Author Topic: Unscrewing screws in car door  (Read 5951 times)

Abe

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Unscrewing screws in car door
« on: August 01, 2013, 10:34:36 PM »
Hello all,
I am trying to replace a lock actuator for my car (Honda Accord) and it requires taking out the entire locking mechanism held in by three screws. I couldn't remove it with my electric drillbit (not enough torque) and broke two manual screwdrivers's tips in the process. The screws are phillips, and one is starting to erode from my attempts thus far. Is there some tool I should borrow or rent that would work better and not strip the screws? Thanks.

Micheal

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Re: Unscrewing screws in car door
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 10:36:33 PM »
If it is in the door panel you can take a stubby socket wrench and a socket that takes your phillips bit (make sure the bit is the proper size) Also a touch of superglue on the bit just before use can help it stay in the screw.  Also replace these screws when you replace the actuator to simplify life later.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 10:40:09 PM by Micheal »

AlexK

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Re: Unscrewing screws in car door
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 11:33:19 PM »
What you need is an impact driver. It looks like a cordless drill but smaller. It uses impact and it works amazing on screws like that. A cheaper alternative is an impact screwdriver. It looks kind of like a chisel with a Phillips bit, you hit it with a hammer to provide the impact but an internal helix provides torque at the same time.

Impact driver:
http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-Bare-Tool-DC825B-18-Volt-Cordless/dp/B002RT7K4Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375421390&sr=8-1&keywords=impact+driver

Impact screwdriver:
http://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-2905-8-Inch-Impact-7-Piece/dp/B000NPPATS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375421422&sr=8-1&keywords=impact+screwdriver

Be sure you use the right size philips bit, I think yours are #3, not the smaller, more common #2. It will strip the screws for sure if you use the wrong one.

If you plan on doing a lot of mechanic-ing in your lifetime buy an impact driver. I did and I almost never use a ratchet any more, it's that good.

exranger06

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Re: Unscrewing screws in car door
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2013, 07:19:44 AM »
I hate Philips screws, especially when they get stuck like that. You can cut a slot in the head of the screw using either a cut-off wheel or hacksaw and then use a flathead screwdriver to get it out. Flathead screwdrivers don't "cam out" when trying to remove stuck srews the way Philips do.

daverobev

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Re: Unscrewing screws in car door
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 09:14:32 AM »
Also try some WD40 on the screw! And yes make sure your bit is the right size for the screw head.
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MrMoneyPinch

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Re: Unscrewing screws in car door
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2013, 10:13:55 AM »
Use good penetrating oil.  WD-40 will work for light stickyness, but the real stuff (I use "release-all" or "liquid wrench") will work faster and better.

If that fails, you may have to use thermal shock to separate the screw: heat the thing the screw is in, then soak it with ice water.  Works on exhausts!  Be careful not putting water in stupid places ;)

Spork

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Re: Unscrewing screws in car door
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2013, 10:38:58 AM »
yeah.  WD40 is a water dispersant and not much more.  Liquid wrench, PB Plaster, etc. will do a better job there.

Heat also is good.  A couple of hits with a propane torch can sometimes help.  (If this is near interior panels or plastic parts, ignore that). 

Worst case: drill them out and replace them.
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m8547

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Re: Unscrewing screws in car door
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 05:41:41 PM »
Impact drivers are amazing. Even with phillips heads they will not cam out. An impact driver will create more torque than you could physically hold with a normal tool. The Dewalt above is rated for 111ft-lb, which would be around 222lbs or force on the 6" lever arm of the tool. But you can use it one-handed, whereas with a cordless drill or a wrench you would be putting all your weight into it.  Just be sure to get quality impact-rated bits and use the right size bit for the job.

Abe

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Re: Unscrewing screws in car door
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2013, 07:24:44 PM »
Thanks everyone for the advice! I'm going to borrow an impact driver from a local shop.