Impossible to get aluminum scope ring apart...any ideas?

cwinner

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Apr 20, 2009
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246
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New Mexico
Well, after breaking every Torx wrench I have, stripping every Torx screw driver in my shop, running to home depot to buy T-15 driver bits, (breaking both within 10 minutes) ordering a proto impact T-15 driver bit and breaking it immediately after waiting a week for it to come in I'm at my wits end......here's the problem.

Leupold Mk-4 tatical aluminum rings with steel T-15 head screws that I mounted a couple years ago and now am trying to loosen....I dont remember over tightening them as I only used the cheap L- wrench that came with the rings when I mounted it.

I'm thinking that it has something to do with the aluminum rings and steel screws, I'm wondering if some sort of penetrating oil may help but these things are stuck tight!!

I have had similar problem with some other aluminum rings I have had and wound up cutting them off with a Dremel tool.....I really don't want to do this again. But I'm fast approaching the cost of the rings just in driver bits:)

Anyone have any ideas? I'm almost wiling to ship them and the Mk-4 scope they are holding to anyone who wants a scope that's not quite mounted level....
Has anyone else ever experienced this problem?
 

toddc

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sw ks
Well, after breaking every Torx wrench I have, stripping every Torx screw driver in my shop, running to home depot to buy T-15 driver bits, (breaking both within 10 minutes) ordering a proto impact T-15 driver bit and breaking it immediately after waiting a week for it to come in I'm at my wits end......here's the problem.

Leupold Mk-4 tatical aluminum rings with steel T-15 head screws that I mounted a couple years ago and now am trying to loosen....I dont remember over tightening them as I only used the cheap L- wrench that came with the rings when I mounted it.

I'm thinking that it has something to do with the aluminum rings and steel screws, I'm wondering if some sort of penetrating oil may help but these things are stuck tight!!

I have had similar problem with some other aluminum rings I have had and wound up cutting them off with a Dremel tool.....I really don't want to do this again. But I'm fast approaching the cost of the rings just in driver bits:)

Anyone have any ideas? I'm almost wiling to ship them and the Mk-4 scope they are holding to anyone who wants a scope that's not quite mounted level....
Has anyone else ever experienced this problem?
I would take a free scope lol. I would try an oil bath. Steel and aluminum can stick. Anti seize is called for in all automotive apps Im aware of. Oil em. Hope for the best.
 

toddc

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sw ks
If oil doesnt work try try mild heating. Like cigarette lighter mild. If not maybe drill screw heads instead. Might take longer but could save ring depends how much your time is worth.
 

casey36

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Feb 27, 2011
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clarion,pa
Its called galvanic corrosion. Try some lemon juice or vineger followed by PB Blaster. Steel and aluminum dont always play well together. The acid will break down the corrosion, the penetrating oil should finish the job. When you get it apart You will probably see a white, powdery looking residue. That is the corrosion. hope this helps.
 

cwinner

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Apr 20, 2009
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New Mexico
Good ideas, I'll try different penetrating liquids once I get my stock of T-15 driver bits built back up!!!

I can see the need for anti seize in the future, does anyone else use it when mounting their scopes in aluminum rings?
 

Edd

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I use anti seize any time I screw a steel part into an aluminum one regardless of the application.
 

Trickymissfit

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greenwood, IN
If oil doesnt work try try mild heating. Like cigarette lighter mild. If not maybe drill screw heads instead. Might take longer but could save ring depends how much your time is worth.

a soldering iron works better as it will concentrate the heat to the screw head. But if you fail it will only make the screws tighter (steel shrinks after being in high heat) I'd just drill the screw heads off with the tap drill size. Just besure to use something like a titanium coated cobalt drill bit (be nice if you could find a left hand drill bit).

Before you do anything serious, soak the screw heads and also the slot between the ring halves with KROIL. Let it set for at least 12 hours, and do it again. Then the next morning try to remove the screws. What you really want is an Apex brand Torx driver or a Snap On driver (the Apex is a little harder). The issue sounds like currosion between the steel screw threads and the aluminum of the rings. These two never mix well when put together. Anyway that's the method I've often used in the past. Rarely did I ever have to drill the heads off unless the female hex or star was destroyed.
gary
 

Trickymissfit

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Its called galvanic corrosion. Try some lemon juice or vineger followed by PB Blaster. Steel and aluminum dont always play well together. The acid will break down the corrosion, the penetrating oil should finish the job. When you get it apart You will probably see a white, powdery looking residue. That is the corrosion. hope this helps.

well I wish I'd known about the lemon juice and vinegar twenty years ago! I made a living out removing screws and repairing stripped theads, but that one is new to me. Good idea sir!

It's always a good idea to coat the threads with Never Sieze with Nickel (just a tiny little bit on the male threads will do). Even purple Loctite will create a barrier between the two, but also a pain to remove without some heat (soldering iron works very well). KROIL is my goto fluid, and has been since 1970.
gary
 

Trickymissfit

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Good ideas, I'll try different penetrating liquids once I get my stock of T-15 driver bits built back up!!!

I can see the need for anti seize in the future, does anyone else use it when mounting their scopes in aluminum rings?

you can buy Kroil in pint cans as well as spray. A pint can will last you a long long time. Fred Sinclair has it on the shelf
gary
 

1sniper

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Dec 28, 2009
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133
Great advice here but I will also add that when you start to turn the driver tap on the back of the driver with a hammer and it will come loose. Also make sure that its in a good vice to hold it when your trying to do it.
 

cwinner

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Location
New Mexico
Thanks for the encouragement and advice.......I have them soaking in some penetrating oil i had on hand overnight and will try to get some kroil oil tomorrow along with some more Torx bits......the only good news is that I have not messed up the heads yet:)

If I can't get them off by next weekend I'll set them up on the drill press and be done with it.

Too bad I did not use any anti seize, I have a jar of it in my shop that I use on the back of my aluminum wheels on my truck, bet I won't make this mistake again.....now I'm wondering if I'll have this problem with my other rifles set up this way, at least they are all level!
 

T3-OleMan

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Jan 3, 2009
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638
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GSP, SC, USA
Soldering iron and $2 worth of dry ice.
Put the heat to one half of a joint and the ice to the other half of the same joint...they will move and leave no marks on scope.
Need a **** good glove to hold the ice or use pliers.
Good luck.
 

Mikecr

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Aug 10, 2003
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NC, oceanfront
Review http://www.agweb.com/article/in_the_shop_bustin_bolts/

DO NOT whack away with a hammer on the ring bolts while there is a scope in them..
You're not likely to cool a ring bolt -while heating the ring. How would anyone pull that off?
Most penetrants for oxidation/rust do nothing for galvanic corrosion, so this may take some research.
Possibly dissolving the anodic material here (aluminum oxide) with sodium hydroxide(lye, caustic soda). But I'm no chemist so check it.
After all, you don't want to attack too much aluminum, especially given the mounted scope. And don't get anything between rings & scope.

It's a tough problem, and makes me want to double check my anti-seizing on bolts.
 

Edd

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Based on everything you've said, I'd recommend drilling the heads off of the screws. You will need a good drill bit the size of the screw threads. It will center in the torx bit hole and you won't have to drill very much until the head will come off of the screw. There might be enough of the screw left to get a hold of with a good sharp vise grip. You might be able to loosen it by gently twisting back and forth. Use some penetrating oil when twisting.
 

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