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MaliBlue

Ski Pylon Removal - Need ideas to remove bolt

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MaliBlue

I have an '02 Response. The ski pylon wiggles a little. I tightened the nut on the bolt that goes through the pylon (in the bilge area). That did the trick, nice and snug, no wiggling. Unfortunately the pylon is a mess from the prior owner so now I would like to remove the pylon completely and refinish it. The bolt turns but it takes a breaker bar to do so. I verified that the entire bolt is turning and not just the head; be horrible if it snapped off. Anyway the pylon wiggles nice and although I can rotate the bolt (with effort), it is not coming out. I threaded a sacrificial nut back on the end of the bolt and whacked it as good as I could with a hammer, but there is not a lot of room in there and so not much whacking is taking place. I sprayed a bunch of PB Blaster around both ends of the bolt but it hasn't seemed to help.

Any ideas for removing this bolt?

 

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MaliBlue

One thing, just to be clear, the bolt does not move when the pylon is wiggled, it appears to be tight to the fiberglass surround.

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oldjeep

Impact gun to thread it out, or air hammer to push it out. 

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MaliBlue
2 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Impact gun to thread it out, or air hammer to push it out. 

Thanks for the reply and ideas. I used an impact gun on it but no different from the breaker bar, I suppose there is no thread on the part of the bolt that is "stuck".  In terms of access, if you are looking down on the pylon with the motor being at your head (12 o'clock), the head of the bolt is at 10 o'clock, so reasonable accessible. The threaded end, for whacking or air hammer, is obviously opposite, at about 4 o'clock, and there is very little room to get anything in there for pushing. I was thinking of rigging up some kind of puller but have not been able to wrap my head around how it would work.

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oldjeep

Got room for a c clamp? Sitick a piece of tube over the head and press it out. 

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MaliBlue
45 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Got room for a c clamp? Sitick a piece of tube over the head and press it out. 

Brilliant. Used my prop puller! :biggrin:

ACME.jpg

Unfortunately, the only effect it had was to drawn the fiberglass on the head side of the bolt (to your right in the picture) tight toward the pylon and make it real tight. I stopped at that point because I was a little worried about doing serious damage to the fiberglass sleeve that the pylon sits in. Maybe I just need to man-up and keep on with it. Taking a break to contemplate...

 

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MaliBlue

Had another thought...maybe the reason the bolt does not seem to be moving when I wiggle the pylon, is because the pylon is pivoting around it. That would support the (more realistic) idea that the bolt is tight to the inside of the pylon. Regardless, still doesn't help me much at this stage. Wish I could get some heat in there but that is obviously not going to happen. I think I give the prop puller another shot and just hold my breath and work it a little harder. Stay tuned...

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MaliBlue
Posted (edited)

Tried the prop puller again, this time mounted around back.

Acme-b.jpg

It would sure be a lot easier if that in-floor-ice-box wall wasn't in the way. I had to set up the clamp and snug it up with one hand because I am upside-down trying to peek under the floor (the bolt is near the top) and the abs only hold me in that position for so long. More planks I suppose. Anyway, I cranked away on this quite a bit more. Eventually the fingers of the clamp slid off. The washer you can see at the head of the bolt, to the right of the picture above, is a little sloppy now, so I either move the bolt a bit, or I really compressed the fiberglass near the bolt head. My main concern with keeping up this approach is, what if I get  the bolt half way out, and it is still just as difficult to move? It is going to be a crazy-hard job to get it the rest of the way out. Eating an orange right now, yum!, need some more energy to try this one more time. Gonna squirt more PB Blaster in but likely is it just running down inside between the pylon and the fiberglass sleeve...whatever. More to come...

Edited by MaliBlue
clarification...

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MaliBlue

Here is the latest. I am turning the bolt at the same time as tightening the clamp/puller.

acme-c.jpg

This is quite difficult, using both arms for tools and balancing my head against the engine block. Most of the bolt-on parts at the front of the engine have been removed (RWP, pulleys, alternator), but I could still use more room, and a softer place to rest my head. Hey, towel on the block next time! There is not much room for a long handled tool on the clamp, and I need to keep it square to boot, so not much leverage and having to push down (would way rather be pulling, safer too). The maximum throw on the clamp wrench is about 45 degrees so very slow going. Push down the ratchet on the bolt head at the same time. Longer handle on that but that just means the handle runs into something sooner so not much throw on it either. The bolt is getting _way_ harder to rotate, not sure if this approach is helping...but I am making progress. Can actually see some of the bolt. Going to run out of clamp thread soon so going to have to make some decisions. 

acme-d.jpg

Clamp is staying in place so thankful for that. And the family is away so no-one to pester me while I work away on this. Off to get a towel to rest my head against and put a few more cranks on the clamp and bolt. Maybe grab a half cup of coffee while the PB Blaster does its thing...

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MaliBlue

Now I am stumped. I moved the bolt a little further than in the prior picture, but the clamp/puller is about to bottom out against the fiberglass and I just have enough thread on the bolt exposed to put the nut back on, if I want to stop where I am at. The bolt is not easier to move now than it was in the beginning, that is to say, extremely difficult. If I go further now, I'm going to have to find some way to push the bolt with a second piece of something and stability will be a real issue, at least until the end of the bolt is significantly inside the pylon and the "pusher piece" has something to hold it in place. I suppose I'll use a very small (short) pusher to start with to limit this effect. I'm not too concerned about only getting the bolt part way through and then hitting a wall, I can always turn the clamp/puller around and push the bolt back in. As an aside, it is so tight trying to rotate the bolt now, I'm concerned about breaking the bolt, so I've stopped using the socket on the bolt head, just pushing now with the clamp. Taking a break, having some left-over chicken and grilled peppers and eggplant from last night's bar-b-que. Gotta keep the energy up! More later...

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Chaabo
Posted (edited)

What a nightmare!

Can you not just work on the pylon while mounted?

One of my previous Responses had a pretty beaten up pylon from using a skylon pylon extension a lot. I got myself a long cotton backed piece of 100 grit sandpaper (Emery cloth??) covered the floor area around the pylon and sanded the pylon back to its original finish. Nobody could tell the difference afterwards.

Edited by Chaabo

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MaliBlue
1 hour ago, Chaabo said:

What a nightmare!

Can you not just work on the pylon while mounted?

Well, I thought I could. I started out doing just what you describe, with the floor covering and so-on. However it is so beat up, I started using a file and then I thought, heck, this would be a lot easier (ha!) and I could do a much better job if it were out of the boat.

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MaliBlue
1 hour ago, mgb1974 said:

Cut the head off ...

Maybe I'm missing something in your suggestion but not sure where that would that get me? The shaft of the bolt, just below the portion I cut off, would be flush with the "outside" of the fiberglass sleeve, and it would still prevent the pylon from being removed.

I was actually thinking of doing something similar to what you suggest, and then drilling into the center of the remaining bolt with a bit the size of the shaft. I would only have to go in the thickness of the fiberglass wall, then I could remove the pylon and drill or press the remaining bolt through, any number of ways, once it is out of the boat. Only problem with that line of thinking is that it would wok fine on the head of the bolt, the end I have access to. The other (threaded) end, is around the back of the fiberglass sleeve. I could whack off the threaded end so that it is flush with the outside of the fiberglass, but no way to get around back to do any drilling to eliminate that part of the bolt that is within the wall of the fiberglass.

 

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Eagleboy99

Can't add much here other than to extend the reach of the prop puller, put a deep socket over it.

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Eagleboy99

Is that bolt stainless?  Pylon is aluminium... so galvanic corrosion.  basically welded itself. (And now you have me wondering about the pylon in my boat...)

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MaliBlue
28 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Is that bolt stainless?  Pylon is aluminium... so galvanic corrosion.  basically welded itself. (And now you have me wondering about the pylon in my boat...)

Quite possibly...and likely no kind of coating to prevent it. I wouldn't worry about yours...unless you plan to take it out...which few people do. I get carried away on stuff...I should often leave well enough alone. 

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MaliBlue
37 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Can't add much here other than to extend the reach of the prop puller, put a deep socket over it.

Can you expand on that? I'm trying to push the bolt through...so need a pusher slightly smaller than the diameter of the bolt, as it is going to have to enter the hole that the bolt is currently in.

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MaliBlue
44 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Can't add much here other than to extend the reach of the prop puller, put a deep socket over it.

Oh, I think I know what you are getting it. My comment about the puller bottoming out against the fiberglass. Yes, good idea. Turns out I ran out of bolt before I ran out of threads on the puller. I stopped when I could just barely thread the nut back on. The bolt is so tight in there that even with the amount I pushed it out, I can still tighten the nut so that the pylon doesn't wiggle. I think I'm going to leave it that way for the summer ski season. If the pylon gets loose, I know the bolt got sucked back in a bit and I'll just tighten the bolt. Then I'll resurrect this thread in the fall and go at it again, maybe take more drastic measures. 

Thanks everyone for your input. Any other ideas would still be appreciated.

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