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Old 04-04-2012, 15:02   #1
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Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

I just notice my barient P10 2 speed winch's base is cracked!!! I am trying to get it off but the bolts are SS and the mast is aluminum. They seem to either be welded to the mast by corrosion or through bolted. (I can't see how they could be through bolted to the mast though unless someone had and extremely long arm)

Of course the bolts have very shallow, slotted heads and they don't seem to be responding to heat from my propane torch. What should I do?
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Old 04-04-2012, 15:40   #2
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

I faced the same problem with my Lewmar winch. It's corrosion!
I cold chiseled the base plate into small bits and was able to unscrew the bolts using a 24 inch pipe-wrench.

A rigger suggested that I double a piece of a plastic shopping bag and place it between the mast and the base plate.
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Old 04-04-2012, 15:57   #3
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

G'Day Unbusted (a name that did't work in this case!)

The best tool for your situation is an impact driver, using a screwdriver tip that closely fits the slots in your screw heads. HEating the screws as best you can followed by using a heavy hammer and the driver may do the job. It is a bugger of a struggle at times, and you have my sympathy. People who assemble things onto aluminium substrates without use of Duralac, Tef-Gel, lanolin or other anti-seize goop should be hung by tender parts until suitably chastised.

Using some sort of non-conductive barrier between the base and the mast will help avoid corrosion in that area, but will not help with the screws, so be warned.

Good luck, mate...


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Old 04-04-2012, 16:11   #4
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

Yeah.... tough deal. They are likely just corroded in solid. No easy answer. With slot head bolts... not sure if you'l ever unscrew them. Might have to center punch and drill them out. This is why God made lanolin!
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:19   #5
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While you are repairing this, why not use Helicoils made of Inconel/Monel so that it is not a problem in the future. Some cost but should make it an easy service next time. Maybe we should use these for all mast fitments.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:58   #6
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

An older Mechanic showed me a trick many years ago,,using a welding rig.
He would momentarily zap the offending nut or bolt with the welder.
The result would be that the rust or corrosion would be melted and blasted away.
This trick has work for me many times,,although i have never tried it on a mast.
Good Luck.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:25   #7
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

Aggh, yer in a tough place with this one. When the aluminum corrodes in contact with SS it expands and turns into a powder effectively compressing the screw into place.

What will usually get the screws out is a combination of heat, ice, mechanical force and patience.

You are trying to break loose all the powder that is holding the screw in place and this can be done by expanding and contracting the metal repeatedly.

Propane torchmay not be enough, the use of an oxy-acetalyne, with a rosebud diffuser tip - very carefully as aluminum has a vastly lower metling point than SS - to heat the screw and then let it cool for up to 30 minutes. While cooling you can use an impact wrench to try to lossen it. If there is not enough of a slot left in the screw.you can use the edge of a file or thin wheeled grinder to cut a slot.

Do this 3 or more times and if it doesnt work you can then use ice...there are spray products like Freeze-off i think its called that you srpay on that freeze the hell out of it. Same as with the heating while it is warming up use an impact wrench on it. Do several times.

All during the process you can spray corrosionon penetrators like wd40 to help get the powder out of the way.

If this doesnt work you can drill out the center, leving enough of the slot left so that you can still use an impact wrench, sometimes the removal of metal is eough to aloow the screw to deform while removeing it and it will come free.

If you choose to drill it out, remember aluminum is way softer than SS and the bit can easily drift and you will end up with an oblong hole and not reusable.

good luck
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:39   #8
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

anything over about 500 degrees and you are softening your mast. Just bite the bullet and drill them out using a drill bit slightly smaller than the bolt. Centerpunch dead center and have a few sharp drill bits. To get rid of the slot, use a large drill bit first to make a tapered "start".
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:14   #9
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

Try zapping it with Battery voltage, ground off on the Mast and then zap momentarily on the screw or bolt,,then try turning.
The amps from your batteries are more than enough to cause a suitable arc at the corrosion site.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:30   #10
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

I've had good luck with PB-Blaster penetrating oil. Works a lot better than WD40-- just spray it on and let it soak in for a good while.

I've also had luck using a Dremel cutting wheel to deepen/recut a screwdriver slot.

Good luck.

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Old 05-04-2012, 12:46   #11
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

To amplify Nemo55's battery suggestion. Get a set of jumper cables. Clamp a suitable sized bolt on the positive side and clamp the negative side as close as you can to something in contact with the fastener. Touch the bolt in the positive clamp to the head of the offending fastener and then spray with a suitable penetrating oil after it's heated up. You effectively set up an arc welder and can get the fastener cherry red if you want. You are applying heat exclusively to the fastener so it's way more effective than a torch and a lot less risky than using oxyacetelene that can turn your mast into a puddle. Be patient, may take several iterations over a few days to get the fastener to turn.

I've used this trick to remove all the fasteners from my 40 plus year old mast. MAPP and propane torches don't seem to generate enough heat and have been worthless in trying to remove fasteners. Just soaking with penetrating doesn't work, either. If the head strips out and you can get a hack saw on the head of the fastener, you can cut enough of a slot to get purchase with a flat head screw driver. A battery powered impact driver is also a great tool for corrosion welded fasteners. Be careful with them, however. Even a 12volt one will twist off the head of a #12 fastener if you are not careful.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:56   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi
To amplify Nemo55's battery suggestion. Get a set of jumper cables. Clamp a suitable sized bolt on the positive side and clamp the negative side as close as you can to something in contact with the fastener. Touch the bolt in the positive clamp to the head of the offending fastener and then spray with a suitable penetrating oil. You effectively set up an arc welder and can get the fastener cherry red if you want. You are applying heat exclusively to the fastener
This is very interesting, I would love to hear the results of this if the OP uses this technique. Seems a lot easier than dragging tanks to the boat to splash with heat from a torch...
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Old 05-04-2012, 14:25   #13
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
To amplify Nemo55's battery suggestion. Get a set of jumper cables. Clamp a suitable sized bolt on the positive side and clamp the negative side as close as you can to something in contact with the fastener. Touch the bolt in the positive clamp to the head of the offending fastener and then spray with a suitable penetrating oil after it's heated up. You effectively set up an arc welder and can get the fastener cherry red if you want. You are applying heat exclusively to the fastener so it's way more effective than a torch and a lot less risky than using oxyacetelene that can turn your mast into a puddle. Be patient, may take several iterations over a few days to get the fastener to turn.

I've used this trick to remove all the fasteners from my 40 plus year old mast. MAPP and propane torches don't seem to generate enough heat and have been worthless in trying to remove fasteners. Just soaking with penetrating doesn't work, either. If the head strips out and you can get a hack saw on the head of the fastener, you can cut enough of a slot to get purchase with a flat head screw driver. A battery powered impact driver is also a great tool for corrosion welded fasteners. Be careful with them, however. Even a 12volt one will twist off the head of a #12 fastener if you are not careful.
Sounds like a terrible idea. I like it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 16:02   #14
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

Right. How about wrapping some detcord around the baseplate, duct-tape around it and fire in the hole!

2nd worst idea: ask the myth busters to come and help

The base plate of the winch is cracked and made of aluminium? In that case I would cut it to bits (Fein multimaster tool!) after which you have enough of the screws to put vice grips on while PB blasting and torching etc.

ciao!
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Old 05-04-2012, 16:21   #15
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Re: Winches through bolted to mast?/unsticking bolts

What is so hard to understand ?? the momentary arc causes the rust and or Corrosion to burn away leaving you with clean thread.
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