View Full Version : Stuck Tower - HELP

12-26-2007, 01:15 PM
I am an excited new owner of an '04 X2. the boat is in great shape. However, it has been kept on a lift at a lake it's entire life. I will keep in in the garage, until we get the boat house and lift built. In the meantime, I need to break down the tower. It is a Zero Flex Flyer Tower. I used chanel locks and WD40 to try to loosen the bolt. The plastic hand piece broke and stripped the brass insert off the bolt. I'd appreciate any ideas on how to loosen the bolt and to know if there are any tricks to this. or is there a website that can help.


12-26-2007, 01:30 PM
Maybe try a strap wrench, not sure how well it would work.

12-26-2007, 01:30 PM
Heat it with low heat maybe a good hot hair dryer or heat gun on low. If you get it hot with a torch it will discolor it. Get a good pair of Vise Grips and lock onto the bolt. Just go slow and take your time.

Got any pictures that might help with some better ideas.

12-26-2007, 03:19 PM
Are you a good welder? you could weld a nut onto the end of the broken bolt and use an impact driver to remove. Or drill the center of the bolt out and use a Desco Easy-Out Bolt extractor tool (see pic) to remove it. If that doesn't work. grind a couple of flat spots on the sides of the bolt and use a vise-grip on it that way. If that still doesn't work... give up. there's no hope.:rolleyes:

Oh, one more thing, Not sure I'd use heat... the bolt will expand before the aluminum will... you'll have an even bigger problem then.

Farmer Ted
12-26-2007, 03:46 PM
good luck, you're about to pull the heli-coil out

the knob either got cross threaded or smoked down too tight

you could also saw the knob off flush with the tower and drill it out

I'd do that before going at it with an Easy-out

12-26-2007, 04:00 PM
Pictures would help but I can kind of understand what you are looking at.

I would start with trying to hit it with penetrating oil and leave it sit for a day or so. Then I would try the vice-grips and gentle heat (heat-gun at most) as someone else had suggested.

If the bolt has been in there for a while in the elements, it is corroded. The worst corrosion takes place between dis-similar metals....in this case steel and aluminum.

If you can't turn it with the vice-grips, i'm guessing the ez-out won't work. As aggressive as it sounds, drilling it out and then re-taping it may be your best bet.

You may also call the manufacturer as this probably isn't the 1st time someone has had this issue and they may have a solution, too.

Best of luck, let us know how you come out.

12-26-2007, 04:00 PM
Double post

12-26-2007, 05:42 PM
Good suggestions so far but I would go with the penetrating oil before I tried the heat. In fact I might even try drilling and retaping before heat. Once you get it resolved a little white lithium grease goes a long way. I have been putting it on my tower bolts for years without issue even left out in the elements they loosen up nicely.

12-26-2007, 05:47 PM
I wouldn't use any heat on aluminum.........it turns purple real fast!

As stated above, your best bet may be to drill it and re-tap the threads. If you've never done this before, get someone who has (machine shop person). They can do it quickly and cleanly, worth the cost IMHO.

12-26-2007, 06:40 PM
PB Blaster and an oil filter strap wrench. Add a cheater bar if necessary. Good luck....

12-26-2007, 07:59 PM
where are you at in the south east? Same thing happed to me on my X-10, ended up having to drill and tap. I would try and break the black knob off all the way first, spray the stud with a penetrating oil and let it sit for awhile, spraying it often and and get a good pair of vise grips as mentioned before and lock down on it, and be patience!!! They also sell stud removal sockets the you can attach to a racket. It has teeth that grip down on the stud as your trying to remove the stud. Good luck

12-26-2007, 08:16 PM
Grind two flat spots on oposing sides with a dremel and then tighten down with a adjustable wrench or vise grips. If that doesn't work welding the nut on would be next and lastly drilling it out. Once you get a hold on it you wil be able to tell if the bolt is twisting or coming out. If it starts to twist and has been soaked in PB stop and drill it out. The amount of heat that will make any difference is going to discolor the aluminum.

12-27-2007, 12:03 AM
I tried a Desco Easy-Out Bolt extractor on a bolt that was REALLY stuck and broke it off right in the bolt...after that there was no drilling it out.

Anyway, if the vice grips and penetrating oil don't work, going right to drilling would prolly be the easiest/safest.

01-10-2008, 10:57 PM
Penetrating oil and heat did not budge bolts. Had to drill out with auto-feed drill then re-tap. These babies were stuck big time. Now anti-seize goes on before bolts go in.

waters's great in N. Fl.

01-10-2008, 11:10 PM
Penetrating oil and heat did not budge bolts. Had to drill out with auto-feed drill then re-tap. These babies were stuck big time. Now anti-seize goes on before bolts go in.

waters's great in N. Fl.

Glad to hear you got them out! Lets see some pics of the repair! :D