How to clean off Locktite? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 16 Old Dec 24th, 2007, 10:01 pm Thread Starter
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How to clean off Locktite?

I am undoing some bolts that were treated with blue Locktite or similar material.

Before I reinstall them, I need to clean off the old stuff. What do you guys suggest to use for removal of the thread locker?

TIA,

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #2 of 16 Old Dec 24th, 2007, 10:13 pm
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Rd I Can Answer That Queistion Use A Wire Brush On A Grinder ,brass Works Great But Cost More Then Blow Them Off With Air Hose And Reapply The Blue Gue And Your Done Merry Christmas 42 Degrees 2marrow And A Ridin
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post #3 of 16 Old Dec 25th, 2007, 12:09 am
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Smile

The wire brush wheel works pretty darn good. I sometimes find it necessary to cleanout of some of the more stubbornly clogged threads with the tip of a drywall screw. Good time of the year to be wrenching. Best wishes for lots of riding in the New Year.
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post #4 of 16 Old Dec 25th, 2007, 12:35 am
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Or, take your torch to it and then brush it. It's amazing how heat will clean metal, even rust.



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post #5 of 16 Old Dec 25th, 2007, 5:24 am
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Yuletide n' locktite

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Now why do I need to clean off the old locktite? I just add a drop of new stuff and reassemble. Edumicate me why this isn't okay?
Doing it dumber in the deep south of Vermont.


Happy & Merry Wishes to All!
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post #6 of 16 Old Dec 25th, 2007, 7:15 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
Merry Christmas Everyone.

Now why do I need to clean off the old locktite? I just add a drop of new stuff and reassemble. Edumicate me why this isn't okay?
Doing it dumber in the deep south of Vermont.


Happy & Merry Wishes to All!
New Loctite will have a considerably less holding power if applied over old. It gets it's grip by hardening and creating a homegenous bond between the two metals. Old Loctite that has been torn apart will not create nearly as good a bond.

In most cases it is just vibration loosening resistance, so there it will work just fine, so if not using it on a critical high load fastener, don't worry too much about it. Where your safety is concerned, such as suspension parts, it is certainly best to clean the threads first.

Pretty easy on external threads by wire brushing, but internal fastener threads are pretty difficult, running a tap into them is the best way. Another way is to heat them to about 170-250 deg. F. and twist a gun cleaning wire brush through.

I have never heard of a chemical cleaning agent that will work on Loctite.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
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post #7 of 16 Old Dec 25th, 2007, 1:07 pm
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Learn' Locktite n' stuff

Thank you David for the reply.
(Hey everyone, isn't it nice to have our own consulting engineer so willing to help, right here on bmwlt.com?)

As a self taught farm boy who has wrenched everything from tricycles to tractors I've made more mistakes on projects than most people have done projects. Removing old locktite on critical fasteners makes sense to me, which leads to another question.

You suggest cleaning out internal fasteners with a tap. In my experience when "chasing threads" with a tap, the fit of the fasterner becomes a little more "sloppy"; running the tap in always seems to cut just a little more metal out. I think there are taps which are "thread chasing" taps, and these are cut a little differently from a standard tap? I would wonder about decreasing the quality of the internal fasterner that is cut into an aluminum case by running a standard tap into to just to clean out old locktite. Maybe it is just because my taps are kinda cheap.

From my experience, I'd rather not run a tap into a critical internal fastener if I didn't really need to. I'm afraid I'd be decreasing the holding power of the internal fastener. Unreasonable concern? Using the wrong kind of tap?

Merry Christmas.





Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
New Loctite will have a considerably less holding power if applied over old. It gets it's grip by hardening and creating a homegenous bond between the two metals. Old Loctite that has been torn apart will not create nearly as good a bond.

In most cases it is just vibration loosening resistance, so there it will work just fine, so if not using it on a critical high load fastener, don't worry too much about it. Where your safety is concerned, such as suspension parts, it is certainly best to clean the threads first.

Pretty easy on external threads by wire brushing, but internal fastener threads are pretty difficult, running a tap into them is the best way. Another way is to heat them to about 170-250 deg. F. and twist a gun cleaning wire brush through.

I have never heard of a chemical cleaning agent that will work on Loctite.
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post #8 of 16 Old Dec 25th, 2007, 4:34 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks so much - useful info!

Hi, all:

Thanks so much for the replies. I have tried using all kinds of chemicals in the past and can attest to the fact that indeed nothing seems dissolve Locktite off reliably. Impressive stuff!

The heating/brushing method is interesting - did not think about that; will try it this weekend!

To answer previous question: I am (overly?) compulsive about proper torque values on reassembly. It just does not seem like I can achieve correct torque with old sticky thread locker already in place - that is why I'd like to remove it.

Thanks again & Happy New Year to all!

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #9 of 16 Old Dec 25th, 2007, 7:05 pm
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If you are a nut like me you use thread chases and NOT taps if you have too. I use a hand steel and brass brushes with the occasional chip as it with a ice pick. I then spay both bolt and hole with brake cleaner and then air.

Just the way I was taught.

Thought process is you want to reach proper toque. I don't think in any application of blue there is too much of an issue of bonding, but rather reaching a specified torque. In critical fasteners, and any application of red, or if the LT has it, green, then you better be on in torque, with nothing binding. Also in any torque to a heavy and then back to a lite torque, you have to be dead nuts on.

As I am talking from prior experience, and not on a LT, I would assume the same principles apply? Also on some mechanical critical fasteners, I have had to lightly apply a thin coat of oil on the bolt shoulder to reach correct torque.

And the last thing is, blowing out a bolt hole because of oil or thread lock in the bottom of it, and then torquing to spec, the hydro lock has to give somewhere.

Compressed air, brake cleaner and steel/brass brushes are your friends, and the thread CHASE kit is your bestest friend.

Lee
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post #10 of 16 Old Dec 25th, 2007, 7:56 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
Thank you David for the reply.
(Hey everyone, isn't it nice to have our own consulting engineer so willing to help, right here on bmwlt.com?)

As a self taught farm boy who has wrenched everything from tricycles to tractors I've made more mistakes on projects than most people have done projects. Removing old locktite on critical fasteners makes sense to me, which leads to another question.

You suggest cleaning out internal fasteners with a tap. In my experience when "chasing threads" with a tap, the fit of the fasterner becomes a little more "sloppy"; running the tap in always seems to cut just a little more metal out. I think there are taps which are "thread chasing" taps, and these are cut a little differently from a standard tap? I would wonder about decreasing the quality of the internal fasterner that is cut into an aluminum case by running a standard tap into to just to clean out old locktite. Maybe it is just because my taps are kinda cheap.

From my experience, I'd rather not run a tap into a critical internal fastener if I didn't really need to. I'm afraid I'd be decreasing the holding power of the internal fastener. Unreasonable concern? Using the wrong kind of tap?

Merry Christmas.
A standard, decent quality tap should not remove any metal to speak of. Sometimes just a little may be scraped off the thread flanks, especially in aluminum where the threads may have been very slightly "stretched" by the forces generated when tightening the fastener.

Yes, there are thread chasing taps, but they are usually cheap "cut" thread taps, not ground threads as in quality cutting taps. The quality of the chasing taps can vary widely, vrom good ones by known quality companies to the more generic imported ones that can be all over the map as far as sizing and quality of thread.

I would want to use normal good quality cutting taps to clean out critical fasteners. They should be far more accurate to size of the taps that produced the threads in the first place.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #11 of 16 Old Dec 25th, 2007, 8:01 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAF
If you are a nut like me you use thread chases and NOT taps if you have too. I use a hand steel and brass brushes with the occasional chip as it with a ice pick. I then spay both bolt and hole with brake cleaner and then air.

Just the way I was taught.

Thought process is you want to reach proper toque. I don't think in any application of blue there is too much of an issue of bonding, but rather reaching a specified torque. In critical fasteners, and any application of red, or if the LT has it, green, then you better be on in torque, with nothing binding. Also in any torque to a heavy and then back to a lite torque, you have to be dead nuts on.

As I am talking from prior experience, and not on a LT, I would assume the same principles apply? Also on some mechanical critical fasteners, I have had to lightly apply a thin coat of oil on the bolt shoulder to reach correct torque.

And the last thing is, blowing out a bolt hole because of oil or thread lock in the bottom of it, and then torquing to spec, the hydro lock has to give somewhere.

Compressed air, brake cleaner and steel/brass brushes are your friends, and the thread CHASE kit is your bestest friend.
Thread chasers are good if they are QUALITY ones by reputable tap and die producing companies. I do not trust the Harbor Freight/eBay units that are imported. They are normally just cheap carbon steel, cut thread units that have no quality requirements other than being "close" to size. Not good enough for critical fasteners in my book.

A good quality thread cutting tap will be so close to the size of the taps and dies used to manufacture the parts, where taps and dies are used in production. Few external threads, or large diameter internal threads are done with taps and dies these days though.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #12 of 16 Old Dec 26th, 2007, 7:05 am
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Quality posts and immortality

Thanks for the reply David. Another very informative post.

Quote dshealey: "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying."

I figure you've already achieved immortality with us here on this board.

Here's to wishing you the best on the other score!

Happy New Year




Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
A standard, decent quality tap should not remove any metal to speak of. Sometimes just a little may be scraped off the thread flanks, especially in aluminum where the threads may have been very slightly "stretched" by the forces generated when tightening the fastener.

Yes, there are thread chasing taps, but they are usually cheap "cut" thread taps, not ground threads as in quality cutting taps. The quality of the chasing taps can vary widely, vrom good ones by known quality companies to the more generic imported ones that can be all over the map as far as sizing and quality of thread.

I would want to use normal good quality cutting taps to clean out critical fasteners. They should be far more accurate to size of the taps that produced the threads in the first place.
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post #13 of 16 Old Dec 26th, 2007, 8:14 am
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Dave you make a good point on quality.

I for one would never buy Harbor Freight tools for anything more then a one time/specialty use.

When you are talking a tap and die set or a chase set you need to pony up for quality as you said.

The biggest point I make is cleaning the bolt hole. Again I have seen many aluminum and cast parts blown out from hydro lock. Just the simple act of oil running into a bolt hole and then being torqued for spec will do it. First it wont be spec, how could it, and then you will either stretch the bolt, the threads or worse the bolt hole will crack or fracture.

Again air, brake cleaner with the nozzle to help force it out, and if needed I have used pipe cleaners in the bolt holes to really dry and ensure cleanliness

Lee
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post #14 of 16 Old Dec 26th, 2007, 9:27 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
I am undoing some bolts that were treated with blue Locktite or similar material.

Before I reinstall them, I need to clean off the old stuff. What do you guys suggest to use for removal of the thread locker?

TIA,
Methyl alcohol will turn that Locktite into - well - "Like Butt-ahh"!

Soak the bolts overnight, then use a Nylox (abrasive nylon) or fine brass wire rotary wheel in a high speed drill with your bolt clamped in a vise. Depending on the thread size you may want to use a Dremel instead since the wire wheel attachment is very thin. Don't use steel since you can easily damage the threads. Run them through a die by hand to get off any remnants. Rinse with methyl alcohol.
Don't forget to wear your polycarbonate (right David? ) safety shield since nothing ruins a good laugh like a piece of wire embedded in your aqueous humor.

For the holes, fill them with methyl alcohol, tape some metal foil over the top to keep it from evaporating, let soak overnight. Use an abrasive nylon flute brush chucked in a drill - picture below - and gently "plunge" the hole,
Chase the hole with a tap to get out any remnants, blow them out with compressed air then rinse with methyl alcohol.

Have a couple of shots of the methyl for yourself (not) and pat yourself on the back - you've got whistle clean threads!
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"Like Butt-ahh!"

Last edited by RonKMiller; Dec 26th, 2007 at 12:37 pm.
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post #15 of 16 Old Dec 26th, 2007, 2:58 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks again!

Again, guys, thanks a lot for all this useful info.

Happy New Year!

Robert in Northern NJ

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post #16 of 16 Old Dec 26th, 2007, 3:40 pm
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I have a snap-on thread repair set that I use to repair damaged threads. Does a great job on damaged threads and works great to clean out old loctite.
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