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The bolts can be come loose and corrode – as can the pad-eyes where the stay adjusters rest against them.
Replacing the retaining bolts isn’t an easy task but the trick is to remove the existing bolt by unscrewing them so the nuts inside fall off. But if the nuts spin you will have to hack off the old bolt heads and punch the bolt through.
Then you need to prepare a bolt so that it can threaded through the hole from the inside and then prevented from turning. Obtain much longer bolts, say 3.5 or 4 inches (5-6 cm).
(Optional) Thread a washer and a regular nut all the way down the shaft of the bolt (Don’t use the nylon locking nut you intend to finish the project with because the nylon can be damaged.). Use a hacksaw or Dremmel to square off the end of the bolt (so that you can hold it in some locking pliers or mole grips) and then narrow the end to make it easier to fit in the hole. Unscrew the nut to clean up the threads as you remove it
Then tie a weight (e.g. fishing shot or a nail) that will fit through the hole in the ama onto some fishing line (or similar thin cord), insert the weight and line through the hole and and tip up the front of the ama so the line is pulled through the hole and can be snagged through the transom port.
Tie the fishing line around the narrowed part at the end of the bolt in such a manner that it will pull the bolt (w/ washer) through the hole. It is tricky getting the fishing line tied just right so the bolt will come up through the hole – try using some tape to get it just right.
Once the bolt is through the hole, thread the pad-eye onto the bolt and tighten a nylon locking nut down using pliers to hold the squared off bolt end. Once it is tight, hack off the bolt close to the nut, file and smooth.
You end up with the bolt upside down with the head down inside the boat with the washer and the nut on top of the pad-eye.
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