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Old 04-05-2016, 10:13   #1
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Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

The keel bolts on my 43 foot Irwin MkIII stick through the hull about 10 inches into the bilge. The bilge width is quite narrow so a socket wrench would appear to be the only tool suitable for loosening or tightening the nuts. That said, I've never seen a 10 inch long deep socket so I'm struggling to know what tool to use. I've tried a box end wrench and there simply isn't enough room in the bilge to turn it more than 1/16th of an inch. Anyone have any suggestions or recommendations?
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:19   #2
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

Your saying there is 10" of bolt sticking out through the nuts?
If so I'd make my own 12" socket by cutting the end off and welding in a 10" section of pipe.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:22   #3
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

Pass through sockets.

Something like:
GearWrench 891226 25 Piece 1/2-Inch Drive (30mm) Pass Thru Ratchet Set with Locking Flex-Head - Sockets - Amazon.com

You may need to search for very long extensions.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:31   #4
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

Make a tool?

Cut a socket in half. Weld the hex end to a piece of pipe, and the drive end to the other end of the pipe.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:35   #5
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

I would think a crow's foot socket would be the tool for the job

http://www.amazon.com/OEMTOOLS-25519...oot+wrench+set
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:59   #6
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

alternatively - how about cutting the bolts shorter - no reason for them to stick out much beyond the nut.

as mentionned above there are various 'pass thru socket' designs (http://www.amazon.com/BOSTITCH-BTMT7.../dp/B00F3ZY4Y0), just not sure which of the options would work in your specific situation.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:12   #7
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
alternatively - how about cutting the bolts shorter - no reason for them to stick out much beyond the nut.

as mentionned above there are various 'pass thru socket' designs (http://www.amazon.com/BOSTITCH-BTMT7.../dp/B00F3ZY4Y0), just not sure which of the options would work in your specific situation.
If you have the room and a zip cutter you could shorten those bolts very quickly, my vote as well.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:16   #8
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

? chop off excess bolt lengths (?)

? sacrifice 1 socket and weld it onto an extension SS tube

b.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:30   #9
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

you need to have some length to the bolts so you have some space to work between hull and keel. also for alignment purposes on the hard of course... so, I wouldn't cut them off.
I would do the socket and pipe thing.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:44   #10
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

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you need to have some length to the bolts so you have some space to work between hull and keel. also for alignment purposes on the hard of course... so, I wouldn't cut them off.
I would do the socket and pipe thing.
zip

Maybe but personally I've never seen keel bolts with much more than an inch past the nut, all you really need is 3 threads.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:07   #11
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

I suspect the length of the keel bolts had something to do with the original ease of installation. You could cut them off but its always best to chase down the thread with a die and then use the die to clean the threads coming off rather than trying to start onto a thread damaged by the cutting. Think in terms of leaving them long if you are contemplating removal of the keel, however.

If these things are not real big (read 1.5 inch nuts or more) I would buy a crow foot wrench in half inch drive. Bigger sizes are available but you may not have enough torque with half inch drive on really big stock. I donít think there is much out there for ĺ drive crowfoot wrenches. Get the one that looks like a cut-off open end. The ones for flare nuts are not nearly as strong.

The cutting and welding of a socket is a good idea, done correctly it is strong enough and would allow you to use a ĺ drive handle to break them loose and Find the correct size socket in a six point deep well. Make sure it is marked Chrome Vanadium as are most impact sockets. Find a piece of pipe (preferably sched 80 that has a slightly smaller I.D. than the sockets O.D.) cut the drive part of the socket off of the end. Machine the inside of the pipe, outside of the socket, or both to a press fit with the socket parts. Press the parts together nearly flush, makes the wall a lot thicker and makes it a lot less apt to break.

Weld a bead around both joints. Chrome Vanadium welds easily. Chrome plated sockets can be problematic. No need for stainless pipe, just makes it tougher to weld and hard to find in sched 80.

I make specialty tools like this all the time and used them with impact wrenches on occasion.
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Old 04-05-2016, 13:02   #12
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

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Originally Posted by um saudade View Post
I
If these things are not real big (read 1.5 inch nuts or more) I would buy a crow foot wrench in half inch drive. Bigger sizes are available but you may not have enough torque with half inch drive on really big stock. I donít think there is much out there for ĺ drive crowfoot wrenches. Get the one that looks like a cut-off open end. The ones for flare nuts are not nearly as strong.
I would extend a socket but if you are tightening nuts with a crowsfoot, or any other offset tool, bear in mind that you are applying more torque to the nut than is indicated by the setting on the torque wrench. The way I have always done this is to measure from the center of the torque wrench grip to the center of the drive square and measure the crowsfoot from the center of the nut to the center of the square drive hole and apply the formula: actual torque = wrench setting x (length with offset / length without offset). The actual offset will vary depending on the angle the wrench is relative to the crowsfoot so this works as long as you keep things more or less in line.
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Old 04-05-2016, 13:08   #13
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

Pass thru sockets won't work, reason is if there is no room to swing a wrench, then there is no room to swing a ratchet
I would use the home made long socket as it's just too easy to make or have made, and I would definitely run a die over the bolts with cutting oil to clean out the threads before I started backing off the nuts. 10" is a long way to back off a nut and you want it to go easy and not wear the nuts.

The only reason I can see for them being so crazy long is to use them as alignment guides during keel installation? I surely wouldn't cut them off even if you could as then you may find out the hard way why they are so long, I can't imagine there isn't a good reason for the excess length.
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Old 04-05-2016, 14:07   #14
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

Found indications on line of a shoal draught version so presumably there must have been one with a deeper keel.

If converting shoal draught to deep keel was to be an option you would need long, long keel bolts wouldn't you?

Just a guess

For alignment/guiding a keel into place slip close-fitting thin-wall stainless tube over two of the bolts.
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Old 04-05-2016, 14:51   #15
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Re: Tool for removing nuts on VERY long keel bolts

If you cannot weld socket, cut box end wrench handle off with grinder to make it a "shorty". Then take a length of pipe and grind or cut out recess for short handle of wrench to fit inside. Drill hole near top of pipe and insert rod or socket extension to turn pipe.
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