#1 Did you know? Post numbers are once again displayed to the right of each post.
Steelaway You've probably long since solved your problem, but I thought I would still add to the thread if anyone else finds this page and has a similar problem. I work with aluminium for a living for the last 23 years and have come across this kind of problem many times. There are several ways of removing steel from aluminium as long as the steel part is on show. Firstly and the best way, as has already been mentioned before, use an easyout. Try and flatten the surface of the bolt, as trying to drill on a slanted surface is a big pain, and drill a pilot hole down the middle as big a diameter as you dare without destroying the threads. Beg, steal or borrow an "easyout" screw extractor, this little tool goes down the middle of the pilot hole you have just drilled, and with a helix that runs in the opposite direction to the screw, will automatically bite into the side walls of the pilot hole as you turn to unscrew. Diesel always works as a very good substitute to WD40 as a penetration oil for lubricating seized or rusted in bolts, leave submerged overnight (or longer if possible) to give it every chance to work it's way in. Some years ago we had assistance from a university to help remove mild steel laminations from an aluminium cast rotor core and they used an acid to burn the steel away. It worked perfectly and left us with a skeleton of aluminium that was unscathed by the acid. The stronger the acid the quicker the process but the more restrictions apply when buying it. At the polar opposite, if you wish to remove aluminium from from steel, we use a very strong alkaline called sodium hydroxide which is a controlled substance in the UK, we then accelerate the process by boiling the solution. Bearing in mind that it is usually rather thick sections of aluminium that we need to remove (5mm and above), you may not need such a strong alkaline for thinner sections, it just depends how long you are willing to wait for the process to complete. If that fails you could try welding another smaller steel bar to it and use this as leverage to try and unscrew them, but I'd only do this as a last resort. Greg, Hallam Aluminium Castings Ltd