pirate New Reader
12/21/10 9:59 a.m.

I recieved the e-mail below from a friend of mine which he had also recieved via e-mail. Anyone know if this works? Seems to simple to be true!

Machinist's Workshop magazine tested penetrants for break out torque on rusted nuts. They arranged a subjective test of all the popular penetrants with the control being the torque required to remove the nut from a "scientifically rusted" environment. The results are as follows:

Penetrating oil Average load None 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 was a "home brew" mix of 50/50 automatic transmission fluid and acetone.

Several times, others have given out the 50-50 mixture of Acetone and Automatic Transmission Fluid as an anti-rust/break-free helper. Mix it 50/50, then shake, shake, shake… and spray.

EricM Dork
12/21/10 10:01 a.m.

That is all over the Jeep forums (jeeps have rusty, stuck bolts all the time).

I have used ATF to loosen things and it does seem to work.

foxtrapper SuperDork
12/21/10 10:13 a.m.

Btdt, doesn't work worth a darn.

ATF and acetone do NOT mix. The problem starts there.

ATF on its own isn't a bad lubricant.

pres589 HalfDork
12/21/10 10:20 a.m.

I would think ATF would mix much better with kerosene (aka WD-40), perhaps that would be a better mix? I also have a hard time thinking acetone is a great carrier for ATF.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
12/21/10 1:05 p.m.

I dunno, FT. I was trying to get the nut holding the wiper blade on the wiper assembly gizmo off the S2 Europa. It was not moving for anything. Sprayed down with WD-40, nothing. Sprayed with PB Blaster. Nothing. Mixed up some Toyota ATF and acetone, which did mix, put some on the nut and it came right off. It does not store well, though, so you have to mix it up and use it right away.

ditchdigger HalfDork
12/21/10 1:23 p.m.

I did the ATF acetone mix in a clear spray bottle. Shook it up and used it then put it on the shelf. 1 month later it was still mixed up.

Smells terrible though. Luckily I don't have to deal with rusty fasteners alot here in the PNW.

BowtieBandit New Reader
12/21/10 1:38 p.m.

Hey that's pretty cool! Just one question though, why wouldn't ATF and Acetone mix? Which ATF did they use?

I've heard liquid wrench was really good, but had never used it. PB has their new PB50, which is supposed to be 10 better than WD40 and I think Royal Purple has some sortof synthetic penetrating oil that's supposed to scare the rust away and loosen the nut for you.

I love being a tool nerd.

Grtechguy SuperDork
12/21/10 1:44 p.m.


foxtrapper SuperDork
12/21/10 2:07 p.m.

I used Dextrol II and generic acetone. 50/50 in a clear squeeze bottle. When shaken, the two would mechanically mix, but would immediately seperate as soon as I stopped shaking the bottle. The acetone did pull the die from the Dextron II, making it appear they had mixed if just casually glanced at. But looking closer showed the two fluids completely seperated. I do not remember which one was on top.

Attempting to shake the container enough to mechanically mix the two fluids and squirt it out was not successfull. By the time I would tip and squirt, the two fluids would be once again separated, and only one would come out.

I've never bothered to try it with other solvents (lacquer thinner, mineral spirits, etc), or other transmission fluids.

This mixture is an incomplete formulation of the decades old universal gun fluid, "Ed's Red". Perhaps the lanolin in Ed's Red helps hold the two fluids together. I've never made Ed's Red, so I cannot say.

No storage problems with the mixture I made up. It's at last a few years old, and sitting in the same bottle it always has. Doc, why do you say it does not store well? What was it doing?

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
12/21/10 2:38 p.m.

Well, what I did is take a bottle of Toyota ATF with about 1 oz in the bottom, 'cause that's what I buy for the Toyota fleet, and I think it was the kind that goes in the LS400, not the kind that goes in the Camry as they are different formulas, add an ounce of generic acetone to the ATF bottle (plastic), shake it up, pour a little on the stuck part, and then try again with my large socket and breaker bar and the thing came right off after messing with it over 2+ days with various other fluids. I thought, great, I'll just keep that for use later. I made sure the cap was tight on the ATF jug. The jug expanded out like it was under internal pressure and near as I can tell, the acetone evaporated out despite the cap being on tight. I suppose my experience with it not keeping is more of a container issue than a mixture issue. I also don't know if the acetone or the ATF was what loosened the part. I used the same mixture on other parts on that car also with good results, and only after failing PB Blaster, etc.

spitfirebill Dork
12/21/10 2:46 p.m.

Is the ATF/acetone what people call weasel pee?

I'm going to try some eventually. I don't understand why they don't mix since they are both hydrocarbons.

Maybe Dexron II is that much different from Dexron III.

motomoron HalfDork
12/21/10 2:57 p.m.

I've been a Kroil loyalist for years, having found there's about nothing that can't be broken free with an oxy-acetylene torch, Kroil, a hammer and an impact wrench. That said I'll absolutely try the Acetone/ATF mix next time.

The wife's 2000 Audi A4 Q needs struts/shocks installed and I was stymied by the pinch bolts on a couple of the myriad front upper control arm-gelinkenheimers.

'Dude who wrenches Audi cars says "Oh, those? we just twist them off and drill them out. They never come out"

pilotbraden Reader
12/21/10 2:58 p.m.

I would like to see Mouse Milk in the comparison. I have mixed up 2 quarts of the Acetone ATF tincture and it seems to work well. It does make a horrible mess when a Ford F-100 drives over a full quart bottle. I used the cheapest hardware store Acetone and ATF.

That idiot who can't spell
That idiot who can't spell SuperDork
12/23/10 2:16 p.m.

What do you store your mixture of acetone and ATF? Will it eat thru a plastic bottle?

pilotbraden Reader
12/23/10 3:16 p.m.

I used the bottles that the ingredients came in. So far no problem with the one I did not run over, the acetone bottle is the one I still have

scottgib New Reader
12/23/10 3:32 p.m.

This mixture works far better than the commercial penetrants. I have used it many times with great success, a few times after PB-B failed. Now I just used the acetone/ATF mixture as my first choice and it has never let me down.

JThw8 SuperDork
12/23/10 4:59 p.m.

We broke 3 bolts in the entire disassembly of the wartburg which had sat in a field for 20 years. Everything else came free with the ATF/acetone trick. Stuff works great. I still keep PB blaster around because it works good if you have time to let it soak and its good when I need something to just grab quick. But for the hard stuff the 50/50 mix works great.

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