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Old 04-27-2015, 03:00 PM   #1
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Need help with seized bolt

I'm trying to install my replacement rope guard on my Lewmar Windlass as part of a warranty upgrade kit. The instructions in the attached pdf file call for removing the old cap screw to replace the arm and install the new cap screw. The red arrow in the photo shows the location of the cap screw which is the pivot point for the arm.

Sounds easy enough, right?



The flush mounted cap screw has Loctite thread compound to keep it from loosening. As instructed, I applied moderate heat from a heat gun and attempted to loosen the screw with an allen wrench tip in a small 4 inch socket handle. As I increased force on the wrench, the allen tip snapped and is now stuck in the head of the cap screw, nearly flush with the screw head. A small 1-2mm portion of the severed tip is protruding beyond the screw head.

Now I've got a seized recessed screw head with a broken tip in the allen slot.

My thought is to use a small butane torch to heat the screw head in the hope that it will expand just enough to release the broken wrench tip. I might have just enough exposed tip to pull it from the slot with a fine needle nose pliers. I'd need to be careful not to heat the surrounding windlass casing to the point of discoloration. If I can get the tip out, I'd continue with the localized butane flame to release the screw with another allen head tip.

If this doesn't work, another thought I had was to carefully use a grinder to grind a slot into the head to allow me to use a large slot screwdriver to remove the screw....or even a notch on one side of the head that I could place a chisel into to pound in a CCW rotation. My concern is being able to control the grinder enough to get an accurate slot and not cause collateral damage to the stainless case.

But before I do this, I thought I'd run it past you guys who have a lot more experience in all things mechanical. Any suggestions or helpful tips?

Thanks much for your assistance!!
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:11 PM   #2
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Try a small chisel or drift pin and tap the protruding edge of the bit as close to 90deg from its axis. Try in in alternate directions. Also a drop of penetrant fluid of your preferred flavor.

Did bit try to round out the SS female hex before it snapped? If not it should not take much to get it out. Working it sideways should loosen its grip.

A hex driver permanently mounted in a socket, name brand, is usually tougher than a key.

Edit: if you can get a socket on the nub, try to give it CW twist.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:19 PM   #3
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Thanks, Ski. I'll bring my chisels. Got a small one that should fit the bill.

Yes, it was a hex driver tip in the ratchet socket wrench I was using that snapped.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:25 PM   #4
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If you have access to a cordless impact driver and appropriate tip you'll find out why it's one of my favorite tools about 30 seconds after retrieving that broken tip from the screw.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:28 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. FW. Hmmm....I'm a bit unclear with your description. Did the allen wrench break off in the head of #6 (grub screw in supplied diagram) or #7 (cap screw M6X20 in supplied diagram)? If broken off in #7, did you actually remove #6 first?
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:51 PM   #6
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Yes, 6 is removed and 7 is stuck.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:59 PM   #7
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Heat metal... Next have a glass of ice water (as close to frozen as possible) When metal is hot, throw cold water on it. If you're fortunate the hex part will shrink/pop out.

Doesn't alway work mind you but I've done it to fix one of my "oh shoot" moments. This was iron and not stainless mind you. Insert usual disclaimers please.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:07 PM   #8
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Also pick up a can of Dust-off, the computer keyboard cleaner that is a high vapor pressure liquified gas used to blow off electronic devices. If you invert the can it will dispense the liquid which will evaporate and freeze objects rapidly. If you heat the cap screw head with a heat gun then spray the fractured wrench with a small burst of the spray (use the provided little red "straw" to make it a pinpoint stream) the tap the wrench fragment with a light but sharp rap it will likely loosen up and be able to be picked out. If that fails socket head cap screws are the easiest type of screw to remove with an "easy-out" type extractor since the drill can be easily centered on the fastener. Oh...BTW...be careful with that "dust-off" as the liquid will also freeze body parts rather quickly and painfully....don't ask how I know that.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:09 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. FW. It seems from the instructions that what Lewmar is calling the "locating pin" is actually #7 from what I can deduce and evidently is removed by pushing and turning clockwise. Counter intuitive much?
I would VERY, VERY gently (don't want to snap off the remains of the allen key that's sticking out) attempt the removal as outlined by Mr. Ski. If successful in removing the broken bit, BEFORE you put another key in the socket, get a flat drift and try to gently hammer the locating pin inwards (which is the direction it should want to go anyway) all the while, flooding the inboard end with penetrating fluid. Gentle cycles of heat and cooling while applying penetrant might free it up enough for you to attempt to break another allen key. Sorry, been where you are.
Mr. r. No way it can be drilled unless the broken allen key is removed first-hardened steel. I'm sure Mr. FW is fully aware of the grief that would ensue if he tried to drill the allen key. Also, the drill would have to be a left handed drill as the pin is removed in a counter clockwise direction. Really good tip about the Dust-off.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:11 PM   #10
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How about a impact driver and a hammer!
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:15 PM   #11
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And if the hammer does not fix it then obviously it is an electrical problem.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:15 PM   #12
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Another thought if the allen wrench is steel and the other metal is stl. stl. a magnet might work. Might also try gripping the allen wrench with a drill chuck.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:17 PM   #13
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Greetings,
Mr. r. "...an electrical problem..." I like the way you immediately analyzed the problem. Are you management or administration?
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:42 PM   #14
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Great suggestions, guys and gal!! Thanks a million. I'll report back on my results.

David, here's a thread discussing the modification.

Lewmar Windlass Rope Guard and Control Arm Upgrade Kit

Probably not a problem with all chain rode, but a lightly loaded rope rode can jump past the thinner and more lightly-springed original guard. It's only happened on my dock when reloading the rode, but since it was free, I ordered it.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. r. "...an electrical problem..." I like the way you immediately analyzed the problem. Are you management or administration?
Prominent member of Congress...astute grasp of all obvious problems....
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:09 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. ps. Ah, potential presidential candidate then...
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:13 PM   #17
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All of the above are good ideas . I wish I could add more . Broken Allen wrenches can be a
PITA to get out .
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:54 PM   #18
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If you do not care about the screw I have used a centre punch, good size as it needs to be smacked hard, and a hammer to turn stuck flat head fasteners including many locktited.

You need to start a good dimple with the centre punch, which will also shock the thing. Once a good dimple has been formed then lean the centre punch over so when you strike the punch head it will drive the screw in the direction to undo.

The centre punch point must be in good condition.

It's brutal, yes, but when I was shown this trick many years ago I was surprised at how well it worked. we fairly often had stuck allen headed cap screws like this and the hex was monkeyed.

If the screw was loctited with red , when it comes time to replace it and you want to loctite it again DO NOT USE RED[262]. If the screw is something like 1/4" then find some small screw loctite. It will seal the threads and hold the screw more than well enough in a setup like that, little vibration.

Good luck
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:14 PM   #19
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Fly,

If you are cycling heating and cooling Loctite makes a product called Freeze and Release part no. 996456. It will bring the part down to -45F. When reassembling use the blue not red.

Good luck.

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Old 04-27-2015, 10:44 PM   #20
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Lots of good ideas. The only thing I'll add is that I've run into brittle Allen wrenches that broke off like yours did. When I bought a replacement wrench of a different brand, it didn't break and the screw came out. Maybe you'll be lucky and it was just a bad Allen wrench.
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