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Gene D. writes: “A couple of years ago, I had to replace the exhaust pipe on my car.  When I was removing the old pipe, I discovered that the bolts holding the pipe to the catalytic converter were completely rusted, so I soaked them down in WD-40 and waited half an hour.  When I tried to remove them, all I succeeded in doing was stripping the nuts almost completely round.  I went to the auto parts store to see if they had replacement bolts and nuts in stainless steel.  I explained my situation to the salesman there and asked him for advice on the best way to remove the existing bolts.  He pointed me to a can of PB Penetrating Catalyst and guaranteed me that it would do the trick.  I was a bit skeptical, but it sounded better than cutting the bolts off, so I went home and sprayed down the nuts and bolts and waited about 5 minutes.  I was able to easily remove the nuts using a pair of vice grip pliers.”

We actually mentioned PB a while back when we first advised using a penetrant to loosen up old, rusty bolts, but we thought we’d share this reader’s experience as well.  We have a can in the shop and have had good results with it — like when we removed the Y-pipe from Project Yukon.

Street pricing starts around $3 a can, and you can find this in most auto parts stores and big-box retailers.

PB Penetrating Catalyst [PB Blaster]
Street Pricing [Froogle]


9 Responses to Reader Find: PB Penetrating Catalyst

  1. Old Donn says:

    This stuff’s not as versatile as WD-40, in fact, you better be careful what you use it on. But when it comes to breaking rusty fasteners loose, this is the stuff

  2. Myself says:

    Yeah, WD-40 is part penetrant, part protectant. PB and Kroil are all penetrant.

  3. Tony says:

    WD-40 is a cleaner, actually. WD stands for “water displacement”.

    In short, its good for light cleaning and getting water off surfaces.

  4. Mark says:

    Yesterday I picked up my utility trailer from a friend’s house where it had been sitting for about two years. One of the tires was off the rim so we went to mount the spare. All four lug bolts (kit trailer has bolts, not nuts on lugs) were stuck. We went to the local auto parts store and the clerk recommended PB Blaster. He said to spray it on, wait an hour and the bolts would come right out. Very conservative advice. We got back, sprayed it on all four lug bolts. In five minutes two were free and in less than five more the other two were free. PB Blaster advertises itself as a penetrating lubricant that doesn’t evaporate so we’ll see what happens next time we have to change a tire. As for me, I’m sold. WD-40 is good, Liquid Wrench is okay, but my new product of choice (I’m so fickle) is PB Blaster.

  5. Dan B says:

    PB Blaster works great, even though the label looks like a cross between the Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap label and the Time Cube website.



  6. PK says:

    PB blaster is the greatest. Customers are forever bringing in stuff that is rusted tight and the PB frees it up 90% of the time. If the PB doesn’t loosen it, out comes the cutting tools. Many chainsaws use studs to hold exhausts on. The nuts on those studs are always badly rusted and frozen. Since I started keeping the PB Blaster in the shop, we haven’t snapped off one of those studs and don’t have to spend an hour fighting with them. Just spray it on, wait a few minutes and you’re good to go.

  7. AN says:

    Was looking for a way to remove rust, and discovered the Time Cube website thanks to Dan B. WOW

  8. WD-40 advertises that it is a protectant, but only until it evaporates. WD-40 and PB-50 are both lubricants, while industrial strength PB Blaster penetrates, lubricates and protects. It is, hands down, the best product on the market! Order $50, receive free freight at http://www.shop.blasterplus.com!

  9. Kevin K says:

    This stuff comes out almost every time I work on a car, and I mostly haven’t gotten it to work. Once, however, I got a spark plug out by freezing it with LOTS of canned air propellant (spraying upside down) after failing with the PB blaster.

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