remove torx screws as they can handle the torque.
- Using an old and worn-out torx screw drill bit or a worn-out torx screwdriver will definitely wear out the edges of the torx screw. This is because the worn-out edges of the drill bit will rub on the screw’s edges especially when forced.
- Using a smaller screwdriver or a drill bit will wear out the edges of the drill bit. As the same case as using a worn-out drill bit the smaller drill bit or screwdriver edges will rub against the screw’s edges as there is little or no grip at all between the edges.
- Over tightening a screw. Even though torx screw can handle more torque as compared to other types of screws, over-tightening a screw will lead to wearing out of the head top tips of the screw especially if repeated for a couple of times.
- Turning the screws with the drill bit or screwdrivers at an angle to the screw will put some tips under more grip as compared to other tips and they will wear out quicker thus the screw will eventually lose grip surface with time. When working with screws, your screwdriver or drill bit should be straight.
- Continuous use of a screw even after it has begun to strip will lead to even more stripping and in the end, it will be hard to remove the screw and you’ll have to go through a painstaking process to remove it. Once a screw has started stripping you should immediately replace it with a new one.
How to remove stripped Torx screws on jeep wrangelr?
- Welding another screw-on top
You can weld a shorter screw on top of the stripped Torx screw and drill out the new screw. After welding the new screw, you should wait for the weld to cool completely or pour cold water on it. Use a powered tool to remove the screws as the increased height can be a problem when using a hand-held screwdriver.
- Splitting the top of the screw
If the top of the screw is exposed you can use a cutting disc to gently cut the head of the stripped screw in half. This provides space for the entry of a flathead screwdriver or a flat head drill bit. Before inserting the screwdriver or the drill bit into the cut-out top, make sure it is cold enough to handle the torque.
When hot the top might break away and you’ll have no surface to place the screwdriver or drill bit on and this makes the screw even harder to remove.
- Heating the top of the screw
If the screw is not that much stripped, you can heat it with a blow torch to expand the tips for 30 seconds. Before heating, you should make sure the surface around the screw is free of flammable materials or something that can get damaged when exposed to high temperatures. The blow torch flame should be thin and focused on the screw’s top only for good results.
- Using a pair of vice grips
If the top of the screw is exposed properly above the surface that it is drilled into, you can use a pair of strong vice grips to grab and turn the screw slowly until it’s out.
- Using PB penetrating catalyst
This is unlike other penetrating oil and eases the screw out better than other penetrating oil. After applying it you can either use a pair of pliers or a power tool to remove the screw.
- Using a rubber band
This is done by placing a thick rubber band in the drill bit or the screwdriver and stretch it out then gently into the screw and rotate directionally to remove the screw. You can use a rubber band if the screw is not stripped. The rubber band will provide friction where it is needed thus making it easier to remove the screw.
- Using an electric drill to pull out the screw
If the screw is not completely sunk in the surface it drilled into you can use a powered drill and gently drill it out. Open the chuck of the drill and then tighten using your hand to secure the top of the screw into place. Set the drill into reverse and this will help drill out the screw easily.
- Using a screw extractor
This should be the last option since it can cause damages to your wrangler, specifically to the surface to which the screw is bolted onto. But if you need the screw out this is the best option you have if every other method has failed. Screw extractors are normally counter-threaded to how screws are threaded.
In simpler terms, screw extractors have a left-hand twist while screws have a right-hand twist. They come in different sizes and you’ll have to select the correct size to fit into the screw head of the ripped screw. Load the extractor into the drill and tighten the chuck to hold the extractor in place.
Since the extractor is counter threaded, you have to set the drill in reverse so that it can drill into the screw and reverse it out of the surface it is drilled into. It might take several drills for the extractor to get a good grip on the screw but it will eventually get the screw out.
How to prevent stripping of Torx Screw?
- Use fresh drill bits and screwdrivers when working on screws to prevent slipping which causes friction which wears out the screws.
- Drill pilot holes before putting in screws in a particular place and make sure to get the correct depth which is the same as the screw length you are going to drill in. This reduces the torque used to drill in the screw this the screw will last longer.
- When using a drill, press the trigger firmly as this delivers instant torque when working on screws. Low torque makes the drill bit grind against the screw’s surfaces thus the friction wears out the tips.
To avoid stripping Torx screws on your wrangler you should handle the nuts according to how they are supposed to be handled or else you’ll have a painstaking process removing them.
Sometimes it even costs to remove stripped Torx screws because if they’re not removable you’ll have to use destructive methods to try to remove them which might damage that particular part and replacing it will cost you. It is recommended that you replace your screws immediately you notice there is less grip when tightening the screws.