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coldshock.jpgFace it: It sucks when nuts and bolts rust and freeze into place.  They’re the white whale to our Ahab — difficult to catch hold of and frustrating to an extreme once you do. 

Well, a company called J. Walter Inc. claims to have the solution.

Cold Shock is (according to its maker) a fast acting penetrating oil that super-cools bolts to -30°F causing a “cold-cracking” action of the rust and corrosion.  This “cold-cracking” process allows the penetrating oils to seep between threads to loosen rust, (hopefully) allowing the nut or bolt freedom from its rusty prison.  J. Walter claims to have had success on bolts up to 3″ in diameter.
 
Anyway, Cold Shock is available for around $13 in 400ml aerosol cans.  It sounds pretty slick, though we’re not sure what happens if you get some on your hands.  One of the few things we imagine sucks worse than frozen bolts would be “cold-cracked” fingers.  

If you’ve tried this stuff, let us know.  In the meantime, we’re gonna order some and check it out.

Cold Shock [J. Walter, Inc.]

From Reader Comments: Bob says, “Candle wax works great at loosening stuck bolts.  For some reason it penetrates great and lubricates the friction surfaces well.  You have to get the surfaces really hot, like Oxy Acetylene torch hot, and that creates the hazard of the wax’s vapor lighting on fire.  You have to be careful of that.”  He attributes this tip to the Oldsmobile Enthusiast community, and says he’s had good luck with it.  Click through this post to see the full comment.

 

7 Responses to Cold-Shocking Stubborn Bolts

  1. PeterP says:

    This seems interesting. I’ve always wondered about getting a can of that stuff Janitors use to remove gum for that purpose. I wonder if this is susbtantially the same thing? Might be cheaper…

  2. bob says:

    Candle wax works great at loosening stuck bolts. For some reason it penetrates great and lubricates the friction surfaces well. You have to get the surfaces really hot, like Oxy Acetylene torch hot, and that creates the hazard of the wax’s vapor lighting on fire. You have to be careful of that. However, using heat and other penetrating oils creates the same hazard in most cases. Also, it makes a mess with the melted wax dripping all over. It really does work, though … and it’s CHEAP. Credit for this goes to a member of the Oldsmobile Enthusiast community. I’ve tried this at his suggestion, and it really is amazing.

  3. Jason says:

    Doesn’t getting bolts hot generally help loosen them via expansion?

    Anyhoo, I checked out the MSDS for this stuff and I can’t figure out how it ends up cold since it mostly contains petroleum distillate type stuff. It also doesn’t mention anything abou freezing your hand off.

    Also, if you turn one of those air duster cans upside down and pull the trigger, a stream of extremely cold propellent comes out. I wonder if this could be used to loosen bolts?

  4. Sean says:

    Jason, as usual, good points. We ask that ourselves. If we can get our hands on a can or two in the shop we will answer these questions and some of our own as well and tell you guys all about it. 😀

    As for the air duster thing, we are getting a great deal of email and tips on this subject. Perhaps we should put together a test to see which products and methods work and which don’t?

    What do you guys think?

  5. PeterP says:

    Sounds like a plan. I’m in the middle of restoring a car and stuck bolts are the bane of my existence. A cordless impact wrench is right at the top of my”most wanted” tool list at the moment.

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  7. Fixings says:

    Alternatively, you could try soaking the rusted bolt in oil (and lots of it!) ideally overnight, and may need repeating. This can allow the nut and bolt to free. Or if all else fails, get a grinder or hack saw to remove the bolt!

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