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Old 09-16-2005, 11:58 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Tip of the day number 9

Removing rusted bolt basics
One of the first jobs I ever had was at a shop doing full on restorations on vintage Fords (we specialized in model 40s 1933-34). By boss taught me MANY things I use every day. One of them was the best trick for getting rusted bolts out that I have ever tried.
You need your torch with a small tip.
Take the torch and make a perfect flame like you are going to weld. Heat the bolt head up till it starts to turn red. (If the bolt is already broken off you will need to saw a grove to use a flat blade screwdriver or have enough to grab with locking pliers) Then quickly cool it with a squirt bottle of water. Repeat, heat it, then cool it. Do this a number of times and the bolt WILL turn right out. If you can, heat the nut around the bolt on right before you try turning it out, BUT DON'T HEAT THE BOLT. This will expand the nut from around the bolt. I have done this on Model A door hinges, if you are not familiar with them, it is a 5/16 bolt with a little flat blade screw driver head! A ridiculous design that rusted in to tight to remove around 1950! You can imagine how hard they are to remove in 2000. I've had total success,needing only a regular hand screw driver about 99% of the time.

The way I figure the heating and cooling expands and contracts the screw breaking it loose from the rusts grip.


Brian

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Old 09-17-2005, 01:17 AM
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I've used that trick when working on cars at a used car dealer many times when trying to get out stubborn bolts or when a bolt broke off and used a vice grip to turn what was left of the bolt out. Mostly on exhaust pieces or other things under the car. Another thing heat from a torch can be used for is for something that is press fit, heating the metal around the part to expand it and if needed spray freon aerosol ( Is this still available ?) on the piece to be pressed in to contract it. Just be sure that nothing will be damaged when heating parts and your not torching near the gas tank or anything. Another thing I've used heat on is the screws in the old ford striker plates. If these have set for any amount of time, it is near impossible to turn out the large phillips head screws, An impact driver may work but I didn't have one so I used heat and a socket screw driver bit.

Last edited by kenseth17; 09-17-2005 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 09-17-2005, 06:18 AM
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i heard you could heat a bolt, then melt wax on it,wax melts into theards let it cool, take it out, never tried it, pb blaster is good too
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Old 09-17-2005, 07:31 AM
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Great tip Brian

BK
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:04 PM
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working as a marine mechanic for some years you also learn a few things about removing frozen bolts. if you have a screw or bolt where the head twists off, get a 12 point socket that is a size smaller than the threads and hammer it onto the shaft of the bolt. heat with a torch as brian suggested and turn it out with a ratchet.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Removing rusted bolt basics
One of the first jobs I ever had was at a shop doing full on restorations on vintage Fords (we specialized in model 40s 1933-34). By boss taught me MANY things I use every day. One of them was the best trick for getting rusted bolts out that I have ever tried.
You need your torch with a small tip.
Take the torch and make a perfect flame like you are going to weld. Heat the bolt head up till it starts to turn red. (If the bolt is already broken off you will need to saw a grove to use a flat blade screwdriver or have enough to grab with locking pliers) Then quickly cool it with a squirt bottle of water. Repeat, heat it, then cool it. Do this a number of times and the bolt WILL turn right out. If you can, heat the nut around the bolt on right before you try turning it out, BUT DON'T HEAT THE BOLT. This will expand the nut from around the bolt. I have done this on Model A door hinges, if you are not familiar with them, it is a 5/16 bolt with a little flat blade screw driver head! A ridiculous design that rusted in to tight to remove around 1950! You can imagine how hard they are to remove in 2000. I've had total success,needing only a regular hand screw driver about 99% of the time.

The way I figure the heating and cooling expands and contracts the screw breaking it loose from the rusts grip.


Brian

You beat me to it.....
The shrinking of the bolt and the shock combined works great and can be used with the smallested of fasteners....
Conbined with patience and a soft touch for thoughs delicate spots....
I learned it from and old guy years ago and now Im that old guy I guess...
Great tip
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:52 AM
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Great tip Brian, works well.

The reverse works well on Ford body / bed mount bolts, heat up the bolt and let the theat sink into the bolt to soften the blue thread locker. Much easier than breaking the J-clip and cutting the heads off.

Another tip for screws, use valve lapping compound on the tip of the screw driver. Takes up any slack and provides traction so the driver doesn't cam out of the screw.

PB Blaster is great stuff, spray it on and let it soak in then go to town.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:47 AM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldBodyman
Great tip Brian, works well.

The reverse works well on Ford body / bed mount bolts, heat up the bolt and let the theat sink into the bolt to soften the blue thread locker. Much easier than breaking the J-clip and cutting the heads off.

Another tip for screws, use valve lapping compound on the tip of the screw driver. Takes up any slack and provides traction so the driver doesn't cam out of the screw.

PB Blaster is great stuff, spray it on and let it soak in then go to town.
Yep I had some stuff in my tool box for years called "grip tight" or something like that. It was a repackaged valve lapping compound marketed simply for this purpose.

Brian
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcleanr6
working as a marine mechanic for some years you also learn a few things about removing frozen bolts. if you have a screw or bolt where the head twists off, get a 12 point socket that is a size smaller than the threads and hammer it onto the shaft of the bolt. heat with a torch as brian suggested and turn it out with a ratchet.
also a great way to remove those PITA locking lug nuts ,just pound on a 12 point socket and and use the impact to pop it off ,something those Chinese sockets are good for
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
also a great way to remove those PITA locking lug nuts ,just pound on a 12 point socket and and use the impact to pop it off ,something those Chinese sockets are good for
I'm glad somebody found a use for those other than just dumpster fill.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:27 PM
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another good use for cheepie sockets

If you've ever had to bring a jack to the junk yard you'll know even those little mini floor jacks can get a bit heavy...those scissor jacks that come with a car can be very useful but that screw takes forever to get up and down ,what I do is weld a socket on and use a 1/2 ratchet to raise and lower it out in the field...at the shop those little lite weight scissor jacks are very ez to sling around and if you use your impact its faster than any other way to get a car up quick...they'll fit in some pretty tight spots too so they're very helpful in pushing out a crushed 1/4 and stuff like that...
even those cheepie sockets can be handy...at times
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:25 AM
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I keep a couple of them scissor jacks around but never thought to weld a socket on, just cuss the sloppy fit of the handle in the slots. Thanks for the tip Michel
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:08 PM
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Good information there Brian. Always looking for ways to remove these 40+ year old bolts.
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:50 PM
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I ran into the guy who taught me this trick a couple of weeks ago at a swap meet. I have told him a couple of times (calling him out of the blue to thank him) how much I appreciated the education I got at his shop and I wish I would have mentioned this one.

I remember once using it at the shop on a 47 Ford truck. The set screw that holds the lock Cylinder (as I remember that's what it was holding) was locked tight and we couldn't get it out. It was inside a door that had been painted. There was a 3/8" or so hole that you stuck the tool thru (don't remember what it was, allen, screwdriver, I don't remember) to get to this set screw.

I lit the torch and quickly stuck it thru this hole in the door and heated the screw, quickly pulled the torch out and cooled the screw. Did this a couple of times all without damaging the paint on the door! LOL

I can't wait to fire up my torch to work on my truck! I love that tool.

Brian
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:23 PM
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DAM,that reminds me...I gotta fill my tanks...
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