The other day I was working on an old lawnmower that I’d picked up at a secondhand shop. Things were going well until I encountered a rusted bolt that refused to budge. Do you guys have any suggestions on how to help loosen the culprit?
If you’re a DIY enthusiast, it’s inevitable that at some point you’re going to strike the dreaded problem of a rusted bolt or shaft that’s stuck in its housing.
One of our team members here was recently removing the swing-arms of his motorbike from the frame to clean and grease the needle-bearings, when he hit this very snag. The main swing-arm pivot bolt was seized into the inner bearing race. He rides a dual-purpose bike, so the suspension is subjected to submersion at river crossings, and there is also a lot of high-velocity mud spray at times, hence the problem. The good news is that the issue can be solved!
You will need
- A can of Q10
- Appropriately sized spanners
- A four pound hammer
- An aluminium block or brass drift.
- A heat gun
- A wire brush
Here’s how to do it…
You may need to repeat some of these steps multiple times before the bolt / nut finally gives. Sometimes, the best solution to a problem is not about what tool you use, but rather, how persistent and patient you are.
Some important points to remember…
- Never hit the shaft end with a hammer directly; this will distort and mushroom the end so that it will never pass through the housing.
- Never use a worn spanner (or socket) on a tight bolt or nut – you’re guaranteed to make the problem worse by rounding the bolt head.
- When you re-assemble your project, apply Q20 to prevent future rust.
- Never apply too much torque to the ring-end of a low-quality spanner – they tend to break and shoot bits of metal about!