Hot answers tagged rust-removal
From my point of view this metal part is a base plate which makes it possible to mount the fan onto the plastic parts. As RedGrittyBrick noted, it is (or better was) zinc-plated. It seems to me, that most of the zinc layer is oxidized and cannot provide galvanic protection anymore. So why did it loose the zinc layer so quickly? If it was behind a cover ...
Looks like the threads on the bolt are crushed/damaged, so you're only choice might be to drill it out or cut it off. Put on a pair of good work gloves. Remove the blade from a hack saw. Then work the blade between the nut, and the plastic washer. It will likely be slow, hard work, but eventually you should be able to cut the bolt. Alternatively, you ...
The most expedient and practical solution is to drill out the bolt. Probably access is better from the top through the tank, but it can be done from either side. The goal of "drilling out" is to weaken the shaft of the bolt enough so that either the friction on the nut is reduced to the point where it turns, or the shaft breaks and separates into two ...
You may very well be best advised to purchase a replacement fan assembly. It will come with a properly plated base plate. When you replace it then properly plug it in and reinstall the cover panel assembly. You should not operate the freezer without the cover in place so that the fan circulates the air inside the unit in the proper manner.
I'd use an angle grinder with a thin cutoff wheel and basically just cut either the locking nut or the whole cylinder in half. If you're reasonably careful, you should be able to do this and barely touch the fiberglass (if at all). You're much more likely to cause cracks or other damage if you are putting torque on something, and it's much easier to have ...
Why not leave the lock in place, drill a hole for a new lock and move the locking mechanism a few inches to the right or left?
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