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Old 19-02-2013, 20:27   #1
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IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

Nearing the end of some upgrades, (LOL, nearing the end, only a fool would say that, guilty), and replaced the previously upgraded lower shroud chain plates from the single eye bolts version which had some rust on a couple of them (Catalina Direct: Chainplate eyebolt retrofit kit for C-25, C-27) to the U-bolt kit with the heavy duty plates (Catalina Direct: Chainplate U-Bolt Retrofit Kit C-27)

In the process, 2 of the closed turnbuckles (Catalina Direct: Closed Body Turnbuckle 5/16
are still frozen after spraying them twice a day for a couple of weeks with loosening fluids and trying to get them to turn so we can adjust them to the new U-bolts which are different heights than the eye bolts.

I am hoping someone has a better idea, if not I guess it time to put some serious heat on them. I am hoping I can do this with minimal damage to the shrouds, because I don't want to have to buy new ones.

Thank you.
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Old 21-02-2013, 20:18   #2
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

I'm assuming that you've used PB blaster and/or other products like it? Not just WD40.

Then it's time for heat. Usually the combination of PB blaster and heat frees things up.
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Old 21-02-2013, 20:53   #3
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

Those closed ones are a real bitch!

Before using heat try everything imaginable. Even some nitric acid to eat some of the rust. Even try diesel fuel. Tie a baggie around them so they are liquid tight and and fill it with diesel or Kroil, and let them soak submerged a couple days. Then see if they'll move. If so work them back and forth keeping them soaked in liquid, they should work loose.

The problem with heat on SS is it'll work-harden the materials and cause micro cracks. Also it could start galling and ruin the threads. If it seizes up while hot, that's it, they done/toast. Heat should be last resort on SS.
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Old 22-02-2013, 01:35   #4
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

I have heard of soaking in coca cola - no affiliation with the firm!
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Old 23-02-2013, 10:42   #5
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

Dana, try PB Blaster. It is the best product I've used for frozen parts. You can also use heat(propane torch) if it is not excessive to break the apparent galvonic corrosion inside. Then, get rid of the closed turnbuckles and replace with open turnbuckles. In my opinion the closed turnbuckles are junk and have no place on a boat. Many of the Tawainese boats of the 70's and 80's used them and they are a complete disaster unless continually maintained and lubricated. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 23-02-2013, 10:58   #6
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

PB blaster should do it. Be careful as stainless steel is soft so it's easy to gall the threads. I have heard of using coca cola and also brown vinegar. Try everything and anything before you start using heat.
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Old 23-02-2013, 11:14   #7
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

pb blaster
coca cola
white vinegar
happy sails...
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Old 23-02-2013, 11:32   #8
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

PB blaster does work pretty well usually, occasionally heat and when it's pretty hot use beeswax and it is drawn right into all the threads.
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Old 23-02-2013, 16:32   #9
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

When you finally unseize these, you will have to closely inspect them for galling or gnarly threads, etc. and be prepared to replace them, perhaps with open turnbuckles this time.
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Old 23-02-2013, 17:11   #10
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

If the PB blaster does not work then take a Dremel with a fiberglass reinforced cut-off wheel and score both ends as shown and then heat and stick a screw driver in the cut slots to open them.

Have had to do this before
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Old 23-02-2013, 18:06   #11
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

Soak them in automatic transmission fluid over night and put in vice with a pin in the hole to keep from turning and unscrew them. Works perfect every time.
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Old 23-02-2013, 18:06   #12
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The threaded rods should be stainless steel but the "housing" should be chromed bronze so that it's hard to get any galling. Stainless on stainless means it's shot I think...
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Old 26-02-2013, 12:00   #13
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

Cut off and replace new
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Old 26-02-2013, 12:27   #14
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

There is one trick I used to free a frozen distributor on an engine and that was to pack it in dry ice. Differential thermal expansion broke the corrosion. I don't know about where you live but our local supermarket sells dry ice. Just be careful how you handle it unless you want a nasty burn.

Rich
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Old 26-02-2013, 12:37   #15
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Re: IDEAS? Loosen a frozen turnbuckle

penetration oil
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