problem with footrest

Inland paddling
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problem with footrest

Post by Kayakingrick »

I`m after some advice. I have recently got a second kayak where one of the full plate foot rest metal arms is well and truly stuck/attached to the bolt from the kayak. I have managed to prize of the nut after cutting away to get a spanner on to release it. I cannot even move the metal plate from where it`s stuck. I do not know if its stuck in place by some form of adhesive or jus from where the nut and bolt had seized. I have tried manually tried prizing it away and have even tried using a claw hammer to no avail. I have also tried wd40 although may not be helpful out of desperation.

I had contacted the make of the kayak and have said what I thought, I would need to cut the actual metal arm, bit of a problem when can`t a small hacksaw close to it.

either way I have will have to the bolt, but don`t want to cut the metal arm if I have to.

anyone have any other suggestions/ideas

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Re: problem with footrest

Post by Terryg »

Drill the head off the bolt. Start with a small drill, and ensure it is central. Work up in drill sizes until your drill bit is just larger than the bolt. Be careful not to go too far into the plastic, you do not want to enlarge the hole through the plastic shell.

You should then be able to remove the footrest and get better access to remove the bolt from it.

You will need a new bolt to refit the footrest, this should be available from the boat manufacturer.
Seal the new bolt inside and out with silicone compound to keep the water out.

Good luck.

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Re: problem with footrest

Post by SPL »

If the footplate is too far away you could just glue a foam block to the existing plate.

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Re: problem with footrest

Post by box2k2 »

I'm going to guess that the kayak has been near or used in the sea a bit, and you now have galvanic corrosion between the steel bolt and aluminium bar effectively welding the two together.

Similar problems can occur on bikes, mostly the seatpost into the frame. Advice here from bikes may help you - see point 8 for a chemical option but obviously check it's compatible with the plastic first!

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Re: problem with footrest

Post by MikeB »

x2 for drilling the head off the bolt. When you replace, use Coppaslip on the new ones. Your local Halfords or any motor parts supplier will sell it. This will help prevent a repeat.

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Re: problem with footrest

Post by Jim »

MikeB wrote:x2 for drilling the head off the bolt. When you replace, use Coppaslip on the new ones. Your local Halfords or any motor parts supplier will sell it. This will help prevent a repeat.
Don't use anti-seize on a WW kayak footrest, the bloody nuts fall off often enough just being driven around on the roof rack!

Try penetrating oil rather than WD40, also try hitting the bar near the bolt with the other end of the claw hammer to try and break any rust/aluminium corrosion that is jamming it up. Otherwise cut the bolt or drill the head off. If you wrap some gaffer tape around one end of a hacksaw blade you should be able to slide it between the bar and the shell to cut the bolt, take it steady so as not to bend the blade, might be best to set it up to cut on the draw stroke rather than the push. Remember the bolt is probably stainless, drill or cut slowly with sharp tools and if possible use cutting oil to keep it cool, if you get it blue-hot it will harden up and blunt your tools.

Could also be that someone got fed up with the nuts loosening and glued them up - I've never come across this approach but it is quite feasible.

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Re: problem with footrest

Post by Ollie Knights »

I'm SURE you've got this sorted by now... but I was having the same issue. Second hand boat where the tri-wing nuts where stuck and both metal arms were completely ceased to the bolt. Just in case anyone else is having this issue this is how I got mine off without drilling out the bolt (which still needs replacing as its stripped).

1. Getting the tri-wing nuts off. These were persuaded to move by taking a rubber mallet and knocking both in the direction of loosening and tightening - mostly because I can never remember which way they turn but also because it loosened the corrosion. Both came off - so far so good. Guess that if they don't for you they could simply be cut off. Replacements for these are easy to come by.

2. The vibration method - tried hitting the arm with a hammer near the bolt to bash off some of the corrosion. Didn't work. Reversed it an tried to lever it off; that didn't work either. Covered the whole thing in WD40 and went off in a huff. Left overnight to soak.

3. The swimming in WD40 method. 12hrs of soaking hadn't done the trick. So perhaps emptying half a can on the situation would help? It didn't. Still wasn't moving.

4. The bloody big screw driver method. My bolts are Posi drive on the waterside of the boat so I figured that getting them to rotate might just get the corrosion to break off in the arm. Its requires a bloody HUGE screw driver and only have a ma-hoovise one (one size smaller) - its currently still lockdown so getting down to a hardware store was an option. I did managed to get one bolt moving and hey presto one arm pinged off. This didn't work with the other side and instead I just ended up stripping the head - for obvious reasons.

5. The downright looney method. I read on the internet that using salt and lemon could reverse the chemical reaction between steel and aluminium. Poured some salt on (skeptical as salt water is the enemy of all bolts, right?) and then stuck half a lemon on the bolt. Left overnight. Still wouldn't budge. What was I expecting - this the method for a tequila slammer rather than a solution for a stuck bolt.

6. The culinary method. Remember that mini blowtorch your Mum got you for Christmas for making crème brûlée? You know the one that you use for lighting the wood burner or burning rope ends? Yeah, that one. Turns out its small enough to use on the inside of a cramped boat without burning yourself or melting your boat boat. Applied the heat to arm either side of the bolt for about 30 seconds and then used a claw hammer to lever.... it only flipping worked!

What I'm not sure its what of these things really did the trick or maybe it was a combination. I'm hazarding a guess that expanding the metal with heat was the thing that really did it - but who knows? Maybe it was the mighty power of the lemon...

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Re: problem with footrest

Post by Chris Bolton »

Well done - I'll add some of my thoughts, for anyone reading this thread for a similar problem. I've freed up corroded alloy using heat, but it's tricky to get a conductive metal like aluminium very hot when you have GRP next to it. The lemon is acid, and will attack the corrosion. Like you, I don't follow why you'd use salt with it, although I've seen it suggested as an abrasive, with lemon, for rusty surfaces, but not bolts. WD40 is a water dispersant and lubricant, but it's not a penetrating oil, Plus-gas would be better.

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Re: problem with footrest

Post by Robert Craig »

This is a common problem, even without salt water. The bolt is steel, and the footrest bar is aluminium. When damp, there's galvanic corrosion.

There's usually a nut on the inside, between the hull and the footrest bar. If you can get a slim spanner in there, and a big pair of grips on the hand-nut, it usually comes off. If the hand nut plastic bits are destroyed, what's left of it may have a hex you can get a spanner on.

With our club boats (which are in a damp shed when not on the water) I find that if I grease then once a year they stay OK - so far. Haven't tried Coppaslip.

I'd be cautious about putting a blowlanp near a plastic boat.

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