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Old 04-11-2019, 11:42 AM   #1
106gunner
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Default Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

I had this problem bigtime. I stumbled onto a guy on the web with the answer. Here's what he had to say and it worked great for me.

"I have been changing the lower unit oil in outboards for a very long time. It is a task that I dread because it often struggle to remove the drain screws. They always seem to be stuck and I usually bugger the screw heads and do a lot of cursing in the process.

Well, I have finally stumbled on a nearly perfect solution. I was determined not to bugger the screw heads this year. I talked to a friend who is a mechanic and he suggested an impact driver. Many of you probably already familiar with these tools, but for those who aren't... it is a heavy metal cylinder about 6 inches long which takes various inserts for different screw heads. You bang it with a hammer and it twists - left or right - with a claimed 200 foot pounds of torque. It works slicker than snot!

I say nearly perfect because, apparently, you need to be careful not to hammer too hard."


Hope it works for you.

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Old 04-11-2019, 04:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

Hope that works for you.

An easier method is to get the biggest flat tip screw driver that fits. Make sure the screwdriver shaft is squared not rounded. Then use a big crescent wrench on the shaft of the screwdriver to turn the screwdriver.


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Old 04-11-2019, 06:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

I could not disagree more strongly about using an impact driver. Pew's method is the finesse, reliable approach.

I hired a guy to help with my installs on vessels and he was IN LOVE with impact drivers. He basically left a path of destruction on everything he touched. Smashing an aluminum case with a hammer is a recipe for trouble. You have absolutely no control over the amount of force - and, believe me, you can do an immense amount of expensive damage in a very short time. That guy cost me a fortune in repairs: I don't think I've ever been more mad at anyone (since he just kept breaking equipment, never figuring out that his @$!%& impact drivers were the cause).

Use Pew's method and you won't live to regret it. It's about having the right tool: buy the right screwdriver.

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Old 04-11-2019, 07:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

Agree with positize. Those damn drain screws are very soft aluminum on my Merc. I bought the largest flathead screwdriver I could find at a garage sale for $3. Works great.

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Old 04-11-2019, 09:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

Thanks for the replies.

BUT, I have to say, I tried big tip square shaft screw drivers. Wouldn't work. I'm not saying this works for everyone, I'm only saying it worked perfectly for me. I did have to buy the Impact Driver. Got it on Amazon for $12. Now I will have a tool for the future as well as other projects. The guy on the web warned about applying too much pressure with the impact wrench. Just for information here's his forum web address with more info:
Hey, not trying to get anyone to screw up, just passing on what I thought might be of use to ifishers.



https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engi...-alpha-1/page2
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:07 AM   #6
Salmonkiller78
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

Break loose rusty or frozen screws and bolts with ease using this hard-hitting impact screwdriver. Tap the impact screwdriver's handle with a hammer and get quick rotational force necessary for loosening stuck fasteners. Grip is flared to protect hand from overstrikes.


https://www.harborfreight.com/impact...ase-37530.html

Whack it!
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

I'm with the others above...I wouldn't use an impact driver for this task. Too much risk on damaging the plug/lower end.
I do something slightly different though. I use a large driver end on a ratchet. Lets me put pressure straight down on the fitting and I get good torque with the ratchet (similar to the crescent wrench mentioned above).

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Old 04-12-2019, 07:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishnhunt13 View Post
I'm with the others above...I wouldn't use an impact driver for this task. Too much risk on damaging the plug/lower end.
I do something slightly different though. I use a large driver end on a ratchet. Lets me put pressure straight down on the fitting and I get good torque with the ratchet (similar to the crescent wrench mentioned above).

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This. A tight fitting, hollow ground bit. A normal tapered screwdriver is a recipe for screwing up the groove.
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

I have used an impact driver on various things for years. It is usually my last resort. Part of the cure is to apply anti-seize compound to the screw when you put it back. Here is a tool that can be used with or without the impact driver. https://www.klsupply.com/general-equ...l-35-69001.asp

A bigger question is why do the manufacturers use a slotted screw instead of a hex head or allen head screw which would provide a getter grip?
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

If you put anti sieze on the plug, make sure it's not copper based.
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattPark View Post
If you put anti seize on the plug, make sure it's not copper based.
Why? My anti seize isn't copper colored, it's silver, so I guess I'm okay. And I'm not worried about putting anti seize on oily threads anyway.

I have a Snap-on version of that impact driver that was used a bunch of years ago when I worked on Honda motor cycles. They were invaluable in use to remove Philips head screws from side cases on the bikes. Think steel screws sunk at the factory in aluminum for several, or more, years. They definitely have their place. Using them on lower unit straight slot screws should be approached with caution though.

I've had no problems with my lower end drain screws. Keeping the slot in the screw pristine, and the right screw driver is key.
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

Loctite make a Marine grade anti seize with no metal of any kind in it.

I notice the makers of copper anti seize say to use on spark plugs in aluminum heads but I found nothing to prevent it's use with SS although there is a nickel anti seize compound that recommends using it with SS. So Nickel might be the compound to use when screwing SS to the aluminum parts of the boat to prevent gauling and corrosion.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

I have one of those hammer impacts stashed away in my toolbox. I've had it for probably thirty years, and every once in a great while I'll actually have a use for it. In the right situation, and if used carefully, it can save your bacon. One critical thing is to not use the crap bits that usually come with the driver. I always use a good bit set like fishnhunt showed.

Snap-on has made their screwdrivers with a hex at the base of the shank forever. I don't know why a lot of other took manufacturers don't do this. You can put a box end wrench on it, which is easier than a crescent wrench.

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Old 04-13-2019, 01:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smj View Post
Why?
Aluminum is very susceptible to galvanic corrosion in the presence of copper and an electrolyte (such as a fresh river water, or even worse, salt water). Copper in contact with your aluminum boat is a no go in any form. This includes anything from anti sieze to pressure treated trailer bunks (which would be OK with plastic glides/slides). You could argue that there shouldn't be water past the lower unit plug gasket, and I would agree with that. There's no reason to risk contact, though, especially with a multitude of other products available.

You do not want your hull or lower unit becoming an anode, ever.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattPark View Post
Aluminum is very susceptible to galvanic corrosion in the presence of copper and an electrolyte (such as a fresh river water, or even worse, salt water). Copper in contact with your aluminum boat is a no go in any form. This includes anything from anti sieze to pressure treated trailer bunks (which would be OK with plastic glides/slides). You could argue that there shouldn't be water past the lower unit plug gasket, and I would agree with that. There's no reason to risk contact, though, especially with a multitude of other products available.

You do not want your hull or lower unit becoming an anode, ever.
Thanks. I understand galvanic corrosion with dissimilar metals. That makes a battery combined with whatever bit of acid the water has to it. I'm not sure copper anti seize on a drain plug would have water contact though?

But stick a copper strip in a lemon, and another metal strip, with wires and you get voltage. And after a while the softer of the metal strips will be eaten away.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishnhunt13 View Post
I'm with the others above...I wouldn't use an impact driver for this task. Too much risk on damaging the plug/lower end.
I do something slightly different though. I use a large driver end on a ratchet. Lets me put pressure straight down on the fitting and I get good torque with the ratchet (similar to the crescent wrench mentioned above).

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I have a set of bits that are used with a 3/8ths ratchet. Push real hard to set the bit and turn. You can apply a lot of pressure and torque on a stubborn plug or screw. If you want to use an impact tool, tap-tap is much better than whack-whack. Especially with soft metals.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:25 AM   #17
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

If you can’t get it out with a screwdriver I have used a small brass punch about the same size as the screws and give a light tap. It usually just needs a slight shock and then will turn right out with a screwdriver.
Some people go way overboard with impact drivers. Just because they are meant to be hammered doesn’t mean you need to beat the crap out of them.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:53 AM   #18
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

I might suggest not putting them in so tight. Aluminum is soft and will gall which sort of welds the two pieces together. Might replace the aluminum screw with a stainless one? Also, put a non-metalic washer between screw and case. I’ve used impact drivers when I used to work on lots of motorcycles and they do work but so does the Pew method.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:07 AM   #19
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

I've always wondered why they can't put some other kinds of screw in their. Allen, Torx, or even a hex nut.


My cure is take an old flat head and grind it down so it fits the screw tight and don't over tighten the dang screw. They seem to tighten up all on their own by the end of the year.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: Stuck/burred lower case drain plug. A SOLUTION!

My assumption is because they can get easily stuck. It's better that the slot strips out than taking a chunk outta the lower end.

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