Unstick That Stuck Shaft

A simple fix for a stuck shaft that involves a little Metal Prep metal cleaner

| June/July 2012

  • Stuck Pump Shaft
    The pump shaft stuck to the shaft on the engine.
  • Pump-Shaft-Removed
    The shaft removed — finally.
  • Pump-Attachement-To-Engine
    Typical attachment of pump to engine.

  • Stuck Pump Shaft
  • Pump-Shaft-Removed
  • Pump-Attachement-To-Engine

The stuck shaft: Every one of us has probably had trouble removing an object stuck on a shaft. Some time ago I acquired a pressure washer with a bad pump. I decided to remove the pump and use the Briggs Intek for another purpose.

The pump was attached with four small bolts and was actually rather easy to remove from the body, but the pump shaft was stuck to the shaft on the engine and hard to remove. There was no way to remove it with a gear puller, so I used plenty of penetrating oil and let it sit for a week. I then clamped a vise grip on the shaft and beat on it with a hammer, but it would not budge. Over time, water had gotten on the shaft and it had rusted. So that meant more penetrating oil, time and beating. Finally, I decided to heat the shaft, but even that did not help.

One day I moved the shaft 1/8-inch, but that was it. It dawned on me that rust was compressed in there and was holding it. So then I got the idea to use some Metal Prep or metal cleaner in the keyway and let it attack the rust. The next day I tapped on the shaft and it started moving and came off. A glob of black ooze came out, too. The Metal Prep had attacked the rust and solved the problem. Metal Prep is used by body men to treat bare metal on auto body repairs. It worked in my case, but is probably not a cure-all.

If you use it, be careful; it is an acid and needs to be diluted with water. Metal cleaners are available at auto parts stores. By the way, the engine runs beautifully.

Contact T. Wayne Marner at 1207 Fairlane Dr., Valparaiso, IN 46383 


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