Penetrating Oils Revisted

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Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby tst » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:15 pm

I thought this would make for a good read, I have been using the laquer thinner/atf mix for years myself using spray bottles
Tim

Penetrating Oils

Machinist's Workshop MagT 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. *ATF=Automatic Transmission Fluid
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby bob in CT » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:53 pm

Been down this road before. Only problem is that acetone and ATF don't mix.
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby Rudi » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:16 pm

As Bob said, we have been down this road more than once discussing the relative merits of the Acetone and ATF Mix. To me Acetone, a volatile organic compound (VOC) will evaporate rather quickly probably leaving just the ATF. So not sure how efficacious Acetone and ATF really is.

I heard at one point that ATF was good at freeing up stuck pistons -- so I tried an experiment on Jethro's mill. Guess what :?: After a number of months dutifully pouring a bit of ATF on the pistons daily, Jethro's mill is still stuck.

As far as penetrating oils, I still stand by Solvo-Rust, Kroil and Nut Buster :) That is JIMHO.
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby grumpy » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:03 pm

Kroil has always worked for me. I'm the type of person that figures...if it works I aint gonna fix it.
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby lazyuniondriver » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:21 pm

Working for a large corporation as a shop mechanic, we sprayed the flavor of the month provided to us by the case which would usually last about one month.

Almost never the same product twice in a row, almost never a brand mentioned in other posts, mostly no name canned solvents provided by industrial supply houses, all working or not working about the same.

Then we got a case of Kano Aerokroil. Everyone took notice. This stuff loosened fasteners that in some cases, looked as if no threads existed. It was clearly a cut above the rest. It was the talk of the lunch room, the new mystery oil.

Of course when it was gone it was gone, most of us thinking so highly of it, buying it ourselves for personal use. I just used some today on a corrosion job which I initially saw no outcome except breakage, again, Aerokroil proved me wrong.

The last can I bought directly from Kano with a coupon I found online making it comparable in cost to WD at full price.

Right now they have a better deal going than I got.

The current special partners with Google, 2 king size cans delivered for $18.00 What a deal. Finally an answer to my wife's forever nagging "what do you want for Christmas" question.

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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby Boss Hog » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:04 am

as I have said before I will stick with the liquid wrench, if I have to buy it :D , I have used ATF mixed with paint thinner . seamed to work fine but the spray bottles do not last with the paint thinner, Kroil is not worth the price as far as I am concerned.
And I expect I go through as much penetrating oil as anyone. and Kroil always runs out of pressure before it runs out of Kroil.
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby lazyuniondriver » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:09 am

Boss Hog wrote: and Kroil always runs out of pressure before it runs out of Kroil.


Can't say I've ever experienced that. But if I did, I would simply puncture the can and pour the remaining contents into a pump can or air pressurized sprayer, no big deal.
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby Matt Kirsch » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:48 am

What I usually see is people spritzing a bolt with penetrant, slapping a wrench on it within seconds, twisting the bolt off, and cursing the penetrant. "That *bleep* ain't no good!"

Ya gotta give the stuff some time to work. If you just spritzed it and the bolt turns right out, it wasn't stuck in the first place. When the threads come out DRY, the penetrant didn't do you a bit of good.

We used to use a product called "Panther" from Massey Ferguson. Smelled like the Southbound end of a Northbound skunk, so we called it skunk oil or panther p(you fill in the rest). Swore the stuff was magic, but mostly the bolts weren't stuck in the first place.
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby BIGHOSS » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:34 am

I use a product with great success called "Blue Flame Wrench". :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby Redcub » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:57 am

Next time you are out here in the Pacific NW see us at
The Great Oregon Steam Up in Brooks Ore, along Interstate-5 just North of Salem
http://www.antiquepowerland.com Held the last weekend of July, and 1st weekend of August
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby Johnk454 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:13 pm

Kroil is quite good, but expensive at retail. Occasionally it will go on sale at one of the internet gunsmith suppliers like Midway USA - I bought a quantity of 8oz non-aerosol cans for $3 each a couple of years ago.

Acetone is nasty stuff. If you insist on using it, research proper handling - Seriously.

You can substitute MEK for acetone and mix that with ATF to produce a good penetrating agent and MEK is safer in general use than acetone. Also a great substitute for Ed's Red, which is an excellent gun cleaning product.
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby Landreo » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:18 pm

tst wrote:Penetrating Oils

Machinist's Workshop MagT 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. *ATF=Automatic Transmission Fluid


I must be the only person in the world that has actually read the article!
The last test you want is a "subjective test", you want an objective test.
Eitherway, there were no bolts, no torque, no nuts, no "scientifically rusted" environment, no ATF-acetone mix. Basically the article was from a well meaning person but is not very useful and I doubt has any real accuracy. Bogus

This person rusted steel dowel pins in reamed holes for somewhere around 12 hours in saltwater, measured the force, not torque, to push out the pins. A total of 3 pins per test. The ATF was really power steering fluid. No data was listed and no statistical analysis was presented. Without seeing the actual data we will never know for sure but a sample size of 3 per oil is likely completely useless.

I did a study that came out in Green magazine , May 2010, comparing oils using the same pin method, also included bolts and nuts. Rusted in an alternating salt water bath and air dry for 6 months. Larger study with statistical analysis and I got much different results. I believe I did 6 pins and 20 bolts for each oil. I did not calculate the power for the statistics but I expect you would need several hundred samples per oil to get any real validity. However, in my study there was no difference in the oils tested including ATF-Acetone

When folks say " I use brand X and it is the best" I think...how do you know? If all stuck bolts were essentially the same then getting results with a brand of oil would be useful but there is so much variability with stuck bolts that I am not sure " brand X works better than Brand Y " statements are all that useful.

I wrote to several companies including Kroil asking for any peer reviewed publications that supported their claims of superiority. The only one that responded was PB Blaster. Several request to Kroil went unanswered so I take their lack of response as an indication that they have no data to support their claims. PBBlaster did have some data but they only shared their ATF-Acetone test, not any with competitors.

What does all that mean? They likely all perform basically the same including WD-40 which is a penetrating oil also. Some may work slightly better with wet rusted bolts, some better with dry rusted bolts, some better with bolts seized in aluminum, etc..

If you are happy with Kroil, PB Blaster, mouse urine, then that is what I would use. I am now using Kroil since I stumbled onto 2 gallons. Once it is gone then I would go back to PB Blaster or Wal Mart. The engineer at PB Blaster that discussed their testing with me restores old Case tractors so at least we have something in common.


ATF-Acetone does not mix in a 50-50 ratio. Not sure what the correct ratio is but it is not 50-50.


If I was going to make my own, I would use an oil, ATF is fine, a polar solvent such as acetone, a polar protonic solvent such as isopropyl alcohol ( not rubbing alcohol but "heet" brand of fuel line deicer), and mineral spirits to thin. I have no idea It will work any better than others but makes more sense than ATF-acetone in a 50-50 mix.
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby BigBill » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:04 pm

I found out if PB Blaster or Kroil doesn't loosen it up then i end up drilling it out and retapping the threads. Installing a stainless heli-coil insert is another option. All of the assemblies i did for the US Goverment was heli coiled. (155mm howitzers for the US ARMY)

Thru experience with stuck threaded holes i find its easier to heat half the hole so it will expand the hole rather than heat the whole area and expand the whole thing together. I have had more success heating half the hole.
I'm technically misunderstood at times i guess its been this way my whole life so why should it change now.
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby Buzzard Wing » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:14 pm

Kroil in a spray can with a straw.... easy to get the right amount in the right place. And it works. I have not broken a bolt since I started using it (the radiator at the Perry mini-fest doesn't count). A spray bottle of anything is just too messy and easy to miss the target and get it all over the place. The big cans do run out of pressure before they run out of Kroil, that goes in a container after I find the church key and goes on with an acid brush.

WD-40 is good for something.... getting bolts loose isn't one of them.
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Re: Penetrating Oils Revisted

Postby hoosier » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:56 pm

I use a modified Ed's red. A 50-50 mix of kerosene and ATF. For me the big factor is time. What ever you use if you don't give it time to work(knocking it with a hammer now and then helps a lot) you are wasting time and product. In my toolroom(retired supervisor)I bought Kroil by the gallon. The guys liked it better than anything else we tried and we tried them all. Here again time was the key. Just my two cents.
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