Sometimes yer the bug:

So the step was somewhat loose on my truck…has been for a week. Been on since 2003 and investigation shows that the support was badly rusted. I can easily fab a new support, but first I had to get the step removed from the truck…

I decided to do something about it before either:

A. it broke while I was using it to step up into the cab, therefore hurting myself badly

or

B. fell off while I was driving

Either which would end up requiring me to try to remove the other half of the mounting on the side of the road or in a parking lot.Probably with a battery powered sawzall with a mostly discharged battery then a hacksaw….And likely end with me pulling and twisting (and cussing) to get the final bit of metal to break off…..

So this morning, after 10 AM (so as not to disturb my neighbors too early on a Sunday morning) I swept the apron in front of the barn, moved the truck, fired up the air compressor and set to work with the impact wrench to remove the bolts.

The half inch impact removed 2 of the 4. The other two? Not so much. Been there for 13 years…lots of salt and rain and such to rust ’em in place…..

Ok, I dig into the cabinet and get out the seldom-used 3/4 inch impact and the air tank and the 3/4 inch hose so I can use it at full power for the first 3 minutes….(the 3/8 hose doesn’t really supply enough air, but it will fill the tank to run the impact for a short time at full power).

Yeah, that worked….broke ’em right loose.

Now I have the step removed from the truck.

So then I get to removing the bolt which holds the mount and the step together., so I can make a new mount.

The half inch bolt snapped off .

Ok, not unexpected, but the end is stuck in the bracket in the step. About an inch and a half sticking out. (but buried 2″ deep inside the tube…..)

Not an issue, I will get two nuts and stack ’em and use them to remove the remains of the bolt. Tossed a bit of penetrating oil and some heat on the broken bolt first, just to help things…..

Yep, snapped it off a half inch from the bracket.

Ok, take a nut and weld it to the end of the bolt. Reach in with a socket ….Apply torque.

Snapped off just under the weld.

Ok, drill the remains of the bolt and weld that to the nut. Same same….

Snapped it off just under the weld again. Cheap goddamn grade (-4) bolt or whatever from China…)

Hell with it. I’ll drill the rest of the way through the bolt and tap it. (shoulda done that first)….grind it off as low as I could with a high speed burr and drill from there…

Yeah, now it is hardened by the repeated heating. Kinda hard on the burr….Burned the end off the pilot drill. (Twice). But I got the bolt /bracket drilled for a half inch tap.

OK, got the tap in and started.

Yep, you guessed it. Broke clean off at the face. 3 turns in. Hand pressure, no more . What I get for using a tap from TSC. I should know better. Buy American…..I will next time.

SHIT.

Tune in tomorrow and see if I was able to get the tap backed out or if I take a torch and burn the damned thing out and reweld the hole and drill and try again (or maybe weld a nut to the face of the bracket in the tube and go with that).

And I still haven’t fabbed a new mounting bracket.

ETA: Torch (the blue wrench). Welded a nut on it and put it back together after refabbing the bracket.

All back together now.

4 thoughts on “Sometimes yer the bug:

  1. You have my luck.
    I'm sorry.

    Glad you got it fixed.
    Kinda nice having a wide selection of tools to attack something like that in different ways though, isn't it.

  2. Phil:

    My Dad (and others) made sure I had the skills that a man needs in the world.

    And I have spent 20+ years acquiring decent tools and equipment to do this sort of job when I need to.

    It is nice to be able to do this sort of job, instead of having to depend on someone else.

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