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Rocket landed in water, restoration tips?

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billdz

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I was fortunate that a fisherman in a boat recovered my Nike Smoke rocket after it landed in a canal. After it dried out , it looked as good as new, but now I'm starting to notice some issues. The biggest problem is that I can't remove the motor, guess the water caused the motor tube to contract. I've tried pushing it out with a broom handle with substantial force but it won't budge, and I'd damage the rocket if I applied more force. I have it out in the sun for now, hopefully it will loosen, if not we may have to try to drill it out. Any better ideas? Another issue is that the top end of the body tube is no longer perfectly round and the layers of paper have separated a bit. I was thinking about applying some glue into the cracks and then putting the nose cone in so when the glue dries the tube will be nice and round. Should that work?
Thanks,
Bill
 

Zeus-cat

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I've used super glue to rebond the tops of body tubes, but be careful with sticking a nose cone into an area with any kind of wet adhesive.

You didn't say what kind of motor it was, but when black powder motors get wet they tend to swell. I would try knocking the clay nozzle out of the motor. Then you can TRY to peel off the motor case layer by later from the inside. Easier said than done, but a reasonable first step that shouldn't damage the rocket.

If your motor was not black powder than you have to try something else. Once the rocket is dried out I would throw it in the freezer. The case might shrink more than the motor mount and you could hopefully work the motor out with a dowel and hammer. Try to use a dowel just a little smaller than the motor mount.

Good luck.
 

billdz

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Thanks for the reply, the motor is an AT G78-7G composite, see
https://web4.hobbylinc.com/gr/aro/aro77407.jpg

The rocket is probably too big for my freezer, but I'll try that. Problem with the dowel and hammer (also tried twisting motor end with pliers) is that it seems like too much force will damage the body tube and/or motor mount.
 

dhbarr

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Did you friction fit this phenolic case with tape? If so, that tape is now glue. I'd try tapping the throat and loctiting an eyebolt in.

Any hook or screw-on retainers, tailcone? If it's a flat base I'd pull the eyebolt through a pipe.
 

billdz

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I don't think there was tape on the motor but not sure. There is an AT retainer, no hook or tailcone. So you suggest gluing an eyebolt to the end of the motor and pulling it through a pipe? Guess that would ease the stress on the body tube, hope the bulkhead is strong enough. Would spraying with silicon or WD-40 help?

Nike Smoke with stuck motor.jpg
 

dhbarr

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Perfect, if your pipe just barely slides over the AT ring you should basically be home free! I'd switch to all thread if available, then use a fender washer and a bolt.
 

K'Tesh

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Too late to do it now, but perhaps if/when you get the motor out... Try using something like Minwax's Wood Sealer on the inside of the body/motor tube. If it doesn't absorb water, it'll reduce the amount of potential damage from water.

All The Best!
Jim
 

Zeus-cat

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Put the rocket in a trash bag before putting it in the freezer. Just in case any crud falls out of the rocket.
 

RocketFeller

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Use a drill and/or Dremel tool to open up the aft end of the motor case. Then use a hacksaw blade to split the motor casing lengthwise. You should be able to knock it out with a dowel and hammer fairly easily.
 

o1d_dude

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I've had good luck using those dessicant packs that seem to come in everything lately. Just pour the packs into the body tube and leave them there for a day or two. This seems to extract the moisture out of evrything.

No guarantees on loosening up the motor casing but it might be worth a try.

Have heard that uncooked rice will do the same thing.

Keep this trick in mind if you ever drop your smartphone into water.
 

billdz

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Well, this is not good. I put a pipe over the end and applied pressure, but the motor tube started coming out instead of the motor. Guess next I'll try RockerFeller's idea, cut off the end and saw the case. Hopefully the motor tube is not permanently damaged.

Nike Smoke with stuck motor 2.jpg
 

dhbarr

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If the motor tube comes out, you can slot a new one in fairly easily.
 

Lowpuller

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I agree with dhbarr, at this point pull the motor tube, carefully salvage your retainer, and then replace the motor tube with new.

Shove a new candle in that baby and let it fly!
 

billdz

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Pulled it out and definitely need a new motor tube, the original one is shredded. It appears that replacement will not be easy, as there are remnants of the old tube quite far up in hard to reach places, such as the upper centering ring. Once cleaned out, it may be tough to glue the new tube to the upper centering ring, the fins, and other hard to reach spots.

Is there any type of local source (e.g., Home Depot) for a new tube? They only cost a dollar or two from rocketry vendors, but they want 6 to 10 dollars for shipping. May have to wait until I need other items and then order all at once.
 

SpaceManMat

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How about using a file to remove the remaining old tube. Another possibility would be a dowel with sandpaper attached.
 

billdz

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Dowel with sandpaper appears to be my best hope, at least to clean out the upper centering ring, which is beyond the reach of my longest file.
 

billdz

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OK, I got the new motor mount installed, it took patience to get the remains of the old one out.

Now I've noticed that the nose cone no longer slides properly into the body tube, guess water contracts cardboard. I've tried sanding the sleeve of the NC but that didn't help much, may need some sort of electric grinder.
 

rockets

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OK, I got the new motor mount installed, it took patience to get the remains of the old one out.

Now I've noticed that the nose cone no longer slides properly into the body tube, guess water contracts cardboard. I've tried sanding the sleeve of the NC but that didn't help much, may need some sort of electric grinder.
Do you have a Dremel? Those work pretty well in those situations.
Thanks,
 

Wallace

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I feel your pain. Had three water landings w/cardboard rockets and none ended well. Thinking of going to fiberglass /G10 exclusively just for that reason.
 

rockets

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Flew a rocket, landed in a small tree, and then the heavy rain came. 2 days later, it was pretty damaged, the motor was stuck. When, I got my Dremel, it took the motor out and worked really well.
BTW, it was cardboard.

Thanks,
 
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