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Old 06-09-2014, 07:07   #1
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Seized up Bronze Seacocks

We have six Spartan Marine bronze tapered cone seacocks on our "new to us" old Cape Dory 33 that are seized up solid as rocks. The boat hasn't been touched in six years (on the hard) and in that time they have apparently grown very fond of the positions they were left in, some open and some closed, and now refuse to budge.

Lance worked on three of them all day last Saturday without success. Fortunately I was not able to be there so he was able to keep any choice words private between him and his seacocks. We're going tomorrow for another try so if anyone has any secret method for getting them unstuck we would love to hear it. We are going to try a heat gun, of course the "tapping" thing as been done to death.

I sure don't want to have to replace six of these bad boys at almost $300 per.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:25   #2
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

if it is on the hard: remove the hose and fill with PB blaster. return the next day and heat it up. done. if in water it may be more difficult.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:28   #3
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

Oh man...

What a pain huh???

Only thing I got is strip all you can.... LOTS of Kroil or PB Blaster ... heat... tap... re-soak... wait...

lather rinse repeat...

What year are you guys launching again???
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:31   #4
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

Penetrating oil takes more than the usual 2 minutes to penetrate.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:33   #5
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

Yards sometimes use a sponge brush to get bottom paint up inside the fitting. A few years build up can raise a skin on the cone. Spray a paint solvent up the thruhull for a few days. I have had use a 2-legged puller and push against the handle shaft on occasions. BTW, very good hardware. Careful if using heat, there is a rubber seal .
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:39   #6
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

Give Spartan a call, there very helpful. You have the best, I'm sure they can be freed.

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Old 06-09-2014, 08:00   #7
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

Googling 'servicing bronze seacocks' yields this great overview:

Servicing Tapered Cone Seacocks Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

I'd suggest re lapping them if they are that stuck. Doesn't take long. I always remove the seacock from the through hull when doing this so I can have it in my hand and be sure to clean all the lapping compound out of it, etc. Also revealing the through hull like this lets me give it a thorough inspection as well.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:59   #8
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

From Compass Marine: "4- If the valve was stuck a light tap on the nut end, with a hardwood mallet, will almost always free the cone from the valve body. If you do not have a hardwood mallet just leave the jam nut 90% on and tap on the nut. This will prevent you from damaging the threads on the cones shaft. DO NOT beat on it."

It is safe to heat the body of the seacock if you have to, there is no rubber seal in it.
Tapping on the nut end should just pop it out. If it doesn't I'd heat the body of the seacock with a propane torch. This should cause the body to expand away from the tapered plug. I'd wrap a wet rag around the base of the body to prevent that from getting hot. You don't want to damage the sealant between the seacock and hull.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:11   #9
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
if it is on the hard: remove the hose and fill with PB blaster. return the next day and heat it up. done. if in water it may be more difficult.

It is on the hard and hoses are already off. Never heard of PB Blaster, but thanks for the tip. I will definitely pass it on to Lance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
Yards sometimes use a sponge brush to get bottom paint up inside the fitting. A few years build up can raise a skin on the cone. Spray a paint solvent up the thruhull for a few days. I have had use a 2-legged puller and push against the handle shaft on occasions. BTW, very good hardware. Careful if using heat, there is a rubber seal .
Thanks for the info and for the heads up about the heat and the rubber seal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob_77903 View Post
Give Spartan a call, there very helpful. You have the best, I'm sure they can be freed.

Bronze and Stainless Marine Hardware - Spartan Marine Hardware and Accessories | Robinhood Marine Center
I talk to Scott at Spartan regularly as we have been placing a few orders recently (making our weekly deposits) but have not called him about this yet. Will do so on Monday if we have no success this weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
What year are you guys launching again???
The goal is the spring, if the engine is back in. Not kidding....stop whistling....

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris95040 View Post
Googling 'servicing bronze seacocks' yields this great overview:

Servicing Tapered Cone Seacocks Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

I'd suggest re lapping them if they are that stuck. Doesn't take long. I always remove the seacock from the through hull when doing this so I can have it in my hand and be sure to clean all the lapping compound out of it, etc. Also revealing the through hull like this lets me give it a thorough inspection as well.
We have been to this site and will definitely follow the instructions for lapping once we can get them apart. We have our service kit from Spartan ready and waiting. The problem is getting them apart, and Lance has been following all the instructions from this site already about the tapping. He's all tapped out.

We'll check into the PB Blaster, and will try heat. We'll let you know what, if anything, worked once we get them apart........

Thank you everyone for taking the time to respond.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:38   #10
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

Beckster...

I've found the the PB and Kroil to be hands down better than any other penetrating oils... And I've used 'em all...

Copper and lead hammers are "invaluable" for the right task... Lead is not going to give enough "shock" vibration to the valve body, but I would be using my 4 lb copper here... Also hardwood blocked for the stem... MASS is your friend over swinging force... I'll post a picture of what 30 years of use makes them look like!
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:54   #11
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
From Compass Marine: "4- If the valve was stuck a light tap on the nut end, with a hardwood mallet, will almost always free the cone from the valve body. If you do not have a hardwood mallet just leave the jam nut 90% on and tap on the nut. This will prevent you from damaging the threads on the cones shaft. DO NOT beat on it."

It is safe to heat the body of the seacock if you have to, there is no rubber seal in it.
Tapping on the nut end should just pop it out. If it doesn't I'd heat the body of the seacock with a propane torch. This should cause the body to expand away from the tapered plug. I'd wrap a wet rag around the base of the body to prevent that from getting hot. You don't want to damage the sealant between the seacock and hull.



Use MAPP gas instead of a woosie torch. It's cheap and burns much hotter, much faster results. Heat the fitting till spit sizzles on it, no more. It'll pop right off. A heat gun is a joke for this, it takes a solid half hour to get a fitting hot enough like that. Same cheap torch, different fuel canister. Look for the yellow cans instead of blue.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:56   #12
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

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Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
It is on the hard and hoses are already off. Never heard of PB Blaster, but thanks for the tip. I will definitely pass it on to Lance.



Thanks for the info and for the heads up about the heat and the rubber seal.



I talk to Scott at Spartan regularly as we have been placing a few orders recently (making our weekly deposits) but have not called him about this yet. Will do so on Monday if we have no success this weekend.



The goal is the spring, if the engine is back in. Not kidding....stop whistling....



We have been to this site and will definitely follow the instructions for lapping once we can get them apart. We have our service kit from Spartan ready and waiting. The problem is getting them apart, and Lance has been following all the instructions from this site already about the tapping. He's all tapped out.

We'll check into the PB Blaster, and will try heat. We'll let you know what, if anything, worked once we get them apart........

Thank you everyone for taking the time to respond.
Becki,

In all my years of servicing tapered cone seacocks, some years as many as 55-60 a season, I have yet to not be able to get a cone out of a body.

*Remove both nuts or make BOTH loose
*Tap on threaded shaft end with the proper mallet
*Cone should eventually pop out
*DO NOT try to use the handle or handle end to free them, it will break
*Tap the cone OUT of the body NOT into it, this is done via the threaded end.

Bronze is a copper alloy and threads can be damaged by a brass or copper hammer, ask me how I know. As Homer would say, D'oh.......

With the wrong mallet or hammer leave the nut on if you do this or put a block of maple or oak in between the threaded shaft and mallet..

As mentioned above a lead hammer won't do much nor will a phenolic/plastic hammer.. A little heat from a heat gun can be beneficial. Penetrating oils won't hurt but I have never once needed them. I can't even count how many hundreds of frozen seacocks I have serviced, but it has been a lot. Unfortunately far to many of them on Bristol's and Cape Dory's have been with HORRIBLE access, hence why they were never used to begin with and froze up......

If you are in an area of freezing weather it is possible a closed valve froze and expanded in which case getting it out of the body can be tough. The toughest ones I ever removed had been frozen and cracked.....

The biggest problem on many CD's is swing room for the mallet. If this is the case sometimes it is best to remove the seacock entirely to free the cone.. These are EXPENSIVE so don't ruin them. Properly serviced Spartan Seacocks will last as long as the boat....

In really tight areas for a hammer I have used a small three jawed gear puller pushing on the shaft end... There is just enough lip in the body to bite on for the jaws of the puller....
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:27   #13
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

Yep ....loosen nuts, protect end of thread with the nuts and tap on it with a heavy hammer (2-3lb) it should pop right out .. If oxide/corrosion buildup is holding it I doubt anything you spray will help. But he taper is your friend.
Lanolin (lanocote) on the tapers when reassembling will prevent this... but they will turn with more resistance than with grease. Cold water... not so good, warm water lanolin is great.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:24   #14
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

Thank you everyone for all the great tips.

Lance said he has been using PB Blaster, not helping. He will go through this thread prior to going to the boat tomorrow and hopefully some of these good ideas will do the trick. We are not anxious to replace 6 seacocks so will do everything we can to get them free and working again.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:38   #15
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Re: Seized up Bronze Seacocks

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Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
Thank you everyone for all the great tips.

Lance said he has been using PB Blaster, not helping. He will go through this thread prior to going to the boat tomorrow and hopefully some of these good ideas will do the trick. We are not anxious to replace 6 seacocks at a cost of $300 per so will do everything we can to get them free and working again.
You'll win the battle to be sure... A couple of gurus (not myself) have spoken, and with a little effort and their guidance, you'll be reporting your success!
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