Sometimes Things Don’t Go Your Way

I once blogged that every time I touch the Range Rover something goes wrong. Well yesterday was no exception. Mr. Fisher and I were sorting out our two camping kits. We were trying to determine how much gear we were going to be hauling to S.C.A.R.R. We determined that we had a fairly large amount of kit. Mostly lots of pieces that don’t necessarily fit efficiently in the back of the Range Rover. Let’s be honest, it takes a lot of gear to make two 50-year-old guys comfortable for two days of camping.

I decided it was necessary to remove the 70% seat out of the back. I know Bill Burke removes his 30% seat to house his ARB refrigerator. So with that idea in mind I went to remove the seat. Basically it is four 10mm bolts and the seat comes out. I flipped the seat up and started to work on the bolts. It took some figuring to sort out they were 10mm. I took 10mm sockets to use but my 12 point socket in 3/8ths didn’t turn the nut. I wondered what size the nut was if 10mm didn’t work. Turned out my 12 point socket was stripped. That’s disappointing but not a show stopper. I had a 10mm in 1/2 that was 12 point and narrow walled. That narrow wall was very necessary because the nuts are very close to the seat bracket.

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I got the socket set and made one turn and bingo, the bolt breaks. It is just my luck. I went ahead and removed the other bolts. Thankfully none of them failed. A couple of them are pretty knackered. One was bent, another has about 3 stripped threads. They will all need to be replaced. They all were class 8.8 which equates to Grade 5 in SAE terms. I would not expect that level of bolt to break, but its the second class 8.8 to break in a week so not a surprise. Can I say, nothing surprises me any more on this Range Rover.

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I now had a headless bolt to extract. Thankfully there was a nice amount of bolt left to use to extract it. I fetched the Vise-Grips and got busy. I was getting very tight grips and the bolt WOULD.NOT.TURN. The picture above doesn’t show it but I was beginning to deform the bolt with my attempts.

I resorted to PB Blaster. I sprayed it from top and bottom. We went back inside the garage to watch the end of the OSU women play the Florida Gulf Coast somethings in the NCAA tournament. (OSU squeaked out a win against a determined foe.)

We went back out and again tried to turn the bolt. Nope. I just mangled it even more. So I had to resort to fire.

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I put the propane torch on it. I heated it from the top and the bottom. I was careful to remove anything else that might com-bust before applying the heat. I have only had this heat and let cool method work one other time. I’m not sure if it was the heat alone or PB Blaster getting hot and breaking the rust weld/corrosion bond/magical forces that were holding the bolt in place. But the bolt turned.

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As Mr. Fisher cheered me on I went to work turning the bolt with the Vise-Grips. In the end the bolt is out and the seat is out as well. Now we can load the back of the Rangie with all the gear we need to make our weekend comfortable.

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The bolts pass through the skin to the out side of the vehicle. The threads are exposed to all the dirt/water/salt/mud that can splash up under a vehicle. This likely caused the rust weld/corrosive bond/magic forces to lock the bolt in the hole. If I’m going to be removing this seat in the future I might want to use anti-seize on it or develop a better way to detach the seats.

Only a few days left before we head to S.C.A.R.R. I will be dropping the Range Rover off at Mickey’s Garage for a replacement water pump. The pump his shop installed in September has already developed a growl in the bushings. That’s not normal. We’ll have that all sorted out and have a very quiet motor for the trip.

On a less happy note, my job was eliminated this week. I was able to pick up another less paying job so it’s not doom and gloom but it is going to be some serious adjusting. If your interested in hiring me…send me an email. I’ve got mad people skills, 25 years in the information technology industry, I am Green Belt certified in LEAN/Six Sigma, and if you read this blog you know I can solve problems and think creatively.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

 

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