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Thread: Penetrating Oils

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    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Penetrating Oils

    Just received the March issue of the ON and saw Paul G's comments on exhaust nuts and penetrating oil.
    This reminded me of a post I received a while ago, and decided to share the info here:

    Machinist's Workshop magazine recently published some information on various penetrating oils that I found very interesting. Some of you might appreciate this. The magazine reports they tested penetrates for break out torque on rusted nuts. They are below, as forwarded by an ex-student and professional machinist.
    They arranged a subjective test of all the popular penetrates with the control being the torque required to remove the nut from a "scientifically rusted" environment.

    Penetrating oils ........... Average torque load to loosen

    No Oil used ................... 516 pounds
    WD-40 ......................... 238 pounds
    PB Blaster .................... 214 pounds
    Liquid Wrench ...............127 pounds
    Kano Kroil .....................106 pounds
    ATF-Acetone mix.............53 pounds

    The ATF-Acetone mix is a "home brew" mix of 50 - 50 automatic transmission fluid and acetone. Note this "home brew" released bolts better than any commercial product in this one particular test.

    Our local machinist group mixed up a batch and we all now use it with equally good results. Note also that "Liquid Wrench" is almost as good as "Kroil" for about 20% of the price.

    Steve from Godwin-Singer says that ATF-Acetone mix is best, but you can also use ATF and lacquer thinner in a 50-50 mix.

  2. #2
    jeepinbanditrider
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    hmm I may have to buy a spray bottle and mix me up some of that stuff

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    Oil and acetone, is this mix capable of spontaneous combustion on a rag?
    Putting the same mix in a spray bottle, could the pump be able to create the needed compression ratio to ignite the mix? Maybe stupid questions, but safety first

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    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    I would definitely be careful about putting acetone in some plastic bottles. That is a very powerful solvent that eats a lot of plastics easily.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
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    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-foiler View Post
    Oil and acetone, is this mix capable of spontaneous combustion on a rag?
    Putting the same mix in a spray bottle, could the pump be able to create the needed compression ratio to ignite the mix? Maybe stupid questions, but safety first
    Any volatile liquid is capable of spontaneous combustion in a pile of rags, caution is always advised. As far as spraying, you would need a LOT of oxygen in a mix to ignite under compression, and no way a pump bottle could come close anyway.

    The plastic concern is valid, If I were to keep some premixed, I would probably use one of the metal cans with a tight lid, that you buy acetone in.
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    As I recall, last time I tried the 50/50 & put some in my alu oil can (that has ATF in it all the time in the 1st place as a "casual shop oil" of choice for price & effect) and noticed that acetone & ATF don't really go into solution? As acetone evaporates FAST!-how can you keep it available for use in a 50/50? I shook the mix well and saw all these bubbles in there that looked like an unfriendly, somewhat incompatible mixture-again as I recall? My current Kroil can seems to be going fast like it feels like it has a lot in it at start then gone before you know it! Whats in it?
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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    Registered User rickyd's Avatar
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    tutorial?

    One with a collection of tips for freeing up siezed fasteners could be a useful addition to the tech sub-forum. Surely a lot of us learned the hard way. Just a thought....
    Rick

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    I have a spray bottle of 50/50 Acetone/ATF in my shop now for well over a year with no negative results. I bought a spray bottle made specifically for chemical spraying at the local Fleet Farm store.

    I do have to agitate the bottle to fully mix it before spraying. But it works great and is an effective penetrant oil.

  9. #9
    na1g
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    Acetone is nasty stuff. It is carcinogenic so you don't want to get it on yourself and I'd bet it will go right through any plastic or nitrile gloves. Plus, it disolves plastics and paints so you don't want to get it on most of your motorcycle. I don't know about rubber. It is useful for removing "super glue", like when you've glued your fingers together (see sentence #2, however) It also is used to "weld" acrylic and other plastics so it can be used to fix cracked plastic bits. Lacquer thinner and MEK are also powerful solvents but not as nasty as acetone.

    Needless to say, you don't want to breathe the vapors or use any of these solvents anywhere near a spark or flame.

    The table of info on breaking rusted nuts loose is interesting. I found PB Blaster some years ago and it's my go-to penetrating oil. Seems to be a lot better than WD40 and Liquid Wrench, but that's my unscientific opinion only.

    pete
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  10. #10
    Nickname: Droid
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    Like I said in my previous reply:

    I have been using a 50/50 mix of acetone/ATF for well over a year now. I have it mixed in a plastic chemical compatible hand spray bottle. The spray bottle does not leak, does not break down, does not get brittle and crack. I bought the spray bottle for $5 at the local Fleet Farm (Farm n Fleet in Iowa), kind of like a larger version of The Tractor Store, common here in Wisconsin and the upper midwest. Bought it in the farm supplies section.

    Given I have not had any issues with it for over a year, to me means it is a safe means to use the 50/50 mix.

    But, since Acetone in this application is the solvent used to "wick" the rust inhibitors/penetrants/detergents into the corroded area, perhaps MEK would also work as well. But I have not tested that mix. I do know that Acetone/ATF is a very effective mix.
    Last edited by ANDYVH; 03-07-2013 at 08:58 PM.

  11. #11
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    MEK (methyl-ethyl-ketone) is some truly nasty stuff; lots of laws (in CA, at least) about its use, including mandatory forced exhaust ventilation...
    Acetone was banned in most household products for a long time, due to its being readily absorbed thru the skin, and damage to the liver & kidneys, but it's back in some nail polish removers...
    I don't know the original source of the table, so I can't vouch for it, but it just seems that the first line ("dry") would exceed the rotational torque capabilities of most hardware... have to wonder what size nut & bolt they used for that. Also note that it doesn't specify "inch-" or "foot"-pounds... but it's still useful as a comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post

    The table of info on breaking rusted nuts loose is interesting. I found PB Blaster some years ago and it's my go-to penetrating oil. Seems to be a lot better than WD40 and Liquid Wrench, but that's my unscientific opinion only.
    +1. I too have found PB to be WAY better than Liquid Wrench - is there a recent new formula?

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    What about the MEK "substitute" I saw in Lowe's the other day? Is it good for what? Such as cleaning MC gas tanks- a job I have at hand. The 500+ torque above would have had to be a nut on a thread ~ 1" size? Not such a great reference as the thread interference fit of that size thread offers a much diff. scenario to the use of a rust buster liquid? My idea is that what liquids can get in there and do their thing. As for any brand or concoction giving you some miracle type results, it sounds great but in reality it is often "get out the torch time" or "hope it doesn't break time". Far different scene on a rusty carriage bolt on a hay wagon vs. a reluctant fastener with fine threads & limited acess(I'm afraid to assign a name here such as bolt,cap screw , etc., as it brings a firestorm) on a bike/car.
    I'm now remembering that after buying a gal. of WD-40 in one of the few trips to Sam's in my life(and I still have some)over ten yrs ago, I came home & not one of the several sprayers I tried would spray the stuff! Sprayers are notorious for no workee anyway but only after I procured a genuine WD-40 sprayer(I had to buy a 2-pak) would the stuff spray! I use it every now & then and one particularly effective way is wasp/hornets nests. Of course you have to be selective as to what you want dosed with the oil. This all reminds mr that I need a couple of industrial duty spray btls as the wally world types are crapo. The black ones we had in Army to spray lube on M-16 rifle come to mind.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  14. #14
    ScienceOfDirt
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    Penetrating Oils

    Does anyone have any info on a penetrating oil/concoction that will work on on ferrous fasteners? I've yet to find anything that works on aluminum oxide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceOfDirt View Post
    Does anyone have any info on a penetrating oil/concoction that will work on on ferrous fasteners? I've yet to find anything that works on aluminum oxide.
    There's a thread several pages long on ADV in "the Garage" on cleaning alu but you are looking at a tough idea IMO.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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