DMSBD Tech Tips

Removing Epoxied Bushings & Mounting Plates Without Damage
 -by Ian Carsten

Bushings and mounting plates epoxied into the floorboard of a derby car can be removed fairly easily without damaging the board by applying heat carefully. We acquired a used superstock particleboard floor with incorrect bushings epoxied in.

Most epoxies disintegrate at 260°F to 300°F. That isn’t nearly hot enough to char or burn the wood. We ground a small taper on one end of a 1/4-inch diameter 12 inch long steel rod. We heated about 2 inches of the tapered end with a gas torch it until it was glowing red.

Then we pressed the end of the rod firmly into the hole in the bushing. Of course you have to hold the hot metal with vice grip pliers or some other tool to protect your hands. Heavy insulated welders gloves are a good idea too. The heat rapidly transferred into the bushing and cooked the epoxy. Then the bushings pressed out easily without damaging the floorboard.

We’ve talked with other racers who have removed axle mount plates in masters cars by heating. The heat source could be a propane or oxygen-acetylene torch. But you must be very careful not to burn the wood or start a fire. Heating a sufficiently heavy piece of steel and placing it on the mounting plate to transfer enough heat to cook the epoxy may work and doesn’t require a flame inside the car.

Some arc welders might be turned down low enough that a small current passed through the plate for a few seconds at a time could heat the plate enough to cook the epoxy. Then the plate should come out easily without damaging the wood.

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