View Full Version : getting the mast extension shim out of the mast

14th May 2007, 05:11 AM
I have an older mast extension which has a little plastic shim to make it the perfect roundness of the mast diameter. AFter washing the mast out for sand, I put the extention in with the shim and when I went to take it out... it got stuck! The actual extension came out fine, but the shim didn't. It is not stuck perfectly in the mast. It fits the mast perfectly and won't come out. It basically makes the mast a mm smaller in radius. The shim is one mm thick. Now I can only use that mast extension with the 460 its stuck in. why do all these problems happen at once? It seems I have a new question every day!

I tried getting the little end that is stuck out with plier and trying to turn it but no luck. It is in there good!

tks for anyones help,


14th May 2007, 09:22 PM
Hi Thomas,
What is the shim made of...?
Aluminum, or plastic?
Is the shim "split" down one side...?
If not, once you get it out of the mast, it would be a good idea to take a hack saw and split it. Then it will "collapse" a little and should be much easier to get in and out of your mast.
Did the extensoin have a cap or a "keeper" at the top to pull the shim back out?
Often, if there is a rubber pin or an spring type "keeper" you can put the extensiion back in and keep rotating it around and pulling out gently to free the shim.
If not, the best thing you can do it make up a little too.
Use an old scredriver with a long shank or perhaps a piece of metal pipe about 1/4 " smaller that the ID of the shim.
Cut a notch on one side near the end with a flat surface so you can get the flat surface of the notch up past the shim and "hook" the top end of the shim. The tip the pipe or tubing so that the notch really "engages the top end of your shim.
Pull sharply out the end of the mast and the shim should dislodge and come out.
If you know anyone with a small "slide hammer" type den puller you could make a steel disc to screw onto the end of the slide hammer that just fits (maybe 1/32" smaller than the ID of the shim) inside the shim, and use that to tap the shim out.
Then split the shim and if it aluminum, collapse it very slightly so it grabs the extension, not the inside of the mast.
Hope this helps,

20th May 2007, 03:54 AM
sorry about the delayed response... had a lot of homework lately.

The mast shim is made out of plastic... it is or has not been split down the side. I will if I get it out, do that to it.

The extension did not have a cap or keeper in it. The mast shim thing can be taken off and on easily.

are you saying get an old screwdriver and kinda bend it into a hook? shove that down the mst, get the flat head of the screwdriver between the shim and the mast, and yank hard? Will this score the inside of the mast? will it loose strength and break if I scratch it on the inside at the very bottom? because I could always get a flat head screwdriver and pry it between the shim and mast from the bottom and hammer away untill the shim breaks...


22nd May 2007, 07:42 AM
Hi Thomas,
If you know any one with one of the older extensions with aq spring loaded "keeper pin" for the shim, see if you can borrow it long enough to stick it in and retrieve your shim.
I like the idea of a "half round" shim extractor tool. It should not hurt the inside of your mast at all as it will have alot of surface area.
My guess would be (from digging out the same shims many times, years ago) tha the shim will come loose pretty easily (especially the plastic ones) and can be removed from your mast without damage to either the shim or the mast.
You could make the tool from a bl;ock of wood cut to the inside diameter of the mast.
Give it a slightly "beveled" sharp edge away from the "downside" and it should go up and hook the top end of the shim pretty easily.
As suggested, once you get the shim out, split it, and you should have no further problems unless something "sticky" is on the outside of the shim or the inside of the mast.
You could actually get a 2 point almost full contact "hook" if you shaped your hard wood shim extractor so it's a little "cammed" and will go up inside the shim with a little angle to it, and the as you rotate it the 2 outer points would engage to top of the shim.
Put the wooden hook on a short piece of threaded rod, with a nut and washer set up to take the tapping. Find something heavy (like a lead sinker) to put above the nut and washer and you'll have an instant "slide hammer".
Hope this helps,