Nearly frozen bolts

Submitted: Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 13:41
ThreadID: 133937 Views:3388 Replies:10 FollowUps:9
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They're coated with strong Loctite and are close to defeating me. Four of them with Torx heads.

I've done the obvious, of heating the heads as best I can. First with a 30w electronics soldering iron - no hope - then with a heavy gas powered iron - maybe better. It's a long thread and socket so there's plenty of heat sink.

The best seems to be to work the bolt back and forwards a fraction of a turn at a time. I've been spraying RP7 into the open back ends. But it's easy to twist the key out of the socket and the result is ugly. It's become a race between trash and extract.

Any ideas? Any kind of solvent around for thread locker?
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Reply By: Member - KeithB - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 14:02

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 14:02
From the Loctite website:

No solvent will wick into the joint to break the threadlocker down. This is either hand tool removable at room temperature or if not, it requires high temperatures of 450-600°F to separate parts. The products are thermoset plastics in the cured state that soften at higher temperatures. Thus, you need to disassemble while at the higher softening point temperature. Do not let this cool down first. Otherwise, it will resoldify. Solvents like methyl ethyl keytone and methylene chloride can be used for clean-up of residue only after disassembly.
AnswerID: 606684

Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 14:42

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 14:42
I agree. A lot more heat quantity is required so the bolts actually gets hot. A soldering iron will only luke warm it no matter what the wattage of the iron. A small gas point flame may provide enough heat to soften and permit easier removal.
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FollowupID: 876406

Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 15:42

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 15:42
I could well be wrong but when we had to get a number of bolts like that out we heated the nuts with oxy and hammered them from both sides to spread them and then the bolts came out Wouldnt heating the bolts make them bigger and therefore harder to get out.

Our ones were 75mm long hardest possible stainless steel through timber and steel sheet and some of the heads were eaten by acid and hard to get a spanner on them. Was a fun job 50ft off the ground LOL
AnswerID: 606690

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 15:57

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 15:57
I could probably bring an impact driver to bear but I think the problem is now broken Loctite clogging the threads. Luckily at ground level.
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FollowupID: 876411

Reply By: steved58 - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 16:31

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 16:31
More heat needed use loctite all the time need to get it dull red
Steve
AnswerID: 606691

Reply By: Hoyks - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 17:31

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 17:31
as said above, more heat.
I use a mini butane blow torch. They are reasonable on the gas consumption and put the heat where you want it. If you can, try and get the heat at the thread end.

https://www.jaycar.com.au/piezo-ignition-micro-torch/p/TS1660

What sort of loctite did you assemble it with, as they have varying temperatures that they let go at. It might be worth your while re-assembling it with a lower grade product to allow for disassembly in the future.
http://www.wdarc.org/Loctite%20Guide.pdf

If you have no luck, then Snap-on Multi Spline Extractors are the go. Drill the head 1/4" deep and tap in the extractor, while applying torque with a 1/2" spanner. They will kill the bolt, but they will get it out. We use them to extract screws that are almost welded into the hole.
AnswerID: 606692

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 17:46

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 17:46
Thanks guys.

Naked flame isn't an option because of surrounding paint and components.

Have noted the extractor and will return to the fray tomorrow.
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FollowupID: 876416

Follow Up By: Member - Russler - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 18:25

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 18:25
Could you place a few pieces of fibro cement around the work site in order to protect the paint and components?
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FollowupID: 876417

Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 17:58

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 17:58
You can get a nut splitter. It has a screw thread and pushes a chisle type thing into side of nut. This way the bolt is not damaged. If you can't use high heat probably only option is the splitter. Will find them at the Big Green place or any reasonable tool store.

Neil
AnswerID: 606695

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 18:07

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 18:07
Hi Sigmund,

A method I developed to free seats from control valves which had been secured with a material similar to Loctite was to apply heat by means of welding current. The welding lead was strongly applied to the exposed section of the seat with the 'work lead' connected to the body of the valve. A current in the order of 100 or more amps was then applied which heated the seat and softened the sealant.

In your case, success with this method may be influenced by a current path from the head of the bolt to the earthed mass of the job. This could bypass the thread, although the entire bolt may still get hot. It does have the benefit of avoiding open flame on the surrounding surface.

Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 606696

Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 19:37

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 at 19:37
That's pretty creative Allan.

Yeah, the current wouldn't go right through the bolt. This is about 40mm of M8 sitting flush full length in a steel frame. No nut.
AnswerID: 606699

Reply By: gbc - Thursday, Dec 15, 2016 at 06:28

Thursday, Dec 15, 2016 at 06:28
Just put the torx bit in a cordless impact driver. Heating the bolt and not the surrounding encasing will only make it a tighter fit.
AnswerID: 606703

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Dec 15, 2016 at 10:25

Thursday, Dec 15, 2016 at 10:25
.
Yes "gbc", but it is necessary to allow the bolt to then cool before attempting removal.

To extend the explanation of my scheme of removing valve seats, the method was to apply heat directly to the inserted seat which had the effect of burning the sealant and also expanding the seat which applied pressure to the sealant residue. Of course, the valve body surrounding the seat also became heated and would expand somewhat but not as much as the seat.
It was imperative then to allow the whole lot to cool to ambient such that the seat shrank back to its original size and could then be undone with very little effort.
The technique worked every time.
Initially we used an oxy torch but refined it to the welding current which better controlled the process and concentrated the heat to the seat.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Dec 15, 2016 at 08:43

Thursday, Dec 15, 2016 at 08:43
So, overnight 3 bolts tightened up and one loosened for a couple of turns. The heat must've been doing some good. The 'loose' one's head is just about stripped out so I'll get one of those extractors - thanks Hoyks.

The bottom ones don't allow access to anything more bulky than a key; not even a ratchet. It's on an angle and wants to twist out.
AnswerID: 606706

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Thursday, Dec 15, 2016 at 15:14

Thursday, Dec 15, 2016 at 15:14
Well here's the washup.

All out without stripping a Torx socket or shearing a bolt - but it was close. Probably because I'd gone out and got an extractor.

What I think helped:

Repeated to and fro.
Walking away when the leverage felt like it was getting excessive. I think there was some kind of settling going on.
Heat.
More leverage.

Maybe the heat expanded the bolt and helped crush the locker.

Extending the leverage from the key length of about 9" to double that led to one loud crack and shudder and I thought I'd torn it but no. The extra leverage was only needed on one bolt.

I did try a cordless hammer drill and the clutch slipped.

The amazing thing is that only about a cm of thread had been treated with the locker.

New hex head bolts have gone back in with breakable locker and a spring washer.

Thanks again for your advice gents.
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FollowupID: 876439

Reply By: gbc - Saturday, Dec 17, 2016 at 06:10

Saturday, Dec 17, 2016 at 06:10
Time to buy yourself a cordless impact driver for Christmas. You will wonder what you did without one.
AnswerID: 606744

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Dec 17, 2016 at 07:36

Saturday, Dec 17, 2016 at 07:36
Would it have helped with a clogged thread, not just a frozen one?
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FollowupID: 876475

Follow Up By: gbc - Saturday, Dec 17, 2016 at 09:20

Saturday, Dec 17, 2016 at 09:20
I've found that they will not strip the heads out of fixings but provide much better turning force than a standard cordless drill. definitely the tool of choice for your job.
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FollowupID: 876477

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Dec 17, 2016 at 10:04

Saturday, Dec 17, 2016 at 10:04
Thanks.

I looked at my manual one but the chuck wouldn't take my Torx bit.
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FollowupID: 876478

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