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No Jump Seat
03-19-2014, 06:48 PM
BEST Home Brew Penetrating Oil


Hello Fellow Enthusiasts; Wanted to pass along a "Home Brew" Penetrating Oil that OUTPERFORMS ALL the commercial products. SAVE $$$$$ & achieve better results...Mark

Machinist's Workshop MagT recently published some information on various penetrating oils. The magazine reports they tested penetrates for break out torque on rusted nuts.They are below. 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.

ATF-Acetone mix is best, but you can also use ATF and lacquer thinner in a 50-50 mix.
*ATF=Automatic Transmission Fluid.

TR3driver
03-19-2014, 09:25 PM
This myth has been making the rounds on the Internet almost since Al Gore invented it. I've tried every substance on that list, and the ATF-acetone mix belongs somewhere worse than classic WD-40. If it was "recently", then why didn't they test WD-40 brand rust penetrant? https://www.wd40specialist.com/

And the supposed results make no sense at all. Just one point, it takes a long time for any of them to penetrate to any significant depth. "Weasel pee" will separate and become useless within minutes of application, while PB Blaster will still be working weeks later.

Also, there is a huge variation in different types of ATF. Which one was used? No one seems to know.

If, by some chance, you happen to know the issue where the article appeared, please post it. I've been a regular subscriber since before the name was changed to "Machinists Workshop", but I've never seen the article or any published reference to it.

Andrew Mace
03-19-2014, 10:49 PM
This myth has been making the rounds on the Internet almost since Al Gore invented it.What? Al Gore invented "ATF-Acetone mix"? :devilgrin:

NutmegCT
12-15-2015, 09:39 AM
I've been wondering about this for years. Inquiring Minds want to know!

So I ordered the April 2007 issue of Machinists' Workshop magazine, and I've attached the article below. Note the photo shows Power Steering Fluid, but the article refers to ATF.

Then read post #18 in this thread:

https://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/27429-Please-confirm-MW-article-on-Penetrating-Oil/page2

Lloyd Bender explains the discrepancy, and confirms he used Power Steering Fluid - not ATF.

Hope this helps!
Tom M.

EDIT: OK, BCF says my 3 meg PDF file is above the 976K limit, so I can't attach it. Good grief. I'll reduce the size.
OK - tried to upload the 962K PDF, and still get the BCF message saying it's too large. I'll try uploading to Photobucket.
OK - Photobucket won't accept PDF files. I'll try Google Drive.
Finally - here's the file on my public Google Drive link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5xnnKbPEWx5dmMzQ2s0SkhPdk0/view?usp=sharing

(Sometimes every man wants to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - H.L. Mencken)

TR3driver
12-15-2015, 12:44 PM
Thanks for the article, Tom. The comment about power steering fluid is good, I may give that a try. Perhaps there is something magical about cheap power steering fluid, as this thread suggests:
https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2117332

But I have to say that my own experiments with 50/50 acetone/ATF (Dexron III) have shown it to be nearly useless when compared to either PB Blaster or Kroil (and adequate soaking time); when used on actual 60 year old threaded fasteners. I put it back on the shelf just in case I someday need to remove a dowel pin after alternately soaking in salt water and air drying.

(Strange that Lloyd didn't mention the stuff separating. Maybe the PS fluid doesn't separate?)

NutmegCT
12-15-2015, 06:01 PM
Thanks Randall.

Looking at the photo, there appears to be no separation in the PSF/acetone container. But who knows ...

Stupid me - I should have wondered about that long ago. The photo shows a clear liquid - certainly not the red that ATF would be. Shows the danger of posting those text summaries of the article, but without the
photo.

I did have success freeing some piston rings on my '58 Rambler. Mixed the ATF/acetone, dropped it down the plug hole, let it sit several days, then cranked it up. Compression went from 135/135/130/135/90/135 before treatment to 135psi for all six.

Tom M.

CJD
12-16-2015, 04:46 AM
It couldn't have been a valid study if they didn't try Marvel Mystery Oil.

Lukens
12-16-2015, 04:06 PM
I find the best way to loosen frozen parts is BFH

tdskip
12-20-2015, 08:57 AM
Given how cheap PBlaster is and how well it works this has always seemed like false economy to me, especially since you often with want to spray it.

NutmegCT
12-20-2015, 09:02 AM
Given how cheap PBlaster is and how well it works this has always seemed like false economy to me, especially since you often with want to spray it.

Absolutely!

But I've been dripping - and spraying - the 50/50 for years. Hasn't failed me yet! And now I'm going to try the power steering fluid as ini the original article.

Tom M.

CJD
12-20-2015, 09:37 AM
If anybody is interested, I did a study on the torque required to break off different size bolts when the penetrating fluid doesn't work. It runs about the same torque regardless of the penetrating fluid used!?!

TR3driver
12-20-2015, 09:46 AM
Given how cheap PBlaster is and how well it works this has always seemed like false economy to me, especially since you often with want to spray it.
I would agree, if the performance was equal. But the proponents (and the article) claim it works a lot better. If that is true, then I'm willing to find my own squirt can, much as I did when I first discovered Kroil (although the Kroil eventually ruined the pump).

Next spring, I hope to go back to working on a 1948 "Johnny Popper" tractor that was left exposed outdoors for pretty much all that time. (Rescued yard art, "running when parked" :) ) Should be lots of chances for a shoot-out between the 50/50 and PB Blaster. And although parts availability is surprisingly good (turns out you can just walk into a JD dealer and still buy common service parts like oil filters and batteries); I would really rather not have to replace every bolt and nut. (Many of which are custom)

NutmegCT
12-20-2015, 09:56 AM
Seems like another "comparison test" is well in order. The tough part will be finding similar bolts, at similar depths, in similar corrosion states.

Remember that the magazine article referred to extracting a pin from an artificially "corroded" hole, not a threaded bolt after a long period of corrosion time.

I'd also be interested in a comparison of the ATF/acetone and the PSF/acetone.

Thanks.
Tom M.

KVH
12-20-2015, 02:27 PM
I just recall the great relief of extracting six frozen head studs from the engine block. Heat, penetrating oil, heat, penetrating oil, and on and on for three days or so, then an absolutely great two-piece stud extractor made by Snap-On. I can't imagine going about it any other way. The concern, of course, was breaking one off. I wouldn't feel very confident about someone's report or test using an artificially frozen or corroded stud. As indicated above, the test is something tightened fast in a hot/cold engine for 20 to 40 years, though any new information is always interesting and welcome.

NutmegCT
12-20-2015, 02:57 PM
I just recall the great relief of extracting six frozen head studs from the engine block. Heat, penetrating oil, heat, penetrating oil, and on and on for three days or so, then an absolutely great two-piece stud extractor made by Snap-On. I can't imagine going about it any other way. The concern, of course, was breaking one off. I wouldn't feel very confident about someone's report or test using an artificially frozen or corroded stud. As indicated above, the test is something tightened fast in a hot/cold engine for 20 to 40 years, though any new information is always interesting and welcome.

Congrats on the success!

What was the penetrating oil you used?