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Old 10-25-2013, 11:31 AM   #15
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Agree kroon is the best I work on jet engines GE originally made this
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:48 PM   #16
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Been there, done that on a 12 year old rig. Had to resort to drilling and using a dinky (I mean small) extractor.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:09 PM   #17
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Hiya!

I wanted to follow up on what I did with these rusted screws in the taillights. I used PB Blaster and this the Ryobi #1 Steel Spiral Screw Extractor. This didn't work at all for me. It would never catch to the drill hole that I made. I kept trying to go deeper and deeper, but then the lens started to melt. I'd let it cool off and try some more, and at one point it even melted the screw further in to one of the tail lights. I couldn't really hit it hard with a hammer to get the bit to grab because all of the parts surrounding it were plastic and I was worried about cracking the plastic.

Ryobi #1 Steel Spiral Screw Extractor-A96SE06 at The Home Depot

THEN I put more PB Blaster in and let that sit for another day or so and bought the Alden Grabit #1, #2, and #3 on two different days from different stores.

Shop GRABIT AldenS Grabit #2 at Lowes.com

When I first used the #2 - I was giggling and almost crying. It took out four of the screws - but only 2 on the same light. It seemed to grab the top screws, but the bottom screws weren't coming out. I thought maybe I had stripped the #2 on the first four screws (they were really STICKING in the screws) so I went and bought another #2 the next day. Nope. =(

I ended up cracking one of the tail lights as I went to pull at it and forgot the bottom screw hadn't been attempted yet. DOH! =) These created a similar kind of heat to the drill bits and softened the plastic where the screws were just a little bit. The reviews online at Amazon were in alignment with my experience, so I wasn't surprised.

The one that had the burnt out bulb is the one I cracked. The rest are still working and so I put in new screws for the ones I did get out, but basically once another light goes out I will have to either crack/break/replace the new lights, or where we're moving to will more tools/people to attempt to take this on and try to save the lenses or I'll have to get new ones - and fortunately they are $7.99 on Amazon.

Thank you all for the suggestions and encouragement. I really have LOVED this site and haven't found another as helpful as here. =)

Lorelei
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:09 PM   #18
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Hi lorelie,
Hadn't seen any posts from for awhile and was wondering how the renovation was coming along. Two things I can suggest to get the remaining screws out. If there is enough of the screw head for a screwdriver to get a bite on, try to gently turn the screw left and right while tapping the screwdriver with a hammer. Don't tap very hard just enough to jar the screw so the PB Blaster can work it's way to the threads. May need to do it several times. If that doesn't work, use a drill just large enough to drill away the screw head. Take your time and drill only until the screw head is gone without drilling the plastic. Once you get the lens off you can use a pair of vise grips to remove the rest of the screw. Once again take your time, tap the end of the screw and gently turn it left and right with the vise grips. Use more PB Blaster as needed to get it out. You can mend the tail light lens with some acetone. With an ice cream stick put a small amount of acetone on the crack. Let the acetone soften the plastic, use more as needed. Once the plastic has softened use the ice cream stick to weld the crack together. Good luck.

Chuck
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:31 PM   #19
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Some good suggestions!

Also if you are creating enough heat to melt the plastic, slow the drill down, use a sharper bit, and only drill on a screw for a minute or less then switch to another screw before the heat builds up. You shouldn't have to apply so much pressure, the bit should do the cutting. You could spray water on the screw your working on every so often before heat builds up.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:50 AM   #20
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Chuck - thank you so much for the additional suggestions and remembering me. I'm almost done - in cleaning, last few details phase and then we'll start to move stuff in after I have my AFTER photos of a clean and empty rig. =)

Bob - I thought about the water thing, too, but I didn't have anyone helping me at the time (errr...most of the time! lol). Thank you for the additional suggestions. I'm sure this won't be the last time I'm trying to get a stripped screw out of something. =)
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:56 PM   #21
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Wow lorelei,
Looked at the pictures on your blog. Your doing great, motor home looks good.

Chuck
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:22 PM   #22
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Thank you so much, Chuck!! I've definitely learned a ton, I'm glad it's getting close to finished and I'm very proud of everything I've done. =)
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:56 AM   #23
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You and husband should be very proud of what you've accomplished and sticking with it to the end. Let us know when you're finished, would like to see the pictures. Hope you have a safe trip out west.

Chuck
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:59 AM   #24
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Thank you again for the support and encouragement. However, for the record, my husband didn't do any of this. He has been outside to the RV maybe 10 times since October, and never staying for more than 10 minutes. This was ALL me. =)
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:46 PM   #25
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I should have worded it different. Ment to say he should be proud of you for all your work on the motor home.

Chuck
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:07 AM   #26
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Thank you, Chuck. =)
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:46 PM   #27
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CLOSING OUT THIS QUESTION/THREAD:
I ended up buying replacement lenses for two of the lights - one of them the hole where the screw goes in had cracked and popped out and water could get in and the other I severely cracked on the bottom.

There are still some rear lenses that have the old screws on one hole, BUT the bulbs are still good. Each one has at least one good screw, and so if I have to take it off I can hopefully salvage the lens long enough until I can order a new one on Amazon and have it arrive where ever we are. =)

Thanks! =)
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:07 AM   #28
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Update: The lights have been on only once or twice since I replaced the lenses and now one other tail light bulb is out - one that has two bad screws. Ordering a replacement lens from Amazon today and hindsight 20/20 now I realize it would have been more economical and smart to repair/replace all of them when I did the first one. =)
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