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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Sep 2006
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    136
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    S. Central NM
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    Kioti LB1914

    Default Brass zerk removal

    My Kioti LB1014 has brass zerks: several have slightly deformed nipples that prevent the grease gun from sealing and delivering grease so they must be replaced.

    Unfortunately they were driven in so tightly at the factory that I can稚 get them out. A socket wrench just rounds off the soft brass hex collar, partly because they are actually a little under 11 mm, so the socket is not a good fit. I found one that was exactly 11mm, and I had to hammer an open貌nd wrench 360 deg. before I could hand-turn it that痴 how tight they are!

    Once rounded off, no standard tool will grip them. I have read lots on how to remove zerks (material unstated), but nothing specifically relating to brass. which, being soft, may require special precautions from making the job more difficult than is should be.

    (Why brass - they appear to be 1/8 x 28 BSPT threads? I am thinking of replacing them with steel zerks - would this be a wise choice?)

    My main question is what special precautions I should apply to removing brass zerks. I am not asking for a re-hash of the numerous methods already described. There are tools that grip the outside of the collar, and tools that grip the inside if the tip is broken off. I understand those options, as well as the various assists: (unfortunately I don稚 have access to an adequate torch to heat the area around the zerks).

    Thank you for your advice.
    Kioti LB1914 TLB

    Seeking Knowledge, Hoping for Wisdom.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member gwdixon's Avatar
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    Northern CA

    Default Re: Brass zerk removal

    Are you sure the Zerks are brass rather than plated steel (like grade 8 bolts)?

    One thing you could do is drill them out almost to the thread. A 1/8" drill would be a good start. Might need something slightly larger or smaller. If brass, they should be easy to drill. The ball and spring in the Zerk may make drilling more difficult so once the hole has a good start withdraw the drill and maybe the spring and ball will pop out

    Then jamb an E-Z Out in the hole a twist them out.

    Replacing with steel Zerks is not a problem. There are so many thread styles, and some are tapered while some are not, that you may want to buy a cheap Harbor Freight variety pack just to find the right size.

    kubota usually uses 8 mm x 1.25 threaded Zerks. They are hard to find in an auto store and the HF variety pack doesn't have them.
    Last edited by gwdixon; 04-17-2013 at 05:02 PM. Reason: grammar
    2009 Kubota M7040, R1s, LA1153 FEL, fork lift, 3 rear remotes, T&T
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  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Kioti LB1914

    Default Re: Brass zerk removal

    Quote Originally Posted by gwdixon View Post
    Are you sure the Zerks are brass rather than plated steel? ... Replacing with steel Zerks is not a problem.
    Well, they are brass color, soft like brass, and I am looking at a broken one, and it is the same stuff all the way through. It's good to know steel is an option: maybe they will not get damaged so easily. I know the size, and have found them at Grainger: much cheaper than OEM. You are right, BSPT is not found in auto stores or in small towns.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwdixon View Post
    One thing you could do is drill them out almost to the thread ... Then jamb an E-Z Out in the hole a twist them out.
    I know this is an option, but because they are in so tight, I am going to need a lot of leverage to start to unscrew them: I am afraid of ripping the EZ Out right out of the brass (which I think will happen before breaking the EZ Out).

    The one I did get out with a wrench and hammer had an undamaged hex collar. It did not show any sign of corrosion or sealant on the thread, which is why think they were just torqued down far too tight. That means only torque is going to get them out intact: the hammer applied to the wrench applied extra torque briefly - I do not think it broke anything loose, because the wrench moved on the first blow. In this situation only heat will help the process as far as I know.

    I am inclined towards one of the devices (Bolt Out) that grips the exterior hex collar if the wrench and hammer do not work. I am using a 6 sided 10mm socket with the tip ground off square to the sides, to get a snugger grip.

    Some of the hex collars are a bit undersized, which is why I got some rounded shoulders. Those are the ones that will give me real trouble. I think the special sockets that bite into the brass may help if I have the right size. If I can get a good grip, then a breaker bar or hammer may work, but there may be a better way:

    I have a tool that you hit on the end with a sturdy hammer, and it imparts a reverse turn to the other end. The advantage is that the hammer blow counteracts the tendency of the socket to pop off the hex. If the socket does not hold, I would cut the nipple off and then cut a slot across the hex collar to accept a big screwdriver bit that comes with this tool.

    An EZ Out as you suggest, will be my last resort, and if that doesn't work, re-tapping. I really do not want to get to that stage - too time consuming!

    So my remaining concerns are what I can do to avoid tearing up the brass, and what I can do to help a hex socket fit a slightly undersized brass hex shoulder.

    Thank you for your helpful comments.

    C
    Kioti LB1914 TLB

    Seeking Knowledge, Hoping for Wisdom.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Brass zerk removal

    Plumber's torch and vice grips!

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
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    L4200GST w/ LA680

    Default Re: Brass zerk removal

    Use a small pipe wrench. They are the best thing ever for getting out soft material fitting - they cam in with big sharp teeth - destroy the item, but it always unscrews. I use them all the time for small hydraulic fittings like brake line ends, which immediately smoosh when you try to use a wrench. Try it.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member pjbci's Avatar
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    JD 4840, 450j, 310, komatsu D31px22, IH 1486, MF 135, MHF TO35

    Default

    If all else fails, just drill em out, rethread em to 1/8 npt.

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Kioti LB1914

    Default Re: Brass zerk removal

    And the Winners ARE ...

    A Bolt-Out combined with the manual impact tool I described. It took a few taps with a plumb hammer to drive the Bolt-Out socket onto the brass, and then a few accurate slams on the impact wrench to apply direct torque to the zerks and start them turning. It got them loose without any fuss. Better than I expected!

    I am really pleased with this solution, because I have not seen it suggested before. The Bolt-Outs are available from Sears among other places. The reviews suggest they have many uses on steel, and I expect some of the failures could have been avoided by pre-treating with something like PB Blaster.

    In my case, I needed a tool to provide a good grip on brass, and torque applied in such a way that the Bolt-Out would not come off the soft brass. The right size Bolt-Out got a real good bite in the brass.

    I appreciate the other suggestions, which all have their applications. I did apply some heat with a propane torch, but I doubt it got anything hot enough to do any good.

    C
    Kioti LB1914 TLB

    Seeking Knowledge, Hoping for Wisdom.

  8. #8
    Super Member
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Brass zerk removal

    I haven't seen any zerks that looked to be made out of brass that I know of, most have been steel of some type. If these are brass a proper 6 pt socket or tubing wrench will usually work. At any rate brass is soft enough that it should drill out easily and remove with an easy out. Shouldn't be more than a 15 minute project anyway. I would replace with steel zerks and I use the purple marine grease on my equipment.


    When you consider all the blowing dust we had this week it is a good idea to keep equipment well greased to keep the crud out of the joints. Grease is cheap compared to repairs.

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