Applying force in a restricted area

I spent yesterday helping a friend check out an old large industrial bag stitcher. I used to keep them up at a salt plant (road and water
softener salt) years ago so I went along to give him another opinion. The bag stitcher (about thirty years old) was installed in a production line that hadn't run in years. The guy who owned the place said the last time he used it was to sew up his boat cushions about fifteen years ago. Bag stitchers are pretty simple and this one was in decent shape. It definitely didn't have any rust on it. Whoever mothballed the line coated the bag stitcher in something. It reminded me of how WD-40 looks when it gums up (yellow, sticky), but really thick.
The owner was willing to sell it for cheap but didn't want it cut loose from the rails unless we were going to take it. Also, someone did an excellent job of guarding the whole production line (metal mesh bolted or spot welded around any moving part). It made checking the machine out difficult. Getting parts and linkages moving started with PB Blaster and soon went to Berryman Brake cleaner. Moving assemblies back and forth to break them loose in restricted spaces was a chore. Needle-nosed pliers (especially the really long ones) were the best tool for reaching into something and expanding them to move a linkage that was nearly epoxied in place by the gummy residue. Snap ring pliers came in handy a couple of times. Twice we made up a homemade machinist's screw jack with a bolt, nut, and a small piece of tubing to force something apart.
I'm sure many people have run into this situation before. Trying to generate some sort of mechanical force in a hole or other restricted area. Aside from sticking long-nose plier jaws in and pulling the handles apart or prying with a screwdriver or bar, is there some other tool or trick for this?
Thanks, TAW
We did get it loosened up enought to see that it stitched and my friend bought the stitcher.
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ta snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

A cheap open end wrench with one of the sides cut off makes a handy tool for prying apart two parts. Sometimes you don't even have to cut the side off.
John
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ta snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in

Did it smell like rear-end grease?
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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Anthony wrote:

The olfactory and visual images this question brings up are...disturbing...
David
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Heh...you'll get over it. But yeah, hypoid gear oils have a stink all to their own. Met a guy in a parking lot couple weeks ago, his truck stunk like gear oil. I approached him to warn him that his dizzy was weeping at best, and then noticed the punkin in the bed of his truck. We both had a good laugh about the distinctive stank of differential fluid leaks.
OK boring story, double your money back if not satisfied. Get over it. Point is, hypoid gear oil stinks.
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Auto parts stores sell a tool to remove the retaining ring used on CV joint assemblies. It looks like a heavy-duty needlenose pliers, but works just the opposite and can transmit a lot of oomph.
-Carl
--
The future isn't what it used to be.



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If parts are still "epoxied in place by the gummy residue", wouldn't a little patience and some more solvent be in order? PB Blaster is great but a job like that might require a gallon jug of a similar penetrant and a hand sprayer, together with small brushes and rags.
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On Sun, 29 Jul 2007 19:43:13 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm,

--snip--
Yeah, a good, high-pressure 1 or 2 gallon garden sprayer full of paint thinner (Ed's Red, MMO, WD, PBB, etc.) works wonders for things like that. Time and patience are a part of the agenda, too. Spray everything from end to end using an acid brush to loosen the goo, go back to the beginning and spray everything again, now that it's loosened by the solvent. Start moving things from there.
Throw-away rags or paper towels (not those ghastly expensive paper shop rags they sell nowadays) are a handy item, too. Use until gooey and toss. Nitrile gloves are handy for these operations as well.
--------------------------------------------------- I drive way too fast to worry about my cholesterol. ---------------------------------------------------
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On Sun, 29 Jul 2007 08:06:41 -0700, ta snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If there's room, a brake cylinder powered by a grease gun can generate a surprising amount of controlled non-impact push. Works best if the grease gun is filled with oil. Plews used to make a gun that could do that without leaking (much). Maybe they still do.
In some cases, oiled wedges squeezed with Vise Grips work well. Oiled wedges stopped on one side and hit with a hammer (and maybe a brass drift) can work well too. Wedge examples are the well-known method for removing stuck drill chucks and the venerable picklefork for popping ball joints.
A shop-made expanding collet and screw can generate a lot of force, though not much motion. So can a tapered drift hit with a hammer. Oiling or greasing the drift will make it less likely to get stuck.
Sometimes something like a flat screwdriver blade driven with an impact wrench will do the trick.
In extremis, one can make field-expedient miniature hydraulic rams with some metal plate, suitably sized reamers, bits of precision ground drillrod and a bit of small-dia steel brakeline. Use of O-rings or cup seals reduces mess but requires more futzing and can make miniaturization more difficult. A quick 'n dirty deal like this can just be hit with a hammer. The hammer blow impulse is transferred in direction and location to the inaccessible load points by hydraulics via the brakeline, and the elasticity of the brakeline reduces shock a bit. It results in a longer impulse with less peak force, which reduces the risk of denting or peening the SBO (stubborn bastard object). A heavy dead-blow hammer works best here. Some oil may also be transferred to and upon the user at times, but a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do, right? Wear safety glasses. Don't smile -- oil on yer teeth tastes awful.
DoN Nichols may have suggestions on how to artfully employ large magnum rifle primers in this application... <G>
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On Jul 29, 8:06 am, ta snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

We often use a portable hydraulic powerpack such as the ones sold under the name Enerpac. The kit we have weighs a ton (not literall) and rolls around in its own cart. It's got a hand-powered hydraulic pump, a linear cylinder with about a 2" bore and a 6" stroke, and a sort of expanding "claw" that looks like something that would be used in conjunction with the Jaws of Life. At it's narrowest, the claw is only about 1/2" wide, and it is tapered like a wedge. It is serrated so it doesn't pull out, and it looks and works like a log splitting wedge with a hydraulic cylinder embedded inside. The kit also contains a number of extension tubes and various attachments for the linear cylinder. I have used the system for pushing out damaged car bodies from the inside, dealing with bent or misplaced automobile front ends, working on an out of commission scissors lift (we used it to hold up the lift mechanism while we worked on the hydraulics) and numerous other tasks. As I remember, they aren't cheap, but they are incredibly useful.
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