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  How do you remove screws from old motor control?

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Author Topic:   How do you remove screws from old motor control?
ShrimpBurrito posted 08-01-2002 02:25 AM ET (US)   Profile for ShrimpBurrito   Send Email to ShrimpBurrito  
I've got controls for a Johnson dating back to 86, and the aluminum housing has oxidized quite a bit. It's my understanding aluminum expands when it oxidizes, thus shrinking the screw holes and making the screws impossible to remove. I'm just trying to remove the screws that go through the control to attach it to the wood side rail (no threads, presumably). I've tried PB Blaster, an impact driver (they're Phillips head screws), and the trusty hammer. I moved it an inch in one direction, but have since not been able to make progress. Drilling them out seems likely to be unsuccessful, as I probably couldn't keep the thing straight. Eventually, I'd like to disassemble the whole thing, sandblast it, and repaint it. Aside from cutting them, I can't remove the cables/wires. I'm stuck. Any suggestions?
where2 posted 08-02-2002 01:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I guess I'm lucky, my installer used screws with machine thread which allows me to remove the nuts on the back of the side rail. When I get things moving in one direction, and reach an impass, I usually swap directions and go the other way. Thus working the screw loose. Once you get the control off, then you have to contend with the screws that hold the control together. More phillips head screws coming from the rear of the control. If you really only screwed into the side rail and didn't have machine threads, then you should have coarse wood threads that should come out quickly once you get them turning.

Once painted, they do look much better. Did that to mine when I refurbed the interior a couple of years back.

You might want to keep your eyes out for a replacement if you have alot of corrosion. I've got surplus shops in my area that seem to have plenty of side mount control boxes.

Tom W Clark posted 08-02-2002 01:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

I'm a little confused about your statement "I moved it an inch in one direction". What does this mean?

If you have been able to move the screws at all you should be home free. It is usually the initial set that is so hard to break.

If you have been able to get some movement, then try reversing direction as where2 suggests.

The best penetrating oil I have found for freeing up corroded or rusted parts is Aero-Kroil. It is better than WD-40 for this application. I get mine from Tacoma Screw Products ( ) but many aviation supply houses seem to have it as well. Tacoma Screw has a store in Portland.

Are you sure the screws in question are wood screws merely screwed into the wood “seat clamp” (as Whaler calls that part)? Are you sure you are not dealing with machine screws that have a nylock lock nut let into the backside of the seat clamp?

ShrimpBurrito posted 08-02-2002 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Tom & where2 -

Thanks for your comments. A bit of clarification - there are no wood screws here. There are machine screws going through the entire control that extend through the wood. I got the nuts off, and thus freed the control from the wood, so there are no threads or any fastener keeping the screw in the control.

Yes, I realize the initial set is usually the hardest to break, but I moved it out about an inch, and it won't move any more - even in the opposite direction. Even if I get those screws that mount the control to the wood out, I still have the screws that hold the housing together. The only way to remove them is with a Phillips driver, and I really don't see that happening.

I'll track down some Aero-Kroil and try that.

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