Loctite is a brand name of thread sealant. The liquid sealant is applied from a bottle in a droplet form. These drops flow into the spaces between the mating threads of a bolt. As the sealant cures, it helps to lock the bolts into place. Loctite comes in three typical strengths. These strengths are identified by the colours of the sealant. The colours in correspondence to the strengths are blue, red and green. Blue is the lightest strength with green being the strongest. Two different methods are recommended for removing bolts that have Loctite sealant applied to the threads.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Proper-sized end spanner or socket
- Impact spanner ( handheld or air powered)
- Propane torch (optional)
- Heat gun (optional)
- Soldering iron (optional)
Attempt to remove the bolt first with the correctly sized end spanner or socket. Typically the blue strength sealant can be removed by this type of mechanical means.
Use a handheld impact spanner or an air-powered impact if the bolt can be accessed with these types of tools. A sharp rotational force can break the bonds of the higher strength Loctite. Be careful that you don't shear off the bolt in the mating hole.
Apply heat to the bolt's head with a propane torch. If the area is next to a flammable storage, such as a gas tank, you still might be able to use a heat gun. The red and green strength Loctite generally will need some type of heat applied, above 204 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit), in order to melt the cured sealant. A spanner or impact can be used immediately while the bolt is still hot.
Use a high wattage soldering iron for smaller screws and bolts. Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the head of the screw and allow the heat to work into the area. Immediately remove the screw while still hot.
Remove the entire part from the assembly in order to gain better access to the bolt or screw. This may be the best choice if the bolt is near a rubber seal or flammable location where any heat applied may cause an explosion.
Tips and warnings
- Take your time when removing any bolt that has been "Loctite" into place. Rushing the removal of these bolts that are treated with the thread-locking substance may create more work than desired.
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