Seized and sheared nuts and bolts can trans­form a sim­ple task into a real night­mare, so fol­low our guide to help avoid prob­lems and fix them.

Classics Monthly - - Seized Fittings - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY ROB HAWKINS WORDS AND

When a nut snaps off, or a span­ner spins round on the head of a bolt, the sec­onds taken to undo a fit­ting can turn into half an hour or more spent drilling and tap­ping. Sim­i­lar trou­ble, such as seized fit­tings, can also add hours onto an oth­er­wise straight­for­ward job.

There are lots of ways to avoid such catas­tro­phes and if the worst should hap­pen, there are thank­fully many reme­dies to get you back on track. The fol­low­ing pages out­line the tools and tricks of the trade to help. With sev­eral step by step guides, we’ve cov­ered the best meth­ods for slack­en­ing a nut or bolt to avoid snap­ping it or round­ing it off. We’ve also listed some of the tools that can be used to help undo seized nuts and bolts. There’s in­for­ma­tion on some of the pro­fes­sional brute force meth­ods and if some­thing should break, we’ve in­cluded guid­ance on how to re­move the re­mains and fix the prob­lem.

Seized nuts and bolts are of­ten inevitable, es­pe­cially on clas­sic cars that have been sub­jected to road salt and other equally cor­ro­sive sub­stances. It’s also a prob­lem for plas­tic fix­ings, where they be­come brit­tle and per­ished. The trick is to know how to avoid such prob­lems. Avoid los­ing your tem­per when un­do­ing fix­ings that are awk­ward or seized. Think around the prob­lem be­fore you power up the an­gle grinder and pro­ceed to cut up the en­tire car and weigh it in!

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