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Thread: "Thread Locker" Experience Shared

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    "Thread Locker" Experience Shared

    I was doing some SS OEM Torx fasteners on my MC the other day & had this what I think was an unusual experience:
    There were four involved & while I have mostly switched to the stick type of blue thread locker, I had a small tube of Permatex brand, blue liquid type & thought I needed to use it as had been around the shop for a good while-maybe 4-5 years. These are M5 threads on SS screws,clean,etc.. They were hand spun into brass female threads a good ways then I turned around to fetch my 1/4 drive ratchet, which was maybe 5' away at most. As I tried to turn them in they were essentially "locked up"! I could overcome the goop but was too hard.
    Rest of story is that I contacted Permatex via email to ask the tech line the why it happened question.
    Answer: It was that brass is an "active metal", no fault of the thread locker. It was never my intent to blame them but that was the tone of the response. Next email I made clear that I wasn't trying to score a $$$, just asking for a list of active metals/why it happened to lock so quickly,etc., & I get back a list of about all the metals you ever have heard of (w/o being a scientist & a periodicals chart!) other than maybe silver & gold. I sort of thought going into the question & having provided the tube code that I'd be told it was old material but no it was the active metal and it was suggested to use "purple thread locker" in the future. I have never bought purple thread locker(always red or blue in my tool box) but have a free sample coming.
    "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 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    I was doing some SS OEM Torx fasteners on my MC the other day & had this what I think was an unusual experience:
    There were four involved & while I have mostly switched to the stick type of blue thread locker, I had a small tube of Permatex brand, blue liquid type & thought I needed to use it as had been around the shop for a good while-maybe 4-5 years. These are M5 threads on SS screws,clean,etc.. They were hand spun into brass female threads a good ways then I turned around to fetch my 1/4 drive ratchet, which was maybe 5' away at most. As I tried to turn them in they were essentially "locked up"! I could overcome the goop but was too hard.
    Rest of story is that I contacted Permatex via email to ask the tech line the why it happened question.
    Answer: It was that brass is an "active metal", no fault of the thread locker. It was never my intent to blame them but that was the tone of the response. Next email I made clear that I wasn't trying to score a $$$, just asking for a list of active metals/why it happened to lock so quickly,etc., & I get back a list of about all the metals you ever have heard of (w/o being a scientist & a periodicals chart!) other than maybe silver & gold. I sort of thought going into the question & having provided the tube code that I'd be told it was old material but no it was the active metal and it was suggested to use "purple thread locker" in the future. I have never bought purple thread locker(always red or blue in my tool box) but have a free sample coming.
    http://www.henkelna.com/us/content_d...032010_Web.pdf

    Pure speculation on my part, but the age of the adhesive (threadlocker) and the size of fastener might be the primary players. The type of threadlockers is specific to material, thread size (diameter) and pitch. So, as the stuff ages, it probably becomes more viscous and less applicable to smaller fasteners.

    Of course, what passes as SS hardware fasteners these days (McMaster & any other supply house) is almost guaranteed to "gall" in any cut thread that isn't lose.
    Last edited by 36654; 10-14-2013 at 04:06 PM.
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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Heat will usually soften the goop enough to remove it, but the reactive metal list is a whole other story.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

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    We are talking about a BMW OEM Torx screw. I shook up the tiny tube before use & the liquid flowed freely when I squirted it out-seemed normal. Permatex made no mention of age factor, only that it was based on active metal involved. What bothered my common sense was that she said it was the brass metal then sent me a list of all the metals a fastener could conceivably be made from anyway as being "active"?
    So, how many of you greasy people are using "purple threadlocker"?

    Sort of related recent SS fastener e.g.: I bought a bag of #10 x 4" SS wood screws from a web seller for use on my screened-in porch project to fasten cedar which requires a resistant fastener. I played with pilot holes & once I had the right size bit it still took a liberal dose of wax on the screw & a "don't stop until it's in" approach to driving them as too soft to be "likeablely used"! They have a piloting tip so supposedly need no pilot hole in wood. OTOH, the ceramic coated screws used on same project require no pilot hole or wax & drive in easily with little effort. The threads on the SS screws are very sharp & clean. Yeh, I know this is wood not metal but still seems weird & it sure wasn't my 1st wood screw affair! They are just plain soft! Said to be A2 SS. Some SS screws are non magnetic others a little bit. I also bought a bag of 500 SS bronze painted head panhead screws for my screen wire extrusion to surface mount to wood. They are slightly magnetic. They are shorter @ 1 5/8" & go in fine as one would expect.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    We are talking about a BMW OEM Torx screw. I shook up the tiny tube before use & the liquid flowed freely when I squirted it out-seemed normal. Permatex made no mention of age factor, only that it was based on active metal involved. What bothered my common sense was that she said it was the brass metal then sent me a list of all the metals a fastener could conceivably be made from anyway as being "active"?
    So, how many of you greasy people are using "purple threadlocker"?
    The active metal part is a bit of hoot in my opinion. Basically, any tapped hole (i.e., bare metal) in anything but SS is "active" in the loctite world and, therefore, doesn't require at a primer. If the threaded metal is "non-active" (basically, coated or stainless), you need a primer.

    Not knowing the pitch of your torx screw, I can say that a 5mm screw is smaller than the diameter range indicated for the blue stuff by loctite. If the thread gap, surface area of the bound, cure time and viscosity of the threadlocker don't jive, the get a seized fastener. Which, hopefully, you have a means of extracting. I recently had the same type of experience with a large diameter (>0.75") fine thread (>28) in active materials. The applicable loctite for that thread pours like water and is only available in batch orders. Unfortunately, we didn't learn about this special loctite until after we used the erroneously specified type.

    Use the purple stuff, if you want to use a threadlocker.
    Last edited by 36654; 10-15-2013 at 10:40 PM.
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    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    What you may have to do is find someone (or purchase one) who has a small impact wrench, electric or pneumatic, and back it out that way. I have had to do that trick several times with blue Loctite and stainless hardware. About 8-10 impacts has usually worked things loose for me.

    FWIW, I get a lot use use out of my Sears electric impact driver doing all kinds of stuff than I would have ever figured. Proper tool for the job and all that...
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

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    Thread locker thread not how to get it out thread.
    Sorry I failed to mention my "mistake" in using blue thread locker below the diameter on the chart. There's no issue as to getting out(I have all the stuff from lifetime of wrenching) a fastener, just passing on my blunder in color choice & the response on active metal. If a fastener is dirty I clean it with shop jug of lacquer thinner. I don't bother to prime unless it's something that really matters as in safety, dead on road or big expense(also firearms at times) if it fails as my plain old lazy habit.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    Thread locker thread not how to get it out thread.
    Sorry I failed to mention my "mistake" in using blue thread locker below the diameter on the chart. There's no issue as to getting out(I have all the stuff from lifetime of wrenching) a fastener, just passing on my blunder in color choice & the response on active metal. If a fastener is dirty I clean it with shop jug of lacquer thinner. I don't bother to prime unless it's something that really matters as in safety, dead on road or big expense(also firearms at times) if it fails as my plain old lazy habit.
    If specified, I'll use it at work. At home, it's the same story.

    Where do you use it on a firearm?
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    It varies but commonly red is used for locations that need to stay! put! & heat is used to dissass.. I drifted away from them somewhat as my interests shifted toward kids/family & I no was longer a competitive shooter, as when younger.
    "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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    Yesterday I removed the license plate/tail light assembly from my G650GS & the plastic(the plate holder is indestructible steel while the TL is junky plastic crap!) brackets/tabs that hold it have nut clips with 4ea.-T25 screws holding them to bike. The screws have blue thread locker on them which holds so tight that you have to use pliers to hold the clips to remove w/o tearing up stuff! Came close to stripping the bit. Apparently BMW needs to know NOT! to use "blue" on that size fastener, esp when plastic is the holder of the threads.
    Same MC/same day: In fabricating a rear top case platform(ala Caribou luggage design) I removed the 4 screws that hold the rear grab handle to the frame to see that they have a very narrow slot cut lengthwise in the threaded portion that's "embedded" with nylon as a thread locking device. Seems one spot has the "Fred Flintstone approach" to thread locking and nearby on same MC is the "NASA approach"!
    I also got my "free sample" of purple threadlocker from Permatex on the same day (after having asked about blue setting up instantly) & interestingly MC windshield fasteners is one of the listed uses on the package front.
    I guess I'll never really know if age causes blue to set up too quickly...
    "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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    I've got a small bottle of someones blue threadlocker that set up like cement within a few months of opening and being tightly capped- acted almost like crazy glue. Think it might have come with some Touratech item. But am still using a tube of 245 that's got to be 6 or 7 years old and it seems to work like new.
    Last edited by racer7; 10-23-2013 at 08:44 PM.

  12. #12
    na1g
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    "...acted almost like crazy glue."

    That's because it basically is crazy glue! Methacrylate is the chemical name. Just like "crazy glue" ("super glue" etc.) it takes acetone (nail polish remover) to dissolve it and clean it off of the threads. In the case of good quality threaded fasteners it doesn't take much thread locker and more isn't better.

    pete

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    True- chemistries are related but the usual US blue stuff doesn't harden anywhere near so fast after opening.

  14. #14
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Uhhh, after opening???? Threadlockers are typically anaerobic adhesives.

    From a Loctite page:

    Threadlockers are a single component anaerobic adhesive comprised of unique liquid resins that harden (or cure) to a durable solid when exposed to metal ions in the absence of air. The anaerobic cure mechanism allows the adhesive to flow and evenly settle to lock and seal threaded fasteners without curing permanently. Any excess threadlocker will remain liquid, and is easily wiped away from the assembly.

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    I'm not sure I understand your point. They cure with metal ions in the absence of oxygen in normal use but what does that have to with a once opened multi-use container hardening as for the foreign stuff and not as for US made 245. Neither got metal in it, both had some air in the headspace from use- probably in proportion to how volatile the product base is. My point was simply that shelf lives vary a lot- which I'd bet is fundamentally a formulation difference.
    I haven't looked to see if there are some that air harden- what's on all those BMW screws with set up thread lockers?

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