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Old 05-31-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
mclarkson
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Default Stripped grub screws - any suggestions?

I noticed that the motor on my Tiger Moth was feeling a bit wiggly so I took a look inside. The bearing tube seems to be a bit loose in the metal motor mount. I went to tighten the grub screws - or pull them out and replace them - and found that they're both stripped to . My hex wrench just spins and spins.

Any tips on getting these things outa there?

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Old 05-31-2013, 12:26 AM   #2
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What made the world of difference for me was buying some high quality Allen keys. i often had the same issue as you but since getting a good key I've never failed to get a screw out. Bondhus are the brand I went for.

The other trick you could try is get a good quality 1/16" key (very slightly bigger than a 1.5mm key) and see if that can be forced in.

I have successfully drilled them out in the past but it's not something I'd recommend because the screws are (or should be) very hard and they blunt the drip almost instantly. I went though numerous cobalt tip drill bits and had to re-sharpen and re-harden the bits lots of times. Though you may be 'lucky' and find that the screws are cheap and nasty soft metal that drills easily. There is a fair chance of this because decent quality hardened grub screws would never have stripped in the first place.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Decent quality hardened grub screws would never have stripped in the first place.
That's kinda what I was thinking.

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Old 05-31-2013, 01:25 AM   #4
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A 16th" starbit as a last resort, tap it several times lighty to set and hold down while you gently apply more and more turn pressure,, Hope's this helps but My Bub JetPlane has this covered well
bubsteve

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Old 05-31-2013, 01:36 AM   #5
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It may be your allen wrench is worn. If you have a grinder or even a Dremel, grind off the end till it's flat and has 6 sharp new points on the end. It has worked for me many times.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:51 PM   #6
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You can epoxy the hex key wrench into the grub screw, then once the epoxy or glue is hard, the screw can be backed out. Then just lop off the very end of the hex key wrench and move on to the next one. Time consuming, but no chance of slipping with a drill.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by toddyrotten View Post
You can epoxy the hex key wrench into the grub screw, then once the epoxy or glue is hard, the screw can be backed out. Then just lop off the very end of the hex key wrench and move on to the next one. Time consuming, but no chance of slipping with a drill.
Yeah, I heard that one too and tried it when I had a stuck screw. It didnt work. The epoxy just broke. When you think of it if the grub screw is so tight that the hardened metal of the socket/key rounds off, then epoxy isnt going to hold up. Strong as epoxy is it's nowhere near as strong as hardened steel.

99 times out of 100 when this happens it's actually the key that's the problem, not the socket. Grinding the worn end off the key is certainly worth a try but what's worked for me every time (so far) is using a genuine high quality key. This has worked even in cases where lower quality keys turned in the socket.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:40 PM   #8
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The grub screws are often loctited. Put the tip of a soldering iron in it until it's GOOD and warm before attempting removal.

fly
If you're going to learn to fly them, you have to learn to fix them.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:02 PM   #9
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Thanks, guys. I'm pretty sure these screws are too far gone for a 'good' wrench to make the difference. The sockets are completely, thoroughly rounded.

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Old 05-31-2013, 10:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
I noticed that the motor on my Tiger Moth was feeling a bit wiggly so I took a look inside. The bearing tube seems to be a bit loose in the metal motor mount. I went to tighten the grub screws - or pull them out and replace them - and found that they're both stripped to . My hex wrench just spins and spins.

Any tips on getting these things outa there?
Yeah, I had that happen on one of my motors. It was likely caused by using those cheap Harbor Freight allen wrenches.

So, looking at my tools, I found a tiny "Easy Out" bit with reverse threads designed to remove this sort of thing. Worked like a champ.

The screw was replaced with an allen head screw that had far more ability to keep everything tight.

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Old 06-01-2013, 07:40 PM   #11
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I have a set of Taps and Dies ... so when I find a thread gone - I tap 1 size up in thread and replace screw with that 1 size up.
Grub-screws I replace often with Hex head machine screws ... much better !

Simple.

Nigel

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Old 06-02-2013, 03:31 PM   #12
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Get the genuine ALLEN brand wrenches. They are hardened and will not round off the ends.

Gord.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:56 PM   #13
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Thanks Flypaper,,, genuine ALLEN brand wrenches. They are hardened and WILL round off the ends of a cheap and soft allen Grub screw every time, good Grub screws are out there and I replace cheap motor set screws with good ones from the Hardware store ( 8-10 cents apiece) Now with a good allen wrench you stand a chance, Even E-Flite and Scorpion have Cheap soft grub's,, bubsteve


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Old 06-02-2013, 10:01 PM   #14
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Yeah - that's what I was gonna say. These screws are so soft I don't think any kind of wrench would save them. It's certainly too late now for that.

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Old 06-03-2013, 06:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by flypaper 2 View Post
Get the genuine ALLEN brand wrenches. They are hardened and will not round off the ends.
Better is to get a decent set of Hex tools ... same as Heli boys use ... basically Hex head wrenches in screw-driver form. A trick when the original breaks or gets bad ... it's grub-screwed into the handle ... remove old, cut allen key L to a straight key and insert into handle ... tighten up and bingo a new hex driver.
I have 1 that fits these standard grub screws that is LONG !! allows me to cut a tiny hole in cowl to insert and get to the screws. I have a couple of other short ones same size based on my electric heli's.

I find that the L shaped allen KEYS allow you to slant and get off-line to the screw - this quickens the rounding out of hex screw. I also find the L uncomfortable to use.

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Old 06-04-2013, 12:10 AM   #16
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With chinese motors,the grub screws are invariably of the "soft cheese" variety.The first thing i do when i buy a motor is to replace the grub screws.
If you have one thats stuck,find a piece of steel rod slightly bigger than the hex key size,about 2" long.Using a good size hammer,drive the end into the grub screw.Once in,bend the last 1/2 inch over at 90 degrees,and use a pair of pliers to unscrew the grub screw.
As a last resort,if you can get to it,a cut-off disc in a dremel will cut a slot right across the screw and surrounding metal.Than use a screwdriver slightly smaller than the size of the screw to unscrew it.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:55 AM   #17
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Thanks. I'll try all of these and see can I get them out.

It's too late for better tools or better screws this time.

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Old 06-05-2013, 12:14 PM   #18
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There is also another point ... with most of these screws where they go into slots or cut-outs to lock an item - many of us have the terrible habit of OVER-tightening and that leads to this ...

In fact it is not necessary to tighten so hard that we strip or destroy the screw. It is there to stop item from coming out or turning... NOT as absolute mount fixer !

I now tighten pole mount screws tight - but no longer give it that last bit to make sure ! They last and work fine then.

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