Tip for removing rusty bolts

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Doreens' post about getting her lawn mower going (Congrats BTW) made me think of this and thought it may help someone else.

Spray everything w/ a good penatrating oil the night before if possible. Use penatrating oil as you go anyway. Take a ball peen hammer and "tap" the head of the bolt solidly 9-10 times. Use 6 point sockets only on stuck bolts so you don't round the heads off. Put the socket on and tap the socket a couple of times. Put socket wrench on and while applying pressure, tap the wrench. DON'T do this on wrenches w/ a quick release mechanism. I wouldn't want to have one come apart in my face, Craftsman warranty or not. As or if it starts to turn loose keep giving it a few taps.

If this fails, repray and let sit a 1/2 hour or so and try again.

Don't know why "tapping" works, but it's along the lines of how an impact wrench works anyway. Hope I made this clear.

-- John in S. IN (jsmengel@oldfartcentral.com), December 08, 2001


I especially like the part about "repray"........I use that a LOT! (grin)

-- Bonnie (chilton@stateline-isp.com), December 08, 2001.

Good post John. I've had really good luck with "Kroil" as a penetrating oil. Also, if you anticipate having to do this again, use anti-sieze compound on the new bolts when reassembling. It'll make taking things apart again ALOT easier.

One more thing I don't recall seeing in Johns post----if all else fails lotsa heat on the nut, then try turning it with the socket while the nuts still hot.

-- john (natlivent@pcpros.net), December 08, 2001.

Repray - respray ......close enough and appropriate in most cases. I used to get a penatrating oil called "Aerokroil" from guys who worked in the Steel mills. Great stuff. Maybe the same as the other John was talking about?

Yes, heat works great also. Just be careful. "Only you can prevent burning your own ___________ (House/Barn/garage) to the ground by being a moron" - Smokey Bear

I'll tell you the story about my friend who torched his place sometime. Illustrates that safety thing real well.

-- John (jsmengel@oldfartcentral.com), December 08, 2001.

I bought a one gallon can of WD40. I put it in a squeze oiler can. Its a whole lot cheaper that way then the 10oz. aerosol cans..

WD40 sure works great on the rusty stuff.....also to coat most anything that is/will rust....

-- Jim-mi (hartalteng@voyager.net), December 08, 2001.

All good tips, John! And J.L, thanks for the anti seize reminder!

Seems like everything I need to move lately has been welded shut. I ended up achieving removal with the torch. I soaked these bolts with WD 40 for three days in a row and finally just decided to torch them until they were red hot. I think the parts guy at the lawn mower repair place was trying to play me as every single part I need I had to go back and exchange for the right part. Grrr;}.

Here's another tip, always try to get the mechanical drawing for whatever many parted piece of eqipment you get. When the housing on the mower broke it misplaced many, many things and the reconstruction process was unpleasant.

-- Doreen- (bisquit@here.com), December 08, 2001.

I ordered a parts manual for my old red tractor and that's been a real help seeing what it was supposed to be like when new. Before some of the "repairs" done over the last 55 years. Yes, real men DO need instructions.

The WD40 by the gallon idea is great! "I shoulda thought of that with my brain" -Scarecrow from OZ

-- John (jsmengel@oldfartcentral.com), December 08, 2001.

If you somehow misplaced your lubricant, go over to your medicine cabinet and pull out your bottle of Pepto Bismol; believe it or not, this stuff can 'unfreeze' a nut / bolt combination pretty well. Just use like penetrating oil.

Hey Jim-mi; a hint I read in The Backwoodsman magazine. If you squeeze a small piece of sponge through a cotter pin and center it, then insert the pin into an oil can, you now have a automatic oil swab. Haven't tried this one yet, but it sounds like it would work.

-- j.r. guerra (jrguerra@boultinghousesimpson.com), December 12, 2001.

j r Sounds like a good idea...I've been "coating" more & more things with WD40......it sure seems to do a heck of a job!!

-- Jim-mi (hartalteng@voyager.net), December 12, 2001.

Great tip jr. Maybe somebody should start a tip column once a week or so?

-- John (jsmengel@olfart.com), December 13, 2001.

I was working on an exhaust system of a Ford V8 and the studs and bolts were rusted on the exhaust manifold. I mixed one part methyl hydrate (gas line anti freeze)with three parts automatic transmission fluid in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray the studs and the manifold.I let it sit overnight and gave it another spray in the morning. By late afternoon, I used an impact gun on the studs. The Ford studs have a nut on them which allowed me to put a socket on the stud to turn it out of the manifold. The studs backed out of the manifold nicely. I thought for sure they would break off. When they came out, I could see the red trans fluid in the threads of the metal of the manifold. Somehow, the evaporating methyl hydrate drives the atf into the metal. I was skeptical that it would even work, but it did. Hope it helps someone else.

-- Andy Bloomfield (chevguy47@hotmail.com), April 24, 2003.

Hell ye, nuts n bolts are a pain in the big jesus! I was trying to remove a track-rod end on my Scimitar GTE and she was stuck fast, and I mean S-T-U-C-K! In the end I ground off each side of the thread to make two flat sides, then I got a 12" Adjustable wrench, attached it to the newly grounded off stud and gave it a turn. This in turn, cracked the seal which the rust had formed over the years. Worked a treat, came out straight away.

I am currently having problems with the rear wheel cylinders though. The brake pipes going to each side are completley rusted through, and the bolts are small. Everytime I get a wrench or socket on there, it just crumbles away! Without getting a two new wheel cylinders for $120 a piece!!! What else am I to do???


-- Billy Buck Jr (blammo_uk@hotmail.com), February 24, 2004.

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