HOW TO: Remove Cook Box Slide Rail Screws - The Easy Way


 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
WHAT: This is a How To on removing the slide rail screws on the older Genesis cook boxes that have corroded in and typically wind up being twisted off.

WHY: It is extremely difficult and time consuming if not impossible to get these screws out without twisting at least one or more of them off inside the cook box. I have trashed many cook boxes over the past few years because I simply could not remove the screws without breaking them off and the process of drilling the screw shafts out never yielded acceptable results. I have found a fast and simple way to get them out 95% of the time. I have taken out probably 50 this way so far this year and have only had one or two that I was not successful with.

WHAT YOU NEED:
o Weber aluminum cook box with frozen in drip rail screws.
o light to medium duty impact driver (impact wrench)

Here is a video I did when I did the removal on my most recent rehab. While the cook box was sand blasted, it had no affect on the screws being frozen. I had already removed two of the screws when I decided to make this video How To. But I do show the final two screws being removed in the video. These were no different that the screws in the other ten or so cook boxes I had done this to early this spring. I did not use any hear or solvent sprays prior to removing these screws. The key to removing them is to very slowly increase the ratcheting power of the impact wrench. The process of the impact hitting the screw tends to break up that corrosion that commonly develops between the steel screw and the aluminum cook box. Once the ratcheting action breaks up the corrosion enough, the screw starts to come out.

Enjoy, and if you have any questions, let me know.

 

Richard in NS

TVWBB Pro
Bruce, I have a 1/2” drive, plug in impact wrench that I use for the wheels on the car. Would it be too powerful? Can you dial down the force on your cordless one? Thanks,
Richard.
 

JohnS NJ

TVWBB Fan
Good video. Wish I had seen this video before going crazy with my impact. The hex head is about to get rounded
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Richard. I think a 1/2 impact might be too much to deal with a small 5/16 screw without immediately twisting it off. But, I don't know for sure. I would try try to find a smaller one or as a last resort, try it and see.

Mine was just a cordless 19.2v craftsman with the small hex attachment.
 

Greg M

TVWBB All-Star
I wish I had your tutorial available when I removed and replaced the rails on my genesis 1000. I had a really hard time removing them.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Really helpful, Bruce! Keep those video tutorials coming. I have an impact wrench (20 volt Dewalt) and will definitely try.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Just make sure it isn't a high powered impact wrench. What I actually use is technically an "impact driver". Impact wrenches are normally more higher powered. The impact drivers usually come with the 1/4" bit chuck.

I higher powered impact wrench will be a lot harder to control and more likely to twist off the screw before it will loosen it.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I am glad you mentioned that. I have found the one I have to be a sometimes too powerful tool. I would be interested in seeing a closeup of what you have so I can compare. What would the difference be if you used a cordless drill but set it to a low resistance rather than high or drill setting? The one I have when put on slow speed is a much tamer and easier to control tool.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Jon, there is a lot of confusion between drill drivers, Impact drivers, impact wrenches and hammer drills.
They are all similar in a way but different in other ways.
The difference between the impact driver and the drill driver is the "impact" feature on the impact driver. The impact driver will typically have just a 1/4" hex chuck on it, where the drill driver will typically have an adjustable 3/8 to 1/2" chuck. But, the impact part is the significant difference. And that is what helps to loosen the corrosion before it winds up twisting off the bolt.
This might better describe the difference: https://www.homedepot.com/c/ab/impact-drivers-vs-drills/9ba683603be9fa5395fab9009f66e37
 

LMichaels

TVWBB Olympian
I use both a large 18 or 20 volt Bosch (can't remember the volts but think it's 18) and a smaller 12v version. Believe it or not the larger Bosch if you give it full power on the trigger will remove lug nuts on my SUV. But pull the trigger less and it will barely drive a small wood screw. Only reason I got the smaller lighter 12v one is just that. Smaller, lighter and much easier to handle in tight spaces. They all have a speed control so you can adjust just how hard you want them to do their job.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Yes, the torque being applied is totally controllable. The more you press the trigger, the faster you get the impacting and thus more torque. As you can see in my video, on the first bolt, I start out with very little torque and stay that way for a few seconds before slowly increasing power. Slow is the key with these screws. If I apply full power, it would twist them off right away before the impact action has a chance to loosen them up. Even a small impact wrench will drive a deck screw right through a board if you keep applying pressure. Even though they only have a small 1/4" hex chuck, they have massive amounts of torque. Ever try to screw something like a 4" lag bolt into a 4x4" with a drill driver? It probably bogged down about half way. The impact driver will have no problem.
They are amazing little devices really.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB Olympian
Yessir I love mine. I use the dickens outta them, but I also have a Bosch 1/2" impact wrench as well. That thing is wicked powerful. I think it will even outpower my Chicago Pneumatic 734H air impact
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I will probably grab a Rigid impact driver. Or probably put it on my Christmas list. Hopefully I can catch a good Sale on it in the next few weeks.
 

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