I need to take all the trim parts off the inside of my TT doors, but every screw is rusted tight. Aside from drilling, does anyone have a good home brew rust buster? I soaked them in transmission fluid and PB Blaster to no avail. I'm trying to get the steel body stripped down and ready for blasting as soon as I can.
What's around the screws? If it's wood, have a spray bottle of water handy and keep it soaked. Use a tiny welding tip (000 should work) to turn the screw orange, then let it cool. Be careful to heat the screw without melting it. Some 50-50 ATF/acetone might help, but the heat wrench may do the job without it.
I've removed stuck bolts and screws by heating with a propane torch and applying candle wax to the heated area. The wax gets "sucked" into the threads somehow. Worked like magic.
The doors are completely metal; no wood. I soaked them in ATF prior and heated with a propane torch with no luck. I will test the wax idea and see what happens before I try the welder tip. Thanks!
When nothing else has worked for me I have turned to heat and WD-40 with success. I've heated fasteners with a propane or MAP gas torch and then squirted WD-40 into the thread joint. I use a hand squirt bottle for the WD-40 with a fine stream of liquid. I would not use the aerosol version because I'm afraid of starting a fire. Do this in a well-ventilated area and a nearby fire extinguisher is advisable, as with any application of heat.
A variation on using heat that has never failed me: Play an appropriately "focused" oxy-acetylene flame on the screw until it is dull red, be careful to heat just the screw, then quench with an ice-cube.
I’ve had the best results on small screws as follows;
Set a steel washer down around the head that just clears nicely
Set a steel nut on the washer (probably 5/16” or so)
Using a “expendable “ screwdriver, hold the nut down and electric weld through the hole of the nut the whole “mess” together!!! Mig or arc, whatever you are best with!!
As it cools, apply candle wax and when cool remove the stub.
If there is significant rust on the back side of the screw it may come a few turns and then twist off. Repeat the process then. I’ve NEVER had this process not be successful. It just takes patience!!
Mark, I've used WD-40 in an aerosol can to start campfires, it works great, my wife told me to NEVER do that when the grandkids are watching.
I often have had success using a hand impact driver on frozen screws. The tool only costs a few dollars at Harbor Freight so may be worth a try.
Once you have set the drivers direction of rotation you must put significant torque in a counter clockwise direction on the driver body with your weak hand if you are going to have success with this method. Using a suitable hammer start with light blows to the driver and increase the force until the fastener either comes loose or breaks off if too rust welded in place.
No worries about heat, damage from solvents, etc.
Carefully use a torch with a small tip. Use the smallest if you have one. Just be careful and watch what your doing. The heat wrench works every time. And again watch what your doing and take your time.
Carefully heat the screw head to a dull red and get off of it! Good luck in whichever way you choose.
It didn't get stuck overnight, so don't expect it to come loose immediately. If heat doesn't work, keep on with the penetrant. Give it time. Some of the suggestions here could result in the head breaking off. That would be a bad thing in my opinion.
I’ve removed #10 screws using my method. If the screw breaks off it is not a real problem. Just repeat the process with a smaller washer. The science is that you want to attempt to get the screw a LOT hotter than the surrounding female threaded metal. The screw tries to expand as it gets red hot. Of course it can’t as the surrounding metal is a LOT colder and therefore stronger at that moment. So it changes shape to fit the “die” that it is locked into. As it cools it now shrinks away from the restraining external female threaded part. A bit of candle wax “wicks” into the newly formed gap between the two parts and provides a great lubricant.
One last thing, let it cool down quite a bit prior to any attempt to turn it. Trying hot will FAIL. Only apply the wax when the metal is cool enough that it doesn’t really smoke but still melts nicely. Probably 5 minutes after the welding
I learned this method 50 years ago at a engine rebuild shop. I have used it countless times and it has never failed me.
Patience and then a dose of luck. I used most of the above methods doing the same thing you are doing on my steel cab/doors. I still had several heads split or break. Some maybe prior fatigue, some not enough patience and some cross threaded. Get your tap and die ready to clean them up. Tedious but rewarding to beat father time.
I, too have had very good results with the Les method. Dave3 in Bellingham,WA
I've used Les's method for over 40 years, with one exception. I weld the washer on first, then weld the nut, or a bolt, to the washer. That allows a much larger nut to be used, making it a lot easier to weld it on, plus that helps add more heat. Another twist, you can use a small piece of flat stock, I/8 x 1, or similar, drill a hole in the end, weld it on and use it as a wrench also. I always start moving the wrench back and forth, just a little at a time, don't force it, while squirting generous amounts of penetrating oil. If you just try to screw it right out, 75% of the time it will twist off. I always let everything cool by itself. The heat not only helps to shrink the bolt, it breaks the rust down to a fine powder. The penetrating oil flushes it out. As Les said, if it breaks off, do it again. At times I have had to do it four or five times, but it will eventually come out. Hope this helps someone. Dave
Just today my dad and I took a rear axle out of a car that likely sat for 50 years. My dad had soaked it with Mystery oil a few weeks back. It was amazing I didn’t struggle for a second on any bolts, small or large. I usually put the oil on minute before, the key today was that the oil was there for a long time!
Last time I changed the ATF on my van I saved it. I am in the van it is very similar to Mystery oil. I have enough to last a very long time.
Another really useful “tool “ for removing rusted in bolts is a left hand drill bit. Particularly useful in locations where welding and torches can be a problem. Ideally if you can drill really carefully straight and centred using a bit just the size of the “minor diameter “ of the threads. As you drill through at some point the bolt will be weakened enough and the drill will grab and just back it all out.
When dealing with situations where I can get to a nut that is rusted and particularly if I really want to preserve the bolts (spring clamps, U bolts and other specials), then heating the nut red hot and giving it just a bit of a turn to crack the rust. Then let it cool down and apply your favorite thread lube. This has usually worked well for me.
For those who can’t justify a full size torch, you can buy small torch sets that use MAPP gas AND oxygen. The intense concentrated heat can be really handy for some of these processes
I found some good metal door recommendations at http://sosdienests.lv/