Posted: 10/23/2010 15:37:30
Thought I'd start a thread about little tips that people use to deal with problems encountered when working on aircraft
For example: One of the more aggrevating things I have to deal with is a "frozen" phillips head screw. You know the type- the one that won't budge when you've put all of your force into it, or risk camming it out, or worse, damaging the A/C
I've found if you try "breaking it loose" by tightening the screw just a bit, in most cases you will be able to back it out with no damage to the A/C or screw.
Another option I've used- The Lisle 64250 ratcheting screwdriver is a reasonably priced (IMO) 90 degree close tolerance screwdriver. Where I've found it handy, is that it also fits a typical #2 Phillips head screwdriver shaft allowing you to slip it onto the screwdriver allowing you to get a bit more torque
So, whats in your bag of tricks?
Posted: 10/23/2010 17:04:03
Here's another trick for stuck bolts. Whack it hard on the head hard with a hammer. I'm not exactly sure what the physics are but it will often do the trick.
Sometimes when a philips head screw is too munged up for the screwdriver to bite I will carefully cut a slot in it with a hacksaw (after whacking it with a hammer) and use a straight slot screwdriver.
Posted: 10/24/2010 10:45:51
I have some Wiha Anti Cam Out phillips screwdrivers. They have ridges on the tip to help grip the screw before the screwdriver starts walking out of the screw head.
You may need to use one of the paint cutter tools to make sure you aren't trying to break the paint at the same time. After that I usually spray around it with "Yield". It is a great penetrant.
I have also used some valve lapping paste to help grip the screws, and as a last resort, I have used a cutoff wheel from my dremel tool to make a slot in the screw for a slotted screwdriver.
One of the best regular phillips screwdrivers I have was out of a dollar bin at Meek's in Lake Tahoe. It seemed to fit the heads better than any other screwdriver I've owned. I wish I had 10 of them, as they haven't had those for many years.
Posted: 10/24/2010 20:57:45
Valve grinding compound on the screwdriver works great. You can also buy a gadget (forget what they call it) that you use with your rivet gun to loosen them.
Who me? I was fishing on the day in question Mr FAA man. Nope must have been another bright yellow plane.
Posted: 10/24/2010 21:08:30
A tool like this can work very well too and they are very affordable.
Posted: 10/24/2010 22:30:05
Good stuff guys. BTW, if you have any other "tricks" not necessarily related to getting stuck screws out, feel free to post them here!
Posted: 10/27/2010 23:40:20
I am a locksmith and I run into rounded out phillips head screws all the time. I also make a lot of keys for autos and motorcycles which often involves sheer head bolts, the type that when they are tightened the head breaks off to prevent easy removal. What I do to remove the rounded out phillips and sheer head bolts is to cut a slot with a dremel cut off disk. However I save the ones that are worn way down from previous other use so that they are really small disks to prevent cutting material around the screw or bolt. One other thing I sometimes do in real tight areas is to drill a small hole in the head and use an awl and hammer to tap the screw out.
Posted: 10/28/2010 09:26:38
You can use a shop vac in blower mode (not an air compressor...you want high volume/low pressure) attached to the breather tube on your engine so you can use regurlar soapy water to check for oil leaks and what not.
Posted: 10/30/2010 10:36:57
Nick- Great Tip!
Expect the same approach could be used for several things- checking a gas tank for leaks, etc.
Posted: 11/2/2010 16:52:17
Try Acme Corporation,wise guy!
Posted: 11/3/2010 15:22:36
BRUCE MEINKING wrote: Try Acme Corporation,wise guy!
I think they go by Harbor Freight these days!
Terrifying Flying Service.
If you fly with us once,
you'll never fly with anyone else.
Posted: 11/3/2010 18:24:35
i generally don't have time for cutting new drive recesses "slots" in the screw head. I just grab th appropriate size of these http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM161692716P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4 and get the blasted thing out. Best idea to come along since sliced pread.
Also, DON'T use a power screwdrived as thes have a real tendency to round off the drive recess in Phillips screws. Instead use one of these http://www.stanleyproto.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=BH%5FSCREWDRIVER%5FBIT&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER=HW-9451&strSiteName=Blackhawk&strDefaultCatalog=Blackhawk&SDesc=3%2F8%22+Drive+No%2E2+Phillips+Screwdriver+Bits mounted to a speed handle. It is just as fast as a power screwdriver and you tend not to round off the drive recess.
Posted: 11/3/2010 19:47:32
I used the Lowes version of the same thing. Worked much better than the older type without the cutter on the end opposite of the left hand spiral.
Posted: 11/4/2010 19:21:06
At the airlines we used one of these. The work real good but you have to be careful in using them as you could drive a screw right threw the fuselage. Probably the best measure is installing the screw in the first place using a screw gun with a predetermined torque. We were issued one screw gun for installation and one for removal. the last ditch effort was a drill and screw extractor.
Posted: 11/5/2010 15:24:31
Some years ago I became acquainted with Rotax engines and discovered the chore of removing or installing those nasty exhaust springs. You sure don't want to grab them with any kind of pliers as they will be scarred and sure to break in the near future. The alternate method was to slip a phillips screw driver or any round rod through the hook and try to wangle it over the loops provided. This will, more than often, allow the spring under full tension to slip off the screw driver shaft and scream like a missile to the most inaccessable corner of your shop...if it does not hit you in the process.
I solved the problem quite simply by making a spring hook from some 1/8" brazing rod and a 1/2" hardwood dowel handle. The brazing rod is cut to about 10" and threaded on one end with a 10-32 die. The other end will be bent into a small hook.
The threaded end of the rod is inserted through a hole drilled in the center of a 4" or 5" piece of the dowling and held in place with a washer and a 10-32 fiber lock nut. The handle will rotate to any convenient position to avoid knuckle damage while stretching the spring over the loops.