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Thread: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

  1. #1
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    Default How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    I have a problem and wonder whether someone here might have an answer.

    I have 4-53 engine with a blower attached to the side. The blower is aluminum and the engine block is iron. 5 in long steel bolts go through holes in the blower and screw into the engine block to secure the blower.

    I sheered the head off one of the four above mentioned blower mounting bolts. The shaft remains in the hole and still screwed into the engine block. I cannot get the blower off without removing the shaft of that broken bolt.

    Now I can weld a new head onto the bolt, that's easy. The problem is that the corrosion of the aluminum inside the hole through which the bolt passes is holding the bolt steadfast. I know this because the other three bolts all had anti-seize on their threads but were darn near impossible to remove due to that corrosion of the aluminum. I have tried heat cycles, torque via a screw extractor, ice then heat. Nothing seams to affect the white dust like aluminum corrosion.

    Is there any kind of caustic soda that someone knows of that will break down that aluminum oxidation?

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    [edit: Almost] Anything that dissolves aluminum oxide dissolves aluminum even faster.

    I can offer sympathy, and a link. Post 15 seems promising, but most of the rest are in the sympathy and difficult to center drilling camp.
    http://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...ts-in-aluminum
    Last edited by MN Dave; 02-08-2017 at 12:48 PM.
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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    I don't know if it'll work in this case but the best 'penetrating' product I've come across is corrosion x.
    Saved my bacon this year .

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    I've had some success with a "hole saw" made from a bit of stainless tubing ( old car radio aerial ) sized to just fit over the bolt. File teeth into the tubing, mount in a drill chuck and use it to cut out the corrosion. The hole in the aluminium is enlarged but can be sleeved back if necessary..
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Maybe the extreme heat of welding you mentioned will do the trick. Much more aggressive than repeated heating cycles.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    I've had some success with a "hole saw" made from a bit of stainless tubing ( old car radio aerial ) sized to just fit over the bolt. File teeth into the tubing, mount in a drill chuck and use it to cut out the corrosion. The hole in the aluminium is enlarged but can be sleeved back if necessary..
    Yes I was going to try this to but was going to use brass tubing because that is all I have ever seen that was thin enough. Stainless from an old antenna is a much better choice! Thank you.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Do you know where it's sold? I'll go get some.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    You may want to try this, from a truck forum;

    I stopped by a friends garage the other day because I wanted to do a crank relearn on my truck. He wanted a case of cheap beer and a pack of smokes to do it, the dealer wanted $150. While I was there I came across article from popular mechanics magazine about a test where they tried different penetrating oils. Here is what the results said

    Oil used - Average torque load to loosen

    No oil 516 ft/lbs
    wd-40 238 ft/lbs
    PB Blaster 214 ft/lbs
    Liquid Wrench 127 ft/lbs
    Kano Kroil 106 ft/lbs
    ATF-Acetone mix 53 ft/lbs

    The ATF-Acetone mix ranked the best on lab corroded bolts and nuts. They mix it 1:1. I asked the owner of the shop about it. He laughed and said, "Oh yea, we call it Fall Off"
    he had it in a atf bottle with a small tip on it. He said the only thing is that you need to make sure that you put a cover on the tip or the acetone will evaporate. I will be trying this soon. Obviously, you need to keep it away from plastic and rubber parts.
    Pikey, Mar 5, 2014

    Adding a bit of heat will make it penetrate better.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Maybe you can drill a small hole or two in the casting to allow application of the mixture along the length of the bolt. I don't know what your configuration is, but with the other 3 bolts removed you may be able to twist the casting back and forth to break it free once the mixture has had time to penetrate for the full length. I'd be careful not to break the threads loose in the block though.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Been working on old cars my entire life and can offer a few ideas but mostly sympathy.

    1) heat - try a solder iron to heat the bolt and apply lots of penetrating fluid, a few pings with a hammer and punch can help crack the weld
    2) Left handed drill bits are also good. They drill backwards creating heat and friction that removes the bolt. Harbor Freight sells cheap ones but you need to not break them.

    If this doesn't work a stiff drink is my only other advice.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    I'd start with candle wax/bees wax. A mapp gas torch or similar on a low setting and just keep heating and melting wax in there. Then get a washer over the stud, nut on top of the washer and MIG weld the nut on there. Go oversize with the nut. The combination of welding and wax is a winner in my experience which is painfully vast. The wax is a very good one to know and works better than penetrating oils from my experience.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    A 50/50 solution of 4 molar muriatic acid water will dissolve the rust and aluminum oxide. Steel expands 5 times its non oxidized size as it rusts. Anywhere that stocks pool supplies will have it. Don't let the acid touch finished gasket or fine tolerance areas as it dissolves aluminum as well but much slower. This works every time as long as you can get enough in the area. I use this in old two strokes found in pwc. Chemistry is good

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    If I read the label, and the %&$# marketing department had the decency to give me the percentage of acid, how much water should I add to a 15% or 32% solution to do this job?

    In the safety first department, pour the acid into the water. If you add water to acid, a drop can boil and the steam explosion can splatter acid all over the place.

    A 50/50 solution of 4 molar muriatic acid water is nice information, if you remember the high school chemistry class that I slept through in 1967. For those who have lead a normal life blissfully free of mols and where normality doesn't depend on the equivalence factor, we buy muriatic acid in a 15-38% solution, depending on the brand at the big box store. Hopefully we follow the directions before we use it to clean the driveway. 4 molar is a 14% solution. The stuff in the store is usually 32%, but sometimes it is 15%, and sometimes it is something else. You need to read the fine print on the label and we need some clarification.

    So,what have we here? Is it a 4 molar (15%) solution from Lowes swimming pool department diluted with an equal amount of water? Is it the 32% stuff from the paint department diluted with an equal volume of water to make a 4 molar solution?

    The 'green' garbage from Walmart says that the fumes are reduced so much that it must be a weak acid solution in a bottle of over priced water.
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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    ALUM....(Potassium Aluminum Sulfate) will dissolve steel without affecting aluminum. I broke off a tap in an aluminum fixture I was building and heated the part in alum/water in an old enameled pot. It fully dissolved, you could see it bubbling out of the hole. You would likely need to build a dam around the hole and heat up the block a bit to hasten the reaction. Alum is commonly used for pickling, I bought a bag of it for 99 cents with 4 ounces at a discount grocery.

    Alan
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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Interesting. I found some more on using Alum;

    Re: Removing broken screws with Alum bath (RE: etmb61)
    As a machinist we use to use this stuff to eat out broken taps out of aluminum. We would then brake it out in pieces.We had this clay that we would build a small volcanoe looking top around the tap. Then over night it woulds be ok to remove what was left if any thing was left. I was told it was toxic. Smell nasty while it is working.

    H/C

    It helps to heat the part and you want as strong a solution as you can make.
    Solubility in water

    14.00 g/100 mL (20 C)
    36.80 g/100 mL (50 C)
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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    You might find very specific help here:

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/DetroitDiesel/info

    Ken
    (IHWillys)

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    I had the same problem with my aluminum block and frozen head bolts. The product I used is called Tap Out. Designed to save expensive aero engines if a tap is broken in the aluminium housing. It is a mixture of nitric acid that dissolves carbon steel and leaves aluminium untouched. It took about a week to dissolve four 5/8 bolts and the block was so clean I did not have to run a tap down the holes. You will have to build a dam with lazing putty and pour in the acid. When it stops bubbling after a few hours, mop it out with a tissue and start afresh. Could take a while if the bolt is 5 inches long; however the blower might come loose before that. I still have some left over, it cost $70 for a quart 25 years ago.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    1. I think you are correct in that it is aluminum oxide corrosion holding the shank of the bolt like a Chinese finger trap.

    2. Alum is a great idea to try. In my case the bolts were stainless and alum did not touch them. In your case you might want to get the blower off first to make it easier to work on and to prevent damaging the iron block with the alum.

    3. do you have access to the side of the blower where you could drill into the side and through the bolt sideways, completely severing it close to the block? I had to do this on a big Yamaha outboard.








    Complete thread here: http://www.wellcraftv20.com/communit...ad.php?t=10681

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrencedap View Post
    I had the same problem with my aluminum block and frozen head bolts. The product I used is called Tap Out. Designed to save expensive aero engines if a tap is broken in the aluminium housing. It is a mixture of nitric acid that dissolves carbon steel and leaves aluminium untouched. It took about a week to dissolve four 5/8 bolts and the block was so clean I did not have to run a tap down the holes. You will have to build a dam with lazing putty and pour in the acid. When it stops bubbling after a few hours, mop it out with a tissue and start afresh. Could take a while if the bolt is 5 inches long; however the blower might come loose before that. I still have some left over, it cost $70 for a quart 25 years ago.
    Tap Out seems to be a thing of the past. It was apparently nitric acid. There is a video comparing nitric acid to alum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pN-fnUeA3o Alum did remove the tap. The language in the video would displease Scott, but I suppose he might hesitate to ban me if I tell y'all not to watch it.

    In the video, the nitric acid didn't work. I remember a demonstration in a corrosion class where a piece of steel in concentrated nitric acid was passivated, but it reacted rapidly in more dilute nitric acid, once the surface was scratched. Point is that in the video, the guy didn't know squat from Shinola when it comes to chemistry, so he might have had a solution that would have worked if he knew what concentration to use. Jury is still out in my book, but even with my cavalier attitude toward hazardous chemicals, nitric acid is not your friend. Your skin will turn yellow if you don't get it all off and that takes some effort. DAHIKT.

    If you have a welder, the ATF-acetone would be my first choice, then alum, then HCl, then nitric. The lop it at the base with surgery trick depends on the damage tolerance and ability to repair. I have gone there on a Corvair block with a broken cylinder head stud and broken easy-out in the hole. It wasn't pretty.

    The pressure that corrosion products can generate is amazing. It can lift a plate and break bolts. Al oxide generates something like 7 times the volume of the consumed metal.

    Someone mentioned a hollow drill approach. Something like a carbide grit hole saw might work if there is enough metal that the oversized hole is tolerable. 5/8" is the smallest I found http://www.anotheramazingproduct.com...-hole-saw.html
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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    And you've already tried being Quite Cross with it, have you? <G>
    David G
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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Unlike all of the wood-related subjects on the forum, removing stuck fasteners is actually something I have a lot of experience in. I wouldn't muck about with chemicals, reverse bits, home-made hole saws or any of that. The technique I have used successfully is to drill it out starting with a small pilot hole (1/16" or so) and then slowly increasing bit sizes. Go slow and use a lot of cutting fluid. You probably won't be able to drill the full depth of the hole and I don't think you will need to. But you should be able to go down a couple of inches or so. If you get that much of the bolt out you may eliminate enough of the corrosion bond that you can tap the blower housing free. Start with a center punch to get the hole on-center of course (I like an automatic spring punch). But if you are a fraction off-center with the hole it doesn't really matter. Just drill out until you are close to or just touching the aluminum on one side and the rest of the steel will probably come out with an awl or pick. Worst-case, you might need to run in a file to get the last bits out.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    And you've already tried being Quite Cross with it, have you? <G>
    Oh yes, I have been very cross with it! In both English, Greek, and Spanish!

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Unlike all of the wood-related subjects on the forum, removing stuck fasteners is actually something I have a lot of experience in. I wouldn't muck about with chemicals, reverse bits, home-made hole saws or any of that. The technique I have used successfully is to drill it out starting with a small pilot hole (1/16" or so) and then slowly increasing bit sizes. Go slow and use a lot of cutting fluid. You probably won't be able to drill the full depth of the hole and I don't think you will need to. But you should be able to go down a couple of inches or so. If you get that much of the bolt out you may eliminate enough of the corrosion bond that you can tap the blower housing free. Start with a center punch to get the hole on-center of course (I like an automatic spring punch). But if you are a fraction off-center with the hole it doesn't really matter. Just drill out until you are close to or just touching the aluminum on one side and the rest of the steel will probably come out with an awl or pick. Worst-case, you might need to run in a file to get the last bits out.
    The entire bolt needs to come out before the blower will budge even 1/8 of an inch.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Thanks for looking.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    I can pull hard on the blower and get just over a 1/16 of an inch gap between the blower and the block. A hacksaw blade might fit, but if it does it will be just barely. The downside is that approach is that I'll be cutting the bolt flush with the block, and I'll be screwing up the mating surfaces of both the blower and the block. The blower is not too bad because I can surface it on the mill, but the block is staying in the boat so that side would need to be fixed with a flat plate, sand paper, and more elbo grease than I have left in me. Thanks for your input though!

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Maybe you can drill a small hole or two in the casting to allow application of the mixture along the length of the bolt. I don't know what your configuration is, but with the other 3 bolts removed you may be able to twist the casting back and forth to break it free once the mixture has had time to penetrate for the full length. I'd be careful not to break the threads loose in the block though.
    I may try this idea with the hole, which I could then tig closed later. No chance to move the blower though with that bolt in there. It has to come all the way out before the blower will move.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by IHWillys View Post
    You might find very specific help here:

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/DetroitDiesel/info

    Ken
    (IHWillys)
    Hi Ken. Thanks for the link but so far no one from the DD forums has a good idea.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by Floodtide View Post
    Been working on old cars my entire life and can offer a few ideas but mostly sympathy.

    1) heat - try a solder iron to heat the bolt and apply lots of penetrating fluid, a few pings with a hammer and punch can help crack the weld
    2) Left handed drill bits are also good. They drill backwards creating heat and friction that removes the bolt. Harbor Freight sells cheap ones but you need to not break them.

    If this doesn't work a stiff drink is my only other advice.
    I tried the stiff drink but it did not do anything to free the bolt . The drink just ran over the blower and block without any reaction at all!

    Seriously, thanks for the ideas.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey Butler View Post
    1. I think you are correct in that it is aluminum oxide corrosion holding the shank of the bolt like a Chinese finger trap.

    2. Alum is a great idea to try. In my case the bolts were stainless and alum did not touch them. In your case you might want to get the blower off first to make it easier to work on and to prevent damaging the iron block with the alum.

    3. do you have access to the side of the blower where you could drill into the side and through the bolt sideways, completely severing it close to the block? I had to do this on a big Yamaha outboard.








    Complete thread here: http://www.wellcraftv20.com/communit...ad.php?t=10681
    I can pull hard on the blower and get just over a 1/16 of an inch gap between the blower and the block. A hacksaw blade might fit, but if it does it will be just barely. The downside this approach is that I'll be cutting the bolt flush with the block, and I'll be screwing up the mating surfaces of both the blower and the block. The blower is not too bad because I can surface it on the mill, but the block is staying in the boat so that side would need to be fixed with a flat plate, sand paper, and more elbo grease than I have left in me. For these reasons this idea is my last resort.

    Thanks for your input though!
    Last edited by leop; 02-09-2017 at 09:29 PM.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by leop View Post
    I tried the stiff drink but it did not do anything to free the bolt . The drink just ran over the blower and block without any reaction at all!

    Seriously, thanks for the ideas.
    Did you drink the stiff drink before running it over the blower? It takes several stiff drinks to think of and then become willing to implement that solution. The end result is the same, but for a while, you might not mind that the bolt is stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by leop View Post
    I can pull hard on the blower and get just over a 1/16 of an inch gap between the blower and the block. A hacksaw blade might fit, but if it does it will be just barely. The downside is that approach is that I'll be cutting the bolt flush with the block, and I'll be screwing up the mating surfaces of both the blower and the block. The blower is not too bad because I can surface it on the mill, but the block is staying in the boat so that side would need to be fixed with a flat plate, sand paper, and more elbo grease than I have left in me. For these reasons this idea is my last resort.

    Thanks for your input though!
    That is very encouraging. It means that the bolt is stuck in the iron block, not clamped in the aluminum by the corrosion product. It might not pull all of the way out (yet) but if it can move at all, it won't be contributing much friction to turning the bolt. Maybe that means the ATF/acetone solution can be applied directly where it is needed. At least that won't corrode anything and it just might get you out of the woods.

    You need to build a really slick runabout around one of the Meteors. What is one more major project at this point? I'll bet Amish Rob could be roped in to that one.
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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    The entire bolt needs to come out before the blower will budge even 1/8 of an inch.
    Hmmm - really? Unless I'm really misunderstanding how the blower is held on (and I don't think I am, after looking at some photos and the 53-series service manual I have) I suspect that what's happening is that the oxidation is loose enough that the blower can be moved just a bit but then it jams again as some section the housing reaches an area of the bolt that is more corroded and sticks. I still think that if you can drill out the top part of the bolt it may loosen up enough to get the housing off. But that the blower will move at all is encouraging. If you don't want to drill then I think pick a penetrating lubricant of your choice (I like PB Blaster and Seafoam myself) and soak it from both ends. The alternately apply more lubricant and move the housing as much as you can back and forth. Over and over. Heat may help as well. Also, if you can get a gap between the blower housing and the block can you rotate it at all? That would help break up the corrosion too. But I predict that patience and persistence will win out in the end. And THEN you can have the stiff drink.

    I can sympathize with the whole situation though. A couple of years ago I helped my Dad get the old Chrysler Crown out of his boat.





    That motor had been leaking salt water out of the raw water pump for a while and everything was just rusted solid. We spent three whole days drilling and hacksawing fastenings. Motor mounts. Shaft couplings. Exhaust fittings... At least in that case we weren't trying to save anything which meant we could take a few shortcuts.

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    I would just drill them out...

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Hmmm - really? Unless I'm really misunderstanding how the blower is held on (and I don't think I am, after looking at some photos and the 53-series service manual I have) I suspect that what's happening is that the oxidation is loose enough that the blower can be moved just a bit but then it jams again as some section the housing reaches an area of the bolt that is more corroded and sticks. I still think that if you can drill out the top part of the bolt it may loosen up enough to get the housing off. But that the blower will move at all is encouraging. If you don't want to drill then I think pick a penetrating lubricant of your choice (I like PB Blaster and Seafoam myself) and soak it from both ends. The alternately apply more lubricant and move the housing as much as you can back and forth. Over and over. Heat may help as well. Also, if you can get a gap between the blower housing and the block can you rotate it at all? That would help break up the corrosion too. But I predict that patience and persistence will win out in the end. And THEN you can have the stiff drink.

    I can sympathize with the whole situation though. A couple of years ago I helped my Dad get the old Chrysler Crown out of his boat.





    That motor had been leaking salt water out of the raw water pump for a while and everything was just rusted solid. We spent three whole days drilling and hacksawing fastenings. Motor mounts. Shaft couplings. Exhaust fittings... At least in that case we weren't trying to save anything which meant we could take a few shortcuts.
    The blower is usually slid toward the front of the engine to disengage the drive shaft and only then can it be pulled straight out parallel to the block. I can only rock the blower back and forth a tad and get a wedge shape with the fat end being 1/16 of an inch; should have been more clear about that. I assume the bolt is bending, not moving.

    Since first posting I did try to remove the end plate of the blower in hopes of getting access to the bolt from inside the unit, but the rotors are frozen solid due to the same Alu corrosion holding the bolt.

    i have never had any luck with the magic oils. Perhaps I need to wait longer but I always wonder, do they really do anything? Actually I take that back, I have used candle wax with some success.

    Man that is one rusty motor. I wish my dad was still alive, I would make him go down in that dungeon of an engine room and bang on it ...lol... 😀. Call it a father and son project!

    thanks for the ideas though!

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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    Did you drink the stiff drink before running it over the blower? It takes several stiff drinks to think of and then become willing to implement that solution. The end result is the same, but for a while, you might not mind that the bolt is stuck.



    That is very encouraging. It means that the bolt is stuck in the iron block, not clamped in the aluminum by the corrosion product. It might not pull all of the way out (yet) but if it can move at all, it won't be contributing much friction to turning the bolt. Maybe that means the ATF/acetone solution can be applied directly where it is needed. At least that won't corrode anything and it just might get you out of the woods.

    You need to build a really slick runabout around one of the Meteors. What is one more major project at this point? I'll bet Amish Rob could be roped in to that one.
    ohh drink the stiff drink and then pour it over. If by that you mean that I should drink the stiff drink and the pee all over that f$@&ing little engine then I am all for that.

    another project for the meteors ?? Well if you and other reasonable people on here hadn't convinced me otherwise I would be putting those in, instead of messing around with this little 4-53. Then they would have torn the boat in two, she would have sunk, my wife would have been happy, and then would have been a good time for another project

    Actualy I'll probably sell two of the meteors to some guys in Lake Tahoe that are building replicas of Garwoods and Smiths two racers from the 20's or there about. I'll probably keep the third one for a COE truck project that is next in line after the boat.

    Hmmm, sell the engines, have a stiff drink, pee on the 4-53s, and then start the COE engine. Now that's a plan I can get behind!

  35. #35
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    Default Re: How to free a steel to Aluminum corrosion bond

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I would just drill them out...
    Easier said aid than done. I have to lay on my side stuffed between the turn of the bilge, the motor and blower, and a huge water tank above me. I have to hit the center of the bolt perfect and then gun drill a five inch long bolt. I need to do all that with the power off because I need lay over 115v wiring from 1948.

    Then again this this would be a perfect excuse to buy that Mag Drill I have been wanting! You know, suddenly this sounds like a great idea!

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