Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder? - SailNet Community

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Old 05-09-2013
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Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?

Good day everyone!

I am in need of some advice as to the best method to remove bolts that are corroded into their sleeves in a tight area. I am in the process of refinishing the topside, and I need to remove the rudder in order to do a proper job on the transom (the rudder is mounted to the transom).

There is a yoke (I'll call it that for lack of knowing its nomenclature) under the helmsman's seat to which the cables coming from the helm attach. This "yoke" is then attached to a protrusion imbedded in the rudder which passes through an opening in the transom. There are three 1/4" bolts about 2" long which connect these two pieces together. I have removed the lock nuts from each bolt, but I cannot get them to come out. Each appears corroded in its sleeve. One will turn but won't back out and the other two will not budge at all. I'm afraid to get too aggressive with them for fear of breaking them off. The location under the helmsman's seat is too confining to swing a hammer to drive them out. And, the yoke is too large to pass through the opening in the transom, so the two parts must first be disconnected to remove the rudder.

1. Any recommendations for something that would penetrate the sleeve and help dissolve the corrosion so the bolts will break free (WD-40, etc.)?
2. Any thoughts on a tool to press them out? I thought of trying to use a C-clamp as a press.

As always, any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Kermit
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Old 05-09-2013
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Re: Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?

No need to use wd 40 for this. There is a much better product called PB Blaster that will work better. I have had good luck spraying old, nasty looking bolts with this stuff. Sometimes I have to let it work for several days with several applications. So far I haven't been disappointed with pb blaster.
There are other penetrating oil products as well: Kroil, SeaFoam etc.
If you can't find any of these then use ATF (automatic transmission fluid) mixed with a little acetone.
I'm not really picturing what you are describing under the transom seat. A picture might help a lot.
Good luck.
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Re: Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?

PB Blaster & a lot of patience.
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Re: Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?

PB blaster and heat!!!! heat the bolts one at a time heat 1 not to the point of turning red, just hot, spray the blaster (note it will smoke and the fumes will irritate your lungs, throat and nose) so try not to inhale when you spray, then turn away> do this to each bolt several times, then soak with PB over night. come back following day and do it again, if you have to.
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Old 05-09-2013
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Re: Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?

I looked it up and it is a TILLER BOAT SO heat is pretty much a NO NO due to the bolts contact with so much fiberglass

So just keep working it




It could be worse and inside and require standing on your head to reach if you had a wheel
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Last edited by tommays; 05-09-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 05-09-2013
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Re: Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?

Here's a couple of pics, one for perspective and one close up.
Attached Thumbnails
Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?-photo-89-.jpg   Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?-photo-90-.jpg  
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Old 05-09-2013
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Re: Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?

PB Blaster will get it done, soak it good a few times over a few hours and then let it sit for 24 hours-
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Re: Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
I looked it up and it is a TILLER BOAT SO heat is pretty much a NO NO due to the bolts contact with so much fiberglass

It could be worse and inside and require standing on your head to reach if you had a wheel
I'm not so sure there isn't a wheel involved with this set up.
Looks to me like the tiller stub is what attaches to cables which probably run to a binnacle and a wheel. Seems a bit unusual that no quadrant is used.
It is a 36' C&C after all; certainly big enough for wheel steering.

Still, I agree with you Tom, that heating these bolts, which are so close to the FRP deck should be done carefully, if at all.
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Old 05-09-2013
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Re: Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?

I would add to the above and say go buy a small cordless impact wrench. I have a 10.8 volt one which is very compact that was included in a kit I purchased and I had absolutely no idea how handy it would be on a boat until I actually started using it. These gadgets will not only rattle stubborn bolts loose better than any hand tool, but it will also do and undo stainless steel philips screws with greatly reduced risk of burring the head over.
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Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Any tips for removing corroded bolts at rudder?

Use cold if you cannot heat the bolts. There are cooler sprays. If rust removers do not work use some type of mild acid.
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