I just had to replace the spring on a trailer jack. This is the
spring that snaps the lock lever into the hole on the frame to lock
the jack in place, either down for jacking, or up for hauling. I
thought this would be simple. I had an old drum brake spring that was
almost the same size, so all I had to do was remove the roll pin,
replace the spring and put the roll pin back.
WRONG..... This turned out to be a nightmare of a job.
The roll pin would not come out. I'm sure it was rusty, so I soaked
it with PB Blaster. I hammered on it with a punch, and it got a flat
end, meaning it would not pass thru the hole. But I figured I'd
hammer it loose and then remove it from the other side. Instead, it
broke off. I went to the other side and broke that side too. I took
my grinder and flattened the end of the pin to remove the spring and
the whole thing from the jack. I placed the part in my vice and
hammered for a half hour, and it would not budge. Now this is just a
1/8" roll pin, nothing large, so common sense says it should have come
out by hammering.
I placed the part in my drill press and decided to drill it out. I
applied PB Blaster as a cutting oil and began drilling. The bit
penetrated less than 1/32 of an inch before the drill bit just turned
red and shattered. What ever metal those roll pins are made of, is
extremely hard. I got another bit, and a minute later the tip of the
bit was flat, and I had only gone in another 1/32 of an inch. Teo
more bits and I was a little more than halfway thru the 1/2" thick
piece of steel. I found a slightly larger bit, and one that was a top
quality bit. That one threw sparks, but kept biting in, very slowly.
90% of the way thru the 1/2" shaft, that bit broke. I did not have
any more bits that would fit. I finally took the broken piece of the
bit and applied as much pressure on the drill press handle as I could.
About the time the bit was glowing red, it broke thru. Total time
spent drilling - almost 3 hours. Total time on entire job, 4 hours 20
min. Plus $10 to $15 worth of drill bits. (Next time I'll replace
How in the hell are roll pins supposed to be removed? No matter what
you do, they are going to flatten on the end, and of course then they
dont come out. I'm sure my rusty one did not help, but still, it
should have come out easier than it did.
The rest of the job was easy. I installed the new spring, and
replaced the roll pin with a cotter pin rather than another roll pin.
Cotter pins come out much easier and can be drilled out with any bit
if needed. If I never see another roll pin, it will be a good thing.