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Old 04-04-2009
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Spreader bracket compression tube frozen

I am replacing the spreader bracket on my Catalina 27. The through bolt on the old assembly has frozen to the compression tube within the mast. The bolt will jiggle around, but I can't beat the bolt out through the compression tube and therefore out of the mast...Any ideas on how to get the through bolt out of the compression tube and out of the mast?
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Old 04-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donlofland View Post
I am replacing the spreader bracket on my Catalina 27. The through bolt on the old assembly has frozen to the compression tube within the mast. The bolt will jiggle around, but I can't beat the bolt out through the compression tube and therefore out of the mast...Any ideas on how to get the through bolt out of the compression tube and out of the mast?
Are you doing this work with the mast standing or is it down?
Have you removed the tangs from both sides of the mast?
Usually a compression tube at the spreaders will be cut off flush with the outside of the spar. Meaning that the tube usually has the same outside diameter as the diameter of the hole. Meaning that it should just slide out after removing the nut and tangs. Even if the bolt is frozen in it.
That's a very common occurrence by the way.

Last edited by knothead; 04-04-2009 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 04-05-2009
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Thanks, Knothead, for your reply!

The mast is down, and the spreader bracket on the "nut" side of the through bolt is off. But I can't remove the spreader bracket on the "bolt head" side of the through bolt without removing the bolt. And the hole in the mast is just big enough to pass the bolt through-it does not emcompass the outside diameter of the compression tube.

Though I can't move the through bolt in it's longitudinal direction, (?"athwartships"), I can jiggle it around a bit. (It doesn't seem to be fixed to the inside of the mast.) So I'm assuming there is a compression tube in there, the inside diameter of which matches the outside diameter of the through bolt, preventing me from sliding the bolt out, with a length of the compression tube equal to the inside diameter of the mast.

I'm thinking about checking out the hardware/auto parts store for some kind of "screw press", sort of like those used to remove stuck faucet handles, but more stout...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donlofland View Post
Thanks, Knothead, for your reply!

The mast is down, and the spreader bracket on the "nut" side of the through bolt is off. But I can't remove the spreader bracket on the "bolt head" side of the through bolt without removing the bolt. And the hole in the mast is just big enough to pass the bolt through-it does not emcompass the outside diameter of the compression tube.

Though I can't move the through bolt in it's longitudinal direction, (?"athwartships"), I can jiggle it around a bit. (It doesn't seem to be fixed to the inside of the mast.) So I'm assuming there is a compression tube in there, the inside diameter of which matches the outside diameter of the through bolt, preventing me from sliding the bolt out, with a length of the compression tube equal to the inside diameter of the mast.

I'm thinking about checking out the hardware/auto parts store for some kind of "screw press", sort of like those used to remove stuck faucet handles, but more stout...
Before you do anything else, you might want to grind the head of the bolt off so that you can remove the tang on that side.
Then in the worst case scenario you can take a dremel tool and using a small cutting bit, and a little patience, carefully enlarge the hole around the bolt on one side or the other until you can slide the whole thing out.

I have to say it's kinda rare to have a compression tube that far up inside the mast that isn't cut to be flush with the outside of the section.
The only way to get it into place is from one end or the other using a piece of small line. A big PITA for no good reason.
I'm not saying yours wasn't done that way, just that I haven't seen it done much.
But not too much surprises me anymore.

I would recommend that you get it down to the bare spar, clean up all the corrosion and then decide how to proceed. You should probably replace the bolt and compression tube anyway so you don't have to worry about damaging them in the process of removal. Just don't damage the mast too much.
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Try unscrewing the bolt using someone to push on the screw side with a wooden block while you use a impact socket on the other side.

A little PB blaster will help.
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Try unscrewing the bolt using someone to push on the screw side with a wooden block while you use a impact socket on the other side.

A little PB blaster will help.
Unfortunately, if the bolt is frozen in the tube. It'll just spin. There's no way to hold to tube.
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Let it spin and it might develop enough heat to either break the crap off the bolt or the pressure from the wood block will wear the alum out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
Unfortunately, if the bolt is frozen in the tube. It'll just spin. There's no way to hold to tube.
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Old 04-05-2009
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I would guess that the hole on the bolt head side is large enough for the compression tube to slide out. If you drill out the rivets on the bracket you should be able to remove the bracket and bolt together. If this is not the case, I would vote for cutting the bolt head off and enlarging the hole to slide the tube out. Trying to hammer or press the bolt through will likely damage the mast before the bolt comes out.
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Old 04-05-2009
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I would guess that the hole on the bolt head side is large enough for the compression tube to slide out. If you drill out the rivets on the bracket you should be able to remove the bracket and bolt together. If this is not the case, I would vote for cutting the bolt head off and enlarging the hole to slide the tube out. Trying to hammer or press the bolt through will likely damage the mast before the bolt comes out.
I agree. That's why I suggested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knothead
I would recommend that you get it down to the bare spar, clean up all the corrosion and then decide how to proceed. You should probably replace the bolt and compression tube anyway so you don't have to worry about damaging them in the process of removal. Just don't damage the mast too much.
I have a feeling it may come out.
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Old 04-08-2009
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Smile Success!

So here's how I did it, thanks to all your input!

I cut off the thread end of the bolt close to the mast, ground it flat, center punched it and then drilled end on into the bolt until that end no longer met the inside wall of the mast, (using a 5/16" bit into a 3/8" bolt). Then I turned the mast over, cut the head off the bolt, and did the same from that side. It fell off into the mast and I fished it out.

Thanks again!
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