Help with a 25lb'er.

springer82

Well-Known Member
#1
I'm giving my Little Giant a tune-up. I got a new spring and a set of flat die's. The spring went well. I pulled it back out again. lol,,, I did not want to pound on the old die keys while the ram was still in the frame. The problem is I can't get the old keys out. I have soaked them for a few days now with PB Blaster. I made a flat faced 1/4" thick drift from 5160. Heated it up and in the quench it went. Beat the crap out of it with a 6lb hammer. I would have to put a travel indicator on it to check if it moved at all. I could put heat on the keys. I'm not sure how that would help. It would expand. So,,,, I'm open to suggestions. I'm really working hard not to pull my OA over and blowing out the old dies. That makes me just a little nervous!!!! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Bob
 

springer82

Well-Known Member
#3
Gear puller. I don't know about that. I have a small slide hammer. Way small for this job. Even if it was much larger I would still have to fab a way to hold on to the key. I don't really care about the old dies. I'm sure they are way older then me. And way more worn out. lol,,,,
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
#7
If your not worried about ruining the dies why do t you use the cutting head an split the die down a reasonable amount, that should soften it up for a sawzall? Man I wouldn't want to have to do that!! I still would see if you can get a large gear puller??
 

EdCaffreyMS

Forum Owner - Moderator
#8
First....DO NOT POUND ON THE KEYS DIRECTLY WITH A HARDENED HAMMER! It's very easy to "tweak" the keys, and if you do that, they will either never come out, or they will not be reusable.

OK, I'm not gona make any assumptions..... have you checked to see if somebody pulled a "stupid" and tack welded the key in place? Don't laugh, I've seen it a number of times. If you can ensure the key isn't tack welded..... My first move would be to spray the dickens out of the area with oven cleaner, and let it sit overnight. Then hose off the oven cleaner, THEN start soaking it down with the PB or WD-40, and repeat the next day, and the next, and the next. Each day, try to hammer the key out using a "soft" hammer.....brass, lead, etc. If you use a hardened hammer, place a piece of hardwood against the key before striking it with a hammer. BE PATIENT! I've overhauled a bunch of LG hammers, and getting in a hurry usually costs you big dollars due to damaged and/or broken parts caused by your own haste. IF, after several days of soaking it with PB or WD-40, heat might help...... the head of LGs is made of cast, while the keys are steel (usually mild steel or possibly wrought)..... using heat does two things..... it helps "burn" the crude, rust, etc. and the cast will "soak" the heat up more so then the steel/wrought key..... be mindful of the heat! DO NOT get things hot enough to change the color.... if you do, and make a mis-hit with the hammer, you can easily chip/break the cast head.

On a specific 50lb LG I rebuilt, I had to heat the key/head area with a rosebud, let it cool, then soaked it down with WD-40 several times, over several days before the key finally broke loose. Again, patience is mandatory here! Trust me, getting in a hurry with tearing down these hammers does nothing but cost you money and creates grief. ;)
 
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springer82

Well-Known Member
#9
The instructions from LG tell me to use a flat faced chisel and a 3lb hammer. To hit it solid not tap it. So I made one. It's not going well. I'll try the oven cleaner for a few days then back to PB. I'll start all over again.

Tack welding the key in "is funny". I would have never thought of that. It would not surprise me to find 2 keys in holding the die. One from each side. Like setting a door. I'm lucky. No one did any of that oddness!
 

CMS3900

Well-Known Member
#11
Hey Springer, I don't know if you have solved this yet, but the wonder tool for taking these keys out is a welder and a hollow porta-power cylinder. You need a rod that's threaded on one end, a nut, a spacer, and maybe some small cribbing. You weld the non threaded end onto the key at the driven end of the key. Then slide the porta power over it, put the spacer and nut on, and crib it if needed. When pressures applied it pulls the key out the way it was driven in. This method works so well I don't even fool with keys I can't get loose in a few wacks when tearing down hammers to rebuild. When you get the key out, cut it off the rod and use the rod again.
 
#12
Hey Springer, I don't know if you have solved this yet, but the wonder tool for taking these keys out is a welder and a hollow porta-power cylinder. You need a rod that's threaded on one end, a nut, a spacer, and maybe some small cribbing. You weld the non threaded end onto the key at the driven end of the key. Then slide the porta power over it, put the spacer and nut on, and crib it if needed. When pressures applied it pulls the key out the way it was driven in. This method works so well I don't even fool with keys I can't get loose in a few wacks when tearing down hammers to rebuild. When you get the key out, cut it off the rod and use the rod again.
Yeah,,,, I got that ok. I used my sawzall and split the key in half. Took a dead blow hammer and gave it a shot. No problem!!!
 
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