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Old 03-20-2020, 05:29 PM   #1
tylermay209's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Montevallo, AL
Posts: 28
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
Rated Cap: 65
Stripped Screws on T Handle

Hi all,

I was trying to remove the exterior door release mechanism from my bus today to replace it, but the screws are very rusted and stripped to hell from what's either an underpaid mechanic or a smart, but failed attempt at breaking and entering.

It's got no electronics involved - just a simple lever release system controlled by a handle on the front of the bus next to the door, which is just your every day garage door T handle. (

I don't own a screw extractor, so any advice would be helpful to get these puppies out so I can have some temporary security on my build.

Bus details (also in my profile): 1989 Carpenter S/1753, 7.3L, 65pax
Your local cat-herding musician
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Old 03-20-2020, 05:41 PM   #2
Bus Nut
banman's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ohio
Posts: 928
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
A set of left-hand-twist drill bits (so you're drilling counter-clockwise with 'em)
from Harbor Fright is less than $12 and will come in handy down the road...

The screws usually un-screw at some point when I drill them out this way.

Or at least the heads will be drilled off, and the part removed, and then the rest of the screw can be grabbed with a visegrip and removed.

The Murder Bus
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Old 03-20-2020, 05:53 PM   #3
Bus Geek
ol trunt's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,534
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Good advice. It is also helpful to soak the screw heads with WD40 or even mineral spirits overnight before progressing.
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:54 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,979
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
You can use a cut-off disk and make a slot for a standard screw driver. I use this method when removing rusted screws that used to have phillips heads. I use a LARGE flat-head screw driver and vice grips (for leverage).
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