knobblyoldjimbo

Seized s/s bolts

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Small problem here.

I have a umpty year old Maricat 4.3 (the one in my avatar).

Problem that happens with these cats is that the rudder pintles are attached to the boat via 8mm threaded screws with standard screwdriver head.  They are screwed into an alum plate inside the boat.

When I removed them from a different cat a couple of years ago some of them lost their head rather than giving up their nice resting place in the alum.  I ground off the rest of the head and used a ceramic drill (10mm diamond bit with a hole in the middle) which worked well but took a bit of time to do.

Now, if I heat the screw (I have an electric heat gun) what will happen?  Will the screw heat up and expand the alum at different rates such that the screw is released?

Or do I just try to remove them and the ones that fail I drill out.

I have hatches on the rear deck so do have access inside and would likely drill a hole right through and put a backing washer and nut (and a lot of Sikaflex).

Reason to do this is that the transom is cracking which is another common problem - if I remove the pintles I can grind off the gelcoat and some of the glass (belt sander with 40 or 80 grit) and then recover with glass mat (I have some mat that is triple - three layers with different bias) and epoxy.  It lets in quite a lot of water at the moment.

Thanks chaps

Jimbo

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IMG_7670.png ....make sure the head is clean....

make sure your tool fits the  fastener head perfectly 

make sure you have the correct mechanical advantage to apply torque

heat may help, but is difficult to apply in many situations 

when your tool is correctly seated give it a good whack with a hammer

hopefully once you apply torque , the fastener moves.  Once it moves apply torque  in the opposite direct...then once again back out... continue to work back and forth untilthe fastener  begins to move more easily 

with the correct tool fit and mechanical advatage I can easily snap the head off a ss fastener 

 When the job is done and its time to remount , I find that  hex head fasteners are superior.  Slot heads allow water ingress under the screw head . Hex heads are also much easier to drill out.  The hex is already dead center  and it provided a pilot hole for you drill

 

 

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If you aren't already doing it, consider using a locally appropriate anti-seize compound to coat the nuts & bolts when you re-fasten everything.  SS in contact with aluminum usually gives rise to a serious galvanic corrosion problem.  Anti-seize may make the bolts a touch easier to remove next time...

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As you're well aware, your problem is dissimilar metals and your symptom is corrosion. In this application, there's no reason to fuck around with the symptom. You should address the problem. There are four solutions that come to mind:

  1. Use stainless nuts inside as you mention, above
  2. Replace the alloy plate with a stainless plate
  3. Use titanium fasteners
  4. Install stainless nutserts/rivnuts or helicoils

Regarding removing what's there, that depends on the solution you intend to use next time. If you're going to stick with the alloy plate, I'd grind off the heads, remove the pintle and then put vise grips on the stud (perhaps from the inside?) that remains, apply PB Blaster and some heat and work it out slowly.

 

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After treating with penetrating oil, heat, etc, try a manual impact driver, the kind you hit with a hammer.  Make sure the bit fits tightly, and the driver is set for the correct turning direction.

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PBlaster is my favorite penetrating oil. Just found some here in Canada so I'm happy.

But s.s. fasteners in alum - heat is your best best. An electric heat gun may not be enough however. I've had better luck with a small pinpoint tip butane torch. The kind the chefs use to do the top of creme brulee. Lots of heat in a small area. Yes, you might scorch the resin or gelcoat if you are not careful. Have wet rags around the exterior fitting to prevent overheating the glass. Since you are going to fix the transom anyway, a bit of scorching is probably o.k. :)

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PB Blaster is pretty amazing stuff, Marvel Mystery oil is better for providing lubrication after the initial loosening action of PB. Your suggestion of the pinpoint torch is good, get the fastening hot and then quench with PB or MMO. Rinse and repeat.

   Something about that combination works, I found this on a auto engine rebuild blog.  They also mention KROIL which I have heard of but haven't tried.

Re: Breaking loose a seized engine

October 22nd, 2008, 08:42 AM
Re: Breaking loose a seized engine

I extracted the crank out of my Studebaker engine. I have 5 pistons/rods that are still stuck however.

I've been dousing them with PB blaster and Marvel Mystery oil. Thank God winter is coming because if I was in a rush to get this done I'd be really pissed, it's a long ass process!

I am starting to get some weep through in a couple of cylinders so that is giving me hope that by next week my dead blow hammer and a trusty chunk of wood will get the rest of them out. 

Marvel Mystery Oil worked bitchin' on my stuck lifters I was able to free them and get the cam out with no trouble after a couple of days.

Brian
 
Just got this in an email - appears legit.... I'm going to have to try this atf / acetone mix!

"The April/May 2007 edition of Machinist's Workshop did a test of
> penetrating oils where they measured the force required to loosen
> rusty test devices. Buy the issue if you want to see how they did
> the test. The results reported were interesting. The lower the
> number of pounds the better. Mighty interesting results for simple
> acetone and tranny fluid!

> Penetrating oil . Average load .. Price per fluid ounce
> None .................. 516 pounds .
> WD-40 .............. 238 pounds ... $0.25
> PB Blaster ......... 214 pounds .. $0.35
> Liquid Wrench ... 127 pounds .. $0.21
> Kano Kroil ........ 106 pounds .. $0.75
> ATF-Acetone mix.. 53 pounds .. $0.10

> The ATF-Acetone mix was a 50/50 mix (1 to 1 ratio)."
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Thanks all.  I see the benefit of easing oil (and WD40 which is easily available here seems to be nearly as good as PB Blaster) but the alum plate is on the other side of the transom but from the inside is covered in gelcoat/glass.

I have a small blowtorch so I'll give that a go first - I can see that the heat is more directed which should allow it to travel down the bolt faster.

 

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DIY nutbuster fluid with a secret ingredient! 

I like how the guy explained the chemistry, even though he admits that the secret ingredient is strictly a moral booster!

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I would think heating the fastener is only going to cause it to expand and be more tightly gripped by the alloy material. If you are able to heat the alloy plate around the fastener while keeping the fastener itself cool, the bolt hole will expand but I don't even know if this is possible in your situation. Works a charm for removing studs from engine blocks, though.  

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3 hours ago, kinardly said:

I would think heating the fastener is only going to cause it to expand and be more tightly gripped by the alloy material. If you are able to heat the alloy plate around the fastener while keeping the fastener itself cool, the bolt hole will expand but I don't even know if this is possible in your situation. Works a charm for removing studs from engine blocks, though.  

You're not trying to increase the size of the hole around the fastener, you're trying to induce differential expansion of the bolt relative to the hole. Making the bolt bigger or smaller doesn't matter, you just want it to change size. That breaks up the corrosion binding the parts together so penetrating oil can get in and so they can move with less applied torque. 

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6 hours ago, knobblyoldjimbo said:

Thanks all.  I see the benefit of easing oil (and WD40 which is easily available here seems to be nearly as good as PB Blaster) but the alum plate is on the other side of the transom but from the inside is covered in gelcoat/glass.

I have a small blowtorch so I'll give that a go first - I can see that the heat is more directed which should allow it to travel down the bolt faster.

 

WD-40 really isn't a very good penetrating oil. I'd sooner go with ATF and acetone, don't they have those down under too?

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ATF & Acetone is the best penetrant I've used but they are all a waste of time on S/S seized into aluminium - that grey powder just packs things too tight.

To avoid wasting too much time, cutting it out and replacing with through bolts and a backing plate is the best way to go.

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2 hours ago, IStream said:

WD-40 really isn't a very good penetrating oil. I'd sooner go with ATF and acetone, don't they have those down under too?

Yeah, but I have a can of WD40 but not acetone and ATF!  Currently broke and jobless so having to work around the tools I have to hand!  Anyone want an SQL developer?

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11 minutes ago, knobblyoldjimbo said:

Yeah, but I have a can of WD40 but not acetone and ATF!  Currently broke and jobless so having to work around the tools I have to hand!  Anyone want an SQL developer?

Don't waste time with penetrants. They are great for rusted steel parts. Worthless for stainless in alloy corrosion. That white stuff ignores penetrating oil. 

Heat can work as it can fracture and damage the corrosion. But it is a bad idea with composites nearby as it requires tempertures well beyond what composites should ever see. Heat gun will not do it.

Impact works well. Inward, outward, side to side. Breaks up the glass-like corrosion crud.

Even better is drilling. Slotted heads will need a serious centerpunch. Sharp bits. Oil. Very slow drill motor. Extreme pressure. Drill bit same size as bolt. Half size bit first, maybe. Bit might only stay sharp for a few heads. But they are cheap...or easy to sharpen. Might be able to save backing plate, might not. Use anti-seize next time. Stainless nuts way better than threaded alloy, if possible.

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Sometimes getting done is the best solution.

you already know how to drill them out.

Odds are you will bust one no matter how long you fiddle with solutions other than “drilling the damned things out.”

just knock the heads off with a cold chisel and start drilling 

DO NOT USE HEAT!!! There is nothing that will happen to that  Aluminum oxide  at a temperature lower than that which will burn the adjacent  resin 

As for re-installation?? 

Use stainless fasteners washers and nylon insert lock nuts.

drill the holes a little too large and coat the fasteners with 5200 or Goop or your favorite sealant 

if you do a decent repair job you won’t ever be taking the gudgeons off again and if you do decide to I don’t the boat or something, you will be able to either unscrew the fasteners or ... remember how to drill the damned things out 

 

 

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Ss and aluminum are only a problem if water is allowed to enter the joint.

use best practice and attention to detail ...silkaflex, tefgel....and you will not have a problem 

best practice for a fastener is...

perfectly clean threads

sikaflex or tefgell on both the male and female threads .

nylon washer plus a ss flat washer under heads 

spring,, lock washers are never used

always use the correct length bolt...not to long or you will get wicking 

as already mentioned...allan head countersunk when ever possible 

 

when heat is used it is mainly to melt, soften cured  sikaflex or duralac that is creating friction 

in general its hard to heat a fastener

for small diameter, delicate fasteners I use a soldering iron adapted with the correct exraction bit .allan, flat, philips...as its tip

Works  ok 

 

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Fair comments.  I already have a drill - it's the one that has a hole in the middle.  It's just big enough to go around the outside of the bolt.  This means that I end up drilling resin not s/s and it goes through the alum backplate too.

Was just looking for something that might have been easier/quicker.

Thanks

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5 hours ago, knobblyoldjimbo said:

Fair comments.  I already have a drill - it's the one that has a hole in the middle.  It's just big enough to go around the outside of the bolt.  This means that I end up drilling resin not s/s and it goes through the alum backplate too.

Was just looking for something that might have been easier/quicker.

Thanks

Huh? Did we miss something about the situation? Just drill into the heads with a normal drill bit about the same size as as the bolt. Stop when the head separates from the bolt. Almost trivial. Quick. 

Diamond drill? Hollow center?

The bolt remaining in the alloy often comes out easy once you can persuade it directly with hammer, vicegrips and appropriate language.

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If you can get at the aluminum backing plate, perhaps cutting that into pieces with a dremel would be easier than drilling out the stainless screws. Replacing and retapping aluminum is easy, or go with stainless nuts and big washers.

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Just curious, but can you weld SS? I had a similar problem happen in which allen headed fasteners rounded off due to someone else using incorrect tools. Drilling wasn't an option as the clearance was to small, perhaps if I had a right angle drill it would have worked however I did have access to a TIG welder in which I welded nuts to the fastener head (8mm). Perhaps the combo of localized heat and torque freed up the SS fasteners and they surprisingly all backed out.  This was on a jet boat exhaust manifold for reference, lots of corrosion.  

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Sure...welding is possible 

for hard to reach fasteners or fasteners who have damaged heads  that  are not possible to drill , its common to spot weld a  "handle 'or another head onto the fastener to get it out 

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On 1/2/2018 at 7:44 PM, kinardly said:

I would think heating the fastener is only going to cause it to expand and be more tightly gripped by the alloy material. If you are able to heat the alloy plate around the fastener while keeping the fastener itself cool, the bolt hole will expand but I don't even know if this is possible in your situation. Works a charm for removing studs from engine blocks, though.  

The AL that the SS is fastened into will expand at a greater rate/amount than the stainless. 

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5 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

The AL that the SS is fastened into will expand at a greater rate/amount than the stainless. 

Which makes the hole smaller, tighter, until the entire plate is heated. But heat works anyway...probably for other reasons.

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SS conducts heat poorly, the corrosion between the SS and the Al even worse and the Aluminum very well. From a thermal expansion point of view, it's highly unlikely that heat will release these fasteners before serious damage is done to the surrounding composite.

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When working with steel...engine blocks or machinery ... metal to metal joints.  the opposite of heat..intense cold..works well.

the object is to make the metal move so that lubricant , rust breaker, can penetrate.

Wurth RostOff Ice is common in engine shops .

 I would not be very effective on many marine fasteners because of  bedding compound and substate material 

https://eshop.wurth.co.uk/Rust-remover-Rost-Off-Ice-PENTOIL-ROST-OFF-ICE-400ML/0893240.sku/en/GB/GBP/

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Bit of a threadjack, but in a situation like this if you had to replace the aluminum backing, could you use G10? That would eliminate future fastener corrosion issues (well, those caused by dissimilar metals) but would it be a legitimate replacement from a strength point of view?

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21 hours ago, daddle said:

Which makes the hole smaller, tighter, until the entire plate is heated. But heat works anyway...probably for other reasons.

No, actually a hole is a two arches stuck together. The resistance to compression causes them to expand outward. It's why you can heat a stuck jar lid under a hot water tap and it will expand and loosen. 

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I have an idea - how about putting a 12V battery right across the screw heads to the Al block? At the very least the whole thing will get hot without having to apply heat directly and risking damaging the composite.

INTERNET ADVICE DISCLAIMER: complete and untried speculation, professional driver on a closed course, your mileage may vary. Side effects include burn marks, electrocution, dry mouth, constipation and bad language.

 

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On 1/3/2018 at 2:10 AM, knobblyoldjimbo said:

Yeah, but I have a can of WD40 but not acetone and ATF!  Currently broke and jobless so having to work around the tools I have to hand!  Anyone want an SQL developer?

wack job Trump might let you in.

https://www.indeed.com/m/jobs?q=SQL+Developer

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20 hours ago, overdraft said:

Bit of a threadjack, but in a situation like this if you had to replace the aluminum backing, could you use G10? That would eliminate future fastener corrosion issues (well, those caused by dissimilar metals) but would it be a legitimate replacement from a strength point of view?

Possibly depending on the thread pitch and diameter. Generally G10 works best with 8mm or larger and with coarse threads. Shear strength is strong however the tinsel strength or the force to pull the fastener straight out is less than it would be with aluminium. 

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Do you have something against nuts & washers?

Plastic threads of any sort are deficient.

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Just asking about G10 as a backing material... normal stainless fasteners... wasn’t suggesting tapping it, just use it instead of aluminum as a backing that’s not reactive with the stainless fasteners passing through it... is it a reasonable substitute as a backing plate strength-wise?

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Sure - it'll need to be thicker than the equivalent metal but FRP backing plates are commonplace.

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It shouldn’t take any particularly special bit to drill out SS fasteners, and a decent quality Cobalt or HSS bit that in that size range should just be a few dollars. The main thing is to have a sharp edge, use LOTS of pressure, and go slow so you keep getting shavings. Oil will help as well. 
Not sure what you are meaning by a ceramic bit, but it sounds like the wrong tool if it’s for ceramic or masonry.  You want to cut, not abrade. Most SS will work harden, so if you start spinning it will create a hard layer that is much more difficult to get through. This is assuming you have the room to put some force behind the drill. I took out 40-50 fasteners on a rig last summer, and it wasn’t too bad- a minute or so each, but I did end up with a pretty dull drill bit. 

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22 minutes ago, Oceanconcepts said:

It shouldn’t take any particularly special bit to drill out SS fasteners, and a decent quality Cobalt or HSS bit that in that size range should just be a few dollars. The main thing is to have a sharp edge, use LOTS of pressure, and go slow so you keep getting shavings. Oil will help as well. 
Not sure what you are meaning by a ceramic bit, but it sounds like the wrong tool if it’s for ceramic or masonry.  You want to cut, not abrade. Most SS will work harden, so if you start spinning it will create a hard layer that is much more difficult to get through. This is assuming you have the room to put some force behind the drill. I took out 40-50 fasteners on a rig last summer, and it wasn’t too bad- a minute or so each, but I did end up with a pretty dull drill bit. 

Forget pushing a rock up a hill, drilling out 50 ss fasteners is my idea of hell.

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It was a drill with a hole inside - that simple.  I think it said diamond but for the money (A$12) I don't think diamonds had much to do with it it did have a rough coating though.

All it had to do was drill around the screw which was mainly fibreglass except for the very end which was an alum plate, I guess 1/4 inch or less.

I've drilled s/s and didn't like it.

Here we go:  https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/DIAMOND-HOLE-SAW-6mm-100mm-Tile-Ceramic-Porcelain-Glass-Marble-Drill-Bit-Cutter/173011567051?var=471781674618&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908110712%26meid%3D630b733c26454bc2ba4f1eff0a1e317e%26pid%3D100677%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D30%26sd%3D162645123966&_trksid=p2385738.c100677.m4598

Glass drill bit! 

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2 hours ago, knobblyoldjimbo said:

It was a drill with a hole inside - that simple.  I think it said diamond but for the money (A$12) I don't think diamonds had much to do with it it did have a rough coating though.

All it had to do was drill around the screw which was mainly fibreglass except for the very end which was an alum plate, I guess 1/4 inch or less.

I've drilled s/s and didn't like it.

Here we go:  https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/DIAMOND-HOLE-SAW-6mm-100mm-Tile-Ceramic-Porcelain-Glass-Marble-Drill-Bit-Cutter/173011567051?var=471781674618&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908110712%26meid%3D630b733c26454bc2ba4f1eff0a1e317e%26pid%3D100677%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D30%26sd%3D162645123966&_trksid=p2385738.c100677.m4598

Glass drill bit! 

The common way to remove a bedded thru hull without damaging the substrate is to drill it out with a hole saw...the same hole saw that was used to bore the original hole.  A wood plug ,with a centre pilot hole,  is fist driven into the thru hull to act as a guide. 

The same with keel bolts..a custom hole saw..generally the correct dimension ID thin wall steel pipe with a pair of cutting burs, teeth filed into its face. 

Small diameter fasteners can be drilled out of a soft substrate  by using the correct size roll pin ..inside dimension compatible with the outside dimension of the fastener. 

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On 02/01/2018 at 4:15 PM, knobblyoldjimbo said:

Small problem here.

I have a umpty year old Maricat 4.3 (the one in my avatar).

Problem that happens with these cats is that the rudder pintles are attached to the boat via 8mm threaded screws with standard screwdriver head.  They are screwed into an alum plate inside the boat.

When I removed them from a different cat a couple of years ago some of them lost their head rather than giving up their nice resting place in the alum.  I ground off the rest of the head and used a ceramic drill (10mm diamond bit with a hole in the middle) which worked well but took a bit of time to do.

Now, if I heat the screw (I have an electric heat gun) what will happen?  Will the screw heat up and expand the alum at different rates such that the screw is released?

Or do I just try to remove them and the ones that fail I drill out.

I have hatches on the rear deck so do have access inside and would likely drill a hole right through and put a backing washer and nut (and a lot of Sikaflex).

Reason to do this is that the transom is cracking which is another common problem - if I remove the pintles I can grind off the gelcoat and some of the glass (belt sander with 40 or 80 grit) and then recover with glass mat (I have some mat that is triple - three layers with different bias) and epoxy.  It lets in quite a lot of water at the moment.

Thanks chaps

Jimbo

You're in luck Jimbo, mainly 'cause you live in Effenque.

I used to buy a product called "Bolt Off" from Tofts in Bundabreg which did exactly what it's name says. Since I moved to Brissy a couple of years ago (10) I haven't been able to get it so I've had to rely on all the tricks mentioned in the previous posts. Not a single one was anywhere near as effective at freeing siezed nuts as Bolt Off. I'm not talking about the cheap American copy but the real Aussie deal.

From memory it was made by a mob in Mackay and it was their only product, and as it was in every farmer's and mechanics toolbox from Maryborough to the Cape they didn't need to produce anything else.

Apparently the business has changed hands recently and it is now more widely available.

http://boltoff.com.au/index.html

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On 1/5/2018 at 4:12 PM, overdraft said:

Bit of a threadjack, but in a situation like this if you had to replace the aluminum backing, could you use G10? That would eliminate future fastener corrosion issues (well, those caused by dissimilar metals) but would it be a legitimate replacement from a strength point of view?

Very much so. I consider them sufficiently equivalent in strength for equal thicknesses. G10 is also very easy to paint.

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I don't have much to add other than often when the situation calls for the application of heat on a fastener,( not necessarily in this case but for future reference) you often need a heat sink to keep the heat where it is needed and to protect the surrounding, (sometimes flammable materials) As previously mentioned a heat gun will not get it hot enough so you need pinpoint heat from a source such as a acetelene, butane ,map gas etc  torch capable of getting the fastener red hot if necessary. As for the heat sink the plumbing industry uses a formable heat sink putty that you pack around the fastener to be heated. The brand I have is "Hot Dam" but I'm sure there are others.

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I've heard (but never tried) that a soldering iron can provide the localized heat needed - at least in some cases.

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Good solder tip does sorta work and good place to start.

I have few round rod bronze 3" long drifts in my kit. I hold them with needle nose vise grips tight against the problem child then heat the drift with a torch. 

Then I finally break out the portable inverter tig and weld nuts or things to the fastener, most of time it spins right out. Need to be quick and rag quench ready, usually can save the surrounding paint and most important the internal threaded hole.

Everyone has a tig machine, right?

 

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G-10 backing plates eliminate the dissimilar metals issue.

They can be tapped and bonded in place to eliminate the need for access next time.

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A soldering iron will never provide enough heat to be effective at loosening seized bolts, it will however soften epoxy if you have a bonded fastener you want to remove. I second the use of bonded G10 backing plates.

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Never is a statement I would never use. Any level of heat is worth a try. If a fastener is jammed it takes some patience and all the tricks to get get them out. Might be galled or shit threads too. You can purchase soldering or heat devices that reach diff or higher temps, dollar stores typically don't carry them. 

Regardless,  ss into al sucks if installed ignorantly dry.

My name is cje and I hate boats. 

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6 hours ago, Steve said:

A soldering iron will never provide enough heat to be effective at loosening seized bolts, it will however soften epoxy if you have a bonded fastener you want to remove. I second the use of bonded G10 backing plates.

Yup...and most times a fastener  is giving you trouble because the bog...sikaflex or whatever ...is adding just a bit to much friction

heat softens the bog that is under the fastener head.

if the fastener is galled or over torqued  for some reason ...heat does nothing 

 

 

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I fixed the transom at the weekend.

I did try to unscrew the s/s screws but gave up early.

I ground the heads off then hit them hard.  Eventually the alum moulding that they were screwed into gave way.

I got all the crap out then put in ply backing with triax mat on both sides.

Fix now looks ok.  Sailing this weekend so we'll see how it all goes.

 

KO

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