? Loosening rusted bolts

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Joel_BC, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Well-Known Member Supporter

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    On an earlier but now inactive thead. people have mentioned the wonders of Coca Cola and white vinegar for loosening rusted bolts. Some people say, though, that with largish bols/nuts that are corroded together that applying oxy-acetylene heat to the nut - enough to get it glowing cherry red, at least - is a good way. The idea is, it will expand the nut (which absorbs the heat first, before very much heat has transfered to the bolt). Then they say you can loosen (unscrew) the nut with a socket wrench.

    Has anyone here tried that method? How would you compare it with the use of vinegar, Coke, or penetrating oil?

    Assuming you have the torch kit to resort to, what are the advantages, disadvantages of this method compared with the others?
     
  2. oneokie

    oneokie Well-Known Member

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    Have used heat many times to loosen rusted nuts and bolts. Only disadvantage I know of is that the heat changes the temper of the nut and bolt.

    Advantage is that it is a faster way to loosen rusted nuts and bolts. Coke, vinegar, are slow methods. Penetrating oil is inbetween time wise.
     

  3. OntarioMan

    OntarioMan Rockin In The Free World

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    There will be times when you can't get to the nut with heat i.e. its in such an awkward location that you can't get a torch in there.

    For large nuts in open locations, an impact gun will also do wonders since its a quick series of repetitive blows to loosen the nut, and there is less chance of snapping larger bolts.

    For small stuff, well, you're gonna snap some - and even if you don't snap them, some that are very rusty are so weak from rust that they should probably be replaced anyway.

    I suppose the best advice is to take your time, especially when using "liquid wrench" or any of the other liquids. If you know you're going to have to dis-assemble something which is very rusty, repeat application of the liquid well ahead of time... even weeks.
     
  4. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Also remember that some older vehicles (especially trucks) have left hand threads on one side on the wheel lug bolts (think it's the drivers side).
     
  5. Farmerwilly2

    Farmerwilly2 Well-Known Member

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    I use PB Blaster---good stuff.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I replace any nut I have to heat to loosen. Which perpetuates the problem as most nutz are made in China of magnetic bamboo. Or scrap Pontiacs. Torches work well though.
     
  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Works well, just be aware that some sockets and other things don't like being overheated.

    Something else to do along with heating the nut as you described is to then poke a candle at the threads. The wax melts and soaks into the threads. Never have gotten around to trying it, but it sounds like a good idea.

    Vinegar and such work very well on rust, but only when it can soak and eat the rust. That's not so possible on a nut on the side of an engine. And it only helps jammed nuts that are jammed because of rust, not if they've been galled or damaged.
     
  8. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Nuts are cheap. If I have one that is so rusted on that I fear I might ruin the bolt or lug, I'll remove it with a nut cracker.
     
  9. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    I've used the coke of old and it worked to free a rust frozen hob on an axel.
    BUT didn't they change coke? does it still work as well?

    :D Al
     
  10. zant

    zant Well-Known Member

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    If PB does'nt work,then it's torch time...try not to use chiha bolt/nuts on anything that must hold...
     
  11. Wis Bang 2

    Wis Bang 2 Well-Known Member

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    P B Blaster & a suitable sized impact wrench.

    Torch to heat it works but affects the temper, etc. where the impact works without ruining the fastener.

    One tip I learned from an older mechanic was spray it, let it soak some, and impact. If it moves some, don't continue impacting, re-spray and tighten it a little to get the penetrant onto the threads that were inside the nut and then reverse direction ane remove it.

    You'll find they come off alot easier this way.
     
  12. nick malek

    nick malek Member

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    if you need to save the bolt or nut sock it i use diesel or heating oil shock it by hitting or tapping with a hammer if all fails heat it then cool it right away with any thing FREEZEIT, water, ice it brakes the bond
    had one bolt on a undercarriage could not heat for a month every time went by i hit it added diesel fuel tried the wrench one day i heard that click that was it an hour after it was off it was one tough bolt
    remember if you heat a bolt replace it or the cost later will be a lot more
    good luck
    nick
     
  13. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    If it is just a bolt w/nut and not a stud or something like that which you can get to it I will instead often tighten it and simply break it off. The old square sockets for square nuts are great if you can find a set.

    PB Blaster, or heat, or impact if I have access to one to use.
     
  14. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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  15. Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Two questions:

    Have you found that this product works well even when the bolt head (or the stud) is vertical above the nut? (i.e., does the penetrating oil seep upward well?)

    Have you found that this product does the job every time you've tried it?
     
  16. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I've read of excellent results for the use of Kroil over on the Yesterday's Tractors forums. Some swear by it as being the best while others say that PB Blaster is better. Seems like a good price on the Kroil via offer so might be worth investing in some. I'm still working on a gallon can of PB Blaster. Works well but stinks.
     
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had an International pick up when I was a kid. It got a flat on the driver's side front and my father told me to change it. I did everything but stand on my head trying to get the lug nuts loose. After letting me fight it for a while and getting a good laugh he told me they had left hand threads. It was the first time I had ever heard of them, but I'll be darned if they didn't come off when I turned them "backwards".

    Nomad
     
  18. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I can't say I used Kroil in that situation. I've been able to get some stuff apart that surprised me. Especially impliments have have been stored outside.
    I think it's interesting that the stuff has never been sold on the retail market yet the stuff has been sold far longer than WD-40 or PB-Blaster to factories and still is.

    I've found that if I don't get in a hurry it works most of the time. The times it didn't, I may have been in too much of a hurry. I think it's interesting that benchrest shooters use it to clean bores. Kroil gets under the carbon fouling.
     
  19. Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Impressive. So am I correct in believing that the existence of this product (Kroil) eliminates the need to heat nuts using a torch in order to get them off? (Unless, of course, you are in a hurry and can't wait for the penetrating rust-dissolving action to occur.)
     
  20. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No. Kroil is good, but it's not magical.