Nut splitter recommendation - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-24-2017, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Nut splitter recommendation

Due to a spinal injury, I am forbidden to perform any task that requires bending by by physicians. So my well meaning wife insisted on replacing the skid shoes on our snow blower. Consequentially, I now have an improperly seated and locked carriage bolt and it really bothers me. My wife also dropped and lost the original nut and replaced it with a nylock nut. Which she cranked to the point where the nut is now locked. I am not knocking on the wife, because in all things non-mechanical... my wife is brilliant.

So I am looking at removal options without marring the blower paint surface. I checked out nut splitters on Amazon. But the conflicting user ratings have me confused. Can anyone recommend a good nut splitter for removing a 5/16" nylon bolt?

Plus how does one fix a boogered up carriage hole? Worst case I thought that I could bore it out, touch up paint, add grommet, & replace carriage with hex bolt. I not really a handy person, so my fix solutions may not be the path taken by the more mechanically enlightened.

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Last edited by wow08816; 03-24-2017 at 04:31 PM. Reason: Clarity
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-24-2017, 11:15 AM
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I've talked about it recently; but I used my Dremel Tool to cut a slot in the head of one of those Carriage Bolts (on my Scraper Blade) so that I could hold it stationary with a larger ScrewDriver while I turned off the Nut.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-24-2017, 12:41 PM
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Do you really need a nut splitter to remove a nylon nut ? Maybe you can cut it with a Dremel cut-off disc, or an sheet rock knife ? Or, vice-grips on it to turn it off ?
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-24-2017, 12:46 PM
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Forgive me for being slightly confused. Is the nut *just* nylon, no metal? Or is a "nylock", a metal nut with a integrated plastic insert, to help prevent it from loosening due to vibration?

I'm going to assume it's a metal & plastic nylock nut. If it's just a plastic nut, you may be able to break it off with Vise-grips, or something similar. A chisel, etc.

I've never used a nut splitter. I typically use the Dremel or angle grinder to cut the nut off, and remove it that way. One benefit with that approach is that you don't need to worry about the carriage bolt trying to spin, while attempting to remove the nut.

You could definitely try grinding a slot in the carriage bolt head, to use a screwdriver on it. Depending on how tight the bolt is, you may need to hold the carriage bolt quite firmly with the screwdriver, which isn't necessarily trivial. If you have a cutoff wheel and a Dremel, that might be worth considering.

"Fixing" a square carriage bolt hole, to make it square again, sounds tricky. You could get a fairly-similar result by using a button head cap screw. It would have a smoother head profile than a hex head, but it wouldn't matter if the square hole had been rounded out. An example of a button head cap screw, showing the head:
Everbilt 5/16 in.-18 tpi x 1 in. Stainless-Steel Button Head Socket Cap Screw (2-Piece)-811438 - The Home Depot

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post #5 of 15 Old 03-24-2017, 01:34 PM
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You have a couple options.

1. Nut splitter is easy and effective.
2. Slicing the bolt and nut with a cut off wheel is also effective. If you have the tools, perfect.
3. Hacksaw if you have the proper clearances a hacksaw can do the same job as a cut off wheel.
4. Simply use a screwdriver to wedge the skid away from the bucket as you unscrew the nut. The prying action will force the nut on to functioning threads. This method works very will with an impact gun or impact driver.

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post #6 of 15 Old 03-24-2017, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmerdp View Post
You have a couple options.

1. Nut splitter is easy and effective.
2. Slicing the bolt and nut with a cut off wheel is also effective. If you have the tools, perfect.
3. Hacksaw if you have the proper clearances a hacksaw can do the same job as a cut off wheel.
4. Simply use a screwdriver to wedge the skid away from the bucket as you unscrew the nut. The prying action will force the nut on to functioning threads. This method works very will with an impact gun or impact driver.
Drmerdp had all the ideas I did. Is there a reason your wife can't use a hacksaw as in #3. As in #4 a screwdriver can be an effective wedge.

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post #7 of 15 Old 03-24-2017, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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It is a nylock type nut.
- Lack of clearance between housing and bolt prevents cutting of bolt.
- My injury and current medication has robbed me of most of my youthful strength. As well as limit the type of machinery I should be operating. Brute force and power not an option for me.

Based on recommendations so far. It seems that using a Dremel to cut a starter groove in nut (instead of bolt) in conjunction with using a nut cutter would be an option. The stater groove will help prevent nut splitter from slipping.

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post #8 of 15 Old 03-24-2017, 05:57 PM
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That should work.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-24-2017, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wow08816 View Post
It is a nylock type nut.
- Lack of clearance between housing and bolt prevents cutting of bolt.
- My injury and current medication has robbed me of most of my youthful strength. As well as limit the type of machinery I should be operating. Brute force and power not an option for me.

Based on recommendations so far. It seems that using a Dremel to cut a starter groove in nut (instead of bolt) in conjunction with using a nut cutter would be an option. The stater groove will help prevent nut splitter from slipping.
If I'm picturing this correctly, you will only have room to use the Dremel to make a cut (in the nut) in the direction perpendicular to the bolt. The nut splitter, on the other hand, will make a cut parallel to the bolt. If you try to align the cutoff wheel with the length of the bolt, to cut in the same direction as the nut splitter, you'll mostly hit the auger housing, rather than being able to reach the nut.

So if you use the Dremel to make a starter-groove, I think it will likely be in the wrong direction to really help the nut splitter. I would consider using the Dremel's cutoff wheel to simply cut all the way through the nut, rather than just making a starter groove.

You can use the cutoff wheel to cut off the nut & bolt entirely, by cutting close to the auger housing. In this case, the cutoff wheel would be parallel to the side of the auger housing.

Or you can try to use the cutoff wheel to cut down through the center of the bolt, and the nut, cutting the nut into 2 pieces. In this case, the cutoff wheel would be perpendicular to the side of the auger housing, the cutoff wheel would go down through the length of the bolt, like an axe coming down into the top of a log.

Either one of these should work, and only require handheld, less-dangerous power tools. Obviously, safety glasses are a requirement.

And if you have the black fiber-reinforced cutoff wheels, those are better than the ones that are just a rigid, sandpaper-looking, gritty material. Those ones are cheaper, but very brittle, and if you twist them in the slot that you're cutting, those sandpaper-type wheels will shatter.

Just as examples (better than me trying to describe them), these are the tougher, fiber-reinforced cutoff wheels. I think these are better/safer, when the wheel will be down somewhat deep into something:



And these are the rigid style, that are cheaper, but very brittle:



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post #10 of 15 Old 03-24-2017, 07:58 PM
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If you go the cut-off wheel route I would strongly recommend the EZ Lock system. It is far superior to the old style.



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