BOLT head in the Bilge... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 28 Old 02-17-2013 Thread Starter
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BOLT head in the Bilge...

So we're off cruising, finally, and we've had a few issues with the boat and engine, but nothing major. But today I found a head of a large bolt in the bilge. Searched for the place it came from and found that it was from part of a engine mount. (see photo)
So, I realize it's not good, to say the least...but is it an urgent problem? I mean, fix immediately problem...fix before proceeding any further?
And, how am I to remove/replace that bolt?
Currently we are on a mooring in Marathon, FL.
Any advice would be appreciated... Thanks!
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post #2 of 28 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: BOLT head in the Bilge...

It is something you need to fix, sooner rather than later. Each time you start the motor it is going to flex that mount, and with only one bolt holding it if it breaks the whole motor will be useless, plus if it shifts because it broke you could bend or break other parts. If you are lucky you might be able to use a screw extractor to get it out. Put a lot of penetrating oil on it first and let it work. then drill a small hole for the extractor too bite into. It should just back out. If that doesn't work then you will need to drill out the bolt and re tap the hole.
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post #3 of 28 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: BOLT head in the Bilge...

Looks pretty urgent to me. Looks like the engine allignment will shift if the bracket swings. It doesnt look to difficult to repair, there may be enough bolt sticking out to get ahold of with a good pair of "visegrips" (no substitutes). If it does not you will have to drill and use an extractor. Bluepoint makes the best one. See a $nap-on dealer
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post #4 of 28 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: BOLT head in the Bilge...

Is the stud still in there? From the case thru the mount I mean . . .if so, not so crucial . . .if you just lost the head of the bolt you'll still have rigidity in the mount. You just don't want a pivot point at the top bolt in the photo, if there is a piece of bolt thru the mount bracket I would relax . . .
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post #5 of 28 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: BOLT head in the Bilge...

I would recommend removing the broken bolt and replacing both bolts as the remaining bolt with the head may have been compromised and may also lose it's 'head' (pun intended)... I would not trust the loads imparted on one bolt all that time (may be ready to shear off too)... good thing you spotted it sooner than later...
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post #6 of 28 Old 02-18-2013
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Re: BOLT head in the Bilge...

Monkey,

If you can manage to get a scissors jack under the engine, you can fit it up to support it when you remove the bracket. If your luck holds, there might be a bit of the bolt still sticking out of the block -- hopefully enough that you can gain a purchase on it with a pair of vise grips or a small pipe wrench. If not, then you'll need to try an easy-out.

Like mentioned before, pretreating with a good penetrating oil should be your first through third steps (apply, tap lightly and wait; repeat; repeat).
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post #7 of 28 Old 02-18-2013
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Re: BOLT head in the Bilge...

If the visegrips dont work, any thoughts about using a butane torch to help with this problem? (I've used the approach on the work bench but never in situ.... )
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post #8 of 28 Old 02-18-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: BOLT head in the Bilge...

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Originally Posted by mikel1 View Post
Is the stud still in there? From the case thru the mount I mean . . .if so, not so crucial . . .if you just lost the head of the bolt you'll still have rigidity in the mount. You just don't want a pivot point at the top bolt in the photo, if there is a piece of bolt thru the mount bracket I would relax . . .
About an 1/8" of bolt came off with the head. So I'd say around 1/4" is still sticking out of the case and through the bracket.
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post #9 of 28 Old 02-18-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: BOLT head in the Bilge...

I should add that we did an engine alignment when installing a new prop shaft and coupling back in October. From my notes, the opposite corner was raised 5mm. That was probably 125 engine hrs ago. I'm thinking that may have something to do with the stresses that caused this eventual failure.
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post #10 of 28 Old 02-18-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: BOLT head in the Bilge...

Also. Any help identifying the bolt would be good. The head has "M 8.8 BUFO" written on it. I measure the threads with a digital caliper and I'm getting about 9.7mm.
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