Lotus Elan

Anyone tried ATF + Acetone for freeing rusty bits?

PostPost by: JonB » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:45 pm

Regarding this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7hpmmlYBFM

He says you can make a highly effective penetrating fluid from automatic transmission fluid and acetone (50/50 ratio) and explains its action on rust. Does anyone agree with the explanation he is giving? I don't follow the chemistry. Has anyone tried using it? ChrisFix (a YouTube channel) did a test, not very scientific but looks promising.

What I do not quite understand is this: if it's so good, beats all the proprietary oils and its composition is fairly well known, how come no one actually makes the stuff commercially? Is there a downside?

I'm going to try it on my seized up Spyder suspension spindle anyway, but wanted to get some conversation going about the stuff.

Over to you!
Last edited by JonB on Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: pauljones » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:00 pm

No joy yet Jon, have you confirmed its not been welded in yet?
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:11 pm

Wrong thread. But no, not welded in. Other three aren't and there is no weld around the spindle.
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PostPost by: Craven » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:13 pm

Not a direct answer but penetrating oils are designed to take advantage of fast capillary action thin viscosity oils like diesel and paraffin can work.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:26 pm

sorry but i lost patience with that video and all the others that i skipped to hoping for something a little quicker.

What is it with all these boring slow repetitive Youtube video makers?
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:52 pm

I know. I keep yelling "JUST GET TO THE POINT!!" but it doesn't work.

:lol:
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PostPost by: pauljones » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:30 pm

We always used to soak big items in a paraffin bath over the weekend before stripping down. Never used it mixed so cant comment
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PostPost by: USA64 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:03 pm

I tried it; it didn't work either. Not a real test as nothing worked but a machinist with a press. Acetone is nasty; toxic, volatile, and flammable. It's hard to keep it in the mix and anytime the container is open you are in danger. It also eats most glove material.
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PostPost by: elansprint » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:06 pm

Jon I think it was practical classics who did some tests on this very subject and ATF/Acetone mix came out top better than the WD40 or Plus gas etc although not tried it myself. I usually use the electrolytic de rust if you can get it into a bucket. Put a sacrificial steel plate against the side of the bucket connect the +ve from 12V battery or charger place rusty parts in middle of bucket connected to -ve then fill with water to just over work piece and add some soda crystals to increase conductivity. Scrub work piece with kitchen scoured every now and again it works a treat.
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:17 pm

WD40 isn't really a releasing agent, though many people seem to think it is.
WD40 is for removing moisture. Also it should not be left on as a lubricant, a proper oil should be used after WD40.

Plus Gas is still readily available and is a releasing agent.

I have no experience with the Acetone/Diesel-fuel mix, sorry.
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PostPost by: reb53 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:42 am

Maybe it was the ATF I used because when I tried it it simply created a weird mixture with little globules floating around in it.
Did 2 tenths of b*gger all.

Have always found that, ( assuming the items can stand a bit of heat), that the best penetrating oil is any old oil you have lying around, and a blowtorch......
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PostPost by: innesw » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:41 pm

+1 for Plus gas, easily available from euro car parts, leave over night

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PostPost by: prezoom » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:31 pm

The original post I read on a comparison of penetrating fluids was in Home Shop Machinist many years ago. Basically the writer bolted identical parts together, soaked them in a salt water solution and set them outside to corrode for a set period of time. The final test was with a torque wrench, measuring the amount of torque required to separate the connecting parts. Have the magazine somewhere, but have not looked for it. The acetone/ATF mixture required the least amount of torque to free the parts. I believe Kano Kroil came in second, followed by PB Blaster. If I remember correctly, there was a significant amount of difference in torque required for release between the Kroil and the acetone/ATF mix. I have used it a couple of time, only mixing up enough for the particular job, and it worked. It will probably get a thorough test when I start the Elva restoration.

As an aside, I have a book on restoring old tractors and farm equipment, and the length they go to in freeing old parts is quite humorous, but helpful. Most require large quantities of penetrating fluids, time and striking the parts with large hammers, every time the walk past the offending parts. But, they wind up eventually freeing the connections.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:05 pm

prezoom wrote:The original post I read on a comparison of penetrating fluids was in Home Shop Machinist many years ago. Basically the writer bolted identical parts together, soaked them in a salt water solution and set them outside to corrode for a set period of time. The final test was with a torque wrench, measuring the amount of torque required to separate the connecting parts. Have the magazine somewhere, but have not looked for it. The acetone/ATF mixture required the least amount of torque to free the parts. I believe Kano Kroil came in second, followed by PB Blaster. If I remember correctly, there was a significant amount of difference in torque required for release between the Kroil and the acetone/ATF mix. I have used it a couple of time, only mixing up enough for the particular job, and it worked. It will probably get a thorough test when I start the Elva restoration.


That list may be there :

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/532 ... eners.html

in any case, it's always good to have a couple techniques at hand, these corroded threads are not all alike, and some develop a different personalities...
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:26 pm

I'm not dealing with a thread, though. It's a rod rusted into an inaccessible sleeve, about 4" long.

Off now to spray some more gunk on it... maybe if I give it a dirty look it'll relent.. like those tractors... :lol:
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