Working On Older Cars – Freeing Up Rusted Bolts & Auto Parts

By on November 15, 2012

They don’t make them like they used to be a common refrain is a common refrain motorists and auto owners will make when presented with a big car repair bill or bottom line invoice at their local garage or perhaps auto dealership service center.  Yet ask most licensed mechanics, backyard automotive repair guys or even factory trained auto technicians and they will tell you “it’s no fun working on old cars and trucks”.  True things are a bit – or lots more open and accessible – in a gaping old Chevrolet or domestic made automobile compared to the tiny inaccessible under the hood arrangement of today’s modern fuel efficient front wheel drive imports and domestically made vehicles.  Still everything is new and different and a struggle. Who needs it the workers on your truck or crossover SUV may think.  You as well may well come to the same conclusion once you see the diagnostic work up labor costs and shop fees on the bottom line of that neatly printed out computerized garage shop work order.  Yet you always pay with your Visa or MasterCard these day – if that’s any excuse of why you did not ante up for the new or replacement used vehicle.

It’s Usually a Struggle Working on Older Vehicles:
Yes repair work on older cars and trucks differs from similar duties on late model automobiles in at least two major ways.  Firstly parts do not come off easily, due to good time rust and corrosion.  Secondly all in much greater care must be taken to avoid breaking parts which well are difficult to replace of resurrect.  Hello local “junk yards” customer service desk or perhaps cruising and browsing online at eBay.

Rusted Threads Can be Particularly Challenging & Difficult to Open Up:
Rusted threads can well be your most serious and difficult obstacle.  Snapping off a stud or bolt, or confronting a tightly-rusted nut, is likely to infuriate even the most patient wrench-wielder.

Penetrating Oil First – Apply Liberally & Let it Soak in at Least an Hour:
Penetrating oil is invaluable when loosening rusted metal parts.  Apply it liberally to the threads , letting it soak in good and tight for at least an hour time period duration – better even  over-night or longer it looks like a real extreme tough case.  Next wire brush any exposed threads you spot before taking the plunge and finally attempting to unscrew the part or parts.

Use a Loose Fitting Wrench Socket or Alternatively a Slightly Smaller Corresponding Metric Socket:
Experts mechanics will tell you that often a wrench will fit loosely on the hex of a rusty nut or bolt head.  A 6-point socket (or even a metric-socket slightly smaller than the customary imperial inches sizes) may grip it more securely and tight, reducing the risk of “rounding” the hex.  If you are unfortunate enough that the hex has been damaged Vise-Grips may be your only real alterative.

Finally if Nothing Else Works –Nut Splitter or Employ a Chisel:
Finally if a truly reluctant but can if space permits be removed with a nut splitter – or alternatively cut off with a solid chisel. Many other tricks of the trade and improved techniques may be of assistance but try the above listed first and foremost before becoming more aggressive in your tactics to unloosen that pesky seized nut.

Attached Images:

Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a well known character – well known throughout the Northern Alberta & Edmonton city environs.  Sherwood loves cars & trucks and has been around them since a kid. Yet he says most automobile owners and drivers seem to think little of regular and ongoing maintenance for their truck or car and less even for safety.  Where he says are you going to find emergency service for your used Mazda Crossover  CX-5 CX-7 or CX-9 SUV at 4 am Wednesuday  morning on the way to a Banff ski trip?  Worse yet he says if you have  a vehicle engine flame whom are you going to wait for a fire truck to appear on the Canadian # 1 highway up in a flash for your roadside emergency.  What are you going to do – call up the homepage of the emergency response team on your iPhone or Blackberry?

About News Editor