Wanted: Tips for removing stubborn nuts and bolts

I’m in the middle of a major lawnmower repair, and there are three things standing in my way: two nuts and a bolt.

The nuts are at either end of one of the blade shafts. One nut is starting to get a couple of rounded corners from failed attempts. It is fairly rusted from years of use. The screw is one of 5 holding on the blade shaft housing. It is somewhat rusted at the bottom.

I’ve tried Liquid Wrench on all of them with no luck so far. So I’m looking for other tips short of investing in an air compressor and impact wrench.

Did that once with my lawnmower too, I just took it to a gas station & they used their impact
wrench on it.

I also use a special Visegrip tool for nuts. It has a special head on it, it is not the same as
the usual visegrip, which has serrated teeth. So far this has always worked for me.

Hydrocloric acid? <rimshot> Is there anyway you can hacksaw through it?

If you can get a really tight grip on them with a mole wrench it might help.

How 'bout a hand impact wrench, instead of a pneumatic?

Go to SEARS tool department and ask for a “nut splitter”. This device slips over the nut and when you turn the end of the shaft with a wrench or socket a hardened cutting edge splits the nut at one side. Then all you have to do is pull it off. This eliminates the rounded corner issues. Of course the nut is not reuseable.

Not sure what you mean when you say the screw is “somewhat rusted at the bottom”

If the threads are exposed, you could use a wire brush on them to clean the rust off. Good luck!

Thanks for the ideas.

The screw I’m talking about is a hex-head metal screw (tapered at the end). It goes through the mower deck and then through the mandrell housing. The bottom of the screw sticks out into the area where all the mowing gets done. From years of mowing, the end of the screw is not pretty.

There’s a great spray out there called CRC 5-56 which actually works (WD-40 generally does not). Hose them nuts down and let them sit for a couple of hours, while reapplying fairly often. Then, smack it good with a hammer to further loosen things up.

Another method is to use a propane torch to heat up the nut/bolt. Of course this is not recommended around flammable material, so this might not be an option for you.

If all that’s rusty is the end, you could use a Dremel MotoTool and an abrasive disk to cut off the part that extends through the housing.

A rust penetrant I’ve had good luck with is called Blaster PB (I think–there’s so much written on the can, it’s hard to tell). I get mine from an auto parts store.

Heat can work wonders. Lots of heat, like from an oxygen/acetylene torch. Get the fastener cherry red, then let it cool. A propane torch may work, but in many cases they just don’t provide enough heat.

violence and sarcasm has always worked best for me! :smiley:

Sometimes leaving a good penetrating oil on the nuts/bolts overnight will do it where just putting the oil on and going to wrok right away does nothing at all.

For not destroying the nut and/or bolt:
The smooth face vice grip sounds good, but I definitely don’t recommend the open flame idea. You can try placing a hot soldering iron on the nut. It will take a while, but the heat so applied might do the trick. Note also that if you had done the penetrating oil thing previously, the heated/heating oil would penetrate and possibly loosen rust also. Even without the open flame, you still have to consider the possibility that it might catch fire and also boil and hiss and spit into your eye.

If you don’t care about the nut and/or bolt:
The nut-buster (-splitter) works only if you have the clearance to get the device around the nut.

quick fix - take it to a machine shop or garage.

2nd choice: nut splitter

I’d not use a torch on a gas lawn mower, thank you very much :wink:

Penetrating oils are the obvious first choice, however, I’ll third the hot wrench. After you use it after a while, pound the piss out of it with a hammer and then latch on with vicegrips.

When I worked for a local farm implement company they used a product that came out a foam. It would stay in place even if it were on the underside of a piece of equipment.
Outside of what everyone else has told you I’d opt for drilling the screw out. Try an easy out first and if that doesn’t work drill it out completely and install a self threading screw.
Most lawnmower decks don’t weld very well so I’d be careful with the heat.

A little bit safer (and cheaper, if you don’t have a torch) is a heat gun. You can get it at Walmart for $20 in the paint department.

Just be careful
Propane may work, heatgun, especially a $20 heat gun will not likely get the metal hot enough.
good luck

Well, I’ve tried Blaster PB and a hand-impact wrench with no luck so far. I’ve got so much flammable stuff on it I’m not going the heat route just yet. Still trying. Argh.