Rawl/Powers 5-piece bolt

One of the main advantages of the sleeve-style Rawl/Powers 5-piece bolt is that it is “removable” and thus allows developers/maintainers to re-use the existing holes. This is important in areas like Tuolumne or the Cochise Stronghold that have highly featured rock in which there may be very limited placement options. Unfortunately, removing the 5-piece bolts is still fairly tricky. What follows is my workflow based on my experience thus far. Thanks to Gary Ballard, Greg German and the Action Committee for Eldorado for their work in refining this process.


In order to pull 3/8″ Rawl/Powers 5-piece bolts you’ll want the following in your toolkit

  • 3/8-16 spiral flute tap
  • something magnetic that will fit in a 3/8″ x 4″ hole
  • Hook tool made from 7/32″ hex wrench
  • 3/8-16 x 4″ high strength steel threaded rod
  • 5/16-18 x 5″ high strength steel threaded rod
  • 1/2″ wrench, preferably with a long handle (socket/torque wrench works well)
  • hammer, preferably a wall hammer or something that can take a funkness device
  • c-clamp puller or hydraulic punch driver with whatever adapting studs required

The following items are optional but can prove to be useful when things invariably don’t go to plan.

  • Needle nose vise-grips or needle nose pliers
  • Mini hack saw
  • 5/16-18 eye nut

Removal Procedure

  1. Loosen the hex head bolt about 1/8″ of an inch
  2. Hammer the head of the bolt in to displace the cone from the sleeve
  3. Continue loosening and removing the hex-head bolt, hanger, and whatever other components of the fixture that will come out easily
  4. You can generally use the hook tool to remove the plastic compression ring and the spacer from the hole if they did not come out with the threaded bolt. If the spacer and/or compression ring are not out of the hole, use the spiral flute tap to tap and remove. Many times you can just tap and pull using the tap itself. Though one must be extremely careful here as the tap can be easily broken and then you’re kind of screwed.
  5. You can either attempt to remove the sleeve with the hook tool which may work if the bolts aren’t highly corroded. Though if you’re replacing the bolts they’re probably corroded and the sleeve will need to be tapped using the spiral flute tap. Tap the sleeve regularly turning in reverse a 1/4 to 1/2 turn in order to clear the debris that builds up on the cutting edge of the tap. Be patient and gentle during this as breaking the tap will be unrecoverable. Tap at least 1/2″ of the sleeve.
  6. Use your magnetic implement to clear the metal shavings from the hole. A small zip lock bag is helpful to clean the debris off the tool into.
  7. Thread your draw stud into the tapped sleeve.
  8. Use your puller tool to extract the sleeve. If the sleeve breaks before it is complete out of the hole, try to use your hook tool, then needle nose vise grips or pliers to pull it by hand. Additionally you can try to tap the remaining portion and loosen/pull the sleeve.
  9. There are a couple different ways to try to attempt to remove the cone. One is using your puller tool and whatever adapters would be needed to convert it to accept a 5/16-18 draw stud and pull it that way. This however can cause the cone to pull in a non-square angle and start wedging the cone in the hole. If you encounter increasing resistance back off and funk the cone using one of the following methods. Either use the bolt and hanger you removed in step #3 or use an eye nut to funk the cone out of the hole. Be careful as the whole assembly will pop out of the hole (i.e. eye protection and be ready to shield yourself).

Wedge Bolt

Removal of the wedge type bolt was historically unfeasible and the standard practice for replacement was to tigthen the bolt as much as possible (possibly breaking the bolt in the process), cutting it with a hack saw, driving it into the original hole with a punch, and then patching/camouflaging the hole with epoxy. Ipso facto, a new hole had to be drilled for the replacement. Thankfully Greg German and the Action Committee for Eldorado devised a way to remove wedge bolts by spinning them in their hole and damaging the bolt until it no longer mechanically functions.


  • C-clamp puller or hydraulic punch press and adapter stud to 3/8-16
  • Spinner tool
  • spray bottle for water
  • hammer
  • 9/16″ wrench — longer handle the better

Spinner tool

There are a few ideas of how to build the spinner tool that will adapt your drill to the exposed threaded stud of the wedge bolt. Here are the ideas.

Reducing coupling nut

This idea requires the use of a standard SDS to 1/2-20 thread converter. This is the same thread pattern as a standard 1/2″ drill chuck and you can easily but the adapters themselves or adapters packaged with drill bits. You’ll also want to buy a 3/8″ coupling nut, make sure that it’s ____ x _____ as there are smaller ones to be found. Next you’ll want to use a 29/64″ drill bit to re-drill one side of the coupler nut to a depth of ____. You’ll then want to use a 1/2-20 tap to re-thread your enlarged hole. This should now allow you to connect the coupling nut to your SDS adapter. Next take a set screw and cut it it down to ____ (make the side with the hex key the side you cut to size). Screw this into the coupling nut until it snugs up against the adapter. This ensures that only 3/8″ of the threaded stud can fit into the spinner. This is enough of the threads to spin the bolt but ensure we have space between the rock and the spinner tool so that we don’t grind the tool into the rock.


SDS drill bit

If you have an 5/8″ SDS drill bit lying around or can good one for cheap you can cut this off below the flutings and then drill a 5/16″ hole in the center of it about 1/2″-5/8″??? deep. Then use a 3/8-16 bottoming tap to thread the hole. That should provide enough thread engagement to spin the bolt and leave space between the rock and the spinner tool.

Example plated steel bolts; top is new, bottom has been spun and extracted

Example plated steel bolts; top is new, bottom has been spun and extracted

Extraction process