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Thread: Penetrating oil

  1. #1
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    Default Penetrating oil

    After the mention of Acetone & ATF in the recent thread on Kroil. I found this in Wikipedia. Acetone can also be used in combination with automatic transmission fluid to create an effective penetrating oil. Brake fluid is sometimes used in place of ATF. These mixtures (usually 1:1) can be useful in loosening rusted or stuck bolts.

    When I was in college in the early 60s I worked for Goodyear @ the Dallas Transit Bus system. They used Brake Fluid as a penetrating oil to remove the lug nuts. A large 1 drive Air Impact was used to accomplish this. It was also used reinstalling the nuts. I know that brake fluid does penetrate/wick into very fine cracks. I also know that Brake Fluid appears to cause steel to rust.
    Does anyone have any thoughts on the Acetone-ATF or Acetone-Brake Fluid as a penetrating oil.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  2. #2
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    If you look at the MSDS sheets for Kroil, PBlaster, etc, they're just mineral oil in a solvent carrier, often acetone or mineral spirits.

    ATF is predominantly mineral oil. Do the math
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

  3. #3
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    I've used brake fluid poured in spark plug hole to free stuck engines.
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich theory of life." Theodore Roosevelt

  4. #4
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    In my youth, I accidentally dribbled some brake fluid across the fender of my car.

    The next day the paint was bubbled up and then flaked off. Just saying….

  5. #5
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    I'd sure go with the ATF instead of brake fluid, I hate that stuff, sticky on your fingers, pretty dangerous to get in your eyes, hard on painted surfaces, yuck.

    Paul T.
    www.power-t.com

  6. #6
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    There was an article in one of the magazines published by this board's sponsor about this. I forget if it was HSM or MW, but the author did a pretty nice job of testing various penetrating oils in a somewhat controlled test. He put some closely fitted steel pins into matching reamed holes, and allowed them to rust. He then applied various commercial penetrating oil concoctions on them and measured the force required to press the pins out. ATF/acetone mix was one of the ones tested, and seemed to perform better than most anything else he tried.

    I've used it myself, and found it pretty effective.

  7. #7
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    Diesel fuel makes a good penetrating fluid.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    That is for sure. In business we used 2 pipe plugs to close the rig refueling tanks. These were just screwed in hand tight as we didnt want to go find a wrench ever time we needed into one. As the diesel finds its way out the dust attaches to show you how far it has migrated. For years we used a Diesel/ATF mixture as the penetrating lubricant to free up the 2 pull down chains. After Hopps became unavailable and I learned of Eds Red it has been a stock item around my shop. I also buy Kroil by the gallon. My ongoing penetration oil test is on the hinges of overseas shipping containers. This has been going on for several years now. I have four hinges on one container that are not moving freely. Someone suggested flushing with Brake cleaner. It was surprising how much rusty grunge that this flushed out. It was after this that I began to notice some improvement. I hit these hinges with new lubricant about once a month. I am going to try the acetone-ATF in the near future. The brake fluid is kind of a new idea brought forward from the distant past. I may also try it. I was kind of hoping someone here might have tried it.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  10. #10
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    Well that old thread brought back some of my ailing memory. I couldn’t get the Acetone and the newer ATF to mix. The solution comes in the Ed’s Red mixture. Mix the diesel and ATF first then Add the Acetone and it goes into solution.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

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