I’m just a Saturday mechanic with a Sears Craftman ratchet set and a few screwdrivers is about all I have, but I’ve come across plenty of stuck bolts and nuts and other parts rusted stuck. One of the most memorable was a front brake disc. The disc in normal operation is held to the wheel by the tire and the wheel lugs , so the disk is just held on to the backing plate by a phillips screw so it doesn’t drop off when you take the tire off when doing service. Well, I removed the brake caliper then the phillips screw but the disc wouldn’t budge. And it wouldn’t come off no matter what I did. I applied heat. Lot’s of heat. It wouldn’t budge. I crawled under the car wearing short pants – this part is important to the story! – anyway I’m laying on my back pounding my fist on the disc from the underside of the car to knock it off, no go, so I take a break for a minute to catch my breath, just laying there wheezing. I guess in the meantime the heat got distributed to where it was supposed to go in the first place, and all of a sudden without me doing anything and with no warming it just fell off. And landed on my bare leg. Hotter than hades! Ouch! lol … well, it wasn’t funny then, but it’s funny now.
Anyway, what are your secrets to remove stuck parts? Here’s mine
- Penetrating oil and time
- Nut splitter (a small gadget to split open stuck on nuts so you just pry them off)
- Manual Impact driver (a small gadget, you knock it with a hammer and it twists slightly, to remove stuck screws and bolts)
- And the biggest secret: If I need more room to work, I take more stuff off to get better access.
What are your other secrets for removing stuck parts? Any funny stories?
I don’t think actual mechanics can afford to spend time with stubborn stuck bolts. What do they use? Air impact wrenches?