Frozen screw in traveler - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-28-2009
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Frozen screw in traveler

Hi All, my Harken main sheet traveler was leaking, so I removed it to rebed it. That was easy enough, I just loosened all the nuts from below. At each end, there is a bolt that goes down from the traveler through the deck. All the other bolts are countersunk through bolts.

Today, I put it back, but I was not able to tighten the end bolts. Apparently their heads are below the blocks at each end. To remove the blocks, I need to loosen a very large bolt, that is very tight. Its screwed through a plastic fitting.

I was unable to loosen it without damaging its head, and I didn't want to use any WD40 because I think it eats plastic. Is there a lubricant that can loosen the bolt without hurting the plastic?

Thanks very much...
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Old 05-29-2009
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Boeshield T9
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Old 05-29-2009
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I'm not sure about which lubricants eat plastics, but I am sure you should be very careful otherwise. I had an old Lewmar traveler that I needed to remove to rebed, and the darn thing was so corroded and old that I basically had to destroy it to remove it. However, that did give me an excuse to purchase a new Harken big boat traveler that I drool over every time I use it.

There is no doubt PB blaster is a master product for this task, but it may eat plastic. Are you sure you couldn't dissolve whatever plastic this is and just replace it easily enough? Harken is by far the best for having parts around for all their old gear.
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Old 05-29-2009
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Use a freezing spray. There are sprays specially made for removing frozen screws. Cooling works as heating does. Since you can not heat it you can cool it down. I do not know any US brands but I am sure you can find one in your country also. If you cannot find it, use ethylcholoride which is a spray for medical use. The difference of temperature when you apply it causes to break the particles betwwen two surfaces.
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Old 05-29-2009
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T9 will work, safe on plastic too
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Thanks everyone, I'll try all these ideas. I had not considered that I could just sacrifice the plastic, but i would prefer not to if possible. Hopefully T9 or a freeze spray will do the trick.
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Old 05-29-2009
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Be aware that freezing sprays may be as damaging or worse to the plastic as WD40. Most plastics used in marine environments are not going to be affected by WD40 or Boeshield T9, neither of which is a particularly aggressive solvent.
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Old 05-29-2009
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Hit it with a hammer!

I have a impact screw remover made by Mack Tools that is priceless for this type of problem. You hit the tool with a hammer, and the combination of the impact and ratchet motion of the tool works wonders. Not nearly as destructive as it might sound. In fact, I used it to remove some tiny screws from my furler that someone had neglected to coat with Lanocote before assembly. Don't think I could have done it any other way. I also used it recently when I saw my neighbor prying a set of clutches from his deck with a HUGE pipe wrench! The bolts were frozen, and he was out of patience. My tool removed them without hesitation, and we were able to remove the clutch in a civilized manner! I've had the tool for years, but have used it more since I've had a boat than I ever did before. Very handy!

Last edited by L124C; 05-29-2009 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 05-29-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
I have a impact screw remover made by Mack Tools that is priceless for this type of problem. You hit the tool with a hammer, and the combination of the impact and ratchet motion of the tool works wonders. Not nearly as destructive as it might sound. In fact, I used it to remove some tiny screws from my furler that someone had neglected to coat with Lanocote before assembly. Don't think I could have done it any other way. I also used it recently when I saw my neighbor prying a set of clutches from his deck with a HUGE pipe wrench! The bolts were frozen, and he was out of patience. My tool removed them without hesitation, and we were able to remove the clutch in a civilized manner! I've had the tool for years, but have used it more since I've had a boat than I ever did before. Very handy!
I have used such tools on cars, but I don't think I would want to use it on my fiberglass cockpit!
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A well designed impact wrench, especially an electric one, is a very useful tool on a boat.
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Originally Posted by jarcher View Post
I have used such tools on cars, but I don't think I would want to use it on my fiberglass cockpit!
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

óCpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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