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I'm Stuck with a Stuck Set Screw!


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#1 flyboy OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 04:48 AM

I recently acquired a 1050 and decided to work on the (not working) mower deck first. I cleaned it up, painted it and replaced the seized tension idler pulley. While I was reassembling the deck I noticed that the belt drive pulley on the gearbox was loose and sliding up and down on the output shaft.  NOW!  This is a relatively easy thing to fix, just tighten the screws!  SURE!, unless you own an old tractor. The set screws on the pulley are seized and will not tighten or loosen.  Of course the 3/16th hex screws are recessed so the only tool that can be used is a allen wrench. PB Blaster didn't help. Heat - maybe,  but the pulley is massive cast iron  and will probably dissipate the heat before it gets to the set screw. Maybe an allen wrench/1/2" drive socket and pound the screws with an impact wrench until it strips the allen tip or the set screw. Try to drill the very hard steel set screw and use an easy-out (which never works) or drill the set screw out completely and re-thread the hole.

 

Other than these ideas does anyone have a "magic wand" solution for this kind of problem?

 

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#2 jabelman OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 04:53 AM

I would soak in pb, at least a week or 2, looks rounded, try a reverse drill bit or an easy out extractor might get lucky . however I did have one on engine pulley I could not get and had to cut the pulley which I didn't need.

Edited by jabelman, August 31, 2016 - 04:55 AM.

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#3 GWest OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 05:08 AM

Got a large battery and set of booster cables? 

Stretch the cables out so the battery is not close to where you are working.

Connect one cable to the hub.

Clamp the other cable to a metal rod of some sort that will fit into the hex hole of the screw. I'm thinking a nail/spike will work.

The idea is to get current to flow from the set screw to the hub. Rust between the two is resistance to current flow = heat right where you want it. If you get a puff of rust it worked.

 

Garry


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#4 WHdbJD ONLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 05:13 AM

If its already loose on the axle, slid it off, drill and tap a new setscrew hole and leave the stuck one in.


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#5 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 05:29 AM

If its already loose on the axle, slide it off,

 

I agree. 

 

Once the pulley is off the shaft, the keyways can be examined for wear or distortion.

 

The setscrews can be removed or new holes drilled & tapped.


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#6 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 05:40 AM

Got a large battery and set of booster cables? 

Stretch the cables out so the battery is not close to where you are working.

Connect one cable to the hub.

Clamp the other cable to a metal rod of some sort that will fit into the hex hole of the screw. I'm thinking a nail/spike will work.

The idea is to get current to flow from the set screw to the hub. Rust between the two is resistance to current flow = heat right where you want it. If you get a puff of rust it worked.

 

Garry

 

Not that I'm looking forward to removing a rusted/broken screw/bolt but I'm going to try this out next time  


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#7 WNYTractorTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 06:09 AM

Not that I'm looking forward to removing a rusted/broken screw/bolt but I'm going to try this out next time  

You just like to see fireworks!


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#8 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 08:49 AM

After soaking with PB for a while, find a good 3/16" punch that will just fit down inside the socket. Give the punch 3 or 4 hard raps with the hammer. If that didn't release it, use a torch set with a small Brazing/heating tip that will let you get the flame and heat down inside the pulley to top of the set screw and get it very hot as fast as you can. While still hot, rap it again a time or 2. Then quickly try to turn the set screw. Only turn it a 1/4 turn or so and spray more blaster on it so it doesn't seize in the thread. Let cool and finish removing. I have done 100s of times over the years and this works 99.99% of the time.

Good Luck!!
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#9 ClassicBolens OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 09:15 AM

Adding heat will be your your best approach. You're dealing 40+ years of rust and quite possibly some old loctite. Don't fire up the oxy/acetylene just yet... usually a small Mapp or propane torch is plenty. It can be a slow process though. Just take your time. Heat, spray, hit, rinse and repeat. Nothing worse than rounded out set screws.
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#10 larrybl OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 10:53 AM

I drilled mine out, amazingly didn't damage the threads. New set screw and anti-seize.


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#11 WNYTractorTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 10:57 AM

I drilled mine out, amazingly didn't damage the threads. New set screw and anti-seize.

The drill will grab the thing and thread it out after it heats many times as long as there is nothing below it..  I'm surprised you have it off the shaft with that bugger in there in the first place..



#12 secondtry OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 11:53 AM

Through garage sails I have acquired a large selection of Allen wrenches cheep. when I have a badly frozen Allen screw of any kind I cut off a straight section of the appropriate size Allen wrench and use it as a punch to pound the crap out of the screw. Hasn't failed me yet. I now have quite a selection of straight Allen bits in various sizes and lengths. The shortest one that will reach the screw will be the most effective. Don


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#13 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 12:24 PM

As suggested I would try heating up the set screw using a Mapp gas torch and then quickly cooling it with cold water - someone may have used red Loctite or a similar product on the threads to try and keep the set screw from coming loose (the pulleys have been known to come loose)  which will require heat to break the bond.  Use caution that the gear lube in the gear box does not catch on fire and wear a face shield and safety glasses for safety.  Once you do the heating and cooling hopefully the set screw will start to move - if it does then loosen it and remove the pulley and examine the keyway, keyseat and check to see how much wear is on the shaft and the hub of the pulley - if it has been loose for very long these areas could be worn which may result in the pulley not running true on the shaft which could cause the belt to fail quickly and the pulley may keep coming loose.  As stated once you get the pulley off you can drill new holes for the set screws if you cannot get the old set screws to move or the threads are damaged.  You can check out this thread on the repair I did on the pulley on my mower deck - http://gardentractor...aft-in-gearbox/  .


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#14 EricFromPa OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 03:01 PM

Don't cool hot cast iron in cool or cold water.The Cast Iron will crack or shatter if you cool it to fast.Depends on how hot you get it.


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#15 Bill 76 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 03:20 PM

Try the above method's and if the hex is rounded out or loose find a Torx bit slightly larger than rounded hole and beat  it in with a hammer and wrench it out . 

If your going to try and drill it out use a cheap carbide concrete drill don't use an expensive carbide drill good chance the edges will chip off and you just tossed $20 in the garbage. 

And your right about the easy outs -- there crap--we had a large set in the shop no one ever touched them and for good reason , the square ones from snap on were the go to tool for broken bolts and they actually worked very good.


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