duty hardened-steel straight drift pin or similar tool, flat on each end, made for this use.
Wear eye protection.
If you still have no success, try heat from
a torch. Most people use a propane torch,
but other sources generate far more or less
heat. What you use will depend on what
you’re heating (remember, heat will transmit
from the bolt to the surrounding metal),
your familiarity with the source of heat, and
of course, where you’re working. It’s seldom, if ever, a good idea to use open flame
belowdecks, no matter how careful you are.
Most use the simple inexpensive propane
torch with easily handled, inexpensive canisters. The heat should be applied according
to instructions for the products you’re using.
But generally, the tip of the flame should be
just touching the bolt. As a practical matter,
you’ll probably want to direct the heat to
the bolt rather than the surrounding metal
because you may not want to damage the
surrounding metal. And that metal, because
of its mass, will probably consume the heat
and spread it out before it does any good. If
you’re trying to remove a nut from a bolt,
you should probably apply the heat or cold
to the smaller nut.
After heating, try more tapping as well as
more heating, if needed. After heating and
tapping, spraying in a lubricating penetrant
like those mentioned above often helps.
With the effects of the heat and tapping,
there may be more of an opening for this
type of product to enter. Wait for the metal to
cool; spraying one of these products on hot
metal can cause fire and explosion.
FEEL THE IMPACT
Usually by this time, a wrench will turn the
bolt. If not, there are a few more tools that
may help. An impact driver can be invaluable. You’ve seen these quickly remove lug
nuts from your car wheels in repair garages,
except the ones there are usually pneumatically driven. Most of us use electrical impact
drivers, battery-powered, or AC. I prefer AC
drivers because of the extra power and unlimited run time. You must have the right-sized
fitting for your bolt (a socket or bit to fit the
hole in the head), and it should be made
for use with an impact driver to survive the
extremes of torque and stress.
Straight slots for screwdrivers often don’t
fare well with impact drivers or any other
forceful device. If you’re working with one,
be sure that your straight-slot bit is exactly
right, as to width and thickness, for your
slot. Imperfectly fitting bits will ruin any fastener. There are also much-lower-cost manual
impact drivers. These perform the same job,
but not as well. You position the bit, turn the
body of the tool to set the direction of the
tool’s rotational force, and then hit the hardened steel body of the driver with a hammer.
However, these don’t have the quickly repetitive directional pulse of the electric tool.
And then there’s the Ultimate Weapon
“proper” mechanics would never use. I’m
not a proper mechanic. I’m just a guy who
often desperately needs to get the job done
on my boat — NOW. So, sometimes I’ll pull
out my powerful and effective cheating bar.
It’s just a piece of pipe that I fit over the
handle of a boxed end or socket wrench. It
allows my puny muscles to exert much more
force. But use this super tool with caution.
It’s easy to break the ratcheting assembly in
DO YOU HAVE OTHER TRICKS THAT WORK WELL? IF SO, SHARE THEM!
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