Make a tax-deductible donation with your Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal account:
Removing Rawl 5-piece bolts  
Removing Rawl 5-piece bolts
by Greg barnes, ASCA Director

An increasing number of people are replacing old and rusted 3/8" Rawl
5-piece bolts (aka 6-piece bolts; longer bolts have one more sleeve piece).
Expansion of the old hole to 1/2" is common, although the 3/8" hole can
sometimes be reused without any drilling (even good granite can be weakened by the long-term interaction of the rust with the rock).

The procedure is pretty simple, but getting the sleeves out can be a pain
(especially if they are seriously rusted).

Basic Removal Procedure:

  • Unscrew the old bolt.
  • Take out any sleeve pieces that come out easily.
  • Blow out the hole.
  • Screw the bolt (just the bolt, no hanger or washer) in a couple turns.
  • Tap the bolt in with one hard tap. (this unseats the cone from the sleeve)
  • Unscrew the bolt.
  • Pull the sleeve via one of these methods:
    a) If you're lucky, you can grab the sleeve top with a needle-nose and just
    pull it out. (only on shallowly installed short bolts)
    b) Use a hook of some sort to pull the sleeve out - I used to use a heavy copper wire for a hook.
    c) Use a nail or drift pin and pound it in along the seam in the sleeve; (you
    have to be able to spot the seam) this "rolls" one side in a bit, you may
    need to do it a couple times, then pull out with needlenose pliers. Don't
    pound the nail in too far, you don't want to damage the threads of the cone.
    d) IF VERY RUSTED: use a nail or drift pin to break up the sleeve, then
    pliers or a hook to pull them out.

    Once the sleeve is pulled:
  • Blow out the hole.
  • Screw the bolt, plus a beater hanger (without the washer), 2-3 turns into
    the cone.
  • Funk the cone out - it will come out easily unless severely rusted, but
    if it's that rusted it will disintegrate. (If you don't have a funkness
    device, they're widely available; all they are is a 2-3' wire cable with
    loops at each end, called various things by various companies.)
  • Blow the hole out, check for debris, and you're all ready to go.

  • Inspect:
    Of course, always inspect the old hole & the rock; sometimes there's too
    much damage to safely re-use the hole, but usually this only happens in very
    soft rock.

    Special gear required:
  • A hook (made out of heavy wire or even a thin coathanger)
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Funkness device
  • Drift-pin or nail