Stuck Bolts!

This was one of the worst experiences I first had with Little car.  I broke a thermostat housing bolt off in the engine block.  In the end it turned out to be an incorrect thread that someone had cross stripped in place, but helicoils are not fun.

All I can really offer here is some advice.  Un-sticking stuck bolts on a Rover is really a mater of dedication and divine chance.  Often I think itís the Rover that actually decides in the end.  Remember Step 0: here -- it is most important.

Step 0: Speak softy to your Rover.  Remind it how much you love it and that it is the only car you will never sell.   Remind it how fun it is to drive and not to be jealous of the other cars in your driveway (especially if there are other Rovers).  Tell it all the things you will do together when it is fixed.

Penetrating Fluid Treatments:
Liquid Wrench--my personal favorite--or the WD40.  Buy both the aerosol spay (sorry environment) and drip bottles.  Put a lot on, it smells good as it burns off and makes great cologne.  If its a particularly bad bolt or nut start as much as a week ahead of time, applying fluid once or twice a time.  Be patient.  Be optimistic.

In-between penetrating fluid treatments, I have heard people say tapping works though I have never had too much luck with this myself.  Be gentle yet firm and rapp-a-tapp--tap the bolt with a hammer.

Heat works great to unstuck stuck bolts--its the thermal expansion and the hopeful differential between the two separate parts.  First check to make sure that as you heat up the bolt that the heat will not conduct to any sensitive parts like plastics or painted materials.  Safety first--read those instructions and donít have petrol in the near vicinity.  Propane plumbing torches can sometimes work but are often not hot enough.  Welding torches are great but be careful not to get it too hot.  For about $30 Home Depot will sell you a home 2 gas welding kit.  Though terrible to weld with the little torch is great for those troublemakers in the bolt community.

Good luck, best wishing, and just punish yourself with the knowledge of how easy it would be to work on the car if it was new!

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